SILICON BEACH

By: RILEY KAMINER

Here’s why innovators and investors are flocking to Miami.

 

Simmering sun. Bountiful beaches. Abundant art. Refined restaurants. Those might be the first things that come to mind when you think of Miami. But would you believe us if we told you that Miami is one of the world’s most exciting startup hubs? Hear us out.

The pandemic enabled technologists to work from wherever, whenever. And increasingly, global innovators are choosing Miami as their home base.

Miami-based startups managed to secure $5 billion in funding from venture capitalists in 2021. Simultaneously, the city experienced a remarkable influx of assets under management – upwards $2.5 trillion – over the course of the past two years. And for those bullish on our local tech ecosystem, this is just the beginning.

“We are very excited about Miami’s tech scene,” said Gerry Poirier, the founder and CEO of female-focused crowdfunding platform AngeLink. After spending stints in Washington, D.C., New York City, and across Asia, Poirier is doubling down on AngeLink’s presence in Miami.

“Miami’s rapidly-expanding talent base and global hub for investors and thought leaders make it a no-brainer for AngeLink to grow here,” Poirier commented.

Back in December of 2020 City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez asked Twitter’s tech community a simple question. “How can I help?” he offered boldly. Standing in stark contrast to cities such as New York and Silicon Valley, Suarez’s open and collaborative approach to governing quickly attracted big names in the startup world.

But it is what makes Miami special that led these technologists to stay after the pandemic. Our diverse, ambitious talent base. Our business-friendly tax policies. Our high quality of life.

Miami is also home to some of the most exciting global tech conferences. From the 20,000+ attendees at eMerge Americas to the flagship Bitcoin conference to the TechBeach Caribbean tech retreat – Miami sits at the crossroads of a wide range of global tech communities. And who doesn’t want to have their business meetings at the beach?

Another thing. Miami is home to more than a handful of so-called tech ‘unicorns,’ or startups valued at upwards of $1 billion. Some of those include Papa, which helps health plans and employers connect members and their families to real people for help with companionship, everyday tasks, transportation, and more. Pipe offers a comprehensive platform that empowers users to build and manage recurring revenue channels spanning subscription services, e-commerce platforms, and creative marketplaces.

MoonPay is a fintech company making it easy to buy and sell cryptocurrency and HealthCare.com’s artificial intelligence- powered platform matches consumers of all ages with personalized health plans and associated products.

Of course, Miami companies have no plans to stop at the $1 billion threshold.

Keith Rabois, a serial founder and investor, who swapped San Francisco for Miami in the early days of the pandemic, recently shared that to become a thriving tech hub, the Magic City needs three companies with over $10 billion in revenue. “Chewy is one, I’ll create number two, and then someone else has to create number three,” Rabois told the audience of this year’s Miami Tech Summit. In Miami the very blue sky is the limit.

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