- Presently, Miami, Florida is the number one city in the country for tech job growth. Miami is also number one for tech job migration.
- Crypto is driving people and companies alike to Miami. Bitcoin’s 2022 conference was even held in Miami.
- With the average price per square foot in Silicon Valley topping a thousand dollars, Miami’s rate of just over $450 makes it an attractive base to conduct tech business from.
Since the rise of the titular chemical element in the mid-to-late 1950s, the southern San Francisco Bay Area has been colloquially referred to as Silicon Valley. Playing a vital role in modern electronics as we know them, silicon — and, by extension, Silicon Valley — became even more significant with the invention of the Internet and the increasing popularity of venture capital investors. This perfect storm of factors eventually came together at the start of the Internet Age in the early 1990s, taking Silicon Valley to new heights and firmly establishing it as the hub for the latest technological innovations. Countless tech companies and the bulk of the startup scene are rooted in this one particular geographical location. But with the growth being seen in Miami, Florida, it might not be that way for much longer. Let’s talk about why that is.
What’s Wrong with Silicon Valley?
The past couple of years has seen major changes to the startup scene. The latest figures from census data estimate nearly 50,000 people have moved from Silicon Valley since April 2020 alone. Many experts believe this is primarily due to the fact that tech companies are desperate for a new Silicon Valley. Whether it be the startup scene’s unwillingness to tolerate the ever-rising cost of living in the area or simply due to investors’ desire to always be chasing the next big thing — which would include the discovery of a new Silicon Valley if such a place exists — the San Francisco Bay Area is no longer the be-all-end-all for tech companies in the startup scene.
But where to if not California? Well … take Miami, Florida for example. The so-called Miami boom has tech companies and investors alike scrambling for the area in hopes that it really might be the new Silicon Valley. With that being said, what is it about Miami, Florida that triumphs over the many reasons to leave Silicon Valley? Let’s go over some of the biggest reasons behind the Miami boom below.
Presently, Miami, Florida is the number one city in the country for tech job growth. That’s always a good sign, especially considering the kind of rapidly decreasing numbers coming out of California’s tech industry. Naturally, this growth is one of the most enormous factors driving the Miami boom. With so many companies shrinking or outright leaving Silicon Valley, it’s worth paying attention to the one place where things are moving in the complete opposite direction. It just goes to show that the iconic notion of “if you build it, they will come” applies to more than just baseball diamonds.
Going hand-in-hand with job growth is job migration. It’s not enough that tech companies already in Miami have grown as of late. There’s also been a great number of companies outright moving to the area, as well. That’s right: Miami is also number one for tech job migration. The more tech jobs appear in Miami, the more tech companies will flock there to take advantage of said growth. This will drive even more tech companies to the area, which will drive more people to the area, and the cycle repeats while the numbers increase. (Not to mention the investors who will follow everyone else’s lead.)
Another huge draw to the Miami area is the money to be found there. It’s not just about paychecks, either; Miami is currently the number one city in the southeastern United States for venture capital. Remember what we said about investors always being in pursuit of the next big thing? That means that, with the kind of growth being seen in Miami, top investors are practically clamoring to get to the so-called new Silicon Valley to get in on the ground floor of the latest and greatest tech companies in the area.
4. Work-From-Home Models
While it might not be the first thing someone thinks of when they think of Miami’s growth, it just so happens that an increased number of work-from-home models have driven lots of people to the area. Interestingly enough, that means that, even if your employer is still based in Silicon Valley proper, you can still soak up the Miami sun and enjoy the widespread growth by working from home. This is a particularly interesting growth factor because it presents a best-of-both-worlds situation: Your company can stay in the old Silicon Valley while you test out the waters in the new Silicon Valley.
Don’t be fooled by the dipping crypto numbers; Crypto is still driving people and companies alike to the area. As a matter of fact, crypto is one of the biggest drivers of them all. Bitcoin’s 2022 conference was even held in Miami, of all places. Mayor Francis Suarez is largely to thank for this crypto draw, going on record as saying he’s interested in paying city employees with crypto, permitting residents to use crypto to pay taxes, and has even toyed with investing some of the city’s funds into Bitcoin. There’s no doubt this potential new Silicon Valley is just as crypto-friendly as the traditional one.
2. Cost of Living
You’d think that Florida’s climate wouldn’t be that different than California’s, but in fact, the two are pretty distinctly different. (For those keeping scores, Florida’s climate comes out on top by a country mile.) South Florida’s climate is nowhere near as susceptible to the kind of smog or wildfires that California is known for, and the weather is all-around nicer in Miami as opposed to the often gloomy and brisk San Francisco Bay Area.
Above all else, this factor has to be the biggest reason of all to move Silicon Valley from California to Florida: the cost of living. With the average price per square foot in Silicon Valley topping a thousand dollars, Miami’s rate of just over $450 is practically a steal. And that’s just housing costs. That doesn’t even account for the cost of things like gas, groceries, and entertainment (all of which are cheaper in Miami than in Silicon Valley, as well).
Whether we can thank the sun and sand, the average cost of living, the volume of venture capital, or some other factor, one thing is certain: Miami is making a name for itself in the tech industry. And with Silicon Valley’s relatively recent mass exodus, it leaves us wondering, Is Miami the technology scene’s next “It City?”
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