Start-up City: Miami – The Entrepreneurial Economy

On February 13, 2013 The Atlantic launched Start-Up City: Miami, gathering leading entrepreneurs and tech experts from London, New York, California, Kansas City, and more at the New World Center in Miami for a day of discussions about different aspects of the city’s innovation ecosystem.

In partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and in association with the Creative Class Group, the inaugural program will explore the emerging models of “urban tech” taking root in cities around the world.


Matt Haggman, Program Director, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, giving opening remarks on building Miami’s startup community and cultivating innovation.  The unique voices today will help our city know where we are and help us pave our future for tomorrow.

Matt Haggman

Manny Diaz, Former Miami, City of Miami, touches on the fact that cities must function as an incubator for start-ups and cities must invest in the prosper and growth of those pushes innovation and change.  Miami is emerging as a global city… many cities can make these claims… a city must constantly reinvent itself and invest into the future.

Manny Diaz

Richard Florida, Senior Editor, The Atlantic, shares that Miami has made the investment in arts and culture, becoming a laboratory for creativity and now its time for that next step. Richard touches on Miami’s economic growth.

Richard Florida

Tony Hsieh, Chief Executive Officer, Zappos, starts out by asking the audience how many of us have purchased anything from Zappos.

Tony Hsieh

Culture is everything to Tony and he is moving Zappos into the former Las Vegas City Hall.  The number one request by employees was to create a doggy day care.

Zappos Doggy Day Care

Tony is talking about the Downtown Project Goals in Las Vegas that he started.  He’s talking about how co-working spaces are a great way to foster growth in cities for start-ups.

Tony starts to speak about the recipes for success in growing a city.  When cities double in size, productivity and innovation per resident increase by 15%.

3 ingredients for a start-up city serendipity:

  • Residential density of 100 residents/acre
  • Street-level activity for residents to collide
  • Culture of openness, collaboration, creativity and optimism

Steps on How to accelerate learning & innovation in a city:

  • Maximize serendipitous interactions
  • Density in the office
  • Density in the city
  • Social collisions vs. convenience

The 3 keys to overall success is collisions, community and co-learning.  50% of all humans live in cities and that’s going to increase to 75%.  Growing a city to Tony is like the 4-minute mile, everyone thought it was impossible, until someone wrote a book on it and now others have been able to run a 4 minute mile.

BOALT is located in a co-working space in Miami called Pipeline Brickell.  Philippe Houdard, in attendance at Start-up City Miami, is the co-founder of the Miami co-working space, Pipeline.  He has played an integral part of cultivating start-up growth and innovation in Miami.

Philippe Houdard

Special thanks The Atlantic and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for making this event possible.

Content Credit: AltlanticLive.
Disclosure: BOALT is a sponsor.

Adam Boalt
About the Author Adam Boalt

Serial Entrepreneur and Emerging Technologies Evangelist. Interactive Strategy, User Experience, Search Marketing, Search Optimization and Social Media enthusiast.
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