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The Shrimp Society: Harnessing Miami’s Startup Potential

on July 11, 2023 / by Adam Elitzur ,

Read Time 5 Minutes

Built in Miami Official AnnouncementThe Shrimp Society is a community and startup accelerator for early-stage founders in Miami, founded by Chris Daniels.

“The goal of The Shrimp Society is to be the Y Combinator of Miami, an accelerator that serves South Florida entrepreneurs with strong local ties to the local universities, local large companies, the local founder community, local non-profits and the local government,” Daniels remarked.

The Shrimp Society runs weekly Tuesday hack nights, which are open to anyone who wants to come and cowork on Tuesday nights. It also runs the year-long Built in Miami Startup Program.

The Built in Miami Startup Program

The Shrimp Society and Venture Miami collaborated to start The Built in Miami Startup Program, an initiative designed to facilitate the growth and success of early-stage entrepreneurs in Miami. Their six-week Zero to One Sprint program recently culminated, where founders developed a viable prototype of their vision.

On Monday, June 26, they launched the second stage of their Built in Miami Startup Program. The five-week Builders Summer program is designed to promote collaboration between startup founders and technical talent in the Miami tech scene, ultimately shaping South Florida’s startup ecosystem.

The Builders Summer program

In the Builders Summer program, participants have one of two roles, either startup founders seeking technical talent, or builders who want to join early-stage startup teams. The program then helps match builders to startup founders.

“It’s just an awesome environment, the vibe here gives you a genuine feeling that strong ideas are actually going places because they are matching us up with the talent that can take a startup to that next level,” John Paul Zable, a founder in The Built in Miami program, remarked.

Over the course of the program, participants will gain hands-on experience in rapid product shipping, hiring strategies, and team leadership. With a focus on creating user-validated prototypes, Builders Summer will culminate in launching products on Product Hunt, a platform that offers exposure to attract investors and potential customers alike.

Founder Experience

Jeronimo Guijarro, a founder in The Built in Miami program, is building The Goose Financial, a fintech platform to help immigrants translate their credit and financial history, allowing them access to credit cards, renting an apartment or leasing a car. Currently, many immigrants lose their previous financial history, as credit scores today do not transfer from one country to the other.

Guijarro was involved in the Zero to One Sprint program, where he built the business model, financial projections and modeling and multiple prototypes, which he showed to his users, immigrants as well as financial institutions. He was able to validate and improve his idea with people from Mastercard, Visa, JPMorgan and a lot of the big financial institutions.

“The Shrimp Society is an amazing organization,” Guijarro remarked. “The community that they’ve been able to build is very unique. And because of that, people like myself are able to actually build something that they want to do. And even though I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, they have given me the structure to actually be successful.”

Builder Experience

Jimmy Nagles is a builder in The Built in Miami program. He is looking to join a startup and help build it on the technical side. “For The Shrimp Society to create a space for builders to just come and collaborate or founders to find talent, I think that’s huge for Miami,” Nagles said. “The tech space has been growing a lot. You need these types of events to help push it forward.”

Nagles has worked with startups in the past, and sees how valuable Built in Miami is. “The experience of being around people, building their own startup, all that knowledge is going to help. So for me, it’s a win-win.”

The History of The Shrimp Society

Daniels founded The Shrimp Society in 2017, in his senior year at University of Miami. When he was getting ready to graduate, he realized that all his friends were going into banking and accounting, but he wanted to go into venture capital and was talking about go to market strategies. He started The Shrimp Society as a dinner club for people with similar interests. They would gather around a whiteboard and talk about startup ideas. They then started a blog, where each person contributed articles about their own projects.

After working on this blog, Daniels noticed that Miami was focusing on bigger companies, and less on startups and founders. “No one is talking about the early-stage companies,” Daniels said. “All the companies that were moving here were already huge companies. And that’s such a key piece of the ecosystem. But I thought, there’s the “shrimp” that we are missing here. And if we don’t invest in supporting these founders, retaining them here, guiding the ones that are here and building a culture where it’s cool and fun to be a founder, then all the founder talent would leave.”

So, in January 2021, Daniels started a newsletter documenting news of startups and founders. It quickly grew to 3,000 subscribers. This led to the first happy hour, with 10 people. Then the second one, with 60 people, then 100 people, until it reached 500 people. Daniels realized he was on to something, people really wanted to be around other innovative founders at the early-stage.

This led to The Shrimp Society.

Why Get Involved?

In Daniels’ opinion, the biggest challenge founders face is finding a technical co-founder. Founders want co-founders who are local, with experience, as well as familiar with startups, which is hard to come by. The Shrimp Society brings the best builders in Miami into the same room as the best founders, and helps connect the two.

Shrimp Society Zero to One program's graduation group picture

Built in Miami Zero to One graduation

Future Plans

On July 28, The Shrimp Society is finishing Builders Summer with their Product Hunt launch champagne party, which is open to the public. The goal is for Miami to take over Product Hunt, a popular website to share and discover new products.

After Builders Summer, The Shrimp Society and Venture Miami are hosting an 8-week accelerator for 20-25 active early-stage startups that are post MVP with something to sell. The startups should be looking to raise either a pre-seed or seed round in the next six to twelve months, and the accelerator helps prepare startups.

You can apply at

Next year, The Shrimp Society is looking to raise a fund and be the first investor, which is currently challenging for startups to attract. It is also building a platform called the Reef, with resources, such as courses detailing how to work with investors or building a pitch deck, for founders.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

“Contribute in a permissionless way,” Daniels stated. “You don’t need any permission to write, to launch an app, to organize an event. You don’t need any permission to do a lot of things that can add value. And that’s how I started The Shrimp Society. I think if you’re interested in getting involved, the best way is to give to the community first. If you can create a resource, like a job board or co-founder matchmaking service, or something of value to the community, people will be really appreciative and it will help you have conversations and a reason to connect with people.”

“We want to be a light for people to come to when they land in Miami,” Daniels remarked. “We want our name to be the first thing that people say, you have to check out The Shrimp Society.”

The Shrimp Society: Harnessing Miami’s Startup Potential