America’s party town is undergoing a radical transformation. Renowned for its vibrant culture, tropical beaches and enviable climate, Miami has long been a magnet for the mega-rich to own property and for students to celebrate the spring break. However, in recent years, this gateway city to Latin America has begun to attract a different demographic. Amidst the Silicon Valley exodus, tech founders and venture capitalists are flocking to Miami to take advantage of its lower living costs, diverse pool of talent and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. Forbes recently ranked Miami ahead of New York and Austin, Texas, for emerging tech hubs in the US. So what is it that’s driving this transformation?
Tech job growth
With several global technology companies moving into the Southern Florida coastal metropolis, Miami leads the nation in terms of tech-job growth and migration. Software giants such as Oracle, HP and aXpire, as well as big name investors including Blackstone, Founders Fund and Blumberg Capital have all set up shop in Miami.
In addition, Citadel, a leading global financial institution relocated its headquarters to Miami, Elon Musk raves about its potential, even soccer legend Lionel Messi signed a contract with Inter Miami, and let’s not forget that Miami is home to both Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins. The influx of companies and new capital in Miami further boosts job creation, wage growth and a sense of excitement about its burgeoning tech hub.
Although there was an overall decline in venture capital activity over the last year, Miami’s startups still succeeded in raising more than $5 billion, placing the city in the top 10 for US venture capital investment.
Climate and living costs favorable for the work from home model
With long hot summers and short, warm winters, the tropical climate of Miami has made it a long-time favorite destination for people retiring. The COVID pandemic resulted in a large shift in working trends, making the work from home or hybrid model the norm. With companies such as Lyft, Twitter and Spotify embracing the advantages of flexible and remote working, many tech workers began looking to more affordable areas to live that would also offer a good work-life balance. This was a major trigger for tech workers to migrate to Miami, where they can take advantage of a pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, stylish art galleries, ample golf courses and endless other entertainment choices. Just see all the things you can do in Wynwood, Miami after work.
While average living costs in Miami are by no means cheap, they are considerably less than in Silicon Valley, where the average price per square foot is more than a thousand dollars, versus Miami’s rate of $450. Florida also offers highly favorable tax conditions, with no individual state income tax nor estate or inheritance tax. With lower living costs in one of the most tax-friendly states, it’s easy to see why people are swapping Silicon Valley, LA and New York for Miami.
Gateway to Latin America: Miami’s diversity and geography
Miami is a cultural melting pot. With more than 50% of the city’s population born outside of the US, and a majority-minority group of Hispanics and Latinos, it’s ranked as the most welcoming city for immigrants. There are strong cultural influences from the Caribbean, Latin America and South America, evident in all areas of the city’s lifestyle – from food and music, to art and entertainment.
With a large international airport and its close proximity to Latin America, Miami is a gateway for global business. Also home to two major education institutions, Florida International University and University of Miami, there is no shortage of young, diverse and skilled labor.
Cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence
As regular hosts of major global Bitcoin conferences, the city is home to industry heavyweights and a growing number of blockchain and crypto companies. Blockchain.com recently moved its US headquarters to the city and eToro also opened a hub here.
With a reputation for embracing emerging technologies, Miami has also become a hotbed for FinTech and artificial intelligence startups. With almost 500 FinTech companies based in the area, although its ecosystem is still smaller than in New York or San Francisco, Miami has become a prominent destination for FinTech related innovation, investment and job creation.
Likewise, the artificial intelligence sector is booming in Miami. This is, in part, due to the strategic focus on AI at the Miami Dade College, which not only produces a large pool of AI educated graduates, but also cultivated industry partnerships with leading AI players such as Google, Hootsuite, Facebook, Bloomberg, and PRAI (whose founders relocated the venture from Stanford University to Miami in 2021).
Why should your company have a Miami location?
Overall, the city’s increased police funding, commitment to low taxes and vibrant culture, have created a solid foundation to brand Miami as the next ‘it’ city. It may be contending with other cities such as Austin, Seattle, and Phoenix, but with a crypto-currency and AI focus, favorable climate and diverse pool of talent, tech companies are seeing numerous advantages for leaving crime-riddled San Francisco in favor of the supportive and fast-growing ecosystem Miami.
Space for startups
As a result of strong tech migration to the city, there has been a shift in the commercial real estate market. With a preference for remote or hybrid working models, companies are avoiding signing long-lease office rental agreements, and there is great demand for flex office space.
Miami has since emerged as the so-called ‘coworking capital of the world’ offering unbeatable work-life balance, and numerous new shared office spaces are popping up across the city. Amongst these are two brand new stylish Mindspace locations that blend luxurious design, top-notch hospitality and a vibrant professional community to provide the ultimate office experience for companies of all sizes. Discover more about Mindspace Wynwood coworking space, our beautiful Miami flex offices located at the intersection of the iconic Wynwood and Midtown Miami neighborhoods, and about Mindspace Downtown Miami, situated in the heart of Miami’s rapidly growing Central Business District. These spaces are strategically situated in some of the best business areas in Miami.