We're not effectively supporting women entrepreneurs and Black ecosystem 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.
South Florida's networks lack diversity and are difficult 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.
Racial equity, diversity, and inclusion are immediate and pressing priorities
Individual 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.
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 both existing players and newcomers.
We don’t have accessible public metrics, but we want them
Both leaders and community members call for tools to objectively measure the tech and innovation ecosystem growth and hold ourselves accountable, particularly around equity and opportunity. We currently lack a centralized dashboard or integrated public metrics, but we need them.
Our ecosystem is increasingly hard to navigate due to competing efforts
We have exceeded the critical mass of organizations focused on supporting entrepreneurs and tech stakeholders; it's creating duplicate and triplicate efforts. Absent a more collaborative and streamlined approach, community members find it difficult to navigate resources and locate the best fit opportunities.
We have a 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.
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.
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).
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.