046: Natalia Martinez-Kalinina (CIC Global)

Natalia Martinez-Kalinina on Innovation City

“Making entrepreneurship accessible… can be an incredible way of driving economic development.” — Natalia Martinez-Kalinina

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, General Manager of CIC Miami and Latin America Lead of CIC Global. Natalia is also the Founder of Awesome Foundation MIAMI, a micro-grant leader in South Florida, Co-Founder of Aminta Ventures, and she was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Florida Commission on Community Service. She is also the Co-Creator and Curator of Love Lost, Miami, an annual art exhibit. Natalia joins Innovation City today to talk about the advantages that Miami offers as a major hub for innovation, the power of cross-stakeholder engagement, and the importance of making entrepreneurship accessible at all levels of society.

They discuss:

  • How Natalia wound up in Miami
  • Her work as an organizational psychologist
  • Watching Miami change as it grows into a technology-based city
  • Finding work and projects that allow her to bridge gaps between different communities
  • The history of CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center)
  • The growth of Kendall Square and how CIC selects cities for expansion
  • CIC’s goal of fixing the world through innovation
  • Building the 21st-Century City
  • The investment gaps in South Florida that create opportunity for CIC
  • Entrepreneurs of Choice vs. Entrepreneurs of Necessity
  • The power of accessible entrepreneurship to drive economic development at all levels of society
  • Miami’s geographic and logistics advantages as a hub for Latin America
  • Miami’s tremendous growth over the last 15 years
  • Moving to Miami from Mexico City
  • Seeing the growth of the Arts, turning Miami into a nationally-renowned arts center
  • Miami’s advantage as a magnet region
  • The challenges that Miami faces moving forward; climate change, wealth inequalities, moving away from a risk-averse mindset to a risk-taking one
  • Creating pathways for university IP to get commercialized
  • The importance of confronting Miami’s challenges head-on
  • Aminta Ventures’ focus on growing Miami’s pool of female investors
  • The need to build the overall investor pool in Miami
  • Awesome Foundation Grants: $1,000 grants for small off-the-wall projects, and how those grants have helped establish new groups, events, and local institutions
  • Breaking out of silos and connecting stakeholders