South Florida, competing with places like California and New York, has emerged as a force in the tech and business industries, putting it near the top for the tech hub title.
There are many factors contributing to the wave of organizations in the tech and business industries moving to south Florida. These include state regulations, no state income tax and the cost of living being less expensive when compared to New York and California.
“California has high state income tax, and we don’t have none here in Florida,” said Mark Volchek, founding partner, Las Olas Ventures. “And in California, you cannot step sideways without breaking a regulation, which is an impediment. You are always running concern of breaking some sort of regulation.”
Volchek spoke during a keynote panel discussion moderated by Rich Tehrani, CEO, group editor-in-chief, TMC, at ITEXPO 2022.
Nikki Cabus, CEO at Tech Hub South Florida, said another factor contributing to the enabled growth is the quality of life.
“We basically live and work on an island. There are vacation beaches here,” said Cabus. “People from New York come here, and they are bringing a lot of business owners and investors, making Palm Beach County the Wall Street of the south.”
South Florida does have its challenges with this enabled growth when it comes to bringing in talent. South Florida, with its many universities, does not have that computer science intellectual center that California has.
“What we need in South Florida is a university with computer science in the top 10 of its degrees, said Tahl Milburn, investor and partner, Seedfunders. “We don’t have that here, and it is important to have that intellectual center.”
Cabus took it a step further and brought up the lack of tech exposure at all universities. She questioned whether if people are out of work because of tech or people just do not have the right skills.
“Universities need to step up,” said Cabus. “Boot camps are exposing people to tech, but universities are falling behind on this. Because of this, there will be an issue with talent.”
Despite these challenges, South Florida will continue to see organizations in the tech and business industry move into the area. Milburn reiterated that Florida has done good work attracting all kinds of businesses, and he hopes they will continue to do the smart things that enabled the population growth in these industries.
Edited by Erik Linask