In our experience spearheading the eMerge Americas movement in Miami, we've established that the following factors are critical ingredients to ensuring that the tech hub cocktail "tastes good."
•Lower costs: Thanks to cloud servers and Web services that reduce overhead costs and capital requirements, it's less expensive than ever for people to launch a digital company. Also, within the confines of the U.S., Florida has one of the most advantageous tax structures, where entrepreneurs protect a greater percentage of their assets by paying no state income tax.
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Finally, Miami's cost of living is much lower than that of other popular tech meccas. With no state income tax, the city's cost of living is lower than metropolitan areas like Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. A factor that makes it less expensive to start a company here.
•Support for education: We need to spark our youth's curiosity starting at a young age. Furthermore, we need to build the infrastructure to nurture this from grade school through college. In our city, the University of Miami, Florida International University, Miami Dade College, the Miami Dade Public Schools and other educational institutions are invested in providing students and graduates with the necessary tools to foster innovation and entrepreneurship on the local level.
Miami Dade College recently opened the doors to The Idea Center—an innovation hub supported by a prestigious partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Funding for The Idea Center includes an accelerator, co-working space, idea lab, mentorship and training programs, among other elements.