Miami city leaders work to draw tech businesses from Silicon Valley, other cities


MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — Over the last several months — some tech companies have been leaving Silicon Valley in California.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is trying to attract some of those businesses to Miami.

In early December, he tweeted “how can I help” in response to a tweet about the topic.

Since then, his tweets have gained traction trying to attract tech companies.

“Just my tweet alone where I tweeted out to someone how can I help to make Miami more like Silicon Valley, it got 3 million impressions,” Mayor Suarez said.

Suarez is trying to use the moment as a way to lure companies he says are fed up with California’s high taxes and unfriendly business climate.

“At the end of the day people will go where they find it easy to do business. Where it is inexpensive. And where they feel wanted,” Suarez said.

Several tech companies and entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley have started the process of moving to Miami.

Entrepreneurs like Lucy Guo.

Guo was named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for co-founding, an artificial intelligence company.

She was also the first female product designer at Snapchat.

And now, she is leaving Silicon Valley and taking her new business, Backend Capital, to the Sunshine State.

“San Francisco isn’t the best city in the world. I can describe it like… once I was chased by a guy who was saying he wanted to rape me so I had to hide in a Petco. I had my laptop stolen from me at Starbucks and chased a guy and caught him. There are needles on the ground, etc. I had a guy grab my hair and attack me. Really not the best place to be city-wise,” Guo said.

Guo said after COVID-19 hit, she realized she did not have to stay in San Francisco. She said Miami had a reputation of being open for business and welcoming.

“I think there are a lot of regulations that make it much harder to start a company (in California). There is something being passed with office space that makes it more expensive for smaller offices. And in Miami, the mayor is literally rolling out the red carpet. I never imagined a mayor would be welcoming me,” Guo said.

And it is not just Miami trying to attract business.

Other states are welcoming tech companies, too.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to leave California for Texas.

And Hewlett-Packard also has plans to relocate to Houston.

“What we are trying to do is create a favorable environment for companies to succeed and let them know we want them here,” Miami Mayor Suarez said.

As part of his push to get tech companies to Miami, the mayor said he will appoint a chief technology officer in 2021.

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