The Miami Movement is real – just look at the news of the past six months

I am writing a mid-year 2021 look-back column for a report I’m authoring, and because the pace of news has been a blur, I have been iPhone scrolling the Refresh Miami headlines from present back to Jan. 1. I figured I’d list some of them as a reminder of all that has been accomplished.

The Miami Movement IS real, and our metro area is on the way to becoming one of the country’s top tech hubs. There are too many fund-raisings (106 in 1H) to list – but here were a few, and they are a mix of the new Miami and the OGs: Pipe (the first half’s top deal at $250M), Lula, Memic,  Papa, NUE Health, Lumu, QuickNode, SmartHop, ShipMonk, Ironhack, Introhive, Heru, Asteya, OpenStore and more. Suffice it to say, more than $900 million was invested in Q2, and the new Miami Movement, accelerated by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s efforts, played a big part in that.

We’ve also seen HQ relocations or significant expansions including by Founders Fund, Atomic, SoftBank, Blackstone Group, Pipe, Introhive, SeedInvest, GreenLight, Novo, Pareto Holdings, Red 6, Loupe, 305 Ventures, Ceros, Nirvana, Frank, Teal HQ, Upstream, Fortu, Flexbase, SwagUp, EightSleep, – plus many more. Our new-to-Miami investors are showing up in investment rounds – Founders Fund and Khosla Ventures led Lula’s recent $18 million Series A, for example.

But as you are scrolling backward on Refresh Miami from now back to Jan. 1, you’ll notice that even beyond the fund-raisings, relocation announcements, spotlights and investor Q&As, there were also headlines marking interesting developments to watch as well as some significant milestones for our South Florida ecosystem, including some exits. They may get lost among the funding news, so here are some of those Refresh headlines in 2021, starting with the most recent:

  • Ford, Argo to bring self-driving Lyfts to Miami by year’s end
  • Another $5B SoftBank bet on LatAm may be in the making
  • NSU is opening up a major innovation center, with a focus on space-tech
  • Syn Ventures launches $165M fund to invest in cybersecurity
  • SoftBank teams up with FIU, UM and Miami Dade College to upskill future startup operators
  • The Miami Angels are having a record year, with more members, more investments
  • Papa moves into its HQ in the center of Miami – take a peek
  • A growing list of Cryto-related headlines included moves by FTX, eToro,, Borderless Capital, BlockTower Capital and others, plus coverage of the Bitcoin 2021 Conference.
  • Jon Oringer and Edward Landy launch Pareto Fellowship
  • General Catalyst launches civic tech vertical in Miami
  • Globant to add 150 tech jobs in Miami
  • It’s Miami Tech Week and you’re invited!
  • On Deck opens Miami hub with new president and COO at the helm
  • Ryan Cohen to be GameStop chairman
  • Ana Paula Gonzalez to head SoftBank’s Miami Initiative
  • Honoring Aaron Hirschhorn, an incredible entrepreneur and member of #MiamiTech
  • Founders Fund and SoftBank make big bets on Miami Tech
  • Lab Ventures to launch PropTech rolling fund
  • World’s largest Bitcoin conference coming to Wynwood in June
  • ‘This is Kairos 3.0’: Brian Brackeen returns to company to continue work on AI bias
  • 100,000 students and their families will get free internet and training, thanks to Miami Connected partnership
  • SpeedETab, a homegrown startup serving the restaurant industry, acquired by Wix
  • MDLive, South Florida’s telehealth unicorn, to be acquired by Cigna
  • SoftBank aims to upskill talent, offers a data science program for underrepresented communities
  • To grow Miami tech talent, Knight invests $15.3 million in FIU, UM, Baptist
  • Cyxtera to merge with Starboard SPAC in a $3.4 billion deal
  • A $650M exit for Nearpod, a homegrown edtech success story
  • Where the jobs are: a closer look at Blackstone’s Miami hiring plans
  • Melissa Krinzman will be Miami’s new VC-in-Residence
  • AppGate, a Cyxtera spinoff, will soon be a public company and valued at $1B
  • BOOM! SoftBank makes $100M commitment to invest in Miami startups
  • Plug and Play on the way to downtown Miami,
  • BrainStation is buying Wyncode – and the Mikkolas will stay on
  • Knight Foundation funds founder mental health initiative and 3 more entrepreneurship organizations
  • 10 Black-led startups chosen for EndeavorLab accelerator
  • Orthosensor and its knee surgery sensor technology acquired by Stryker

Just before the year started, Dec.19, Auston Bunsen contributed a Refresh Miami guest post titled “The rocket is on the launchpad: 2021 will be #MiamiTech’s breakout year.”  How prescient was he?

Now back to regularly scheduled programming… And, of course, thank you for reading and supporting Refresh.

READ MORE: The Miami Movement fuels Q2 venture capital – and we’ve got the top deals

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter. Reach her by email at [email protected]

Nancy Dahlberg