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  • Ted Miller

Exploring Miami’s Tech Startup Scene

Miami is having a moment. In the face of our pandemic economy, a growing number of VCs, founders, bulls and bears have announced that they are relocating to the 305.

The Magic City’s budding technology scene has been the city’s best kept secret for quite some time, and has drawn in names ranging from Twitter to co-founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanian in the last few years alone. It even has some homegrown tech tycoons like Jeff Bezos who, in addition to founding Amazon, was Miami Palmetto Senior High’s 1982 valedictorian.

While there are plenty of businesses moving to the tri-county area right now, there certainly is no shortage of startups and companies already based here. In addition to a number of blue chip brands like Apple, Google, Twitter, Uber and Citrix that have offices and HQs throughout Miami-Dade and Broward, there are local companies like Chewy, the major online pet retailer acquired by PetSmart for $3 billion; Magic Leap, one of the world’s leading augmented reality (AR) platforms; and Caribu; the top family video-calling app and winner of the App Store’s Best of 2020 recognition.

Read on to learn more about the local Miami companies that have made a national splash, and an analysis of the 305’s top industries.

Travel & Tourism

As you can imagine, Miami reigns supreme in the travel sector. Port of Miami is the largest cruise port in the world, and Port Everglades in Broward is the third largest. Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival are all headquartered in Miami, and all have advanced innovation labs and tech centers of their own.

Additionally, there are homegrown hospitality platforms like Daycation and consultancies like Spark Cooperative that have been working towards transforming the travel experience both domestically and abroad for quite some time.

Trucking & Logistics

South Florida is a true innovation hub for trucking and logistics (T&L) startups. Startups like ShipMonk based in Fort Lauderdale is a tech-driven fulfillment center that helps ecommerce businesses pack and ship orders by syncing to their online shopping cart.

Ryder Systems (NYSE: R), the Miami-based transportation and trucking giant, aims to support this growing scene with its new $50 million venture capital fund, RyderVetures, created to invest in and partner with startups in the T&L industry. And companies like SmartHop, an AI-powered app based in Miami which helps interstate truckers make their routes more efficient, have been quite successful in raising capital.

Healthcare & Education

Leading institutions like Baptist Health, Jackson Memorial, University of Miami and Florida International University have all helped nurture and attract some of the nation’s top minds and talent in the education and healthcare sectors to the tri-county area. Consequently, South Florida has an expanding ecosystem of telehealth and medical technology companies making strides in diagnostics, wellness and patient care, including CareCloud, HealthSnap, Papa, Kipu Health, MDLive, and Statlab Mobile.

Additionally, resources in education technology like Miami EdTech and distance learning platforms like Nearpod are making digital literacy accessible to all.

In nearly every industry you search, South Florida seems to have a stake in the game, and these examples truly only represent the tip of the iceberg of Miami’s diverse tech scene.

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