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Miami’s Our Home. Here’s Why.

Greetings from Perceptual Advisors’ home office here in sunny, unstoppable Miami. As an organization with partners on both coasts of the U.S. and in Europe, and team members serving founders, funders, entrepreneurs and disruptors around the world, we had many choices when it came to establishing our base. We picked Miami and here’s the why.

Through the years, Miami has been a sometimes infamous, but always underestimated, cauldron of commerce and culture. Now, once again Miami is defying definition and demanding its own file folder… this time in the cloud. It’s a place that has made believers out of Perceptual Advisors’ founding partners Dan Tarman and Claudia Gioia, and me, since our first days working together helping corporate clients, doing economic development, and serving as community volunteers here during the 90s.

Overall, you might say Miami is a place that’s gotten pretty good at turning challenges into opportunities. As a city founded on swampland by an Ohio business woman in a swarm of mosquitoes before the advent of AC, nobody gave Miami much of a chance. Through the years, there have been countless predicted “downfalls” ranging from devastating hurricanes, to financial crises, to the task of assimilating large, sometimes unexpected waves of new residents. These so-called problems only served to make Miami stronger, more interesting, and better prepared for how the world actually does business.

More of a laboratory than an anomaly, Miami spent most of the last century evolving from America's southernmost outpost into a perfectly placed, fully infrastructured center of trade and commerce for the hemisphere of the Americas. This century, Miami is writing a very different chapter. Post 2000, Miami’s role has continued to evolve in new ways as digital and societal transformation have caused large chunks of old business models to be left by the side of the road. Most recently, the global pandemic brought tragic human costs and challenges. It also forced the world to take a much bigger bite of the change that was already ahead, and Miami benefited in a big way.

The sentiment that Miami is on the rise isn't “homerism” or wishful chamber-of- commerce speak. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, during the pandemic Miami became the favorite destination for people looking to escape from tech and financial hotbeds like San Francisco and New York. This brought with it a migration of $2 trillion in assets under management of firms that moved to Miami since the start of the pandemic. Included in this wave was Citadel, one of the largest U.S. hedge funds, which announced its move from Chicago to Miami.

Today, Miami remains the only major U.S. city founded by a woman. Built in large part through the drive and ingenuity of immigrants, it now leads the U.S. in tech-job growth and is among the top 10 U.S. cities for venture-capital investment. The news organization CrunchBase reported that Miami-based companies raised $2.6 billion in capital in 2021, a more than 20-fold increase from $128 million in 2018.

Once known for rowdy spring break antics, Miami’s new reality is a year-round blur of startup pitch competitions, innovation challenges, investor summits, executive roundtables, hiring fairs, masterclasses, and other globally significant gatherings of the next generation of founders, funders, entrepreneurs and disruptors. And that new reality is right at the crossroads of where we do our best work.

So, on behalf of our entire Perceptual Advisors team, let’s get together in Miami. If you’re already here, let’s meet over lunch. If you’re just visiting or new to town, give us a call and let us show you around. These are exciting times; we look forward to making the most of them with and for you.

About the Author

David is a broadly experienced creative strategist and marketing leader, with more than 30 years of expertise using storytelling to drive business results for FORTUNE 500 and leading B2B organizations. Currently serves as Perceptual Advisors’ Executive Creative Director, helping clients uncover their most authentic and compelling messages to move audiences.

Before joining the Perceptual Advisors team, he was the founder and chief story strategist for Decibel 62, helping develop differentiated marketing communication strategies for clients such as HP Graphics Arts, Zebra Technologies, ibml, Pangiam, Rabinovici + Associates and others. David previously was vice president of Corporate Communications & Community Relations and a corporate officer for Ryder System, Inc., the FORTUNE 500 transportation and logistics leader. After joining the company in 1999, he led internal and external communications for more than 15 years, serving as communications counsel to three CEOs. David also served as director of business development for Miami-Dade County’s Beacon Council. Previously, David helped launch Enterprise Florida, the nation’s first statewide public/private partnership for trade and economic development, serving as senior vice president of communications. Earlier, David was vice president and director of client services for the global PR firm Burson-Marsteller.

David is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and currently serves on the board of The Miami Dolphins Foundation Nat Moore Scholarship and Vocational Grant Endowment Program.