Base Miami • Dec 2
5 REASONS WHY MIAMI IS THE BEST CITY FOR LATIN AMERICAN STARTUPS
Miami is currently the best place for Latin American startups. Not only because of its rapidly growing startup scene and its deep connection to the Latin American community, but it’s also experiencing an investment boom without precedents. According to Biz2Credit’s annual ranking of 2019, it’s the #1 city for small businesses to grow.
The knee-jerk reaction for most entrepreneurs for many years was “Silicon Valley,” and with good reason. However, as we have explored previously, there are a number of increasing factors that are not making this not as straightforward decision as it once was.
What Miami can give to your business shines above the rest. It offers a plethora of business-friendly incentives, such as low taxes, affordable talent, cheaper cost of living and a vast entrepreneurial ecosystem for your startup to grow and expand into a robust organization.
Why should you build your startup in Miami?
Throughout the years, Miami has been known for being an idyllic beach destination, but that image is ever changing. Miami is slowly consolidating itself as a fantastic place for entrepreneurs to invest. In fact, the Knight Foundation has invested more than $30 million in spaces, accelerators, and events as big as eMerge Americas; all of this since it marked the city as the center of their entrepreneur program back in 2012.
The land that was once ruled by realtors, lawyers, and doctors is now experiencing an immense amount of investments and is currently the #1 city in startup activity in the US (Kauffman Index) and the #3 top emerging tech hub (Mashable).
If you’re a Latin American entrepreneur on the search for the ideal place to build your business, then look no further. Here are five reasons that make Miami the perfect city for Latin American companies and startups:
1. It’s the Gateway to Latin America
Miami has strong connections to the Latin American community. This connection is so powerful that Miami has become the media capital of Spanish language broadcasting in the US, but not only that. Thanks to its geographical location, it serves as a Gateway for importers and exporters of all Latin America, which works as an amazing opportunity for commerce and business.
2. Free Trade Zones and Opportunity Z
Taxes can be a heavy financial burden in some places and can slow or even cripple your ability to grow and expand. Luckily, Miami has several Free Trade Zones (FTZs), which are areas under US Customs supervision. Companies that operate and move merchandise in an FTZ are not subject to US duty and excise tax. Through its Opportunity Zones, Florida also offers incentives awards to businesses located in urban core/inner city areas that affect the community’s economic viability.
3. Inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem
Miami is one of the cities in the US that are looking to transform their economies away from their traditional industries. Just in 2016, Miami attracted $1.3 billion in venture capital.
“Miami is a city that is being planned, considering entrepreneurs. Many resources and networks of people are being focused on making the entrepreneurial ecosystem inclusive to all. We want entrepreneurs to know that these resources are available for them,” - Michelle Abbs, Director of Win LAB Miami Babson College.
Most people in Miami came from somewhere else, so there’s a sense of belonging, and recognition for the recent arrivals and the support that’s required. They say it takes a village, Miami is a committed community to create success stories, and this is something entrepreneurs can benefit from.
4. Top-quality workforce
The efforts of academic institutions, the rise of professional training, and the attraction of companies and startups in the area are allowing the talent in South Florida to grow to new levels. For example, Wyncode, a renowned coding academy based in Miami, graduates individuals with highly placed skills in startups and high growth companies.
5. Strong financial institutions
Financing is essential in a startup. Luckily, Miami has plenty of reliable banks and institutions that can offer many opportunities for several types of industries.
Manuel Chinea, COO of Popular Bank, said that “small business customers in the Miami area are leveraging their growth opportunities by investing in expansion, talent and operational needs.” Proper financing will allow any company to reach and discover new opportunities.
J J Desai, COO of Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS, said that Miami is the “perfect setup to harness and have access to a global economy that naturally wants to be here. There are folks from San Francisco, Boston, Europe, and South America that are moving here because they see the spark of what is going on”.
There’s no doubt that the city will play a critical role in the future of business by embracing hungry and determined entrepreneurs who want to drive their companies to new levels.
Read the Brazilian Portuguese version here.