Days after Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was quoted in the Washington Post saying his city would never become a tech hub, a small-business group released a report that says entrepreneurs are attracted to the Miami area.
Endeavor Miami, which built the report, provides mentorship opportunities, advice and connections for small business owners. The company found that about a third of all entrepreneurs at scale-up firms have moved here from somewhere else. Additionally, customers and suppliers are readily available in the South Florida area.
However, once businesses start up, they run into a wall. The report says the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Miami runs into problems with limited access to talent and funding, as well as a lack of mentorship opportunities.
Brett Hudson, the Business Development Director of The LAB Miami, says Endeavor's report is the first step in tackling these problems.
"This is just a start," Hudson says. "This report brings visualization to the challenges... and you first need to be able to see them in order to actually address them."
Earlier this year, the Knight Foundation invested $2 million to bring a chapter of Endeavor to Miami. Matt Haggman, Miami program director for the Knight Foundation, says Miami's is the first Endeavor chapter in the U.S. The report is part of their "City Hubs for Entrepreneurship Series."
"Endeavor is about identifying those high-potential [small businesses] and helping those entrepreneurs scale and become the catalyst for the broader community," Haggman says.
Both Hudson and Haggman say that Miami has all of the tools to solve the problems Endeavor identified. Brian Breslin, a local entrepreneur, runs the group Refresh Miami. He says Miami just needs help putting all of the components together.
"Miami has the hustle and it has the drive it needs to be a truly excellent entrepreneurial city," Breslin says. "Now we just need to find the missing pieces and connect them all."
Read the entire Endeavor Miami report here.