By: Angela Caraway-Carlton
Find out why Miami is a hub for technology companies and conferences.
Miami already has a solid reputation as a tourist hotspot, but the city is also gaining notoriety as a top city for booming technology.
Miami is magnetic for so many reasons — beautiful beaches, nice weather, diverse cultures, exciting nightlife. But the city is now drawing more than just tourists, it’s also pulling in the top leaders in technology.
Over the last three years, the tech scene has exploded, with Miami playing host to large-scale conventions. One of the city’s first and biggest players is eMerge Americas, a multi-day innovation convention that launched in 2014 and focuses on connecting Latin America, North America and Europe. The action-packed conference is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center located in the heart of famous South Beach.
“eMerge Americas brings together thousands of technology entrepreneurs, executives, investors and government officials, and Miami is the ideal location for these connections,” says Xavier Gonzalez, CEO of eMerge Americas. “Miami has long served as the hub of the Americas for several industries, and the city is now emerging as an innovation hub for the region.”
If numbers are an indicator of Miami’s future success in hosting tech summits, eMerge is a good base. The conference boasted a sold-out crowd at its 2016 event and Gonzalez believes that’s directly attributable “to the need in the market for an event focused on innovation that connects Latin America, North America and Europe,” and he expects for eMerge to grow into one of the largest technology events in the world.
Miami’s Strong Entrepreneurial Community
So what makes Miami so alluring to technology leaders around the world? Part of the attraction comes from the Magic City’s strong entrepreneurial spirit. Miami recently ranked number two in the nation for the highest number of start-ups, according to the Kauffman Index.
Much of the credit for building up Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem goes to The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has made more than 180 investments in entrepreneurship initiatives across South Florida since 2012, launching eMerge, Endeavor, Venture for America, LaunchCode, IME, The Idea Center, The LAB and more. Praise for boosting the tech industry also goes to accelerators like Venture Hive, founded by CEO Susan Amat in 2013, that help support high-growth technology businesses and startups.
Another draw is the growing presence of Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber and Lyft in Miami, and South Florida’s prime proximity to Latin America, Europe and New York. Plus, with year-round sunshine, who doesn’t want to live or meet for a conference in Miami?
“Miami’s traditional advantages – quality of life, favorable tax structure, diverse population – appeal to leaders in the technology industry,” explains Gonzalez. “In addition, Miami has proven to be a strong draw for entrepreneurs, investors and executives from across Latin America, the United States and Europe. This ability to attract some of the best and brightest from around the world has greatly enhanced the diversity of Miami’s technology industry and set it apart as a city that welcomes new leaders openly.”
While Miami is still developing, things are expected to only get better, in part thanks to the city being a gateway to Latin America. “Miami’s position will only get stronger in the years to come,” promises Gonzalez. “Miami’s future will be significantly impacted by its assent as the technology hub for Latin America.”
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