Miami's tech scene is having a moment as Silicon Valley power players descend on the city. But not everyone loves the changes they bring.

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Miami's tech scene is having a moment as Silicon Valley power players descend on the city. But not everyone loves the changes they bring.
Jack Abraham, Atomic VCGustavo Fernandez via Atomic
  • The first viral Miami moment happened in December when Mayor Francis Suarez tweeted "How can I help?"
  • Since then, top Silicon Valley investors and tech founders have moved to South Florida.
  • But some of the old guard of Miami tech are not so happy with the recent arrivals.

On December 4, 2020, during the darkest days of the pandemic, Silicon Valley discovered Miami.

That's when Silicon Valley VC Delian Asparouhov tweeted, only partially in jest, "ok guys hear me out, what if we move silicon valley to miami?" and Mayor Francis Suarez tweeted in answer "How can I help?"

Their tweets went viral and since then tech founders and VCs including Asparouhov, an investor at Founders Fund, have flocked to South Florida, bringing their skills, network, and wealth along with them.

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Atomic's Jack Abraham was one of the first to arrive, months before the "How can I help?" tweet. He extended a seven-day vacation with friends into a month and a half last June, staying in various Airbnbs in different neighborhoods to get a sense of the city. Then, the inevitable happened: he moved there. "I just fell in love with the city," he told Insider in an exclusive interview from Atomic's new Miami office.

Abraham called a few friends and recruited the famous investor Keith Rabois to join him in the Sunshine State.

And interest in the growing tech scene in Miami has not slowed since.

Here's a rundown of the must-know happenings in Miami new tech community, including exclusive interviews with the key players involved, as well as deep dives on the recent spat between Silicon Valley tech transplants and the city's old guard.

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New stealth startups based in Miami

Miami's tech scene is having a moment as Silicon Valley power players descend on the city. But not everyone loves the changes they bring.
Keith RaboisKeith Rabois

The two California-to-Florida transplants, Abraham and Rabois, have joined forces to launch a new startup, too. OpenStore is a company that will "provide instant liquidity to long-tail Shopify merchants," Rabois told Insider in an exclusive interview. And more stealth startups are underway as VC money pours in.

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Miami's Mayor rolls out red carpet for tech newcomers

Miami's tech scene is having a moment as Silicon Valley power players descend on the city. But not everyone loves the changes they bring.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 ConventionJoe Raedle/Getty Images

Silicon Valley transplants have declared Miami a new hot spot of innovation, but the city's existing tech scene has issues with their "savior complex," as one of them described it to Insider.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez finds himself in the middle of a spat between the old guard and the newcomers, acting as the city's peacemaker. "I get concerned sometimes because I want my Miami OGs to be a little more patient, and I want the new guys to be more embracing," the mayor tells Insider.

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