Silicon Valley is heading to Miami and Austin, Texas seeking cheaper expenses and to avoid costly local laws drives business relocations.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has been fielding numerous inquiries from top executives in the tech world who reached out in recent weeks — from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. He has also reportedly met with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the chairman of Palantir, Peter Thiel, among others.
What is he offering that Silicon Valley cannot? The mayor is trying to convince them that Miami promises a more business-friendly environment.
“There’s no secret sauce other than my Twitter account,” Suarez said while shaving and preparing for another day of messages from inquiring tech executives. “There is absolutely no doubt that a big part of the reason why they are moving is that they feel that there is an inhospitable environment for regulation and taxation.”
On Tuesday, Miami will try to respond to these Silicon Valley businesses by naming its first chief technology officer. Suarez said the new CTO will “provide concierge services” like streamlining bureaucratic procedures for high-tech firms when they come to Miami.
“There is an attitude that has been expressed by some leaders that says, ‘We don’t want you and we don’t need you,’” Suarez said, alluding to how business owners say they feel they are being treated in Silicon Valley. “It’s the opposite of the ‘How can I help?’ attitude, ‘How can I grow this ecosystem?'”
While Silicon Valley is by no means ceasing to be the center of the technology industry, there is an undeniable migration afoot for some of Silicon Valley’s elite to cities like Miami: Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian moved from San Francisco in 2017. A year later, Shervin Pishevar, a venture capitalist, bought a house in Miami Beach in 2018. In late 2020, Jonathan Oringer, who founded Shutterstock and became an investor, moved to Miami, as did other notable venture capitalists, including Keith Rabois and David Blumberg.
It’s not just Miami experiencing this migration. Last month, Oracle, the tech giant, announced it is moving its corporate headquarters from Redwood City, California, to Austin, Texas. Other such moves include Palantir, which decamped for Denver, while Musk said last month he had moved himself to Austin. Hewlett Packard Enterprise also announced last month it was moving its headquarters from San Jose, California, in favor of a Houston suburb.