Recently there has been a lot of press about the startup community in South Florida and Miami in particular. There was the editorial in the Miami Herald "Miami's Silicon Beach", Brad Feld speaking at Rokk, the One Community One Goal report and the Miami Herald-FIU Business Plan Competition to mention a few. All of this activity is good to foster interest in startups here in Miami. There is, however, one problem.
In an article, "America's Leading Metros for Venture Capital", the following chart prepared by Zara Matheson of MPI shows the amounts of venture capital invested by city. Miami does not rank in the top twenty U.S. metropolitan areas. Provo, Utah, Phoenix and Pittsburgh have more venture money invested than Miami.
If Miami wants to create a vibrant community for startups we need to attract professional venture capital firms to Miami. When Israel started its high tech community the government created a pool of funds and then turned the management over to foreign private venture firms. Perhaps the government and the private sector in South Florida need to pool their capital and invite 2-3 venture firms to manage the money for local investment in startups. The venture firms selected should specialize in seed and Series A investments. Early stage investing is very local where firms invest typically within 1-2 hours drive. We do not need later stage firms because more mature companies can attract funding from anywhere.
The other thing that would help is if each local college and university had an incubator, including funding, to invest in student and faculty startups. Universities are a key part of almost every successful startup community. The students and resources of local universities need to be part of any master plan for Miami's startup community.
The entire collection of my posts on venture capital are here.
These are my personal views and do not reflect the opinions of any client, organization or university with whom I am affiliated.