If it seems like everyone you know is moving to Florida these days, there is evidence to back that up. Recent data from LinkedIn published in Axios put Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro areas among the top 10 U.S. cities seeing in-migration.
When I relocated from Chicago to Tampa in early 2018, I found myself in a city that countered the stereotypes I’d heard about the state. Since then, I’ve come to appreciate the advantages that came with building my organization in Florida, and I’m often asked how I made the call.
To help you weigh the benefits of relocating your startup to Florida, here are some FAQs I’ve encountered. And if the Sunshine State isn’t on your startup’s shortlist, don’t hesitate to apply these answers to a different destination.
1. What are your company’s needs?
While you may have personal reasons for wanting to relocate to a new state, it’s a good idea to map out your company’s needs as you think through this decision.
Does a move bring you closer to a great pool of talent? Are you looking for a headquarters near a specific material resource or type of infrastructure? Do you need to be local to a target customer base or community?
For example, Florida is a terrific location for companies that stand to benefit from the presence of retired military talent and the prevalence of military bases, which creates a strong market for certain types of tech innovation, including cybersecurity and aviation.
If you’re a startup leader who is looking to land in a place with a strong, welcoming network, take the time to reach out to local community leaders and other founders like you.
Whatever it is you need to fuel your company’s growth, listing out your company’s requirements will make it easier to compare your needs with what your potential destination has to offer.
2. Which community do you want to be a part of?
If you haven’t found the tech community you’re looking for in your current location, pause to articulate what qualities you’re looking for. With this in mind, you can begin to establish the kinds of local connections you’re hoping to grow before you make any big moves.
I moved to Florida to participate in the diverse tech communities in Tampa and Miami, and I knew I was headed to the right place because I tested the waters before jumping in. As a relative newcomer myself, I’ve found the landscape in Florida to be more open and accessible than in other more established startup hubs, but don’t take my word for it.
If you’re a startup leader who is looking to land in a place with a strong, welcoming network, take the time to reach out to local community leaders and other founders like you. Whether that means sending a tweet to the mayor of Miami or connecting to local startup hubs, these interactions will give you a good sense of the local culture.
Because so many people are migrating down to Florida, we’ve put together a database of recent transplants to make it even easier to connect new residents to the existing tech community.
3. What are the potential benefits of moving your company to Florida?
When I think about what brought me to Florida and why I see other entrepreneurs headed this way, three big things come to mind: