When asked what comes to mind when thinking about Miami and Florida in general, most people will conjure up images of pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, warm weather, and unparalleled entertainment. However, ask the same question to entrepreneurs and tech experts and you probably get a different answer: a thriving tech hub.
Over the past years, Miami and the wider state of Florida have emerged as one of the hottest new tech hubs in the United States, particularly for startups. With a robust entrepreneurship ecosystem, a diverse talent pool, numerous tax incentives, and some of the world’s biggest tech events, the region is attracting entrepreneurs from all over the world.
A 2022 report by CompTIA and CyberStates found that Florida had become one of the biggest tech hubs in the United States, competing with states like Texas and California. The report found that Florida ranked 4th for net tech employment, 1st for businesses established during the previous year, and 2nd for net tech employment jobs added.
With an estimated economic impact of $70 billion, it is not surprising the state is looking for new ways to keep the momentum. It all started with a simple tweet by Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez in 2020. His text would ignite the beginning. In Florida there is no personal income tax and available tax incentives for businesses. The state has a favorable geographic location, diverse state-sponsored funding opportunities, and great infrastructure. These are only some of the ways in which the government has transformed Florida into every entrepreneur’s dream.
That being said, Florida’s emergence as one of the biggest tech hubs has also been the result of efforts by private citizens. The state has a growing community of entrepreneurs, investors, and organizations who are actively working to foster the growth of the tech industry. By providing funding, mentorship, networking, and other resources, they have all helped build the pillar to sustain such a big entrepreneurial ecosystem.
A clear example of these efforts is TrepHub, a non-profit organization founded back in 2012 by Ahmed Reza and Brandon Schmitt in Melbourne, Florida. With over 1,000 active members, 300 events hosted, and a success rate of 80%, the organization aims to help entrepreneurs thrive. TrepHub does this by offering co-working and community event space, while also offering mentorship opportunities. TrepHub also connects aspiring entrepreneurs with investors.
“TrepHub has been quite successful in helping startups grow and thrive. Since its founding in 2012, TrepHub has helped bootstrap and launch over 30 startups, and the organization continues to support early-stage entrepreneurs in the Space Coast area of Florida. Many of the startups that TrepHub has worked with have gone on to achieve notable success, including raising significant funding and achieving impressive growth,” says Mr. Reza.
As a seasoned entrepreneur himself, his current entrepreneurial endeavor is Yobi. Using the wonders of AI, Yobi is revolutionizing how business owners and managers communicate with their customers. Ahmed is well aware of the challenges entrepreneurs face when it comes to getting their businesses off the ground. He would eventually become an organizer for the event, hosting the first Startup Weekend on the Space Coast in 2014. Since then, he has made it his mission to mentor and help other entrepreneurs succeed, as well as to attract national and international talent, investors, and founders to Melbourne and Florida.
“TrepHub’s Florida success can be linked to a number of factors, including a supportive ecosystem, open source and non-profit values, a collaborative environment, and an emphasis on assisting startups in building scalable and sustainable enterprises. As TrepHub continues to support early-stage entrepreneurs in the region, it is likely to remain a key player in the startup ecosystem of the Space Coast and beyond,” adds Ahmed.
Florida is quickly becoming Silicon Valley of the east, but with better weather and a better business tax structure!