065: Raul Moas (Knight Foundation)

Raul Moas on Innovation City

“In every community that we [Knight Foundation] work in we try to accentuate and catalyze what’s endemic and already happening…it has to be authentic to place.” — Raul Moas

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 Raul Moas, Program Director for Knight Foundation in Miami, FL. Knight Foundation is a national foundation that invests in journalism, arts, technology, and in communities at large around the U.S. Raul is a Miami native with a deep knowledge about the community and entrepreneurial scene. We sit down with Raul to talk about Miami’s entrepreneurial history and its strong connection with immigrants, Knight Foundation’s $1 million investment in Venture Cafe, how to expand economic opportunity for all Miamians, and Miami being a city of ascension. Connect with Raul on Twitter at @rmoas and Knight Foundation on their website knightfoundation.org.

They discuss:

  • Born and raised in Miami, FL
  • His first visit to Cuba during college years
  • Miami’s entrepreneurial history and its strong connection with immigrants
  • Miami being equally American and Latin American
  • Immigrant-led entrepreneurship
  • Many cities have a few different big companies that are the main source of employment, but Miami doesn’t have that
  • Miami being the welcome mat for the United States’ diasporas
  • The Knight Foundation’s $1 million investment in Venture Cafe
  • The challenge of the different “Miamis” being able to partake in and benefit from the growing innovation economy
  • The Foundation’s support and cultivation of the Miami entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • The growth of the local art scene
  • How big innovation movements take time and nurturing
  • How to expand economic opportunity for all Miamians
  • The definition of the “knowledge economy
  • Seeing a future where Miami has preeminence in certain areas of knowledge building
  • The Foundation’s investments in areas outside of technology
  • Making sure that people who want to create businesses outside the normal areas of gravitas for Miami have the infrastructure and support to keep their business and job opportunities in Miami
  • What the Foundation looks for in organizations and initiatives before investing:
    • Authenticity
    • Willingness to learn and grow
    • Diversity and inclusion of talent
  • How to activate all pockets of Miami to come together and create better products
  • Miami being a city of ascension
  • Excitement for the new people who are moving to Miami and the ideas and ventures they will bring with them