MIAMI (AP) — Famed for its beaches, cruises and cafecitos, South Florida is now angling to become one of the next U.S. tech hot spots by leveraging its role as the gateway to Latin America and luring northern entrepreneurs with cheap living costs and lots of sun.
The region in and around Miami has long pinned its financial fortunes on real estate and banking, but a combination of factors — the recent recession that shook those economic drivers coupled with an increase in cloud computing, the rapid growth of mobile devices in Latin America, and the area’s vast health care industry — now have civic leaders and local entrepreneurs making a push to diversify into the tech industry.
“We’re not trying to replicate what other tech hubs are doing. We want to complement them,” said Daniel LaFuente, a 26-year-old Miami native who co-founded the new, open workspace and tech training center Lab Miami. “Miami is a place that provides its own benefits: lower costs of living, no income taxes, the proximity to Latin America and the beach.”
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