The Miami metro—which spans Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties—is an aspiring hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. While Miami has long been a breeding ground for small businesses, the economic value of these businesses has historically trailed behind that of leading tech hubs like the San Francisco Bay Area, Austin, Seattle, and Boston-Cambridge. But the tide appears to be turning in Miami’s favor.

Ranked as the #1 city in startup activity in the US (Kauffman Index) and a #3 top emerging tech hub (Mashable), Miami has seen a noticeable increase in accelerator programs, startup investment, entrepreneurial support and resources focused on supporting the growth of small businesses.

South Florida Tech Gateway

A map of tech companies, tech creators, academic institutions and employers.

Key Findings

Miami ranks eighth on venture capital investment

Miami attracted $1.3 billion in venture capital investment in 2016, ranking eighth among large metros on this metric. And yet, the metro ranks much lower—31st among large metros—according to the number of companies that received venture capital investment in 2016 (adjusted for population size). This suggests that Miami is dependent on a small group of superstar companies like Magic Leap, which may have skewed its performance.

Miami ranks second according to its average investment per company

On average, Miami’s high-tech companies each earned $14.2 million in venture capital investment in 2016—the second-highest share among large metros. Only San Francisco performed better on this metric, with an average investment of $17.7 million per high-tech company.

Miami ranks highly according to its number of high-tech and knowledge economy businesses

Miami ranks ninth among large metros according to its absolute number of high-tech and high-tech services businesses. The metro also ranks 10th according to its number of high-tech manufacturing businesses and fourth according to its knowledge economy businesses.

Miami lags in terms of its concentration of high-tech businesses

Miami ranks 17th among large metros according to its number of high-tech businesses per 100,000 residents and 40th among large metros according to its concentration of high-tech businesses, which is 8 percent below the national average. The metro’s concentration of high-tech services and manufacturing businesses also falls below the national average.

Small businesses are a key feature of Miami’s high-tech sector

Miami ranks second-to-last (behind Las Vegas) according to the size of its high- tech businesses, which have 11 employees on average. This share is also 44 percent smaller than the U.S. average.

Research and development spending must increase

University research and development spending is vital to the economic performance of leading entrepreneurial regions like Boston-Cambridge, New York, and Seattle. With around $565 million spent on university research and development in 2015, Miami ranks 24th among large metros—far behind superstar metros like New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. This ranking is even lower—43rd among large metros—when adjusted for population size.

Reports + Resources

Key Organizations

CIC Miami

Bottom Line

CIC Miami opened its doors in October 2016. With a vision to bridge the nation’s second largest health district with the rest of Miami’s thriving innovation corridor, we combine coworking, flexible offices, and laboratory spaces layered with robust programming, advising, and community-building initiatives.

What It Offers

  • Coworking
  • Flexible offices
  • Laboratory spaces
  • Robust programming
  • Advising
  • Community-building initiatives

 

StartUp Miami

Bottom Line

Startup.Miami is your guide to getting involved and established in Miami’s entrepreneurial community. From workspaces to events to jobs, this site is a central resource for all things startup in Miami.

What It Offers

  • A-Z list of Miami startups.
  • Jobs, meetups, events.
  • List of coworking spaces.
  • List of Investors.
  • List of coding academies.
  • Resources Google Map with contact info.
The Venture City

Bottom Line

TheVentureCIty is a new venture and growth acceleration model that helps diverse founders achieve global impact. To be considered for either their 36-month incubator or 18-month accelerator program, startups must demonstrate at least a six-month track record and solid numbers on growth and engagement metrics that show strides they’re making to merit collaboration.

What It Offers

  • 36-month incubator or 18-month accelerator programd
  • $100 Million Fund focused on late-Seed to Series A, and opportunistically invest in Series B+d.
  • Extended free co-working in Miami and Madridd.
  • Corporate VC servicesd.
  • Digital and Strategic Consultancyd.
  • Board Advisory servicesd.
  • Data implementation strategies advisingd.
  • Legal and internationalization advisory.

Additional Investors

Babson´s WIN Lab

Bottom Line

The Babson College Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® is a 5 month program designed specifically for female founders to accelerate their entrepreneurial paths. 

What It Offers

The acceleration program kicks off in September and consists of five months of programming. Each cohort meets once a week for three hours in the evening. Once each month, the Lab will meet for a full day where you will walk through your business strategy with a group of mastermind experts and get feedback to move the business forward,

Additional Accelerators

Knight Foundation

Bottom Line

Since 2012, the Knight Foundation has invested more than $30 million in nurturing an entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting innovators, attracting investments and growing the city’s talent base.

What It Offers

Funding for projects aimed at building deeper connections between local startup founders, investors and high-potential talent, while opening avenues for new talent and investors to participate in Miami’s growing innovation community.

Wyncode

Bottom Line

A Miami coding bootcamp with accelerated training in web development, UX/UI and digital marketing. 

What It Offers

  • Full Stack web development.
  • Front end web development.
  • UX/UI Immersive.
  • Digital marketing.
  • Corporate training.

Additional Coding Academies

Refresh Miami

Bottom Line

Refresh Miami is a community of hackers, early adopters, entrepreneurs and change artists in South Florida. Their mission is to educate, inspire, connect and grow South Florida’s tech and startup ecosystem through events, workshops, communication channels and special perks for members. 

What It Offers

Niche events and workshops

  • Jobs boards.
  • Miami Tech news.
  • Access to VIP content and events through a membership program.

Additional Media and Gatherings

Venture Café Miami

Bottom Line

Venture Café Miami hosts the largest weekly event for innovators in Miami, every Thursday at the Cambridge Innovation Center Miami (CIC); and it’s free! They We collaborate with other stakeholders to curate free programming and activations to foster the social and economic growth of the region.

What It Offers

  • Super-sized #ThursdayGatherings powered by enterprise or institutional sponsors, marked by curated programs and fun activations representative of a selected theme or industry vertical and lead-up digital and onsite engagement.
  • Connecting South Florida college students with startup companies for internships that cultivate professional development, build connections, and create opportunities.
  • Their guest “bartender” program hosts area investors behind our #ThursdayGathering bar and entertains fast pitches as they serve.

Additional Events