Miami: A Tech Hub on the Rise
Tech hubs are communities that are geared toward educating and encouraging new talent, and also providing space for the growth and acceleration of high-tech businesses.
We had the chance to talk to local tech leaders about Miami as a tech hub at the Miami AI and Machine Learning Meetup Week, and discuss the advantages of being located in a tech ecosystem as well as what the future will bring for Miami.
What is a tech hub
Tech hubs exist as an ecosystem to facilitate collaboration between startups and large technology-based companies. Tech hubs make interaction, networking, innovation and co-innovation easily accessible for community members.
Companies located within a tech ecosystem will benefit from the free flow of talent, ideas, resources, workspace, and networking for accelerated growth. They will also benefit from the publicity, growth, and prosperity of the communities.
Miami is an emerging tech hub with an ecosystem of incubators, accelerators, collaboration spaces, and tech entrepreneurs. It has a backing from its government, a considerable amount of local talent, and it’s benefitting from the “harsh economic climate” that is making tech companies move out of places like the Silicon Valley and New York.
Miami as a tech ecosystem
What makes a city a tech hub is primarily backing or sponsorship from government, a pool of talent and access to sources of funding such as venture capitalists and angel investors, Miami is not lacking any of these. According to the Startup Ecosystem Canvas for South Florida, there are 438+ accelerators, incubators and investors in South Florida. The city of Miami is also acclaimed to have registered the highest startup density found in the US with about 247.6 startups per 100,000 people, some of these making the 2021 Inc.5000 list.
Miami has prepared itself as a fertile ground for tech hubs to thrive but thanks to the COVID-induced exodus from Silicon Valley which helped accelerate the process. The Chief Innovation Officer at City of Coral Gables in Miami, Raimundo Rodulfo, acknowledged that the tech trend we are seeing in Miami is in part due to COVID. However, the trend has begun before then:
“COVID had to do a lot with that. The exodus that we see from areas like Silicon Valley or upstate New York. In a way, it started coming before the pandemic but the pandemic accelerated that.”
This claim is also corroborated by Antonio Delgado, Vice President of Innovation and Technology Partnerships at Miami Dade College:
“Miami was already cooking, the big tech ecosystem was already being built. Six, seven years ago. We had a convention to invest in local startups. The pandemic is the accelerator but having already this foundation being created, and the leaders showing the city and the economy. That was the key differentiator.”
The key players in the tech ecosystem in Miami: the city, academia and tech startups and companies are already discussing how to continue to sustain this positive movement. That includes community collaboration and connecting all the players in the ecosystem: talent, academia, city, startups, and companies.
Some of the things that make Miami attractive to tech startups and companies, according to Kumar Nikkhil Raj, CTO & Co-Founder at Envonics who recently moved to Miami, are the good weather, absence of state income taxes and the work-life balance in the city:
“Taxes are a big reason for companies to move to Miami. The lifestyle in Miami is another big reason why tech companies move to Miami. You can work at the same time and enjoy your life. It’s so easy and accessible. The beaches and nightlife…”
Looking into the future
That Miami is still not listed among the top (AI) tech cities in the world is a challenge that must be changed and one of the ways to change that is to attract more tech companies to move to Miami. The city is already changing the narrative by encouraging more collaboration, bringing communities together, connecting local talent with companies, and amplifying the opportunities in Miami.
Companies can be assured of the availability of talent in Miami but they must also be open to trying young professionals and giving them the opportunity to grow. While the door is open for new talent to come to Miami, companies can expect incentives from the city and counties when they hire local talent.
Will Miami become the new Silicon Valley?
Miami has the potential to become the new Silicon Valley but that’s not the big issue. What’s most important is that Miami maximizes its own growth potential and the fortune that has turned its ways, and become a global force in AI tech in no distant future. With the absence of a state income tax, warm weather and a business-friendly government, Miami looks great as the next global tech city.
With Miami becoming a tech hub, and more specifically an AI tech hub, one can only hope that in the next 5–10 years, the city becomes a place where companies can move to, develop technology, buy talent, and experience accelerated growth and prosperity beyond what is obtainable at Silicon Valley.
We are coming to Miami! Join us September 21, 2022 in the heart of Miami at Paradise Plaza for Data Science Salon’s #DSSMiami event!
To find out more and RSVP click HERE.