By staff writer

June 2019

Credit: Miami Dade College

Miami has historically been a diverse and attractive city for international investors.  With a high number of Latin American and international companies and solid real estate, tourism and trade industries, the city provides a unique ecosystem for tech and startup companies.

According to eMerge Americas’ 2018 eMerge Insights report, $1.38 billion was invested in South Florida startups through 128 deals over the last year. Furthermore, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area ranked 11th in the U.S. for venture capital investments by dollar volume, attracting international venture capital from Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Denmark, UK, Japan, Latin America, China and more.

“There’s no question as to whether there’s a lot of startup activity down here,” Laura Maydon, managing director of Endeavor Miami, told Invest:. “On the tech side, we’ve seen progress in terms of the quantity of companies starting up, but there needs to be more investment activity locally. It’s part of the growth cycle of the ecosystem, and investment is always the last stage, since investors want to validate that there’s a solid pipeline in the city. If we look at South Florida’s development over the last five to seven years, the pipeline’s here,” she added.

A report from real estate firm CBRE, Scoring Tech Talent in North America 2018, showed an increase of 21.5% in Miami’s tech jobs, with the addition of over 4,000 tech-related positions.

The founder and managing director of venture capital firm Rokk3r Fuel ExO, Jeffrey Ransdell, told Invest: that he and his partners decided to start the company because they recognized there was a need for venture capital in Miami. “We also knew that Miami was going to be something special in the tech and startup space. Miami startup activity has been growing at an amazing rate of 100 percent over the last three years, so there is evidence that this is working. There is a lot of traction in Miami in this space right now. Everyone needs to keep their eye on Miami,” he said.

National trends are also reflected in South Florida’s tech activity and investments. For example, software continues to be at the forefront; 45% of the companies in South Florida receiving funding in 2018 offered software of some type, which follows national trends, according to the eMerge report. Healthcare is the most active industry; health-tech, medical devices and biotech startups encompassed 23% of the deals.

Miami is transforming into a tech-friendly city for startups and experts say the trend is only picking up steam. Although there is still some work to do, there is no doubt that Miami’s tech industry will play a key role in the local economy.

For more information on our interviewees, please visit their websites:

Endeavor Miami: https://endeavormiami.org/

Rokk3r Fuel ExO: https://www.rokk3rfuel.com/

CBRE: https://www.cbre.com/research-and-reports/Scoring-Tech-Talent-in-North-America-2018

eMerge Americas: https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/2716555/eMerge_Insights_Report-1.pdf