When does a trend become a movement? When does the movement become a permanent fixture? The shift from being a city synonymous with tourism and sunshine to a global tech hub seemed to always be slightly out of reach for Miami. As other U.S. cities, such as Austin and Boulder, recently built vibrant tech ecosystems, Miami’s momentum did not keep pace.
That all changed in 2020.
Miami was able to capitalize on the confluence of events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of remote work, the need for a global, multi-cultural workforce, and access to new digital ecosystems that catalyze growth. Not surprisingly, the greater Miami area has experienced some of the fastest increases over the past year.
What started as a small ripple has turned into an epic wave that has reached the sun-soaked shores of the Magic City.
The wave reached a new peak this June when over 12,000 people descended on Miami. Unlike years past, the primary reason for the visit went well beyond the beach –technologists wanted to participate in the blockchain and digital payments revolution sweeping across the globe. The Bitcoin 2021 Conference in Miami was the largest crypto event in history, and the drumbeat is attracting legions of a new breed of tech companies to South Florida.
There is a generational shift underway in Miami. Over the past year, blockchain, financial services, emerging tech companies, venture capital firms and entrepreneurs have stampeded to the region and laid the foundation for a new economic ecosystem that will transform our nation into a leading force in the new frontiers of digital payments.
Investments, talent and opportunities arrive daily, powered by a business-friendly political system and bold, innovative Mayor Francis Suarez, who has successfully championed the city as the next great global financial and technology hub – one that offers a perfect staging ground to Latin America and Europe.
Allison+Partners is part of this trend and recently opened our first office in Miami. Founded in San Francisco, our agency culture is infused with disruption and harnessing technology innovation. Our heritage in launching and scaling some of the world’s leading technology brands, and our entrepreneurial spirit, are the perfect fit for the new Miami.
As a former long-time New York City resident and a member of the so-called “Techxodus,” what struck me about the Miami tech community are the unique synergies between the newly arrived digital nomads and the long-time Miami tech entrepreneurs. There is a real sense of cooperation and a shared understanding that we have the opportunity to build a community that can rival the traditional tech cities on a global scale.
Silicon Valley might be in the West, but the American West was always more than geography; it has always symbolized the art of the possible, the open space, the ability to start anew. In many ways, Miami is the new frontier for technology and business, free from restrictive bureaucracy and group-think synonymous with the old world.
As we get started, and as innovative new companies continue to set up operations here, our new Miami team is all-in on helping ensure the tech wave becomes a permanent and positive fixture in the Magic City.
David Baum works at the crossroads of technology, business, and politics and serves as a valued strategic advisor to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders. Baum works closely with leaders of start-ups and global organizations to develop integrated communications programs spanning technology, blockchain, public affairs, crisis communications and reputation management, website development, and thought leadership.