The Future of Miami’s Shared Economy

imageLast Monday, Miami-Dade Commissioner, Esteban “Steve” Bovo, and representatives from Uber, The Miami Foundation, Lyft, Car2Go, Miami Soup, CycleHop, and Addventures gathered at The LAB Miami for a discussion about the future of Miami’s shared economy. The event was presented by the New Leaders Council-Miami, moderated by Rodrigo Gonzalez, and sponsored by the Knight Foundation. It was an utter success, drawing over 100 attendees, as panelists shared their experiences, struggles, and achievements within the shared economy.

The shared economy is a socio-economic system based on the shared access of goods and services. It can take a variety of forms, but is often enabled by information technology and peer communities that create transparent and trustworthy information-sharing networks.

“Trust is the foundation of the sharing economy,” said Director of International Government Relations at Lyft, Michael Masserman, “without it, our businesses cannot exist.”

The shared economy describes huge market places such as Ebay and Craigslist, as well as emerging sectors, like car and bike-sharing (Uber, Car2Go, Lyft, CycleHop) and peer-to-peer travel (AirBnb).

However, the concept of sharing resources is not new. “We’ve all been to libraries,” said Carl Hildebrand, director at Miami Soup, a grassroots model for funding projects designed to enhance the quality of community life. “What is new is the disruptive technology in transportation.”

Miami’s public transportation system is one that has not evolved to meet the needs or the growth of the city. “One critical problem we have for residents is if you have to stand outside and wait for a bus, you will literally melt out there,” said Commissioner Bovo. If Dade County wants to continue priding itself as “the capital of the Americas,” it must grapple with the transportation issues it faces.

The swelling growth of this new model is opening new opportunities for the way in which we interact and carry out transactions, however it brings up many questions about safety, taxation, and oversight that regulators are struggling to resolve.  

There must be increased dialogue with municipalities and government officials to ensure that both innovation and consumer protection are embraced with the rise of this nascent industry.

Last week, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved preliminary steps towards authorizing the currently illegal market of ride-for-hire companies, such as UberX and Lyft. However, this is just a start. Change is a challenging and slow process, especially when it rivals traditional services and the status quo.

As more people, communities, and businesses choose to opt into the new peer-to-peer sharing model, “it will fundamentally change the dynamic between consumers and producers,” said Christopher Sopher, journalism program associate at the Knight Foundation.

“Miami is in an era of continuous disruption,” he added.

By Andrea Rey

"Behind the walls, behind these glorious murals, are people doing really innovative and interesting things," says Jessica Goldman Srebnick. The LAB Miami is featured in this BBC video (2:35-2:49) about the Wynwood Arts District. Be sure to check it out!

Charlie Crist Visits The LAB

TeckCocktail Miami: 

"Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist stopped by Wynwood this Thursday to visit The LAB Miami, where he announced that Miami-Dade’s Democratic Party, Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, will be his running mate in the next state election. Crist and Taddeo-Goldstein had the opportunity to tour the co-working space, where he met tech startups founders and hear about programs like Wyncode and Wynwood Maker Camp.”

Read the full article, hereimageWLRN:

"When Charlie Crist stopped at a converted warehouse for Miami entrepreneurs, 12-year-old Andrew Castro handed him a miniature state of Florida produced by a 3-D printer.

“A little Florida! Thank you,” Crist said.

Crist was at LAB Miami Thursday morning because he thinks another South Floridian can help hand him the whole state this fall — Annette Taddeo-Goldstein.”

Listen to the full piece, hereimageCBS Miami: 

See more, here

The LAB Fosters Miami’s Innovative and Entrepreneurial Environment


The LAB Miami is proud to be one of the Knight Foundation-supported projects that helps in creating the innovative and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem that Miami seeks to build. Our co-working space is home to 140 entrepreneurs and drew more than 23,000 visitors at our events, just in our first year!

Miami is showing signs that it has the elements to become a center for “innovation, technology and high-impact entrepreneurship.” As this environment evolves, it will not only support and propel entrepreneurship, but also create a path for those who succeed to fund and mentor those in the next wave.

Read the full article, here.

CocoaHeads Miami - Swift Meetup Success

Yesterday, CocoaHeads Miami held the first of multiple sessions discussing new iOS 8 development tools and features, beginning with Swift, Apple’s new programming language for iOS and OS X. 

Meet Swift:

If you are interested in meeting other Mac and iOS developers while learning Cocoa or getting help with your own projects, CocoaHeads meets on the second Thursday of every month at 7PM at The LAB. Check out their Meetup page for the latest information.

Dear LABrats,

As many of you may have heard, Wifi and I will be stepping into new roles as “Ambassadors in Residence” of The LAB Miami. While questions have arisen regarding our future presence at The LAB, rest assured that we are as committed as ever to the project, our vision, our members, and the greater Miami community.

Throughout 2013, The LAB Miami experienced explosive growth – adding new members and hosting 3-4 events every week - which could not have been possible without the help of our members and community partners. Today, we see The LAB’s bustling work areas and packed events as a testament to a true tech hub brewing in South Florida. Yet, as we endeavor to bring The LAB brand to a wider audience, we must ensure sustainability for what has brought us to this point – our flagship in Wynwood. 

The Managing Director will bring the same daily dedication to The LAB that Wifredo and I have shown since we opened – ensuring that there is a place to work, and a venue to host events, for Miami’s innovators. Along with Tamara (our operations guru) and a dedicated group of part-timers and residents, the Managing Director will ensure that the membership experience is top quality and that our event calendar continues to burst at the seams.

In freeing us up from day to day responsibilities, Wifi and I can then pursue opportunities to increase The LAB’s presence outside of our four walls in Wynwood. Whether it’s bringing code education to districts out west, evangelizing for our members at various tech conferences & summits, or creating a network of spaces that enable our members to travel as needed while knowing they have LAB nearby, Wifi and I will continue to play a major role in evolving our brand.

You will still find us with our legs kicked up on the pallet coffee table. You will still find us facilitating introductions and providing feedback on beta versions and prototypes. And you will still find us roaming the space searching for a chat and lending inspiration. We’ve worked tirelessly to establish new norms through collaboration and openness – a job that will always require our attention and a job that we are committed to for life.

The shift in our roles is not the end of an era or departure from our vision – it’s the cracking of a cocoon, the hatching of an egg, the first sprout in an infinite field of possibilities. Wifi and I are excited to be entering our new roles as Ambassadors and are eager to reach larger audiences with tales from Wynwood. While it may have come as a shock, we assure you that the only focus is on keeping our course steady and continuing to cultivate innovation at The LAB.

We would be happy to continue this conversation with anyone or answer any questions you may have. We are here for you – always have been and always will be – and look forward to Learning, Acting, and Building by your side for years to come.


Danny, Wifi, Tamara & The LAB Miami Team

On a Saturday night In the Idea Garden at the LAB Miami, the wooden amphitheater designed by the LAB’s architect-in-residence, LAB Rats noshed on snacks, danced to hip-hop and attempted to play lawn games. Happy 1st birthday, LAB Miami! 

On a Saturday night In the Idea Garden at the LAB Miami, the wooden amphitheater designed by the LAB’s architect-in-residence, LAB Rats noshed on snacks, danced to hip-hop and attempted to play lawn games. Happy 1st birthday, LAB Miami! 

NW 25th Street, Miami, Florida

NW 25th Street, Miami, Florida

Tonight! ¡Esta noche! Ce soir!

Wynwood Arts District Association Presents: Demystifying Miami’s BID Process, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at The LAB Miami. Can’t make it? Participate in the discussion via live Twitter coverage and send us your Tweets @ The LAB Miami.

Reflecting on punk, past and present, via photos and text at

Reflecting on punk, past and present, via photos and text at

At The LAB Miami

At The LAB Miami

Civic-Minded Hacking, This And Every Monday

The non-profit Code for Miami invites you to volunteer alongside developers, designers, data nerds and political leaders working to help Miami-Dade County government and civic organizations adopt open web technologies. While Code for America Brigade members are always welcome to Code for Miami, coding experience is not required to participate. The event is Mondays, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at The LAB Miami. Be there or you’re not a square.

Live From The LAB

The heat has returned to Miami with force. The construction workers doing demolitions or putting up condos are sweating under their hardhats and orange vests here in Wynwood. Inside, the natural light infuses the LAB but it is cool, cool, cool. Pairs and trios and singles speak mainly in English, in Spanish, in a mix of the two, or seek isolation in stereo headphones.

Car vs. Metro: A Time/Cost Experiment

LAB Resident Hacker/Tinkerer Willie Avendano and WLRN correspondent Wilson Sayre conducted a Miami transit experiment. Listen and read to see what happened.

Dash, an company, launched it’s #android app this week. The “connected” car platform that will have a positive impact on communities and cities. will be featuring companies like this at their Smart City Startups event in April, right here in Wynwood at The LAB. Read more about Dash on Tech Crunch.