October 4, 2023
Aminta Ventures
Aminta Ventures founders (from left): Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, Nelly M. Farra, Julia Ford-Carther, Alia Mahmoud and Carolina Canida.

Photo: Donna Victor

Miami-Dade County gave final zoning approval to the $4-billion American Dream Mall and theme park. The mall will be the nation's largest, with an indoor ski slop and submarine lake.

Miami-Dade Roundup

Women helping women: Aminta Ventures aims to foster a base of women investors

In 2016, 26% of U.S. angel investors were women. While women made up 30% of entrepreneurs seeking angel funding, only 14% received capital, says the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research.

To cultivate a base of women investors, a group of women active in the startup world founded Aminta Ventures in late 2016. Through boot camps, speakers, pitch sessions and other activities, Aminta helps women learn about angel investing, meet like-minded women and build an ecosystem friendlier to women entrepreneurs. At April’s Geek Tank 5, a startup competition for women-led businesses, AlphaTechBlocks took a $15,000 prize, funded by Aminta investors.

Aminta’s founders, most of them in their 30s, include Julia Ford-Carther, founder of SLF Media and digital media platform The S(e)LF; Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, general manager of Cambridge Innovation Center Miami; Alia Mahmoud, a former Microsoft Middle East and North Africa manager and currently a business development executive with Miami-based startup Kairos; Nelly M. Farra, founder of business development firm NMFarra + Co. and founding director of Babson College’s WIN Lab Miami; May Anderson, a marketing expert who sits on the boards of several Miami and San Francisco early- and mid-stage companies; and Carolina Canida, co-founder of early-stage investment company Cito Ventures.

Ford-Carther, 34 hopes the group can help Miami avoid the mistakes of older entrepreneurial hubs where women are highly underrepresented. “We have the opportunity,” says Ford-Carther, “to leapfrog that pitfall.”

Business Briefs from around Miami-Dade


  • Carnival Cruise Line opened a 35,000-sq.-ft., high-tech fleet operations center that tracks and analyzes data from its 26 ships, the Coast Guard, the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration and other sources.


  • San Antonio-based education company ECS Learning Systems paid an undisclosed amount to purchase test preparation software company Prepworks.


  • Monroe County plans to create a special taxing district in the Middle Keys to finance the reconstruction of Fishermen’s Community Hospital, which Baptist Health South Florida purchased last year before Hurricane Irma destroyed it.


  • Residents will vote this month on whether the Jungle Island theme park can add a 300-room hotel to its city-owned Watson Island property and extend its lease from 2060 to 2099.
  • Crocker Partners sold the 31-story SunTrust International Center tower downtown for $127 million to Los Angeles-based investment firm PCCP.
  • Co-working location Space Called Tribe opened in February in the city’s historically black Overtown neighborhood. It’s run by the founders of Code Fever and Blacktech Week.
  • Developer Moishe Mana added to his down town Miami holdings with the purchase of the two-story retail condominium in the White Building on Flagler Street for $12.9 million.
  • The University of Miami donated $10 million to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science as part of an earlier Frost family donation to the university. The two organizations formed a partnership that will include UM developing exhibitions for the museum.
  • Law firm Broad and Cassel merged with Columbia, S.C.- based Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. The firm, known in Florida as Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel, has more than 725 employees and professionals in 11 states and will be managed by Jim Lehman of Nelson Mullins.
  • New York-based hotel company Selina will open its first U.S. location in the Tower Hotel in Little Havana next month. Selina also launched concept store Se lina Brawlers in collaboration with local retailer Brothers and Brawlers; the Wynwood store is modeled after a hotel lobby and offers a variety of goods along with co-working space.
  • City National Bank completed its purchase of TotalBank, creating the third-largest bank in Florida.


  • The city commission issued a request for proposal for designs for a convention center hotel, on the same site as a hotel that residents voted down in 2016. About one-third smaller than the rejected design, the new hotel will also require voter approval.
  • Art Basel owner MCH Group will put on an annual juried luxury car show, Grand Basel, with the first show set for February 2019.
  • United Kingdom-based sports data business information company SportBusiness Group will host its invitation-only inaugural SportBusiness summit in the city in September.

    Tags: Miami-Dade

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