Miami Tech & Startup News

Imran Siddiqui to lead Tech Equity Miami, plus JPMorgan Chase announces its 1st grant recipients to support diversity in ecosystem

Imran Siddiqui to lead Tech Equity Miami, plus JPMorgan Chase announces its 1st grant recipients to support diversity in ecosystem

By Riley Kaminer

Today, Tech Equity Miami announced that Imran Siddiqui will be the organization’s founding Executive Director, leaving his post with Broward College Entrepreneurship Experience (BCEx), which has supported upwards of 100 traditionally overlooked local founders. Tech Equity Miami’s goal is to break down barriers of entry for people of color in the tech industry. 

In an interview with Refresh Miami, Siddiqui shared his vision for Tech Equity Miami to be a force amplifier for projects in our regional tech ecosystem. “Our objective is to find, connect, and support the most impactful initiatives that impact our four priority areas: digital access, K-12 pipeline, tech talent pathways, and small business digital transformation.”

“Our near-term goal is to build a regional network of funders, projects and supporters that are committed to increasing equity in tech in our four priority areas,” continued Siddiqui. “Our long-term goal is to use Tech Equity Miami as a scalable model to unlock $1 billion in philanthropic funding to increase opportunity through tech while simultaneously solving our most pressing talent and education gaps.”

Raul Moas, Knight Foundation’s Senior Director/Miami, also announced today that Knight is investing $1 million toward the growth Tech Equity Miami.

The Tech Equity Miami initiative was announced last year with a mission to assemble a $100 million funding consortium. Founding partners include JPMorgan Chase, the Knight Foundation, the Miami Foundation. aīre ventures and Citi Foundation. So far, the consortium has raised $55 million.

Last week, JPMorgan Chase outlined how it will deploy the first $2 million of its $10 million commitment to advance racial equity in #MiamiTech through Tech Equity Miami. The banking behemoth will start by cutting $500,000 checks to four local organizations: 

  • BrainStation, a coding bootcamp that is offering 50 full-ride scholarships to underrepresented Miamians for their Software Engineering and UX Design programs. 
  • CodePath, which provides no-cost software engineering courses, career services and access for computer science students.
  • Rebrand Cities, a global civic design partnership that aims to arm diverse Miami founders with the digital tools necessary to build a 21st century business.
  • YWCA of South Florida, in partnership with gener8tor, which will provide workforce training and employment to ensure that Miami’s booming tech ecosystem is equitable and inclusive.

“The strong growth of the tech industry in Miami represents a powerful opportunity for the local economy,” Doug Petno, CEO of Commercial Banking at JPMorgan Chase, said in a statement. “Our investment is targeted to help more people and businesses obtain the skills, insight, network and support needed to be successful in this rapidly growing market.”

This initiative fits into JPMorgan Chases’ broader commitment to giving historically underserved groups a leg up, including through its $30 billion racial equity commitment.

“As the tech industry in Miami continues to grow, we’re focused on breaking down barriers to bring in previously untapped talent and support a competitive, diverse local sector,” commented Demetrios Marantis, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. “We are proud to announce these first investments that will help more Miamians participate in the tech revolution and, in turn, advance a more inclusive economy for all.”

Leigh-Ann Buchanan, President, aire ventures

Leigh-Ann Buchanan, president of aīre ventures, underscored the significant and immediate impact these funds will have on our local community. “As a result of this investment from JPMorgan Chase, hundreds of Miamians will gain skills for in-demand, high paying careers in tech,” she said. 

“In addition, dozens of diverse-owned small businesses will have access to the resources and tools they need to make their businesses successful,” Buchanan continued. “It’s that simple.”

Announcement of JPMorgan Chase Tech Equity Miami grants to four organizations.


Riley Kaminer