Anthony Monzon/Contributing Writer
“The only thing we know is that we don’t know,”the creator of a local professional platform said.
Marcella McCarthy was one of three guest speakers invited by Miami Innovators Association (MIA) to Creators of Miami, an event for young would-be entrepreneurs. The lesson taught to the audience– you need a backbone.
McCarthy, along with the founders of LoftVR, Juan Llosas and Mauro Mazolla, emphasized needing a backbone to be an entrepreneur. Almost 50 people showed up at GC 150 to learn the cold-hearted truth about start-ups on July .
McCarthy had a vision. While graduating with an English degree, McCarthy had a passion for photography. One day, she signed up for a class on Columbus Day listed on MeetUp, but she was the only one who showed up. As a result, she created Skillied, a marketing platform for teachers in the community wanting to educate.
Co-speakers Juan Llosas and Maura Mazolla of LoftVR had a dream as well that was bigger than Samsung’s virtual reality headset. In the next few months, the two young entrepreneurs will have a grand opening for a center in Wynwood where artists, businessmen and educators can attend to make conference calls or teach classes with the Vibe VR headsets. Mazolla also spoke about how using these headsets can make a classroom more interactive and entertaining.
MIA was founded by senior, Remy Martin, and juniors, Pedro Torrez and Rafael Hernandez. The FIU students were compelled to provide a system where businesses, freelancers and anyone with a passionate mind have the platform to succeed and ultimately have a connection to start-ups.
MIA started their mission by creating a stage where passionate minds can learn and put themselves in a pedestal, so they can be presentable to the guest speakers and eventually be successful.
They are not to be mistaken for a talent agency. MIA wants more than just business savvy people—they seek artistic individuals as well. It’s not limited to entrepreneurs. Miami is a hub for artists and companies wanting exposure. By attracting ambitious young entrepreneurs, MIA hopes to create new opportunities for the community.
Torrez, vice president of MIA, asked guests a series of questions that dealt with the challenges of being an entrepreneur. He spent the evening speaking about entrepreneurial start-ups and having the courage to get up and say, “Let’s do it.”
Anyone who is creative, determined enough to be successful and wants to sell or showcase their work can go to the events set up by MIA and connect with young entrepreneurs in need of a different perspective on how to take a company to the next level.
“We help the students because we give them a free opportunity to come in here and sell themselves to these people. If there’s someone that they really want to talk to, we give them that opportunity. We don’t make them jump through five, six hoops to talk to that person,” Torrez said.
Torrez also explained that FIU had clubs and organizations that catered to their departments but was not like MIA.
“I feel like there wasn’t really that one organization that really brought this huge melting pot that is Miami into one centralized area,” Torrez said. “People work well together in their departments—business people get along with business people but you don’t see a lot of tech and business people and arts people getting along or being in one place.”
The event was MIA’s was the third and final soft launch. On September 8, 2017 they will host the official launch for anyone that is interested in their services.