Greater Miami leaders have spent the last decade arguing that the region could become a global technology hub.

When COVID-19 hit, a handful of tech professionals looking to get out of Silicon Valley and other traditional tech hubs began choosing the Magic City as their preferred remote work destination.

Now, many have begun to talk - and in some cases to make - the move permanently. Suddenly, the area's old transformation goal seems much closer to reality.

This new migration is different from the influx of corporations, mainly financial groups, which announced relocation plans earlier this year. Most are now sole proprietorships and venture capitalists who come without ready-made businesses, though all say they plan to create them.

Naturally, these digital nomads “found” the Miami opportunity online, thanks in part to a series of viral social media posts from Miami Mayor Francis Suárez.

Since the beginning of his tenure, Suárez has worked to attract innovative companies. His highest-profile success came in October, when global financial giant Blackstone announced that it would open a technology office here.

But a recent series of tweets from Suarez appears to be propelling the movement into high gear. On December 4, in response to a tweet from Delian Zebulgar, director of the venture capital firm Founders Fund, saying that Silicon Valley should "move" to Miami, Suarez replied, "How can I help?"

Suarez's response went viral, with more than 500 quotes or retweets, 5,700 likes, and millions of views. A separate video tweeted Tuesday by the mayor about Miami featuring Lucy Guo, a technology investor, has already been viewed more than 55,000 times.

And Founders Fund, one of the most influential groups in technology, now says it is relocating many of its executives here.

"People want to be in a place where the government is receptive and supports them," Suarez said in an interview this week. "They want people to feel grateful for what they do in the community and for creating high-paying jobs, and they may not get that in the places where they have traditionally been."

Guo, who describes herself as an itinerant, said she booked a flight to Miami from Los Angeles based mainly on the tweets she was seeing.

"All of a sudden it seemed like all my friends had gone to Miami, so I said, 'I think I'll go too,'" he said. "The mayor was proactively promoting the technology and I appreciated that sentiment."

The recent surge in online activity has brought a company called Pipe Technologies to Miami, which allows businesses to sell access to recurring revenue streams, such as subscriptions. The fast-growing company was highlighted in October by the Wall Street Journal. Based in Los Angeles, Pipe executives credited Suarez with helping decide to relocate its headquarters, though, for now, this simply means a handful of employees will be relocating here.

"It's a huge change that we must welcome, that job creators are welcome," said Pipe founder and co-CEO Harry Hurst.

Shutterstock founder and CEO Jon Oringer, who moved to Miami six weeks ago, said he plans to launch a new group, Pareto Holdings, which will incubate businesses in Miami.


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