Miami Heat: The Startup Surge


By: Giuseppe Salamone, founder of VaroTeam, a cloud-based accounting company headquartered at Miami Beach.

The startup world in Miami is experiencing a transformative moment as numerous Silicon Valley startups reconsider where they want to be based. Both Miami and Austin are the new hotspots, and in Miami alone, Crunchbase reports that the tech scene raised close to $1 billion in venture funding last year.

One notable startup that has set up shop in Florida is Fintech Pipe, which left their Los Angeles and San Francisco offices for the Sunshine State. The founders say they’ve received hundreds of messages from other business owners asking how they can do the same.

And Miami isn’t shying away from the opportunity. When Varda Space co-founder Delian Asparouhov’s tweet asked “what if we move Silicon Valley to Miami?” Mayor Francis Suarez typified the city’s optimistic approach, replying simply: “How can I help?”

Why Miami?

Miami has all of the conditions to thrive as a startup hub. It has a favorable business environment, with no state taxes being a natural eye-catcher for company owners. It’s also slightly less expensive than living in San Francisco or New York.

The city’s academic strength is another major plus point for companies. A spread of top tier universities, like University of Miami and Florida International University, is ready to provide fresh talent to growing startups.

There is also real strength in more traditional business spheres. Miami has been dubbed ‘Wall Street South’, with finance firms, like hedge funds already recognizing the advantages of moving to Florida, and abandoning New York. Who can blame them? Miami is after all, the only large US city in a tropical climate.

Accountants at the Ready

Many service providers here in Miami have been riding the startup wave, by catering to the startup community. Outsourcing tasks like accounting to a reliable partner can be of great value to startups who are often operating on lean resources and personnel. Companies can get themselves on a strong footing by searching out expertise. Just by accessing a company’s internal data, experts can lay out a framework of all the company’s financial systems, which can provide a solid foundation for growth.

The accounting industry is developing rapidly. The traditional services – bookkeeping, accounting, CFO and tax services – are essential, at least in some part, to almost any company. But now, new services are increasingly available on a project basis. Startups can benefit from one-offs like coaching for presentations, planning, creating and fine-tuning pitch-decks, and can even hire professionals to deliver a pitch or presentation.

Of course, the very nature of the startup world means many founders are starting out on extremely lean resources. It’s almost a right of passage to work out of a makeshift office in your apartment, with a modest pile of empty pizza boxes for decoration. Those who choose Miami as their homebase, are sure to find something for every budget for services like accounting.

Miami’s future is bright, and deservedly so. With a solid base of traditional finance that has already migrated south, and a large wave of startups well on its way, everything is in place for the city’s economy to thrive. Service providers who already call Miami their home are here to stand at the center of the economic boom, helping their clients grow to reach new heights.

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