I wrote a guest post on the Miami Herald’s Starting Gate blog about some of the challenges that entrepreneurs not living in Miami face. Thank you to the other Broward and Palm Beach based entrepreneurs that commented on the article. View the original post here.
View from a Road Warrior: Building a tri-county tech community
Tech entrepreneurs scattered throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties face challenges to establish and expand support services outside of the metropolitan Miami locale. I have firsthand experience as an involved participant in the tech community, while living in central Palm Beach County. This post explores the genesis of the tri-county tech support system presently emerging outside of Miami.
There is considerable momentum in the tri-county S FL tech scene, including updates about new accelerators/incubators, constant news about Florida tech companies on this blog, and events such as the recent “Great Debate”. The subject of location percolates at each event and meeting, focusing on the one thing that is theoretically essential to a growing tech community: Is there a central location for South Florida tech?
One Single Hub?
Most discussions identify Miami as the purported central hub; however, the Miami organizations and events are likewise scattered throughout the greater Miami area (Downtown, Midtown, Grove, etc.). The variety of scattered locations throughout Miami-Dade is more diffused than in Palm Beach and Broward. A variety of locations have sprung up in Palm Beach and Broward, such as the FAU Campus area, which houses the Enterprise Development Corporation, and upcoming Caffeine Spaces, proving that we are far from designating a central tech hub in South Florida.
The geographic layout of South Florida simply does not emulate the high concentration of tech companies and services that exist in San Francisco, Boston or Seattle. Tech entrepreneurs and professionals will benefit by a realistic and honest solution that results in successful events and necessary introductions. Stonly Baptiste of IndependenceIT agrees, saying that “Miami has the best shot at being a major tech hub than most of the other areas of South Florida. Those of us in Fort Lauderdale can benefit from that growth and focus our energies in helping a growing community instead of the uphill battle of firing up a Fort Lauderdale tech hub.”