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. Year-round sunshine, white sandy beaches and no state taxes are all a draw for moving to South Florida, but once you arrive, there are a myriad of new reasons to fall in love with the area.
The 305 has an ecosystem of innovation centers, startups and technology companies of its own. The tight-knit community had a gritty, young energy that had been missing in the Bay Area for a while, and innovative individuals like Leigh-Ann Buchanan, president of aīre ventures, is actively working to make the tech scene more inclusive for people of color and women. Plus, the city itself is electric, defined by its Latin American and Caribbean influences and attracting tourists, businesses and venture capitalists from all over the world.
As more well-known investors and businesses arrive in the tri-county area, the question we should all be asking is:
How can we collectively work together to build South Florida as a global hub for innovation?
Luckily, Mayor Francis Suarez has been quite vocal about his plans to build Miami as a global center for technology. He recently appointed Melissa Krinzman as the city’s first VC-in-Residence to help accelerate the growth of the 305’s tech scene and also helped the city’s commissioners start a separate technology council (plus, how can we forget the Mayor’s now infamous tweet-turned-billboard-turned-meme: “Thinking about moving to Miami? DM me.”).
These efforts have already started to pay off as SoftBank recently announced its plans to invest $100 million into Miami-based startups. Investments in other parts of the city like infrastructure, art and workforce development have also been a huge factor in attracting more people; but we cannot forget the companies and individuals already based here who have made Miami into the international business center it is today.
Companies and organizations like
While SIlicon Valley and Wall Street transplants may continue forging partnerships and using services based out of California, New York, or D.C., I also want to encourage them to get to know the businesses and individuals that built the community they’re moving into. There is a whole universe of talent and innovation in South Florida, and if we work together, there is no reason why Miami can’t become a world-class leader in the technology space.