With its move to FIU Downtown on Brickell, Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center creates the Miami Open Coffee Club.

With its recent move to the heart of Miami at Florida International University’s (FIU) Brickell Ave. location, the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center has expanded its work with the venture community.

As its first outreach effort in its new home, the center initiated the Miami Open Coffee Club, an extension of its free mentoring assistance to ventures.  Co-sponsored with Map Your Startup, the new event adds a networking opportunity to the mentoring.

“There’s a bigger need for networking in our new area,” said Lauren Suarez-Diaz, assistant director of the Pino Center, part of FIU’s College of Business.  Along with the networking, each Open Coffee Club session will continue to have two to three mentors present. “If someone wants to sit down for a one-on-one with a mentor for fifteen minutes, they’ll have the opportunity, but if they only want to network, they’re free to do that as well,” she said.

A second feature of the event: It moves. Coffee Break Miami will be held in various locations in Miami and Coral Gables.

“Most of these events are in shared office spaces where entrepreneurs, investors and service providers are more than likely to congregate,” Suarez-Diaz said. “Entrepreneurs and investors are more likely to attend events closer to their workplaces that feature opportunities to meet colleagues.”  At each location, the host space will help promote the event.

First Open Coffee Club draws a crowd.

The first Open Coffee Club event, at Pipeline Brickell, drew more than 50 entrepreneurs and others seeking to network.  “We were pleased with the attendance, as well as the great reception to the event,” she said. “We are reaching new audiences who want to learn more about the Pino Center and its services. “

Jose Bohorquez, president and CEO of Convergence Medical Devices, found the event worthwhile. His company licenses technology from Harvard and MIT for its devices that measure muscle performance. After moving his family back to Miami from Boston eight months ago, he found it challenging to network and do business. He found the networking event was a promising start.

“I’m pleased to see there’s a lot of energy here, especially this early in the morning,” he said. “If Miami is not yet an entrepreneurship hub, you can see it’s on its way.”

Thursday, August 1st is the next Miami Open Coffee Break, taking place at Right Space 2 Meet on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. For more information about the free event, visit the event website.

To read A Welcome Morning Jolt: Miami Open Coffee Club, the Miami Herald’s coverage of the first Coffee Club at Pipeline Brickell, click here.

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