Re-imagining Cities: Miami -- The City of Sun, Fun and … TECH?
As the ever known ‘gateway to Latin America,’ Miami is a city that is on the cusp of transformation. Many may associate the city and South Florida with art deco architecture, sunny beaches, and tourism: However, a talk with regional and global leaders such as Juan Carlos Bermudez, Mayor of the City of Doral; Francis Suarez, Mayor of the City of Miami; and Peter Rahbaek Juel, Mayor of Odense, Denmark at the eMerge Americas conference certainly signaled otherwise for the future of Miami.
Of all the current changes taking place in Miami, one of the most underrated may be the region’s progression as a technology hub. Mayor Bermudez stated that technology in the future would be a major propeller for economic growth by enabling the city to combat crime and improve transportation.
The City of Odense in Denmark serves as a great example of how technology can be used to improve the quality of life for its residents while also enabling a community to serve as a primary European hub for automation companies, suppliers, education and research facilities, investment capital and government organizations. Mayor Rahbaek Juel discussed shifting the mentality from a fear of technology to seeing technology as a means of serving people.
Miami is steadily following in Odense’s footsteps. In 2017, startup companies received nearly $1.3 billion in venture capital funding, ranking Miami 8th on the list of U.S. cities in the category of VC investment activity, right amongst giant players such Seattle and Chicago. What's more, according to newly compiled Census data published by the non-profit Computing Technology Industry Association, Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties are now home to 8,167 technology businesses.
Evidently, Miami is in the midst of a transformation, where innovation is converging with a city teeming with diversity. The future seems nothing short of optimistic for the city of sun, fun and tech.
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