This piece originally appeared on the blog techibis, written by Ibis Arrastia, a leader in Miami’s tech and startup scene.
I have just one word to describe how I feel after the event this evening that discussed the state of Miami Tech: Furious.
Jurnid is all about giving a voice to the people, and they organized a great event, with great speakers, but the overall tone of the entire event was very negative and grim. It was full of all the horror stories and trials that this city has gone through, and pretty much encouraged the audience members to leave town if they want to get anywhere.
They could not be any more narrow sighted. It is like no one on the panel had any vision. And the only reason given to explain why leaving town is a requirement, is because it increases your chances for A, B, and C round funding after you get your seed funding to launch your business.
First of all, having several rounds of investment money is not the only way to run a startup business. Many entrepreneurs have bootstrapped their startup, many moonlighting to build their MVPs while still working full-time. Miami Tech is not 100 percent about the tech investors. Are you even noticing the freaking amazing technology being developed all around us? That is what defines Miami Tech in my eyes. That is what WOWs me and motivates me to create. Brilliant people are all around us building amazing things. And our tech community is growing!
The point was made during this evening that the whole focus on Miami Tech is just hype that was created by con artists trying to convince investors and large technology companies that Miami is more than it really is for their own gain. All those press articles in national papers were just one big song and dance with an effort to mislead and deceive. And that we all must face it, that there is no Miami Tech ecosystem here.
I cannot speak about people’s intentions or whether there has been any wrong doing. All I know is that I saw many articles in the press about Miami’s tech hub. And who cares if it was done for good reasons or bad. The result is that Miami’s Tech community has the nation’s spotlight and people are noticing us and looking at our technology. What a wonderful thing that is! Let’s ride the wave! We all know it is not easy to get the nation’s attention, but we already have it! Let’s use it as a leappad to show them what we got. Let’s showcase ourselves front and center, and let the world see the bright talent, go-getter Caribbean passion to succeed, and the innovative thinkers that we have in our community. And let us get to building something real and amazing, and take this opportunity, while everyone is watching, and make Miami shine, really SHINE!
The people in my city of Miami can build technology, some amazing technology! And with the big boom in accelerators and incubators, organizations like Endeavor, Venture Hive, 500 Startups, Startup Bootcamp, WinLab, Ecotech Visions, Cambridge Innovation Center, and Tech Runway, we have resources to help startups succeed, and make a mark at a national level.
Sure, there are con artists out there, and people trying to make a quick buck without a concern for the entrepreneur or the technology. But with the good there is often the bad. But the bad guys are not going to hold us down. We cannot let them win. Miami Tech needs to stand proud, stand strong, and learn to shield itself from these con artists. We need to help new entrepreneurs know what to avoid and what to watch for, and help each other grow out of the chaos to the next level.
Our reaction to those with bad intentions, those are have tarnished the past and present of Miami Tech, cannot be to retreat, to halt, to give in, and let the tech bubble deflate. I refuse! Fellow Miami Tech members, we need to fight for what we want. We need to work harder to build businesses by self-financing, moonlighting, and find ways to make money with our innovations and technology right away, so we can build companies that live off of their own earnings, instead of be at the mercy of these investors. History is full of people who have done just that, and if we are creative and more entrepreneurial minded as tech innovations, we can build some pretty amazing tech companies here in Miami. Imagine if we got the word out of how to succeed, and successful tech companies started to pop up all throughout South Florida. The nation will then be able to see the true colors of our Miami Tech community, who we really are, and what we can really do.
So I am screaming loud and proud, a call to action, to all the entrepreneurial minded people who are part of the Miami Tech community. I call for all of us to rise. To rise back on our feet, despite any who may have wronged us. We need to show that Miami does have tech, and that that our future as a tech community will not be defined by the few con artists and entrepreneurs without vision for longevity. Our future will instead be defined by TECH! By those amazing things we invent, by the amazing things only the talent we have here in Miami can build. We are a unique community, with lots of talent and potential. And made up of a diverse group of mostly immigrants who know more than anyone else the meaning of the word hustle. Let’s do this, Miami. Let’s make Miami Tech shine by building amazing tech that no one can deny. Are you with me?
Your View is a recurring series of opinion pieces from members of The New Tropic community. To share your ideas, goals, and work about Miami with the community in a Your View piece, please email us at [email protected]