By: RILEY KAMINER
Meet the tech-savvy, trail-blazing women, who are making waves in a traditionally male-dominated industry, transforming Miami into a vibrant hub of creativity, technology, and positive impact.
Last year Miami-based companies with at least one female founder raised a whopping $639 million. There’s still work to be done though, since this represents only 11% of the total VC dollars allocated to local companies. That’s compared to 17.2% nationally. Thankfully, there is a wide range of organizations working to turn these tides including national groups GET Cities and All Raise, both of which recently established chapters in Miami. A smattering of local organizations are also making diversity a priority.
“Being a woman in #MiamiTech means changing perceptions and reducing imposter syndrome,” said Maria Derchi, executive director of Refresh Miami and vice president of Florida Funders.
“When I started hosting Women in Miami Tech happy hours back in 2016, I would often field questions like, ‘I don’t know how to code; can I still attend?’ Tech has permeated all facets of business and there’s so much more to it than just coding.”
Derchi added that companies should be intentional in their hiring practices to ensure a diverse talent pool. “As important as it is for women to support other women, it is equally if not more important for men to speak up and support women in Miami Tech.”
Claudia Duran, the managing director of Endeavor Miami, prides herself on being a beacon for diversity and inclusion within the tech industry. “When one woman succeeds, she sets a precedent, a powerful message that reverberates through the hearts and minds of others. She becomes a catalyst for change, inspiring countless other women to dare, dream, and make their mark on the world of technology.”
So how do we support more women in #MiamiTech? “With more checks written!” said Sharon Holm, founder of The Sisterverse. “Access to more funding is essential, especially for women of color.” Maggie Vo, the managing general partner and CIO at Fuel Venture Capital, echoes this sentiment. “The people who are writing the checks are a driving force for diversity in the tech and venture capital ecosystem. The lack of female representation in firms has a ripple effect on the founders they invest in.” Likewise, Olivia Ramos, founder of Deepblocks, underscores that “it’s important to note my gender doesn’t shape my capabilities or ambitions.” Still, she believes that #MiamiTech should be centered on the collective goal of “cultivating an environment that champions skills, promotes creativity, and truly understands the transformative power of technology.”
These remarkable women are the heart and soul of the Miami tech movement, proving that technology is not just a man’s game.