LatAm vs Miami: A startup ecosystem comparison
One of the purposes of this trip I’m on to Latin America was to learn from the communities down South and figure out how we can apply these lessons to the community in Miami. To say this trip has been eye-opening is the understatement of the century. The people I have met, and the companies I have seen in Mexico and Brazil have blown my mind.
The common everyday obstacles that startups in LatAm face make our “issues” seem inconsequential or trivial by comparison. The fact that entrepreneurs are starting companies in Mexico, Brazil, and other countries throughout the area despite the fact that everything costs more than it costs us, that they have government regulations through the wazoo, makes me envious. They may not have the resources we have from even an infrastructure or safety standpoint, yet they persevere, they push forward, and they chase the supposed American Dream harder than many of the entrepreneurs I’ve met in Miami. In Miami we don’t have to deal with traffic so bad it takes you 2 hours to go 5 miles, or paying 52% tax on electronics (including servers and SaaS), unstable electricity, spotty broadband, and countless other hurdles that make life harder. There is an inherent attitude of hustle in these communities throughout Latin America; if you have a problem, you figure out a solution.
Miami is spoiled by regional standards. Miami should be a beacon of light for companies targeting the Latin American markets and building companies throughout the Americas. We have easier access to capital, better employment laws (at will employment is a godsend to our companies, seriously), lower costs of living and operating (not even kidding, just look at Sao Paulo). So what is our excuse as a community for not building more impressive scalable companies that we can use as examples of the knowledge and skills available in Miami.
Take this as a call to action South Floridians! It is on you to stop expecting things to be handed to you and to rise up and build scalable businesses that can expose Miami as a leader in startups throughout the region.
Follow my videos and other blogging over at RefreshMiami.com