An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem on the Rise


How does an entrepreneurial ecosystem survive and thrive?

In Miami, the key is an entrepreneurial culture, strong supportive networks, and an attractive location.

This is according to the latest special report from the U.S. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor ecosystem project led by Babson College and eMerge Americas. Built from research conducted before the coronavirus outbreak, the report, An Ecosystem on the Rise: Entrepreneurship in Miami, reinforces where founders in the city should focus their efforts.

“Networks and entrepreneurial culture are two of the 10 categories considered critical in a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem. Both categories are ranked by several of Miami’s most influential players as strong pillars in the South Florida ecosystem today, and the community should take advantage of them to navigate this current crisis and emerge even stronger,” said Gustavo Trindade MBA’17, director of Babson College Miami.

While strong in culture, networks, and location, Miami’s ecosystem still has room for improvement. The report details two areas of growth and opportunity: entrepreneurial finance, which ranks low relative to other categories; and retention—the region often loses highly qualified young people.

“Although a lot has changed since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have outlined four key recommendations to further improve the Miami entrepreneurial ecosystem that we believe will remain relevant post-COVID: (i) to continue developing the entrepreneurial finance community in the region, addressing any gaps in access to capital for underserved groups such as women and young people; (ii) to find more ways to retain highly educated young people; (iii) to promote impactful and inclusive entrepreneurship; and (iv) to encourage government to work with the private sector in supporting entrepreneurship,” said Donna Kelley, professor of entrepreneurship.

Keeping the Miami Ecosystem Thriving

“As a community, we’re now facing a new set of challenges to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Melissa Medina, president of eMerge Americas. “We are proud to partner with Babson College to highlight the underlying strengths and exceptional talent within Miami’s diverse tech ecosystem that are critical to our economy.”

Panelists in a “Focus on Miami” session at the GEM annual meeting. From L to R: Gustavo Trindade MBA’17, Director of Babson College Miami; Melissa Medina, President, eMerge Americas; Mayor Francis X. Suarez; Raul Moas, Director, Knight Foundation; Aaron Hirschhorn, Founder / CEO at Gallant.

In a session at the GEM annual meeting in Miami this winter, several of the city’s leaders—including Medina and Mayor Francis Suarez—discussed ways to help the ecosystem thrive. The event was held before the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have to make sure we implement policies and procedures as a city that make opening and running a business easy and possible,” said Suarez during the session.

Support from government organizations, corporations, and universities like Babson, Medina says, has helped the city’s ecosystem grow. “The foundation is built, thanks to the support that we’ve had from the community, and the sky is the limit for South Florida. We are creating a new ecosystem and launch pad for ideas.”

Posted in Insights

More from Insights »