Innovation Based On Workforce and Market NeedsThe Idea Center at MDC

Group photo at The Idea Center opening

Over the last few years, entrepreneurship has seen explosive growth in Miami. Ever at the forefront, Miami Dade College launched The Idea Center as an “Industry-agnostic ecosystem of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship for MDC students.” The Idea Center offers classroom education, professional development opportunities, and experiential learning programs to MDC students and the community at-large.

Miami Dade College Foundation engages individuals and organizations to support scholarships and programs at MDC. Several of the initiatives at The Idea Center have been launched due to the fundraising efforts of MDC Foundation, including the coding program, CS50X; a digital marketing curriculum, MarketHack; and, the speaker series, Pioneers@MDC.

CS50x Miami is a partnership with Harvard University and LaunchCode that introduces participants to coding. Beyond the classroom instruction, which provides both a generalized overview and an in-depth specialized learning track, participants receive mentorship throughout the session. Following program completion, LaunchCode assists CS50X students in finding apprenticeships allowing them to put their newfound skills to quick use.

Launched in partnership with republica, MarketHack offers students interested in a career in digital marketing with skill-building and hands-on experience. Technology and market forces have forever changed how products and services are promoted.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Idea Center at Miami Dade College to launch MarketHack – a groundbreaking program that will cultivate some of the best and brightest digital marketing professionals in the country.”– Jorge A. Plasencia,Republica Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, and Board Member, Miami Dade College Foundation.

The Pioneers@MDC speaker series has exceeded all expectations nearly doubling the expected attendance in the first year. Jim McKelvey of Square and LaunchCode, Laura Maydon of Endeavor, and Juan Lopez Salaberry of 500 Startups have shared their experiences and lessons learned with MDC students. Technology has enabled greater participation via the delivery of these chats via LiveStream.

Beyond these classroom and experiential programs—and many others—that have engaged hundreds of students and community members, The Idea Center is a collaborative working space designed to promote spontaneous interactions amongst participants. For more information about programs available to students and community members, visit

Learn more about Miami Dade College Foundation and see how you can make a difference.