Additional Findings

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Culture
Principles and People that create the foundation of our ecosystem.
Strategy
Priorities and Partnerships that drive us towards our groals.
Assets
Pipelines and Platforms that we can leverage for inclusive growth.

Culture

People

We’re not effectively supporting women entrepreneurs and Black leaders.

In nearly all categories and subcategories measured, women entrepreneurs rate the ecosystem lower than their male counterparts, and Black ESO and BSO leaders rate the ecosystem lower than their white and Hispanic peers.

People

South Florida’s networks networks lack diversity and are hard to access without the right connections.

Dense relationship networks remain inaccessible, especially to underrepresented founders. What's more, general community sentiment perceives a lack of diversity in local networks.

People

Diversity is our greatest asset, but not everyone is represented.

South Florida is one of the most diverse communities, but this isn’t always reflected by who is being represented as industry leaders or within the talent pipeline. Over half of scorecard respondents experienced a lack of representation and voicelessness of their perspectives.

People

What about our current ecosystem?

While we want to embrace the influx of newcomers to the South Florida community, we must be intentional about how we build the ecosystem. Primarily, stakeholders asked the question: What are we doing for the current ecosystem? Older generations and those that have lived in the community longer rate the ecosystem lower.

Principles

Racial equity, diversity, and inclusion are immediate and pressing priorities.

Individuals and organizations alike expressed that diversity, equity, and inclusion are current priorities. However, many are experiencing challenges in building (or rebuilding) processes and structures to be more inclusive.

Principles

We are not another Silicon Valley.

South Florida's tech and innovation ecosystem has a unique value proposition. Stakeholders call for a cohesive identity and greater intentionality in how we build the ecosystem going forward, particularly in terms of meeting the needs of existing players and newcomers.

Principles

We want to craft a unique ecosystem identity that reflects the diversity of the community.

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Principles

We aspire to have a culture of trust that will happen through transparency

A perceived lack of trust is an obstacle to deeper impact made through partnerships and collaboration. Part of this was attributed to a lack of transparency among stakeholders

Strategy

Priorities

We don’t have accessible public metrics; but we want them.

In nearly all categories and subcategories measured, women entrepreneurs rate the ecosystem lower than their male counterparts, and Black ESO and BSO leaders rate the ecosystem lower than their white and Hispanic peers.

Priorities

We need methods for evaluating REDI in organizations.

Dense relationship networks remain inaccessible, especially to underrepresented founders. What's more, general community sentiment perceives a lack of diversity in local networks.

Partnerships

Our ecosystem is increasingly hard to navigate due to competing efforts.

South Florida is one of the most diverse communities, but this isn’t always reflected by who is being represented as industry leaders or within the talent pipeline. Over half of scorecard respondents experienced a lack of representation and voicelessness of their perspectives.

Partnerships

We need to work towards collective impact. 

While we want to embrace the influx of newcomers to the South Florida community, we must be intentional about how we build the ecosystem. Primarily, stakeholders asked the question: What are we doing for the current ecosystem? Older generations and those that have lived in the community longer rate the ecosystem lower.

Partnerships

Geographically, the Tri-County area should work together towards common goals.

Individuals and organizations alike expressed that diversity, equity, and inclusion are current priorities. However, many are experiencing challenges in building (or rebuilding) processes and structures to be more inclusive.

Partnerships

We have to bridge the gap between the corporate sector and startups and entrepreneurs.

South Florida's tech and innovation ecosystem has a unique value proposition. Stakeholders call for a cohesive identity and greater intentionality in how we build the ecosystem going forward, particularly in terms of meeting the needs of existing players and newcomers.

Assets

Pipelines

We have placement gap in connecting diverse, skilled tech talent with worthwhile companies.

Our ecosystem boasts a large, ethnically diverse tech talent pool, which is growing rapidly due to relocation trends. However, diverse talent express difficulty accessing the connections and job placement opportunities. Conversely, companies express challenges in locating and recruiting diverse tech talent.

Pipelines

Entrepreneurs have access to a variety of low-cost programs.

Our ecosystem has a dearth of free or low-cost programs available to support entrepreneurs at various stages and levels of business growth. Programs were consistently rated highly among all demographic groups.

Pipelines

We need to better prepare our youth for the future job market.

Doing so includes closing the digital divide and incorporating programs in K-12 education around design thinking, entrepreneurial mindset, and increase opportunities to learn hard skills like coding.

Pipelines

The pipeline itself needs to be more diverse.

Ensuring individuals in the pipeline reflect the diversity in the community, in part, requires companies to source talent beyond the university system. This includes placing talent coming from certificate programs, bootcamps, junior colleges, and trade schools.

Pipelines

Organizations are struggling to retain great talent.

Beyond attracting great talent, organizations state difficulty retaining talented individuals, largely due to financial constraints and undefined pathways for professional growth. 

Platforms

We don’t have enough accessible capital.

Our ecosystem rated access to capital and funding in the bottom tier of available assets. It's no surprise that increasing available funding was ranked as the No. 1 priority. Notably, stakeholders emphasized the need for capital acquisition opportunities specifically focused on underrepresented founders (women, BIPOC).

Platforms

We specifically would like to increase available pre-seed and growth capital funds.

While there is consensus that capital more generally needs to be more accessible, some stakeholders particularly called out a lack of pre-seed, or friends-and-family round, and growth capital as barriers for underrepresented founders (particularly BIPOC founders).

Platforms

We need more action-oriented government support for tech and entrepreneurship.

On both a local and regional level, stakeholders highlighted a disconnect between municipal leadership priorities and the needs of the tech, innovation and entrepreneurial community. Respondents consistently ranked the availability and quality of policy and government supports in the bottom 3 of all 8 measurement subcategories. Notably, Black ecosystem leaders and black female entrepreneurs rated performance in this category the lowest compared to all other groups.

Platforms

We need development to be more intentional & equitable.

Resources and opportunities are unevenly distributed among neighborhoods, and among cities within the South Florida region. Additionally, as South Florida rebrands itself as a tech hub, those in other industries, like Main Street or hospitality founders, receive fewer supports.

Platforms

We have to decentralize entrepreneur support.

A perceived lack of trust is an obstacle to deeper impact made through partnerships and collaboration. Part of this was attributed to a lack of transparency among stakeholders

Platforms

We need an ecosystem level roadmap.

There’s a need to have a "one-stop-shop" centralized directory that identifies the major players and resources across the tri-county area, and vets them accordingly, so entrepreneurs and other stakeholders know who to trust.

Platforms

We need more central spaces for entrepreneurs to learn and do business.

COVID changed the landscape of physical space. We have the opportunity to innovate and update current physical spaces for entrepreneurs in a variety of industries and gatherings.

Platforms

We need better quality of life infrastructure.

While South Florida is an attractive region for companies to move to currently, stakeholders question the region’s ability to retain them, citing a need for better quality of life infrastructure. This includes affordable housing, quality K-12 education, better transportation, and greenspace to name a few.