Of all the changes taking place in Miami right now, one of the least appreciated may be the region’s growth as a technology hub.
For many who associate the city, and South Florida, with Art Deco architecture, sunny beaches, and tourism, Miami’s selection as one of Amazon’s 20 finalists cities for its HQ2 contest may have come as a surprise.
But there’s much more happening in Miami, and many in the local tech scene see the momentum increasing.
“Miami is in the midst of a transformation,” says Philippe Houdard, a Harvard-educated Frenchman who co-founded Pipelines, a network of shared workspaces in Miami and other U.S. cities. “Historically, the economy here hasn’t been diverse. But it’s changing, and the tech sector has played a key role.”
Last year, area startups received $1.3 billion in venture capital funding, placing Miami eighth on the list of U.S. cities in terms of VC activity, right between Seattle and Chicago. Silicon Valley doesn’t have anything to fear anytime soon; San Francisco startups attracted $23.4 billion in funding in 2017, or 34 percent of the nation’s total.