A couple weeks ago my friend Alex De Carvalho wrote a great piece about the history of the tech community in Miami over the last few years. He isn’t the only one in South Florida who has been extolling the virtues of our blossoming community, my friend Craig Agranoff the pizza expert also wrote about the community down here a few months back. This got me thinking: what do we need to take the community to the next level? Can Miami and South Florida make it to the next level where it doesn’t need tireless community organizers like AlexDC and myself?
What is it going to take to make Miami the Silicon Beach we need it to become? It’s going to require a lot of money, time, space, energy, and dedication. It’s also going to need a space to revolve around, an incubator/coworking facility/meeting space etc.
Key things that I see being necessary to make this happen:
- Support from the local government
- That means getting the mayor and others to invest some money in order to spur the local economy. This is about bringing businesses to the city that employ people. That in turn leads to tax revenue.
- Support from local businesses
- We need companies to be willing to sponsor the space/effort, put up money for events, hire companies from the area, and provide marketing support, etc.
- Support from individuals/entrepreneurs
- People need to be willing to get out of their home-offices, get off their couches, and rally behind the space/concept.
- People need to bring their laptops, their energy, their enthusiasm, and their ideas.
- Support from investors
- Every investor is looking for deal flow. A central hub would expose them to what’s around here every day.
- Support from the community/groups
- At the moment there is very little collaboration between social groups in South Florida, which is very much a reflection of how individuals in South Florida self-segregate into their respective cliques. But to succeed, these groups will need to rally together for the good of the whole.
- Support from the media
- We need to get coverage for these companies
So are these things possible in South Florida? I sure hope so. I’m very interested in making this happen. Much of this stems from my idea of turning Coconut Grove into a tech hub, which I wrote about a few months ago. I still consider the Grove the best location for this type of endeavor to come together.
How can you help? Tweet about this, comment, share this with friends, colleagues, etc. Let’s use the power of social media to get the ball rolling on an idea like this. This is more than an individual part of the city; this is about a movement. A movement to bring forward thinking, innovating, enterprising people to South Florida. Our future as a city and a region is dependent on fostering the innovation that will fuel the economy locally, regionally, and internationally. There is no compelling reason why we can’t be the innovation capital of Latin America and the South East.
Throughout this week I will be expanding on each of these points, presenting solutions and ideas for each one.