THE BLOG
03/20/2014 02:22 pm ET | Updated May 20, 2014

Miami, the Start-Up City

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Photo Credit: Moris Moreno for The New York Times

With its beaches, temperate climate and highly diverse population (third most diverse in the U.S., behind only California and Nevada), its central location to Latin America, Florida has many advantages in this regard and Miami is ripe with multiculturalism and diversity. But Miami is now at a tipping point. For several years, city leaders and foundations have made significant investments in the arts in Miami. From large grants to cultural institutions and also seeding emerging artists, the investments have gone a long way in making Miami a center of arts and culture. And recently, Miami just celebrated 11 years of Art Basel which gathers international art enthusiasts and garners global media attention.

After a decade in which Miami has rapidly grown and urbanized (e.g., some 23,000 new condos in downtown, which are now more than 90 percent occupied) and distinguished itself as an international center of creativity; in order to compete on a global scale the city and region now need to take the next leap: to foster a culture of technology, entrepreneurship, ideas and innovation.

Miami needs to invest in developing its talent, keeping its talent and attracting new talent. It needs to be a place to spur new inventions, discoveries and ideas. And it is in that spirt in which we launched, Start-Up City: Miami in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Atlantic Cities and the Creative Class Group.

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Photo credit: Kristoffer Tripplaar

The second annual Start-Up City taking place at the New World Symphony on Monday, March 31st will gather leading entrepreneurs, innovators, creative speakers and minds to debate and dialogue on the topic of the urban tech revolution. The day long event will feature a series of conversations on the integral components of a successful start-up, with a specific focus on Miami's recent entrepreneurial growth. Keynote speakers will discuss the ideas and strategies that helped launch their businesses to national success. Panels held throughout the day will explore how stakeholders can retain talent, scale new businesses, and leverage ties with Latin America in order to harness Miami's potential for enhanced start-up success.

Start-Up City: Miami will bring together some of the most exciting leaders in the start-up space. Matt Haggman, Miami Program Director for Knight Foundation, adds, "The second iteration of Start-Up City: Miami will build on the momentum that our city has seen over the last year with new ideas and entrepreneurs emerging, along with a host of channels to unite and connect this community. As we enter this next stage in Miami's growth it's important to leverage the thoughts and voices of local, national and global entrepreneurs that have seen success and can contribute to ours."

My husband, urban studies expert Richard Florida, co-founder and editor at large of The Atlantic Cities and senior editor of The Atlantic, will lead the day's discussions. Steve Clemons, Editor-in-Chief of AtlanticLIVE and Washington editor-at-large of The Atlantic, and Alexis Madrigal, senior editor for The Atlantic's technology channel, will also serve as event moderators.

"This year's Start-Up City: Miami builds off of the success of The Atlantic's inaugural event last February, which brought Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and AOL's Steve Case to the New World stage. We are thrilled to once again partner with Knight Foundation to bring together the most dynamic national and local voices in the start-up community," said Emily Akhtarzandi, Managing Director of AtlanticLIVE.

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Matt Haggman, Miami Program Director for Knight Foundation, adds:

"The second iteration of Start-Up City: Miami will build on the momentum that our city has seen over the last year with new ideas and entrepreneurs emerging, along with a host of channels to unite and connect this community. As we enter this next stage in Miami's growth it's important to leverage the thoughts and voices of local, national and global entrepreneurs that have seen success and can contribute to ours."

Tickets to Start-Up City: Miami can be purchased here.

The conversation can also be followed online via @Atlantic_LIVE, @AtlanticCities, and @KnightFDN, and by using the hashtag #StartUpMiami.
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Rana Florida is the author of the best-selling book Upgrade, Taking Your Work and Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary.
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