Michael Capponi is the president and co-founder of InList, Inc. Michael is best know as the godfather of Miami nightlife and Miami’s most successful club promoter in the last two decades. Michael is one of the most accomplished new real estate builder-developers, and one of its most generous philanthropists. He has spent his life building and nurturing the relationships that have given rise to InList.
Born in Belgium in 1972 to an Italian nightclub operator and restaurateur father and an interior designer mother, he spent his early childhood soaking up the jet set lifestyle that defined his father’s nightclubs. The senior Capponi’s Golden Gate and Scotch Clubs in Belgium hosted international style icons and superstars like Brigitte Bardot, Jayne Mansfield, Catherine Deneuve and Sean Connery and provided Michael with early inspiration.
By the age of 12, he had moved to Key Biscayne with his mother where he became (like his Olympic swimmer father) a top-ranked competitive swimmer. Ambitious from the start, Michael turned his love of sports into a moneymaking hobby by doing national BMX and skateboarding commercials for Twix candy bars and Coca Cola. By 1989, now living in South Beach surrounded by a community of models, photographers, and fashion designers, Michael leveraged his innate talent for building relationships when he began passing out club flyers from his skateboard. It was his first foray into event promotions, the business that would turn him into a headline name among today’s international style icons, entertainers and socialites.
Michael started young, and over the next 20-plus years built his reputation as a key player in the evolution of South Beach into one of the hottest international tourist destinations, and one of the United States’ most dynamic economies for real estate, hospitality and entertainment.
He was featured at the age of 19 on British Vogue’s Who's Who of Miami Beach list along with the likes of Gianni Versace, Tony Goldman, Barbara Hulanicki, Bruce Weber, Helmut Newton and Mickey Wolfson, Jr., and crowned "the Sobe Prince" of nightlife by the Miami Herald at the age of 21. Michael was the visionary behind events and clubs that continually landed in the pages of the world’s most prestigious publications and attracted the world’s most glamorous people. Early events he promoted in the 1990s included those at Warsaw and Bar Room, Wednesdays at The Forge and at B.E.D., and the traveling Avenue A parties. He also promoted three of South Beach’s hottest clubs of the day: Les Bains Douches, Amnesia and Dune.
These years and experiences primed Michael to launch yet more legendary clubs and events. Proving his ability keep things fresh and always stay at the cutting edge of trends, Michael was behind Friday nights at Prive, an exclusive lounge within the Opium Garden complex, and Saturday at Mansion, both of which attracted A-list partiers for a stunning five-year run in the early 2000s. He also acted as the nightlife ambassador for the Ritz-Carlton where he created the Sunday Party at Dilido Beach Club. By 2008, Michael teamed up with David Grutman of MMG and promoter Michael Martin to launch LIV at the landmark Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a celebrity studded event consistently covered by major publications like People Magazine and Us Weekly. Michael’s more recent club ventures include The Wall at The W South Beach, a pool party at The Mondrian Hotel South Beach, and parties at SET nightclub.
Never one to be satisfied with the status quo, and always on the lookout for ways to make Miami an even more desirable live-work-stay-play destination, Michael began making his first forays into luxury real estate. In 2003 he joined forces with architect Chad Oppenheim and businessman Gregg Covin on Ten Museum Park, a 50-story crystalline tower in downtown Miami's Arts and Entertainment District. All 200 residences sold out in 10 days, leading the Miami New Times to call Michael’s success the Best Career Move Of The Year. Ten Museum Park was followed by the renovation of The Anglers Hotel, South Beach's original Mediterranean revival hotel, in partnership with legendary Versace Mansion designer Wallace Tutt, who designed the rooms and public areas of the property.
In 2005, with these initial successes under his belt, Michael founded Capponi Properties, an entity focused entirely on the development of luxury residences and hotels. Soon thereafter he founded the Capponi Building Company, which managed the construction of Market America, Chairman Jr. and Loren Ridinger’s three-acre North Bay Road home in 2007, and the renovation of Director Michael Bay's residence for interior designer Lynda Murray and architect Chad Oppenheim in 2008. Also in 2008, in an event held at Donald Trump's extraordinary Mar-A-Lago residence, the Developers and Builders Alliance honored Capponi Building Company with the Renovation Firm of the Year Award, noting Michael’s “perseverance and ability to deliver finished products in record time.” No other company has received this award in such a short amount of time.
In 2010, realizing the complex nature of the developments he wanted to pursue in the future, Michael founded Capponi Construction Group. The firm brought together a team of construction industry experts, including Kenneth J. Gross, Robert Wrieden and John Gallina, all of whom have proven track records of building the kind of high-end and luxury residential and commercial projects that continue to make South Florida one of the most vibrant destinations in the United States. Capponi Construction Group leverages Michael’s passion and talent for the development of economically successful destinations in South Florida with the expertise of highly accomplished construction industry veterans who can bring complex real estate projects to fruition.
Among Capponi Construction Group’s high-profile projects is Hollywood Beach Village. This 350,000 square foot multi-use property with 225 rooms, a retail and entertainment component, and four restaurants will help revitalize historic Hollywood Beach and transform it into a new entertainment district.
Capponi Construction group has also provided pro-bono services to the Miami Rescue Mission for the construction of a 125-bed homeless shelter for men. This is just one of the many ways in which Michael has given back to the community that has given him so much since his teenage years.
Indeed, following a difficult period of personal transformation in the late 1990s during which he successfully overcame a variety of serious addictions and health problems, Michael has emerged as one of Miami’s most active and generous philanthropists. The pain he suffered awakened his deep compassion for the suffering of others. His first major fundraiser in 1999 for victims of the Kosovo conflict resulted in the collection of over 15,000 pounds of donated items for Feed the Children. The day after September 11, 2011 Michael organized fundraisers for the American Red Cross, raising over $100,000 for the victims. He has also co-chaired a fundraiser for Leukemia cancer research with actor Matt Damon, helped produce the Miami Starlight Gala to raise money for Bay Point Schools, served as vice chair with Anthony Shriver for Best Buddies Midnight in the Garden of Eden Gala, co-chaired the Barefoot on the Beach Gala at the Breakers Hotel to support the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach, co-chaired the Wellness Community Heart and Star Gala (now known as Cancer Support Community) at the Fontainbleau Miami Beach, and hosted the debut of the Make-A-Wish nightclub at the InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball. In 2006, Michael launched The Great Thanksgiving Day Banquet, a now annual event that feeds 2,500 homeless people in Miami every year.
Michael has also devoted significant effort to raising funds for the victims of hurricanes in Florida, Cuba, Texas and Haiti. His efforts in Haiti in particular have been extensive, including organizing the flight of a relief team of Miami Beach firefighters and doctors to Haiti immediately following the January 2010 earthquake, organizing a fundraiser with Project Medishare to raise money for supplies, establishing a tent community for 3,000 victims in Belvil, Petionville, and relocating 28 families from his camp in Belvil to a self-sustained village in Jacmel, Haiti with transitional shelters.
Over the years, Michael’s annual birthday bashes have transformed from simply glamorous parties filled with beautiful people (which they always are), into opportunities to raise funds and awareness about issues close to his heart. For example, in 2008, his aviator themed birthday party raised money for American Cancer Association, Best Buddies, American Red Cross and the Miami Rescue Mission, and, in 2010, his Alice in Wonderland themed party raised over $30,000 for United Way.
As a result of Michael’s philanthropic activity, he has received numerous awards and recognition, including, a Key to the City of Miami Beach given by Mayor Neisen Kasdin, the Trailblazer award from the American Red Cross, and Humanitarian of the Year awards from the Edayo Foundation, Miami International Fashion Week, Shuzz, and Sustainatopia Honors. He has also been honored for his work in Haiti along with Donna Karan, Patricia Arquette and Maria Bello.
In 2013 he along side Gideon Kimbrell, a Fortune 100 software engineer, launched InList a revolutionary members-only mobile app that makes booking upscale nightlife and special event reservations easier than ever. The goal is to simplify going out, particularly when traveling. Think of it as the Uber of nightlife: reservations when you want them, and a concierge in the palm of your hand. Imagine the appeal of a virtual super-promoter, at your disposal 24/7 in whatever city you land in.