12 / City Hubs for Entrepreneurship Series: Miami, Florida
DIAGNOSTIC ASSESSMENT: MIAMI’S WEAKNESSES Endeavor Insight identified four major challenges within Miami’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. These weaknesses affect the second and fourth steps of the entrepreneurship ecosystem growth cycle. Each finding is based on interviews and surveys of stakeholders in Miami’s entrepreneurship community, and each has been confirmed in discussion groups with entrepreneurs, leading investors, and representatives from major local entrepreneurship organizations. A selection of quotations from stakeholder interviews and discussion groups is also presented to provide additional context.
Figure 7: Weaknesses within the Components of Miami’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. Growth Cycle Steps & Sub-Components (Areas with weaknesses highlighted in orange.): 1
New entrepreneurs seek to build scalable companies in the local area
Entrepreneurs are able to grow their companies and reach scale
Successful entrepreneurs stay in the local area and remain engaged in the ecosystem
Successful entrepreneurs reinvest in the next generation
Local quality of life
Local quality of life
Inspiration & ambition to grow
Access to markets
Inspiration & ambition to reinvest
Angel & VC investing
Access to talent
Role model promotion
Access to finance
Other (e.g., serial entrepreneurship)
Source: Endeavor Insight analysis.
Access to Talent: Human Capital Is a Major Challenge for Local Firms. Access to talent is critical for entrepreneurs seeking to grow their companies, but Miami-based entrepreneurs leading companies in the scaleup phase rated talent as the least available resource within the local ecosystem. Several entrepreneurs interviewed for this project had relocated a significant portion of their workforce outside of Miami because they could not recruit adequate local talent. The most difficult positions to fill varied by industry, but middlemanagement executives and software engineers were mentioned consistently. Though local universities produce a large number of engineers and graduate-level management students, university representatives reported that most of these graduates are focused on corporate recruiting programs and do not have exposure to opportunities at younger entrepreneurial companies.
Only 36% of entrepreneurs at scaleup companies agreed that talented employees were available in Miami.
“Most graduates think they have to work in big companies and don’t think of entrepreneurs.” –Entrepreneur
“We based our operations center outside South Florida because the talent we need isn’t here.” –Entrepreneur