Miami’s startup scene gets hotter during pandemic
Miami has become a more desirable city than ever. An unexpected consequence of the pandemic, the tech industry is flocking to this glamorous South Florida city.
The beginnings of the hype in Miami’s tech scene can be traced back to a single tweet in December 2020. The tweet was from Delian Asparouhov, an MIT dropout working as a venture capitalist in San Francisco. Asparouhov is director of Founders Fund, a technology-driven venture capital firm led by Peter Thiel and Keith Rabois. He had become frustrated with the high cost of living in the Bay Area.
One night, Asparouhov posted a tweet proposing to move Silicon Valley to Miami. Francois Suarez, the mayor of Miami with a disproportionate personality, saw the tweet while scrolling through his thread. One of Suarez’s political goals is to develop the tech scene in his city. Suarez posted a simple response, asking “How can I help?” His tweet sparked discussions within the tech community after it went viral.
The tweet had a bigger impact than many could have imagined. Several tech companies, many from Silicon Valley, have opened offices or are relocating entirely to the Miami area. SoftBank, an investor in a tech company, has pledged to invest $ 100 million in Miami-based startups in January 2021. Due to the city’s growing reputation as a startup hub, Palm Drive Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm announced the opening of a new Miami office.
In addition to tech companies, financial firms are moving or expanding to Miami. Financial giants such as Blackstone, Goldman Sachs and Citadel have opened offices in the region. Blackstone is betting on the city to develop its technology transactions team. The private equity firm believes Miami has the potential to attract and retain top tech talent.
In February 2021, Founders Fund signed a lease for a Brickell office building. Founders Fund’s has invested in notable technology companies such as SpaceX, Airbnb, Facebook, Palantir Technologies and Postmates. Founding partner Peter Thiel bought a mansion in the Venetian Islands. This chain of man-made islands is connected to the mainland of Miami by bridges. Keith Rabois, a general partner, also bought a $ 29 million home there.
Emerging scene of tech startups
As Chief Investment Officer at Miami Angels, Bruno Lulinski observed “exponential growth” in the local startup ecosystem in 2021. According to data from PitchBook, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area was ranked among the top Top 20 regions of the United States. Reports for the volume and value of venture capital transactions.
While many have touted Miami as the “new Bay Area,” others have dismissed the notion. “We don’t reproduce anything else. We’re building something completely new and ambitious, ”said Michelle Abbs, managing director of tech hub developer Mana Tech.
Billionaire businessman Moishe Mana is helping transform downtown Miami into a vibrant and diverse neighborhood that will attract startups, art and culture. Mana Tech is spearheading the development of the new Flagler District.
More job applicants open to relocate to Miami
Several Miami startups have noted that job applicants are increasingly open to the idea of relocating to the city. Andrew Parker, CEO of Papa, a Miami-based startup that offers an on-demand company to seniors, reached a valuation of $ 1.4 billion. Dad recently signed a lease for office space in trendy Brickell. The office is designed in a spirit of collaboration. Parkers thinks the office has a “mini-New York feel.”
Maxeme Tuchman is co-founder and CEO of Caribu, a video calling app that makes dating easy for kids. She also saw an increase in the pool of applicants interested in Miami. “A lot of people saw what it was like to be locked in a cold place,” Tuchman said. She noticed that during the winter months, interest in Miami increased. After all, it’s a warm place with a growing startup scene. “I’ve had requests from my friends in Chicago, Bay Area, asking where is a good place to rent,” she commented.
In December 2021, Miami hosted Art Basel. The NFTs quickly passed the event. Thousands of NFT and crypto enthusiasts have descended on Miami to attend gallery exhibits, interactive experiences, and parties. Miami’s association with emerging technologies such as NFTs and crypto is also growing the city’s tech startup scene. Learn more about Miami’s growth as a crypto hub here.
Miami lifestyle appeal
Miami, nicknamed the Magic City, has several attractive lifestyle features. Considering the pandemic, it’s nice to have the opportunity to work outside in the warmth. Additionally, Florida is known for its pro-business policies and lack of personal income tax. Its sparkling nightlife and Latin American cultural influences make it a vibrant place to live, work and play. Finally, the influx of leading businesses and individuals relocating to South Florida has sparked greater enthusiasm for the city.
It seems the momentum around Miami isn’t just a fad and the city has long-term growth potential as a hub for startups. Venture capital investments are on an upward trajectory. Additionally, many entrepreneurs and technologists who moved to Miami at the start of the pandemic in search of warmer weather and fewer covid restrictions have remained in the city.