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Founders vcs miami miami tech week

EMerge Americas is an organization that works to connect entrepreneurs, individual investors and venture capital firms, with the mission of turning Miami into the next Silicon Valley.

Just last week after a two-year hiatus, it hosted its marquee event in Miami, a conference named after the organization that nabbedRedditco-FounderAlexis OhanianandAOLco-FounderSteve Caseas speakers.

As part of the announcement, Google said it had invested $100,000 to a Miami-based startup, the first disbursement from a $7 million investment fund for Latino founders that the company formed last year.

“Our partnership will bring the best of Google’s products, programming and expertise to eMerge startups, and will help connect the Latin American and U.S. markets by combining our networks of support,”Sebastian Valverde, managing director of Google’s Miami office, wrote in ablog postwithout providing other details about the endeavor. A representative for Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google’s announcement demonstrates how Big Tech is taking notice of Miami’s rise.

Fueled by CEOs tired of paying high taxes and battling insults from local governments in the Bay Area and New York, Miami has lured droves of tech companies since the start of the pandemic, all helped by Miami MayorFrancis Suarez’scampaigning.

Florida posted 10,522 new tech jobs last year — more than any other state besides Texas,accordingto a report by information-technology trade group CompTIA.

Google’s move also mirrors that of SoftBank, albeit on a much smaller scale. SoftBank has long championed Miami’s tech scene. So far, it hasinvested $300 millioninto Miami-based startups, surpassing the company’s initial goal of paying out $100 million.

But in recent months, SoftBank’s enthusiasm has been called into question following the departure of COOMarcelo Claure, a Miami resident who spearheaded the effort. As of last year, the company was inserious negotiationsto lease 50,000 square feet in Wynwood, but a formal announcement has yet to land.

Julia Echikson can be reached atjechikson@commercialobserver.com.

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