Can Miami become the next Silicon Valley?
COVID-19 brought more remote-working opportunities as well as an exodus of venture capitalists and tech entrepreneurs out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Many are considering a move to the Magic City, others have already packed their bags.
“It was really just a no-brainer,” said Angela Benton, founder and CEO of tech company Streamlytics.
She’s now relocating to Miami after a series of tweets between Mayor Francis Suarez and tech entrepreneurs sparked renewed interest in bringing innovative companies to the city.
"The quality of life is great in Miami, but outside of that, I think the entrepreneurial ecosystem is actually really really impressive," Benton said.
Suarez is seizing the moment and recruiting venture capitalists and entrepreneurs via Twitter to make the 305 the next global tech hub.
"I'm waking up every morning thinking about how can our city be more resilient," Suarez said. "And the way for us to be more resilient to deal with pandemics and civil disturbances is to make sure we have an economy that’s the economy of tomorrow."
Organizations like Emerge Americas and Refresh Miami have been building the tech framework locally for more than a decade.
"We don't necessarily think Miami is going to be the only other tech hub," said Maria Derchi Russo of tech startup Refresh Miami. "We think this is a great opportunity for cities around the world to level the playing field.”
"We’re very excited for them to come into the community to be a part of it, to understand what has already been built and hopefully kind of come alongside us and continue to build it alongside us," Russo said.
Mayor Suarez says in 2021 he will appoint a Chief Technology Officer to help with the overwhelming response and interest.