What do you think? Add your opinion to the comments section here or on the blog.
If you believe South Florida is on the way to building a tech hub, what was the signal for you that this is real?
Where as 10 years ago, a budding entrepreneur may have said ,"I want to open a restauraant!", now more folks are saying, "I want to be the next Twitter or Facebook!", which is a hugely positive paradigm shift in thinking. Entrepreneurship is being infused in all aspects of higher ed as well. For example, Miami Dade College and Miami-Dade County Public Schools are partnering to develop Engineering and Technology Entrepreneurship summer camps for students in their Academies of Engineering and IT. Things are definitely looking up.
-- Miguel Alonso, School of Engineering, Miami Dade College
I feel that 2013 was the tipping point. It’s when South Florida raised its collective hands and said we are in the game and ready to play, as evidenced by The Knight Foundation’s focus on and investment in entrepreneurship; the announcement of the eMerge Americas Conference; the new leadership and energy behind the South Florida Technology Alliance; the growth and development of the Miami Innovation Center; the formation of the Group of Groups; the inaugural class of Project Lift; the launch of Startup Delray and Startup Palm Beach; the choice of Miami as the first US location for Endeavor; The LAB Miami’s new space and programming; the burgeoning Maker Movement across the tri-county area; and much more.
-- Irene Revales, Startup Delray founder
At Pipeline, we’ve been seeing early stage companies attract very talented people from outside of Miami. It’s a sign that companies from here have enough juice to have people leave everything behind and invest themselves into quality companies here.
-- Philippe Houdard, Pipeline Brickell
The high quality entrepreneurs from around the world who apply to the Venture Hive accelerator program and express a strong desire and motivation to come to Miami to build their startup.
-- Ivan Rapin-Smith, Venture Hive program director
Although there is still a lot to accomplish the young minds of South Florida are starting to engage in the present and future of their community in ways we haven’t seen before. Young changemakers from 27 different high-schools are launching ventures that are making their communities and neighborhoods a better place to live for all. This enables us to imagine a South Florida where young talent remains connected to their communities because they have actively and positively affected their quality of life.
-- Lorena Garcia Duran, Ashoka Miami
As an entrepreneur, what could the ecosystem most help you and your company with?
The Miami ecosystem has already helped us tremendously. The individuals and organizations associated with the Miami tech community have been incredibly supportive of our work from the beginning. Through advice from other founders, tech help from experienced developers, PR introductions, we've felt like this community has been cheering us on, and that's been an incredible part of running a startup. Moving forward, we're looking for great advisors and investors. And as this ecosystem grows, we're really hoping to find individuals and/or firms that can provide a unique combination of funding and industry expertise.
-- Sabrina Sandar, Vividly co-founder
The best thing the ecosystem can do is bring more talent here and not just tech talent, but all types. We need to recruit more forward thinking minds to our city and give them all the tools they need to thrive. When more of those types of people becomes locals, then everybody benefits.
-- Will Weinraub, LiveNinja founder