By Charly Esnal | Base Miami
What's making Miami emerge as the next tech hub? Florida's Magic City is pushing to become a startup hub for LatAm entrepreneurs. Recent events like mayor Francis Suarez's famous tweet "how can I help?" are placing the city in the tech spotlight.
Moreover, high-profile investors like Keith Rabois and Peter Thiel moved to Miami, leading the relocation path to this emerging tech ecosystem. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as every day we see companies that are relocating or basing their headquarters in Miami.
Historically, the South Florida city had a close link to Latin America. Now, with the ambitious goal of becoming the next tech hub centered in LatAm companies, the ties are stronger.
Miami’s Tech Ecosystem
For decades, Miami has been considered an attractive place for vacations. No one would have imagined that the city could be a niche for VCs and tech startups. However, since 2017, South Florida's Magic City has been increasing the tech companies' ecosystem.
One of the results of last year’s pandemic events was an entrepreneur's exodus from cities like San Francisco and New York, due to the high cost of living and heavy taxation in those States. This made Florida rank high for startup activities and also generated a general development of the Miami real estate market.
Tech startups are shaping the Miami tech ecosystem and VCs are coming to stay. SoftBank is one of the most relevant additions to the scene. They have created a $100 million Fund that is targeted exclusively for companies based in or willing to relocate to Miami.
However, there are several tech startups making waves in Miami’s Tech scene. With Angel Investor’s money pouring in, the sky is definitely not the limit for LatAm entrepreneurs looking forward to expanding in the US.
Why Are Companies Choosing Miami?
Miami's tech ecosystem is booming, mainly after the recent pandemic that encouraged several entrepreneurs to move from other major cities looking for more pleasant weather conditions amongst other reasons.
There's no doubt that high-profile VCs and also eager entrepreneurs are heading towards Florida's Magic City to raise their companies. We wanted to share some takeaways that make the city so attractive for business.
#The city’s economic growth
Every business expansion in a new location brings new building developments. Miami's real estate industry is growing rapidly with the arrival of new companies upholding the city’s economy.
It's not just about office space. The market is experiencing a rise. This can be concluded from the fact that despite the economic lowdowns of the COVID-19 crisis, the property demand has grown and is very assorted, from apartments to family condos, and the city is striving to cover those needs.
Experts on the real estate business say that the demand for properties will remain strong as the tech ecosystem keeps scaling. This represents unparalleled economic growth for the city of Miami.
#Beneficial tax regulations
Attractive tax benefits are one of the major assets of Florida's Magic City, making it the perfect spot for business growth.
Some of the most special perks for startups and entrepreneurs are no local corporate income taxes, no state personal income taxes, no franchise tax on capital stock, and also no corporate tax on limited partnerships.
These are maybe one of the main reasons people moved from high-tax cities like New York and settled in Miami.
In December last year, mayor Francis Suarez tossed a short but powerful tweet that quickly put him in the tech ecosystem spotlight. Venture capitalist Delian Asparouhov tweeted: “Ok guys hear me out, what if we move silicon valley to Miami”?, and suddenly Suarez's answer, "How can I help?", went viral.
Since then, Miami's mayor has been openly supporting the startup growth in the city, striving to establish a tech hub and a gateway of new opportunities for LatAm companies. He knows the city is strategically tied to Latin America and offers a green field for business expansion.
#Diversity and infrastructure
Miami has always had a multicultural population, where many languages coexist like Spanish, Portuguese, and even Haitian, contributing to the cultural spike of the community. This also entices LatAm entrepreneurs to move to the city, which has a great Hispanic influence.
Making newcomers feel the vibrant city of Miami like home is certainly a magnet for business growth. In addition, the multicultural population also contributes to developing a unique infrastructure that represents its core identity, with a new innovation twist.
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