The Hottest Tech Hub in the Country Gets a Grade on Equity
The Hottest Tech Hub in the Country Gets a Grade on Equity: A REDI Scorecard Case Study of South Florida
REDI Scorecard results released after of year-long assessment measuring racial equity, diversity and inclusion in the South Florida tech and innovation ecosystem
aīre ventures, a Miami based social impact venture studio, released key findings from the REDI Scorecard, a comprehensive assessment measuring racial equity, diversity, and inclusion within the South Florida tech and innovation ecosystem.
“Cities that aim to attract new talent, startups, and equity based investors to accelerate economic growth within their local tech ecosystems need to develop a shared vision and strategic plan for how do so equitably and inclusively,” explains aīre ventures President, Leigh-Ann Buchanan, “the REDI Scorecard is a tool that can be replicated in other markets.”
Key findings from the Miami region revealed:
- Women entrepreneurs and Black ecosystem leaders lack effective support
- Placement gaps exist in connecting diverse, skilled tech talent with worthwhile companies
- An increase in accessible capital is needed, particularly for underrepresented founders
- Stakeholders desire more action-oriented government support for tech and entrepreneurship
- Networks lack diversity and remain difficult to access without the right connections
While the findings offer a constructive benchmark for action, the data also demonstrated:
- Access to capital and funding are a top priority for all stakeholders
- Racial disparities exist among entrepreneurial experiences in the ecosystem
- Entrepreneurs do have access to a variety of low-cost programs
- There remains a high degree of trust in ecosystem leaders and players to make good decisions
aīre ventures leveraged insights from its work to support 55,000 innovators over the last 6 years in Miami to develop the unique evaluation framework. A coalition of more than 80 partner organizations contributed to the 1 year data collection effort. The REDI Scorecard resulted in 1400+ data points gathered from more than 1600 participants across Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
Drawing on the qualitative and quantitative data collected, the REDI Scorecard findings help municipal and community leaders identify gaps in access to resources and opportunities as well as potential priorities for building a more inclusive tech and innovation ecosystem.
Typical assessments of tech hubs are top down, not bottom up.
“What makes the REDI Scorecard different is that it explicitly focuses on equity and collects sentiment data.” Buchanan explains further, “we intentionally combined a variety of measurement practices and approaches to ensure that the most marginalized experiences and perspectives had a platform for meaningful input in the future of #miamitech”
The REDI Scorecard results coincide with the national spotlight on #MiamiTech, fueled by a migration wave of new residents, investors, and startups to South Florida, especially Miami, from tech and venture capital hubs like Silicon Valley and New York.
This assessment also comes after a flurry of tech companies released statements in 2020 reaffirming their commitments to racial equity and announcing DEI initiatives, but still struggle with meaningful execution.