Why Miami? An interview with ScaleUp Program Graduate Maria Esther Martinez

Kieran Kesner for Endeavor.

As Miami continues to grow as an entrepreneurial hotspot, we feel it’s important to recognize the factors that make Miami such a unique magnet for growth. In 2020, a report by Endeavor Insight and the Knight Foundation identified Miami as a top-performing city with a local concentration of BEST businesses being 2.9 times greater than what is found in the rest of the United States. 

Outside of business, Miami is a thriving cultural hub that welcomes all with open arms. The city offers beautiful beaches, parks, and museums; and its tropical weather lets everyone take advantage of these benefits year-round.  

We connected with several Endeavor Entrepreneurs, mentors and program participants to get their opinion on “Why Miami?”. 

Our third interview is with our ScaleUp Program cohort one graduate Maria Esther Martinez, Founder and CEO of Aerosens.

Maria Esther Martinez Aerosens CEO

First things first, what’s your favorite thing about Miami?
Weather (except hurricanes) and location (proximity to North and South America).

What unique advantages does Miami have for businesses?
As I said, location is great for doing business with North America and South America. Also, no income taxes!

What challenges do you believe Miami still has to overcome?
If you look at the cities in the US that have become a “tech ecosystem” (as Miami wants to be), these cities have few common points: top universities, strong economies and a few big tech companies with the headquarters not too far. Does Miami have that? Also, even if investors are moving to Miami, are they investing in startups in Miami? Here, for me, the challenge is not only to find talent, but capital.

Why do you think companies are moving to Miami?
I think Miami is doing a great job with the “marketing campaign” it has going on to attract tech companies. Referring of course to Mayor Suarez’ viral Tweet and the billboard ads. However, I ask myself the following questions – “is Miami ready?” and who, aside from startups, will stay here for the long run?

Mentorship is a cornerstone of what we do at Endeavor. What role has mentorship played in your life?
For me, mentorship was (and still is) extremely important in my life (personal and professional), it is always good to talk to someone who “has been there”, learn from his/her experiences and  listen to his/her advice.

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