Some Say Florida Could Become a Major Tech and Finance Hub Within a Decade. That May Be an Overstatement.

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  • Florida has attracted dozens of financial firms and high-profile investors in recent months.
  • Advocates believe the trend is sustainable and could solidify Florida as a major player in the world of technology and finance.
  • Others say there are some challenges ahead that hinder the Sunshine State's growth potential.

Florida has recently attracted some of Wall Street and Silicon Valley's biggest names like Keith Rabois, Elliot Management and Goldman Sachs.

"For years, even though people would talk about moving, it really wasn't cool among the wealthy to move to Florida. It was like, OK, you couldn't hack it in New York, so you go to Florida," said Robert Frank, CNBC's wealth reporter. "Now you're that chump who stayed in New York." 

Reports of Florida slowly morphing into a legitimate tech and financial hub started well before the coronavirus pandemic. In 2018, Florida solidified its place in the big leagues when $2.88 billion was raised in venture capital. That trend has continued all throughout 2020.

Delian Asparouhov, a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, made the move to Florida in March after Miami Mayor Francis Suarez responded to his tweet about leaving Silicon Valley for Miami.

Asparouhov believes Miami has the potential to become the largest tech hub in the United States.

"New York gets, you know, seven or eight times the amount of venture capital investment flowing into it than Florida does. And California gets, you know, five times what New York gets. So Florida is not part of the tech economy at all," said Cristobal Young, a Cornell University professor who studies the migration of wealthy Americans.

Other potential challenges in the way of Florida's rise include low wages, income inequality and a housing shortage. Migration data and GDP growth from 2020 also do not indicate a major upswing.

Watch the video to hear from locals as well as those who have recently made the move to Florida and what that means for the state in 2021 and beyond.

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