Developing the created world in a prudent way is the best way of caring for it.
— Pope Francis

Mano was built on a simple idea: real solutions to global problems are driven by entrepreneurship and bottom-up innovation.

Across the globe, grassroots innovators are harnessing technology and reinventing business models to create significant economic and social value using fewer natural resources. Their work is helping to boost economic opportunity, foster social inclusion and advance environmental sustainability in both emerging markets and mature economies in need of regeneration.  

Mano Americas is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the intrinsic growth and core capacities of startup communities throughout the Americas. We empower makers and entrepreneurs by mentoring them on the latest trends and practices in social entrepreneurship, bottom-up innovation and shared value enterprise.


Better Living Through Making

Mano Americas launched in 2013 as MIAMade, a Miami-based non-profit founded to promote the maker movement in South Florida. Over the years, we became increasingly fascinated with how the resourcefulness, creativity and emphasis on learning that defines this movement are being applied to tackle social, economic and environmental challenges around the world. 

From Mumbai to Havana, DIY innovators are taking a hands-on approach to deliver social and economic value using fewer natural resources in increasingly affordable ways. Seeing technology as a means to an end, they combine domain expertise with modern-day tools such as open source collaboration, digital fabrication, micro-controllers, data analytics and financial tech to innovate solutions for the real needs of their communities. You'll find them in NGOs, government agencies and the commercial sphere. They are the creative problem solvers, strategic thinkers, and fearless leaders who turn ripples of crazy ideas into waves of meaningful change.

We wanted to promote how the maker mindset can help build more sustainable communities not just in South Florida, but throughout the Americas. That is why in 2016, MIAMade became Mano Americas, re-named in honor of mankind’s first tool, the one we use to this day to make other tools, and manipulate them for good, bad or waste. Mano Americas is focused on championing the good.


Mano Americas will produce research and analysis on grassroots innovators around the world, and how they are enabling their communities to leapfrog less efficient technologies and industries and develop more sustainably. We will also publish articles and studies on the latest trends and insights in global impact investing, socially responsible enterprise and "zero waste" systems. 

Mano Americas also produces interactive events, peer mentoring workshops, and educational programs to cultivate STEAM learning and foster low-cost innovation in the markets where we operate. Our initiatives include:

  • Miami Mini Maker Faire : Our flagship event, the Miami Mini Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of DIY enthusiasts in the tech, arts and crafts who get together to show what they make and share what they have learned with the local community. It is a festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness in celebration of the Maker Movement.
  • Wynwood Maker Camp : Organized in association with the 01 educational space, Wynwood Maker Camp is a summer-long series of sessions that introduce local elementary and high school students to hands-on STEAM learning (science, technology, engineering, art, math), sustainable design and creative problem-solving.
  • 10x10kCuba : Organized in association with Startup Angels, Cuba Emprende Foundation, Cambridge Innovation Center Miami, and #CubaNow, 10x10kCuba is an international call to innovation for Cuba's emerging technology sector. It seeks to help talented programmers and entrepreneurs in Cuba integrate into the global startup community.
  • Miami Make Week : Miami Make Week is an annual design and prototyping competition held in multiple makerspaces and other creative spaces throughout the Greater Miami area. 
  • Maker Workshops: a monthly series of workshops that introduce the work and practices of regional and international makers to students, local entrepreneurs and corporate audiences.
  • Coming Soon - Mano Mindset Conference : a multi-day series of talks, workshops, exhibits, and networking events that will connect local stakeholders to change-makers from around the globe who are advancing transformative ideas on how to learn, produce, consume and govern more sustainably.

Ric Herrero has a spent the last decade advocating for changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba that help foster greater economic opportunity for the Cuban people and support for the Island's burgeoning entrepreneurial sector. He is the founder and Executive Director of #CubaNow, a 501c4 advocacy organization dedicated to amplifying the efforts of Cuban-Americans who seek to break isolation between our countries and empower the Cuba people to freely determine their future. #CubaNow has been recognized by both the Obama Administration and national media for its pivotal role in shaping public opinion in advance of the President’s bold new course on Cuba policy in 2014. Previously, Mr. Herrero served as Deputy Executive Director of the Cuba Study Group, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization comprised of Cuban-American business and professional leaders dedicated to promoting civil society development in Cuba. His views and articles have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, USA Today and other reputable news publications. He also frequently appears as a guest commentator on NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, Al-Jazeera, Noticias Univision and Telemundo. Mr. Herrero has a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a B.A. in Business Administration from Florida International University. 

Danny Lafuente is the Assistant Director at the W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab (NYU Stern) where he manages communications, instructional design and operations for the Lab's entrepreneurial programs in addition to providing strategic consulting for more than 200 startups at NYU (undergraduate, graduate, and alumni companies). Prior to NYU, Danny was the co-founder and COO/CFO of The LAB Miami – a collaborative workspace and incubator that provides mentorship and educational programming as a means of catalyzing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Florida. Working primarily with technology and social impact startups, he has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs through the startup process.  He is passionate about disruptive technologies and helping people realize their own entrepreneurial potential. He currently sits on the board of multiple nonprofit organizations in the youth and STEAM education space. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a B.A. in International Relations.

Tom Pupo is the Co-Founder of Moonlighter Maker Space, a membership-based digital fabrication lab, creative collaboration and learning space and a venue that features and supports local designers, artists, innovators, educators and engineers. The platform aspires to engage the community with fun S.T.E.A.M. educational experiences that foster the growing maker movement while democratizing access to the most advanced fabrication equipment to innovate with.  In the first six months of operation, Moonlighter has become a registered MIT FabLab, as well as the Global Chapter in Miami for littleBits electronics, and was the recipient of the 2015 SCORE MBL Emerging Business Award.  Moonlighter has recently been nominated as one of the three HBIF Success Stories 2016 Honorees.  Tom is also a professor and faculty fellow at the FIU Honors College where he teaches a course on Maker Cities - getting students from various disciplines to research, prototype, and fabricate an urban installation that engages the community in a discourse about how to improve the urban fabric with new technologies focused on tackling issues like urban farming, bicycle infrastructure, mass transit, affordable housing, climate resilience and sustainable development.  Tom earned his Masters in Architecture from Florida International University where his research focused on the social, economic and cultural impacts of the convergence of design, technology, and digital fabrication. He aspires to be an agent of social change by empowering individuals with the environment and the tools necessary to realize their creative visions.

Julia Sagebien is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University and a former Full Professor at the University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Sagebien served as Senior Fellow for the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL), and for Forum Empresa. She is a member of the Policy Council for Engage Cuba, a bipartisan organization dedicated to mobilizing American businesses and non-profit groups to support the ongoing U.S.‐Cuba normalization process. Dr. Sagebien has published extensively on the topics of economic reform, inclusive markets, social enterprise and social economy, corporate responsibility and responsible business school curricula. Her articles have appeared in Cuban Studies, Canadian Foreign Policy, Harvard Business Review (America Latina), Stanford Social Innovation Review, Policy Options, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, Thunderbird International Business Review and Temas, as well as in periodicals such as The Huffington Post. Her Ivey Publishing business cases are available through databases such as Harvard Business Publications. She co-edited Governance Ecosystems: CSR in the Latin American Mining Sector (2011) published by Palgrave McMillan. Dr. Sagebien received her Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.


We work with values-driven leaders, companies and organizations who share our fundamental belief in the importance of fostering economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Sponsors and programming partners include: