Imagining the Miami of 2040 – and helping our community build it.

Introduction

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Overview: Why innovation & entrepreneurship can propel Miami’s economic future

Miami has the opportunity to cement its role as a leader of new, emergent entrepreneurial cities that are building companies and creating the jobs of the future.

Featured Sources

Francis Suarez

Francis Suarez

Mayor, City of Miami

Ashley Portero

Ashley Portero

Miami Inno

Ty West

Ty West

The Playbook

Rob Wile

Rob Wile

Miami Herald

Anthony Pompliano

Anthony Pompliano

The Pomp Podcast

Keith Rabois

Keith Rabois

Founders Fund

… and 26 organizations

Why it matters

McKinsey

McKinsey

Tablet Magazine

Tablet Magazine

Francis Suarez

Francis Suarez

Mayor, City of Miami

Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation

BBB

BBB

Technology is disrupting the global economy at an increasing pace. It’s a huge opportunity for emerging cities, like Miami, because successful tech ecosystems are no longer confined to established hubs such as Silicon Valley. The cities and regions that embrace innovation, encourage entrepreneurs and attract talent will succeed.

  • As technology disrupts jobs and transforms the economy, the cities that are more agile, entrepreneurial and can reinvent themselves are the places that will do best. Tech’s both eliminating and creating jobs. McKinsey projected that by 2030, up to 30% of jobs that existed in 2017 would be gone. But the same report also said that tech would create even more jobs — though not necessarily in the same places.

  • Talent and capital are becoming more mobile, helping create new centers of innovation. Established hubs like Silicon Valley or San Francisco aren’t going away, but new places — like Miami — are emerging. 

  • Miami is on the map. The great COVID migration has resulted in people and companies scattering to new places, and Miami is being chosen at a record clip. City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has received global attention following his “How can I help?” tweet and his ongoing efforts touting Miami as a tech hub.  

  • Young, high-growth companies drive the vast majority of net new job growth. This is why driving entrepreneurship is so important.

  • Small businesses, meanwhile, remain a critical piece of the local economy. Miami’s long been a national leader in small and mid-size enterprises. It’s important from economic, cultural and community perspectives, as Miami’s small businesses reflect our community culture, are breeding grounds for innovation, and bolster the local economy

Where we are now

Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation

Endeavor Miami

Endeavor Miami

eMerge americas

eMerge americas

Center for Black Innovation

Center for Black Innovation

The Idea Center

The Idea Center

The LAB Miami

The LAB Miami

Miami Angels

Miami Angels

CB Insights

CB Insights

SoftBank Miami

SoftBank Miami

Refresh Miami

Refresh Miami

Axios

Axios

Ashley Portero

Ashley Portero

Miami Inno

Ty West

Ty West

The Playbook

Thoma Bravo

Thoma Bravo

Founders Fund

Founders Fund

Atomic

Atomic

CI Financial

CI Financial

Blackstone

Blackstone

The Miami Herald

The Miami Herald

Microsoft

Microsoft

Fortune

Fortune

Miami has never been better positioned for the future than today. Miami burst onto the scene as an emerging national tech hub in the past year, spurred by venture capitalists and entrepreneurs fleeing California taxes or New York pandemic confinement, and encouraged by City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s welcome mat, including Cafecito talks with newly arriving entrepreneurs at Miami City Hall. 

  • The Miami moment is over a decade in the making. It started with a handful of entrepreneurs who recognized the potential of tech and of Miami’s connection to Latin American markets. Locally headquartered Knight Foundation boosted that vision by launching a program in 2012 focused on building Miami’s startup and tech community. To date, it’s made more than $50 million in ecosystem investments, including supporting the launch of Endeavor in Miami in 2013, the eMerge Americas conference in 2014 and dozens of other efforts across the city, including Center for Black Innovation, The Idea Center at Miami Dade College, The LAB Miami and Miami Angels

  • Venture investment has surged, as more investment went into Miami companies in the first three quarters of this year than in all of 2020. At the end of September, $2.4 billion was invested in Miami startups compared to $2.06 billion in all of 2020, according to CB Insights. In January, SoftBank Group committed $100 million to Miami startups, and announced in October it’s already invested more than $250 million.  

  • Talent is moving to Miami in droves. In May, Axios published a report that South Florida had the highest inflow change of software and IT workers, per an analysis of LInkedIn users profile changes. In July it was reported there was a 29 percent increase in tech job postings across South Florida.

  • Companies have also been moving to Miami at an unprecedented clip. SoftBank expanded its presence; private equity firm Thoma Bravo and venture funds such as Founders Fund and Atomic relocated to Miami. Canada-based CI Financial announced it was launching its U.S. headquarters in Miami. Blackstone and Microsoft also both established presences in Miami, among many other firms.   

  • Greater Miami’s tech ecosystem is diverse, by national standards, but does not reflect the full diversity of the county. Access to capital is a big issue for entrepreneurs of color in Miami, as it is nationally. Increasingly, diversity is recognized as a competitive advantage as differing perspectives fuel innovation.

By the numbers

CB Insights

CB Insights

The first three quarters of 2021 have already exceeded the total volume of deals and funding dollars from previous years — indicating that South Florida's tech ecosystem is on track for a groundbreaking, record-setting year.

Research

CB Insights

CB Insights

eMerge americas

eMerge americas

Rob Wile

Rob Wile

Miami Herald

The Miami Herald

The Miami Herald

Pitchbook

Pitchbook

Embarc Collective

Embarc Collective

What's next?

At Opportunity Miami, we’re focused on exploring — with you — answers to questions defining Miami’s economic future. This is a work in progress. Each day we’ll add new elements through an iterative, build-it-together process to find clear, actionable solutions. 

But it starts with asking the right questions. Below are some we’re thinking about. We plan to take a deep dive into a new question each month.

  • How do we clear obstacles and open more pathways for Black entrepreneurs to succeed and lead?

  • What policy changes can drive entrepreneurship and innovation?

  • How can Miami innovate its way to global leadership in logistics and supply-chain management, medtech and life sciences, and financial technology?

  • How can tech innovation boost small business?

We’d also love to hear what’s on your mind. Let us know by sending a note to next@opportunity.miami.


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Opportunity Miami Partners

Co-Chairs

Rick Beasley

Rick Beasley

CareerSource SFL Executive Dir

Christine Barney

Christine Barney

CEO of rbb Communications

Daniella Levine Cava

Daniella Levine Cava

Mayor, Miami-Dade County

Academic Leaders Council

Barry University Florida International University Florida Memorial University Miami Dade College St. Thomas University University of Miami Miami-Dade County Public Schools

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