General Manager, CIC Miami & Founder, Awesome Foundation MIAMI
Natalia is an organizational psychologist and strategist focused on merging innovation, entrepreneurship, and community impact. Her passion hinges on creating communities that are true ecosystems, most recently by leading the expansion of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) to Miami. CIC is the oldest, most successful, and largest innovation hub in the United States, espousing particular philosophies for economic impact and community engagement. In Miami, CIC is building an innovation district that connects the health district with the rest of the innovation corridor - a massive and transformative undertaking that is already having an impact. See here, here, and here. From this perspective, she is also working to launch a handful of truly innovative programs for Miami, ranging from the first/only fintech accelerator in South Florida, to the first ever shared wetlab research facility across several universities, to official soft landing programs that incentivize growing companies to come from Latin America to Miami. Prior to that, she served as the Chief Innovation & Technology Officer for a nonprofit focused on Cuba (see here), as well as one of six product strategists for a $4B human resources software company. In addition, Natalia is the Founder of Awesome Foundation MIAMI, the local chapter of a global network of grassroots micro-grant giving hubs that, cumulatively, have awarded more than $1.6 million globally to small, local ideas. The Miami chapter has awarded more than $75,000 to more than 70 grassroots ideas in Miami, helping to empower the average person to participate with their ideas and projects. See here and here. Feeling very strongly about the impact of this model in emerging philanthropy, Natalia has helped expand the launch of new chapters within Florida and Latin America. She also serves as the Vice President of LatAm expansion of the Latino Startup Alliance and a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers community. She has been involved in bringing initiatives such as Sandbox and Angel Summit Americas to Miami, had judged various startup and innovation pitches, including the Voto Latino Innovators Challenge, a $500,000 tech competition for millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation and Google. Most recently in Miami, she co-organized an exhibit during Art Basel and co-founded Aminta Ventures, a group aimed at educating and empowering women to become angel investors. For this and other work, Natalia has also been appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, a body that oversees the administration of $24 million in federal, state, and local funding to deliver high-impact educational and volunteer programs in Florida. Natalia is a regular contributor to outlets such as The Huffington Post, the World Economic Forum, and La Nacion. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Government from Harvard University and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.