Beach Buzz: Miami business incubator to create local green jobs

Beach Buzz: Miami business incubator to create local green jobs

EcoTech Visions, a new business incubator designed to assist entrepreneurs in creating, planning and launching innovative and “green” manufacturing businesses in South Florida, will host its inaugural event from 4-6 p.m. Nov. 20 at its facility, 667 NW 90th St.

More than 200-plus guests are expected to attend the free, open-to-the-public event, including Miami-Dade county commissioners Jean Monestime, commissioner-elect Daniella Levine Cava and Miami Beach commissioner Michael Grieco, chairman of the city’s sustainability committee.

The event will feature an auction, light fare and live music. More importantly, it will showcase EcoTech’s facility to the public for the first time.

The building contains four labs, six private offices, four co-working desks and a mezzanine golf green conference room (the floor is literally turf with three holes). The laboratory co-working spaces feature an injection molding lab, a product development lab, a Green lab for aquaponics (closed loop food production facility) and a mechanics lab.

Founded in 2012, EcoTech Visions’ mission is “to address systemic poverty and climate change through the creation of green products and green manufacturing jobs,” according to Pandwe A. Gibson, Ph.D, founding executive director and president of the board.

Gibson, 30, who grew up between New Orleans and Chicago earned her doctorate in urban development and special education. She moved to Miami Beach in 2012 from New Orleans initially to consult with local micro-businesses, eventually narrowing her focus to green businesses.

“I am a researcher who realized that turning blue collar workers into green collar entrepreneurs is the best strategy for both our economy and our planet,” Gibson said.

EcoTech Advisory Board members include: Wali Salahuddin , a senior advanced analytics manager within J&J’s Enterprise Procurement Operations Group; Malik Benjamin, director of program innovation at the Florida International University CARTA School of Architecture; Patty Soffer, a brand strategist and partnership coach; and Seth Gordon, a public affairs expert who is helping to lobby for government contracts.

Entrepreneurial companies currently working with EcoTech include: Aeolus, maker of electric motor cycles; Earthware Inc., which manufactures cutlery and containers made from biodegradable materials and Gauthier, the aquaponics food lab.

Co-Hosts for the Nov. 20 event are Morris Brown and Elaine James, partners with Berger Singerman, LLP and Jody Johnson, entrepreneur and founder of Miami Growth Advisors.

To RSVP, go to: To learn more about the project or make a donation, visit