e-Veritas Archive | September, 2012

United Way Campaign Heats Up; Make a Donation for a Chance to See the NBA Champion Miami Heat in Action

There is still time to take advantage of the opportunity to see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the rest of the NBA Champion Miami Heat in action. A special promotion offering complimentary tickets for United Way contributors to Heat preseason games on October 18 and 26 has been extended.

Thanks to an increased allotment, Team UM is still accepting online pledges until Monday, October 15—or you can make an on-site pledge at the ticket distribution event on the Coral Gables campus on Tuesday, October 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. on the Foote University Green in front of the Richter Library.

Eligibility guidelines for full- and part-time benefitted employees as well as temporary employees who make a United Way campaign pledge are:

  • One percent contributors will automatically receive four free tickets.
  • All other employees who have made pledges will receive two free tickets.

If you have already made your annual United Way pledge, you can pick up your tickets at the times and locations listed above. Ticket recipients will receive complimentary vouchers for a hot dog, chips, and soda or water. When you pick up your tickets, you will receive a fact sheet about game-day logistics and special pregame activities at American Airlines Arena.

It’s easy to give to the United Way through Team UM. Log on to myUM and click on “United Way Contribution” on the lower left side of the page, under “Charitable Contributions.” Then follow the instructions to make your donation. The United Way will distribute your donation according to your wishes. You can choose to assign your contribution as unrestricted, direct to a University of Miami fund, or designate it to your favorite not-for-profit 501(c)(3) through the United Way. Remember to make your online pledge by October 15. If you have any questions, please contact Team UM United Way at [email protected].



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Poet Maya Angelou Lends Powerful Voice to Film Series on DOCS Program

On location in Winston-Salem: Maya Angelou is interviewed in her home by Ali Habashi (kneeling). Seated on the couch are Ed Talavera and Christina Delphus, associate director of the Arnold Center.

Legendary poet Maya Angelou, whose powerful words have inspired generations and been read before audiences of schoolchildren, politicians, presidents, and even an archbishop, has lent her distinctive voice to a University of Miami initiative that helps the underprivileged.

Angelou will soon be featured in a film project about the Miller School of Medicine’s Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Department of Community Service (DOCS), speaking generously in support of the student-run program that organizes and staffs free health fairs across South Florida. Read the full story

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UM Trustee’s Challenge Grant Matches Law Scholarship Donations

Wayne E. Chaplin

To help offset the rising cost of legal education, Wayne Chaplin, J.D. ’82, has made a generous contribution to the University of Miami School of Law to create the Chaplin Challenge. Under the terms of the grant, Chaplin has agreed to match, dollar for dollar, each new eligible contribution made to new or existing scholarship funds between September 1 and December 31 of this year, as long as funds are available. Read the full story

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The Launch Pad to Open Tech Accelerator in Downtown Miami; Venture to Provide Incentives for Early-Stage Tech Companies

With downtown Miami fast emerging as a hotbed of international commerce, the community’s public and private sectors are joining forces to create a technology business accelerator program that will attract early-stage companies and the entrepreneurs who run them to the city’s urban core. The Launch Pad Tech Accelerator – a new endeavor by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Miami-Dade County, and The Launch Pad at the University of Miami – will focus on recruiting and cultivating tech businesses in sectors closely aligned with Miami’s economic future, including health care, hospitality and tourism, and creative sectors such as design, music, art, fashion, and film.

The program will be fueled by $1 million in funds from Miami-Dade County over the next four years and another $460,000 in funding from the Miami DDA in 2013 and 2014. These dollars will support ongoing operations and provide incentives aimed at attracting 10 promising companies to downtown Miami from around the world during the initiative’s inaugural year, with 10 additional companies recruited in each of the following cycles. The program is projected to create 330 new direct and indirect jobs through 2017.

Beyond offering $25,000 grants – without an equity request – for the selected companies, the Launch Pad Tech Accelerator will provide services ranging from entrepreneurship training and intensive mentoring from industry leaders, to subsidized office space and access to Launch Pad workshops. The program will be based at downtown Miami’s Terremark NAP (Network Access Point) of the Americas, where optical, Ethernet, voice, and Internet traffic is linked between Latin America and the rest of the world.

“The Launch Pad Accelerator will spur a vibrant start-up culture that complements the residential, commercial, and hospitality growth under way in downtown Miami,” said City of Miami Commissioner and Miami DDA Chair Marc Sarnoff. “This will be a catalyst for attracting forward-thinking companies that bring new ideas, new ways of doing business, and new jobs to Miami. The Launch Pad Tech Accelerator is a real-world example of the public sector empowering private sector entrepreneurship and innovation.”

The new program was developed by The Launch Pad at the University of Miami, which was started in 2008 by a team that has helped students and alumni launch more than 80 businesses that have raised more than $10 million and created more than 150 South Florida jobs. The Launch Pad has been replicated to six other universities with the support of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, creating the only national network of collegiate entrepreneurs. In the July/August issue of Harvard Business Review, The Launch Pad was noted as one of the two concepts that work in entrepreneurship.

“Launch Pad Tech creates unparalleled opportunities for student engagement and education. We have scores of Launch Pad entrepreneurs in various stages of their tech startups that can become part of these teams, experiencing firsthand what it takes to grow a business from two to 50 employees in less than a year, becoming members of the ecosystem and contributing to its growth,” said Susan Amat, co-founder of The Launch Pad and framer of Launch Pad Tech. “The skills sets of students, whether in law, engineering, med, business, communication, or music, can all be utilized, honed, and enhanced through Launch Pad Tech in ways that could never be done in a classroom. While The Launch Pad brings the community in to support the students, Launch Pad Tech brings the students into the community for inimitable experiential learning.”

Amat adds that in addition to the ten selected companies, Launch Pad Tech will also “adopt” an additional 25 startups outside of the designated vertical sectors, which will then have the opportunity to attend structured program offerings, participate in mentoring, and have access to resources.

“As a Miami entrepreneur, I have experience with the challenges of starting technology businesses,” said Juan Diego Calle, CEO of .CO Internet SAS, the company behind the fast-growing .CO domain. “The Launch Pad Accelerator will ease the process for a new wave of entrepreneurs by igniting a cross-pollination of ideas, capital, mentorship, and talent that is critical to a tech ecosystem.”

The Launch Pad Accelerator takes flight just as Miami’s urban core comes alive as a thriving residential district, with the area experiencing an 80 percent spike in population over the past decade and another 15,000 residents expected in the coming years. Along these lines, author and professor Richard Florida notes that urban areas such as downtown Miami are enjoying heightened demand among tech companies and entrepreneurs for reasons ranging from lifestyle decisions to business networking opportunities.

“Miami-Dade County is proud to support the Launch Pad and its mission of attracting forward-thinking entrepreneurs to our community and giving them the tools they need to succeed here,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “My top priority as mayor is job-creation – diverse job-creation – and the Launch Pad supports that goal by positioning Miami-Dade County as a hotbed for dynamic start-up businesses that support new jobs.”

Applications for entry to The Launch Pad Tech Accelerator program may be submitted now through November 5 at www.launchpadtech.co. For updated information about the program, please follow on Twitter @launchpadtech.


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Great Sports Legends Dinner Raises Nearly $18 Million to Cure Paralysis

Marc Buoniconti and Shaquille O’Neal at the 27th annual Great Sports Legends Dinner.

The 27th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner, held Monday, September 24 at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York, raised nearly $18 million for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, capping a milestone year. In July The Miami Project, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, received FDA approval for a Phase I clinical trial of Schwann cell transplantation in acute spinal cord injury patients, the first and only such trial in the U.S. Read the full story

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