THE TECH ZONE
5 things to know about the Miami Tech Scene
As I engage the annual eMerge Americas, I begin to consider the tech scene that Miami seems to be
building one little brick at a time. As the co-founder and chief creative officer of a tech media organization
(with web tv shows and digital content, social media and other tech elements) I have found five obvious
elements that prove Miami has a tech scene.
1. Miami really does have a tech scene. and its growing. That's something to know because
when we think of Miami we think of South Beach, Brickell Avenue and the nightlife along with the parties,
but we don't think of a tech scene. That's usually something we think about when we consider the Silicon
Valley, Seattle, or Austin to name a few.
2. Miami has a growing list of technology advocates. Of course we consider ourselves
technology advocates or we wouldn't be producing this show and blogs and all that stuff. The Tech Zone
is only a media outlet that includes what Miami is doing in tech. But there are lots of organizations and
individuals doing things to develop, deepen, and expand Miami's technology impact, and thus integral
parts of Miami’s tech scene. They are innovators, entrepreneurs, organizations that are not for profit, and
institutions including colleges and universities. We figure people like us are here to broadcast and
promote all these elements and hopefully help in the building of synergy.
3. Miami's tech scene is quite diverse. Many of our technology aficionados are from Latin America
and the Caribbean. In fact the Latin American influence covers every aspect of Manulife but the texting
goes far beyond that. In the black community there are advocates and trendsetters who are at the cutting
edge of developing and deepening a technology scene. These individuals have worked hard with the
support of organizations locally and nationally to get out of the box and provide an inclusive environment
that welcomes minorities and people of color into the tech scene. It's still a work in progress.
4. Miami’s tech scene is still in the infant stage. Until large amounts of investment dollars come
into the technology companies that build their businesses in Miami, the growth of the Miami tech scene
will be slow and hopefully steady. The Silicon Valley and Seattle are mature tech cities that grow with
innovation and start-up capital. What we have learned about those cities is that when a few breakout
companies hit it big and turn around and invest in other local firms, over and over, that’s when synergy
begins to occur. Amazon, Google and Yahoo have proven this to be true – they are responsible for so
many other firms that have evolve. I don't believe that Miami will ever be the Silicon Valley but it certainly
has its own unique flavor style diversity and opportunities with its geography to gain its own unique
In order for this technology
community to make its mark on the world, those at the leading edge of it which include the Knight
Foundation, eMerge Americas, and other institutions of higher learning investors, and people who helped
incubate businesses are going to have to be patient and aggressive at the same time. That has to be a
level of competition of course, but there also has to be a higher level of collaboration and a strong sense
of marketing and promotions to not only attract talent but to build businesses and services.
By Tony C. Lesesne