Sponsor Insight

Rebranding Florida For the Future

Miami Photo Credit: Cool Waves Charter

When at the end of 2020 an engineer from San Francisco suggested on Twitter that they should move their activity from Silicon Valley to Miami, its mayor, Francis Suarez replied "how can I help?" Ever since, Suarez has been on a mission to rebrand Miami with tax incentives and the promise of a higher quality of life among other things. In his recent reelection Mayor Suarez said: "My priorities are going to be what they've been since I started, they're going to be affordable housing, making sure we're the most climate resilient city on the planet, making sure we have a diverse economy with high paying jobs and making sure everyone in our city occupies one of those jobs.

Doers and dreamers are staking their fortunes and futures on the Sunshine State. Tech investors, cryptocurrency bulls, new-media tycoons, start-up founders and even health providers and research centers have seen an opportunity to take advantage of Florida's repositioning as the state of the future for successful business and quality living.

The six largest industries in Florida are tourism, financial services, life sciences, Aerospace and aviation, international trade and agriculture according to Investopedia. The financial services industry alone employs 900,000 Floridians.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has played a significant role in accelerating the Sunshine State's status of a rapidly growing destination that has been on the rise for years. Roughly 950 people have been moving to Florida every day as people in northern states fled congested cities for what they predicted to be short-term stays due to the Corona Virus shutdown but later turned into permanent moves.

Florida is preparing for a time of unprecedented change. By 2030, it will be home to 26 million residents and one of the most diverse populations in the world. Technology and innovation are disrupting every industry and community. As a market for goods, services, talent and ideas, Florida can take advantage of these trends and become the leading U.S. state in the 21st century.

To achieve that vision Florida has a plan that will address the challenges and opportunities for future growth with bold targets, thoughtful strategies, and a commitment to action. From small businesses to big corporations, many companies are setting an example on how to overcome the challenges the pandemic has brought about and take action to secure future business in a more digital oriented world.

Joy Gendusa, founder and CEO of Postcard Mania, a marketing firm in Clearwater, Florida has put her energy into moving her traditional postcard mailing business towards the digital future, helping the small business owner adapt to the ever-changing world of marketing. With 25 years of cutting-edge printing behind them, and their new digital focus on a steep upward trajectory, PostcardMania is well positioned for the future as Florida's number-one AdTech force and Gendusa is anticipating the future, "I am going to be listening so I can help small businesses with what they need now, and what they're going to need for the next ten years."

The rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic will continue into the
recovery. As of June 2021, employees from different sectors have started to go back to their
desks in a hybrid format and the technological expansion brought about by the pandemic has resulted in a 15% increase in demand for Information Technology (IT) solutions and services. System Soft Technologies, a provider of IT project solutions and consulting services in Tampa, has been able to meet this demand thanks to a visionary insight that already had them working on these solutions as early as 2019. The company is focused on helping businesses accelerate innovation through the digital strategies driving today's businesses to grow. Sreedhar Veeramachaneni, CEO of System Soft Technologies has a clear insight on what the main driver for digital transformation has been and why digital solutions products are key, "Today's businesses are rapidly realizing they must ensure a fluid and straightforward customer experience that makes it easy for their target audiences to procure their products or services."

The world is changing and we need to consider that the world as we knew it may be gone
forever. Most experts now expect the COVID-19 virus to become endemic such as those that
cause the common cold and the seasonal flu that appear year after year.

The healthcare industry has had to adopt new technologies to continue to develop their products and to also aid pharmaceutical companies in their mission to treat COVID-19. Key industry changes have affected regulatory compliance, potentially altering the future of clinical trials, and revolutionizing business and patient engagement models.

Dr. Michael Zinner, CEO and Executive Medical Director at Miami Cancer Institute said: "Probably the most remarkable thing that happened was our ability to do virtual visits, the number of virtual visits before COVID was miniscule. Then in the middle of last year I would say it was the predominant way we communicated with patients that did not need a hands-on or touch kind of visit to their doctors. In some areas that went as high as 60% of the visits."

Technology has a vital role in tackling Cancer beyond the response to COVID. Dr. Michael Zinner is clear that the Miami Cancer Institute is "looking to push technology and innovation as far as we can for the treatment of our patients."

Much work lies ahead and there is no way of knowing what will happen in the future, but the
current business ecosystem of investors, established companies, startups and healthcare
institutions along with the quality life and real estate opportunities are making moving to
Florida a no-brainer.