This year, Miami hosted the largest cryptocurrency conference in history, the 2021 Bitcoin Convention. It’s actions like this which have led the city to gain huge attention as an emerging tech hub.
Its vocal Mayor, Francis Suarez, has been making waves on social media by promising a more business-friendly environment than California’s Silicon Valley. Suarez’ goal? Transforming Miami from “brain drain to brain gain”.
So, what does the South Floridian city need to grow as the next Big Tech Hub?
Luring big tech-focused players
Tropical weather, the take up of remote work and a low tax environment (Miami offers no levy taxes on either income or capital gains and has few regulations on businesses) brought many tech innovators and investors to Miami during the pandemic.
Amid a “techxodus” from San Francisco, Peter Thiel, who co-founded venture capital firm Founders Fund, accelerated the Miami tech boom when he snapped up an $18million home in Miami in January. Within weeks, the tech billionaire announced he would open up an office in Wynwood, Miami’s local tech community.
January also saw the arrival of another big name. SoftBank, the world's largest tech investor, launched the SoftBank Miami Initiative, a “$100 million funding commitment dedicated to supporting and building the community of technology start-ups in The Magic City”.
Opportunities in a growing start-up ecosystem
Miami also provides abundant investment opportunities through several networks and funds dedicated to investing in early-stage tech companies, including venture capital companies, hedge funds, incubators and Angel groups.
In 2020, the tech scene raised close to $1.9 billion in venture funding through 130 funding rounds. 142 startups listed in the 2021 Inc 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies were located in Miami and close counties. The startups cumulatively added 10,857 new jobs over the last year and a total revenue of $6.9 billion.
While it may never be big enough to match Silicon Valley, the city’s diverse demographics and proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean has given its tech hub a global clout –an advantage its Mayor is keen to build on to successfully take on other emerging tech hubs including southern cities of Austin, Atlanta and Dallas. Miami will not be the new Bay Area – but it could be better.
Supporting a competitive #MiamiTech
As companies kickstarted their hiring process, tech job postings in Miami jumped 29 per cent in the second quarter of 2021.
While Miami has been focusing on innovation and startup growth to attract and retain talent, the city must invest in its academic institutions to bridge the skills gap needed to support these emerging industries and compete with other southern tech hubs.
The good news is that Miami academia and the tech industry have started to co-invest. The city recently launched the Data Science for All Initiative in partnership with SoftBank to teach 10,000 Miami residents to become data scientists.
Elon Musk’s Tesla is also partnering with Miami Dade College to train electric car technicians. The University has also launched a cybersecurity degree programme.
Securing talent now
Improving the talent pipeline in schools and universities is a crucial move for the future health of Miami’s tech ecosystem. But what about the immediate future? How can Miami fill the roles created by this sudden boom to truly compete as a tech hub?
That’s why we’re here. develop are a team of specialist software engineering recruitment specialists, and we’ve been paying close attention to the growth in Miami. We know the city needs more talent – and we know how to find it. To grow as a tech hub, Miami needs develop.
Our offer is specifically designed to help Miami businesses secure the best software engineering candidates on the market. Get in touch to find out how we can help.