Miami is a city known for glitz, glamor, and entertainment. From the beaches to the nightlife and endless shopping, many have characterized Miami as the “Las Vegas on the water.” Recently, Miami has been expanding its horizons as an emerging leader in the startup scene. In just over two years Miami has become one of the nation’s leading tech scenes, ranking second in the nation according to the Kauffman Index. However, that does not mean that the startup scene doesn’t have its own set of challenges hopeful entrepreneurs must overcome. Many entrepreneurs find Miami to be a challenging environment to gain funding. Currently the most common and viable way of funding a startup is through self-investment. Another contribution to this lack of funding is the deficiency of Seed capital in Miami, causing startups to face difficulty in sustainability.
Per contra, Miami is developing an incredibly adept infrastructure for startups with co-working spaces, such as the LAB Miami, which allows startups to coexist in a single space. Another advantage that Miami has according to Rob Follows, CEO of STS Capital Partners, is its central location to LATAM. “Miami is a great international hub with a unique positioning as central to all of Latin America and the Caribbean,” claims Rob.
An additional struggle startups face is making connections, however, with Miami’s welcoming culture and social atmosphere, startups can network at conventions, events, and seminars sprinkled throughout the city. One entrepreneur who believes in Miami’s welcoming startup community is Marshall Swatt of Social Splendor, as he states,“I moved to Miami because I felt like it [Miami] had an active tech and startup community, and that there was a sincere desire to grow start ups and help foster new businesses”
The LAB Miami hosts events, which offer excellent opportunities for startups and small businesses get to know the community, to network together, and learn business skills needed to survive and overcome the startup struggles.
Miami is preparing itself to become the premier entrepreneurial city in the country. Its location to the emerging markets and its central location to the Americas and Europe provide start up investor or entrepreneurs with the opportunities to network and to gain funding and support. It really is an exciting time to be an investor or entrepreneur in the Magic City.
Juan Pablo Rodriguez | September 9, 2016