April is Tech Month in Miami
April is the inaugural Miami Tech Month, with dozens of conferences and events on the calendar. The eMerge Americas tech conference, launched by tech pioneer Manny Medina in 2014, is returning to the Miami Beach Convention Center April 18-19 after a two-year COVID-related hiatus.
Up to 35,000 Bitcoin enthusiasts are expected to gather April 6-9 for the 2022 Bitcoin Conference, also at the convention center. And there is a three-day NFT conference, a Capstone Summit put on by Founders Fund, a Venture Miami Hiring Fair, a React developers’ conference, pitch competitions, happy hours and more.
Community leaders organized Miami Tech Month as hundreds of startup founders and venture capitalists have moved to the Miami area over the last year, many lured by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s campaign to bring more tech to Miami. More information is available at MiamiTechMonth.com.
- Betterfly, an insurancetechnology startup founded in Chile, rewards consumers for healthy habits, such as workouts, meditation sessions or getting in 10,000 steps daily. Now a “unicorn” in tech parlance because of its billion-dollar valuation, Betterfly is making Miami its global hub. Miami is the new U.S. headquarters for Grover, which enables users to rent tech products by the month. The Berlin-based company, which has raised $1.7 billion, plans to hire more than 100 for its Brickell City Tower headquarters. It is the third German tech company in as many months to choose the Miami area for significant expansion.
- Coral Gables-based education-technology company ThriveDX (formerly HackerU), closed a significant round of funding from Prytek, a global technology and investment corporation, bringing Prytek’s total investment to more than $100 million. ThriveDX provides digital skills training.
- Miami-based financial technology startup Milo plans to offer what it says is the first U.S. crypto 30-year mortgage. Expetitle, a Miami-based tech startup that facilitates 100% online real estate closings, was acquired by Real Brokerage in a multimillion-dollar deal. Getlabs, a startup that offers at-home health care diagnostic services, is relocating from Los Angeles to Miami.
- Chicago-based Fifield Cos. broke ground on Avida Aventura, an eight-story apartment complex with 260 units near the Aventura Mall. A Brightline passenger rail station nearby is expected to be completed by year’s end. Mast Capital broke ground on the second phase of theWaterline Miami River multifamily development, with 342 apartments planned on a 2.7-acre site with 400 feet of Miami River frontage.
- Developers behind the One Thousand Museum condo in Miami purchased less than an acre in the Edgewater neighborhood for $29.08 million in three deals for their next project: A 58-story bayfront condominium tower.
- Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens is partnering with Slip-N-Slide Records CEO Ted Lucas to launch a Cyber Innovation Hub that helps students at the historically black university land high-paying technology jobs or start their own companies in cryptocurrency, cyber-security and renewable energy, among other tech fields.
- Miami International Airport handled 2.7 million tons of cargo in 2021, shattering its previous record of 2.3 million tons in 2020.
- Ryder System, the Miami-based transportation and supply chain company, acquired Whiplash, a California e-commerce fulfillment company, from Port Logistics Group for $480-million. Whiplash became a subsidiary of Ryder.
- Starwood Capital Group’s 300 corporate employees have begun moving into the investment firm’s new headquarters in Miami Beach. The company had been based nearby since 2016. Starwood Capital Group, with $100 billion in assets under management, has about 4,000 people in 16 offices worldwide.
- Miami-based Eaglebrook Advisors, an SEC-registered investment adviser focused on the crypto market, announced the close of $20 million in investor funding.
- Tesla plans to open a dealership and service center in Miami Gardens; it already operates a facility in Coral Gables.
Driving Up Office Rents
Aviation leasing company AerCap will open its U.S. headquarters at Miami’s 830 Brickell, a new 55-story class A-plus office tower set for completion this year in the Brickell Financial District. AerCap, which will occupy 20,000 square feet on the 50th floor, joins CI Financial, Microsoft and Thoma Bravo at 830 Brickell. While the brokers and ownership will not confirm the terms of the AerCap deal, asking rents at 830 Brickell are at or above $100 a square foot — a high-water mark for the city, putting Miami on par with New York City when it comes to demand for premium class A office space.