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Start-Up City Miami: Podcasts About Local Entrepreneurship

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Tom Hudson
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Higher than New York, Chicago and Dallas. Better than Atlanta, Seattle and Houston. South Florida's entrepreneurial activity is third highest among the nation's largest metropolitan areas.  Only San Francisco and Los Angeles ranked higher in the group's annual index of entrepreneurial activity.

Why Miami?

The city's local economy is dominated by small and medium-sized businesses, often with the founder still involved. The local entrepreneurial ecosystem does not have a legacy of industry innovation such as technology in Silicon Valley. It lacks a historical foundation encouraging creativity and inventiveness, the way LA's entertainment industry does.

Instead, the meteorological advantages of Miami have been enough to attract risk-takers, clustered around the traditional drivers of the regional economy: tourism and real estate.

Entrepreneurial activity (Kauffman Foundation).

WLRN-Miami Herald News spoke with two entrepreneurs taking part in The Atlantic's Start-Up City: Miami and an Atlantic senior editor to hear more about South Florida's entrepreneurial reputation from inside and outside the region. The third annual conference takes place March 30 at the New World Center in Miami Beach.

Listen to or download the podcast playlist here. Or listen to them separately below:

LYFT

Shared ride service Lyft has challenged transportation regulations across the country with its app-based approach, including in South Florida. Its director of government affairs Veronica Juarez acknowledges current taxi regulations do not make room for Lyft's business model, but she's hopeful for a statewide solution.

PREPWORKS

Education technology firm PREPWORKS has grown from its Miami base to 18 countries. Tracy LeFlamme Ortega is the founder and CEO. She has faced a common challenge for a Miami start-up -- attracting and keeping talented employees and capital necessary to grow the company in a fast-moving industry.

LEARNING FROM MINNESOTANS

Minneapolis doesn't have much for Miami to be envious of, except a sizable roster of Fortune 500 companies, thousands of well paying middle-management jobs, high median wages and a low poverty rate. The Atlantic's Senior Editor Derek Thompson explores the policies that have fostered the Twin Cities economic stability and accessibility. He also discusses what Miami, with its entrepreneurial fervor, could learn.

In a journalism career covering news from high global finance to neighborhood infrastructure, Tom Hudson is the Vice President of News and Special Correspondent for WLRN. He hosts and produces the Sunshine Economy and anchors the Florida Roundup in addition to leading the organization's news engagement strategy.