-- Steve Luis, School of Computing and Information Sciences, Florida International University
People like me are looking for any excuse to move to Miami. We need to inform and pull startups from both directions, North and South... Startups from the US, Canada, and Europe, as well as startups from Latin America. We can do it!
-- Brian Brackeen, Kairos founder
We need to come together as a community and make a concerted effort to identify and promote Miami’s Centers of Excellence and enhance those with the latest technology. We also need to provide access and acceleration to the eco-systems that are created around these Centers to early startup and emerging growth companies in order to insure their success. The public sector must follow Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s lead in promoting major initiatives that have the potential to position Miami as a true technology corridor on the global level. At the same time we need to expand the enterprise technology ecosystem enabling legacy and new entrants a prominent position in our community.
-- Xavier Gonzalez, Technology Foundation of the Americas
To expand and deepen its technology community, Miami and South Florida must focus on its natural advantage as the most diverse aggregation of Latin and Caribbean populations in the world. Technologies which enhance the ability of businesses to reach the emerging middle classes in the Latin American countries, across the existing political, cultural and language borders, will be increasingly valuable. With its incredibly diverse local demographic, Miami can be the living laboratory for developing and applying these technologies. An existing vertical where Miami can build on its strong technology base and its current global position is in the Latin media and entertainment market.
-- Jonathan Cole, partner-in-charge of Miami, West Palm Edwards Wildman offices; New World Angels
Getting all our cities and towns across the region educated on what the essential elements are to be a startup city and to have a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem. Set up a simple, uniform evaluation and let our cities and towns respond so they can see where their gaps are and then create a plan on how to close the gaps. This collective data can then inform South Florida’s development of a regional roadmap of tech strengths and build on those.
-- Irene Revales, Startup Delray founder
Our experience with Endeavor is that Miami will need 3-4 big wins or entrepreneurial success stories in the next 24-36 months – and they be could clear successes in the making, not exits. These wins will provide sustainability if they originate in the ecosystem cultivated currently by the Knight Foundation, The LAB Miami, Venture Hive, Endeavor Miami and others. Sustainability by definition requires many symbiotic connections (think mentors and capital) that produce success, not one-off companies having no connection to the emerging system.
-- Peter Kellner, Endeavor co-founder, Endeavor Miami board
I think some strong startup success stories are needed to catch the attention of VC money and make them see that setting up offices in Miami is not only beneficial, but will give them an edge on LatAm investments. The first VC office that actually does this will not only make a big difference to growing the startup hub here, but will have a big influence and shape how the community grows... I am very optimistic that we can start to make this a viable and competitive tech hub, but we need to stop using the terms, the next Silicon Valley or Silicon Beach. We are our own startup hub and we need to start showing everyone else our advantanges and strengths.