Nanotechnology Is the Future of Renewable Energy

Nanotechnology is advancing so rapidly these days that it seems there is a new nanotech breakthrough being reported on a daily basis.  Top researchers from around the world are using nanotechnology to solve problems once considered impossible, and are even discovering new and interesting properties in our material reality along the way.

2011 alone has seen some major advances in nanotechnology applied to the energy sector, and the promise nanotech holds for renewable energy is exactly what the budding market needs to eventually overtake fossil fuels as the energy generation mode of choice.

Super Efficient Solar Nantennas

University of Missouri researcher Patrick Pinhero and collaborators have developed microscopic antennas called, “nantennas,” that capture sunlight in both the visible and near-infrared spectrum as well as heat energy to create a thin-film solar sheet capable of 90 percent efficiency—far better than the 20 percent efficiency offered by current solar panels.

Energy Generation from Sound

Researchers at Sungkyunkwan University have created microscopic strings of zinc oxide that when exposed to sound vibrate between two electrodes, thus creating a charge. “Sound power can be used for various novel applications including cellular phones that can be charged during conversations and sound-insulating walls near highways that generate electricity from the sound of passing vehicles,” says lead researcher Dr. Sang-Woo Kim.

Energy Transmission Via Nanotubes

A never-before witnessed energy effect has been observed by MIT scientists working with carbon “nanotubes.”  Apparently, heat waves travel through these microscopic tubes up to 10,000 times faster than normal while picking up ambient charged particles along the way, thus creating and electric charge.  This offers untold potential in energy transmission.

Focusing Energy with Nanocones 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created microscopic zinc oxide cones, dubbed “nanocones,” that exhibit the unique property of focusing and intensifying energy at the cones’ tips.  The nanocones have been applied to solar cells to boost efficiency.

Storing Energy with Nanosponges

University of Texas researchers have created carbon nano-supercapacitors called “nanosponges” which are capable of storing static-electric energy in their sponge-like pores.  Like traditional supercapacitors, nansponges can deliver energy faster and more efficiently than chemical-based batteries, but at a far higher capacity.  Currently, the nanosponges can store the energy equivalent of a lead-acid battery, but material improvements could put them on par with lithium-ion very soon.

Source: Nanotechnology Is the Future of Renewable Energy | Energy Digital

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Housing Market Recession: Home Prices Fall As Rates Reach 6%—Here’s How Much Further They Could Drop

Existing home sales fell for the seventh straight month in August as rising interest rates continued to sideline potential home buyers, and prices are finally starting to fall from record highs as experts project that the next few months could help ease the housing sector’s long-standing affordability crisis.

Existing home sales ticked down 0.4% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.8 million in August, down from 6 million one year ago after declines across the U.S., according to data released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors.

In a statement, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun called the housing sector “most sensitive to” the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes and said the softness in home sales reflects this year’s escalating mortgage rates, which peaked at 6% last week and have driven up the cost of monthly payments on new mortgages by more than 55%, an average of hundreds of dollars each month.

Amid the falling demand, the median existing home price has tumbled from a record high of $413,800 in June to $389,500 in August, down for a second straight month to the lowest level since March after breaking a five-month streak of gains.

The 7.7% yearly uptick in August home prices was the slowest year-over-year increase since June 2020, and NAR projects the median existing home price could fall more than 5% to $380,000 by the end of this year.

Others are eyeing steeper losses: In a Wednesday note, Pantheon Macro chief economist Ian Shepherdson said he expects a “sustained decline” in the sector through next spring, with prices falling as much as 20% from their peak by the middle of next year and in time helping rent inflation, which climbed 7% year over year last month, come down next year.

“Sales lag mortgage applications, which continue to fall and point to further significant declines,” Shepherdson said, predicting sales are on course to drop by another 10% or so within the next two months and adding that “even that might not be the low,” depending on what happens to mortgage rates over the next few weeks.

“Inventory will remain tight in the coming months and even for the next couple of years,” Yun says. “Some homeowners are unwilling to trade up or trade down after locking in historically low mortgage rates in recent years, increasing the need for more new-home construction to boost supply.”

On Wednesday, real estate brokerage Redfin reported that the ten regions where housing is cooling the fastest are almost all either costly West Coast markets, or places that drew scores of relocating home buyers during the pandemic and became significantly less affordable. They include San Jose, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Denver.

“Housing, in short, is in recession, and everything connected to housing either is in recession now or soon will be, but the rest of the economy is not in recession because a regular housing downturn is not enough to crash the 90% of [gross domestic product] that is not housing,” says Shepherdson.

I’m a senior reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business

Source: Housing Market Recession: Home Prices Fall As Rates Reach 6%—Here’s How Much Further They Could Drop

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Still working from home? Say farewell to ordinary office chairs. Why not upgrade your comfort and style at the same time with a chic office chair from Elizabeth Sutton Collection? After all, you need to sit somewhere. With several styles available and a choice of gold or silver casters, and a white or black frame, these add a true pop of fun to any workspace.

Trying to manifest more this fall? It’s easy when you’re burning a Jill & Ally The Elements Crystal Candle. The brand is owned by everyone’s favorite New York Housewife Jill Zarin. Choose from blue agate (water), red agate (fire), green fluorite (earth), or clear quartz (air). Whether you use this candle as part of a manifestation ritual or just as decor, it’s a great way to add color or change the vibe of a room instantly. When the candle is finished burning, keep the crystal.

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth, this cool yet stylish portrait is the perfect way to pay tribute to Her Majesty in a living room, bedroom, or even dining room. Available in two sizes, it has been selling like hot crumpets. If you’re the only queen in your home, Cheery Designs has a great selection of unique pieces that might be more suitable.

Got too much sand in your sheets this summer? Treat yourself to something new. Boll and Branch recently launched a super luxurious Reserve Sheet Set. Made from the longest staple 100 percent organic cotton available, it’s impossible to go wrong with these sheets. Get ready for the silk-like feel to help lull you to sleep.

Those with more modern tastes will appreciate The Citizenry’s Stone Washed Linen Sheet Set. Available in a variety of colors and styles, including White, Olive, and Gingham, these sheets are a great way to warm up a modern bedroom. Don’t forget a linen bathrobe to match.

Launching on September 21st, Weezie Shower Curtains are the ideal bathroom accessory in a traditional to contemporary style bathroom. They complement the brand’s signature monogrammed towels instantly elevating the space to new levels of sophistication. Choose from two sizes and blue or grey scalloped edges.

However, if it is your kitchen that needs a little something extra, the L’Avant Collective Marble Dish Soap Kitchen Counter Tray will automatically boost your sink space. Made from the finest white Banswara marble and featuring brass accent details, it’s a chic way to display all of your favorite L’Avant Collective products.

Jenni Kayne’s cookware collaboration with Staub couldn’t possibly be any more stylish if the designer tried. Made in France, the White Truffle hue is the epitome of magnifique. Choose from an Oval Gratin or a Round Cocotte dish in a choice of two sizes. Each one has an exclusive nickel steel knob. It’s the perfect marriage of understated and jaw-dropping.

This topaz tumbler from curated online marketplace Berner and Co is a sleek way to serve everything from sparkling water to cool cocktails at your Fall soiree (or just to make any meal feel a bit more festive). Take your tablescape to brand new heights with these fabulous drinking vessels.

Speaking of tablescapes, there’s no easier way to create one than with The Bouqs new fall flower collection. Whether you prefer white arrangements, something with crimsons and oranges, or perhaps plants instead of flowers, there is something for every aesthetic. Better yet, with a subscription, you can send a monthly arrangement to yourself or to someone else and change it up each month.

But if you want to buy an arrangement and have it last for up to a year, it’s impossible to go wrong with Venus Et Fleur. The new stone collection is a welcome upgrade from the brand’s signature packaging. While the marble vessels are undeniably luxe, the sandstone vases are a great complement to a minimalist room. Choose from a variety of roses and other arrangements.

Forget books of matches and disposable plastic lighters, Seth Rogen has figured out a way for matches to go upscale with the Houseplant Pebble Match Strike. It looks like two stones, but open up this modern objéct to find a stash of matches. Keep it on a bar cart, side table or to decorate a bookshelf.

But sometimes fires aren’t always welcome, which is why it’s important for every home to have a fire extinguisher within reach. Fortunately, Weston Table makes decorative and functional ones. Choose from a variety of styles from constellations to whale and dog designs. This also makes a smart housewarming gift. Ten percent of sales are donated to the National Parks Foundation.

Fable recently launched a gorgeous collection of dinnerware perfect for any fall table. Cool and modern, the green color is a simple way to add a rustic hue to your table, whether you’re having a dinner party or just want to make things look nicer every day.

But those with more traditional tastes will absolutely fawn over Dondolo’s tabletop collaboration with dress designer Sue Sartor. Choose from Peony White or Peony Pale Blue Dinner Plates and Salad Plates. Each item is handcrafted and unique. Don’t forget to add the matching placemats and napkins. What a dreamy way to bring a touch of the south to any table.

Neon Lace’s Drink Dresses serve the same purpose as wine charms without looking hideous. Available in linen or lace, these decorative accessories make everything from wine to coupe glasses look all dressed up for the party.

Why shouldn’t your fridge have a designer touch? These cute Kate Space food containers are the perfect way to store leftover food. The Floral Fields pattern has a lively vintage vibe with a bamboo top that reads “Anything is possible.” Far nicer to eat from on the go than a standard glass food container, it makes any leftover meal taste just a little bit better.

But if your pantry shelves or refrigerator are in desperate need of a makeover, Home+Sort’s line of organizers with mDesign will check every box. From airtight jars perfect for rice to lovely lattice baskets made for holding snacks or boxes of pasta, you will wonder how you ever lived without this indispensable product line.

If you like to display olive oil in the kitchen or on the table, why not choose a delicious one with a stylish bottle such as Branche Olive Oil? This farm-to-bottle extra virgin olive oil is made with olives from the south of Spain. With clean, modern packaging and a wood stopper, design is key here. No 1 has a bolder flavor and features a green bottle while No 2 has a milder flavor and has a white bottle.

Looking for an environmentally friendly way to clean up? Arbour Every Day Spray is the perfect way to do it. This fragrance-free spray works hard to clean up grease, grime, and everyday dirt quickly. Best of all, it is totally safe, non-toxic, and antimicrobial.

If you’re trying to cut down on plastic, live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, or simply dislike those cumbersome bottles of detergent or messy powders— you will love Ecos Plastic-Free Dishwasher Detergent Sheets. Just put a sheet in the soap compartment (you need to fold it a few times) and turn it on your desired setting. Your dishes will come out sparkling clean.

Traditional devotees will love the Coley Porter Side Table. It’s so versatile that it can work as a bedside table, a desk for smaller spaces, or even as a petite bar in a living room or dining room. Available through the brand’s quick ship program, it can be customized with a selection of fabrics and shipped in just ten days.

Why just grab some ice from the refrigerator when you can display it in a beautiful ice bucket from Katie Kime? The ultimate bar cart accessory, this bucket is available in lucite, gold and silver as well as more than 37 patterns and colors. Don’t forget to add a monogram. This also makes a very thoughtful gift, especially for someone who frequently entertains.

Make this lucite dish from ArtSugar the true star of your coffee table or nightstand. Perfect for jewelry, tiny candies or just to be decorative, it’s a great accessory for any surface that needs a touch of fun. ​​

Looking for some extra inspiration for your renovations this fall? Interior designer Anne Hepfer’s book Mood has all the inspiration you need. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but this book’s bold royal blue cover is showstopping. Just wait until you see all the beautiful projects featured inside the pages.

Want your home to smell like heaven all the time? Inspired by the scent of exotic white flowers, the Kai Reed Diffuser gets pretty close. With a modern square bottle and brown reeds, it’s a truly decorative accent that also makes a very thoughtful gift. Better yet, it’s free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and phosphates. Not into reed diffusers? Candles and room spray are also available in the brand’s signature as well as Rose scents.

But if you prefer to diffuse an essential oil, opt for the Aroma Om Stone Diffuser in stone. Clean and minimalist looking, it features a matte finish and ceramic cover. It mists for up to three hours and shuts off automatically. It can also light up and be used as a nightlight.

34 boulevard Saint Germain is the newest fragrance from famed perfumer Diptyque. The chic candle is packaged in an opaline glass vessel and features notes of black current leave, moss, and florals. It has a spicy woodsy scent that’s undeniably sophisticated. Make any room feel perfectly on brand this fall.

Pets are great, but the odors they create leave much to be desired, especially on carpets and upholstery. Fortunately, Zoop is amazing at getting rid of pet odors and stains. Best of all, it has a fresh scent (not a chemical scent) and each bottle lasts for months. Stock up before it gets sold out again.

Are your knives feeling a little dull? Upgrade this season with a set of highly functional knives that just happen to be sleekly designed. Material knives are made from Japanese stainless steel and high carbon. This set includes a bread knife, paring knife, and chef’s knife. The sage handles simply stun.

There’s nothing that feels like a fresh, new tea towel. Magic Linen Ruffle Trim Linen Tea Towels are just so pretty and classic. Whether you’re drying off plates every day or a platter post-dinner party, these tea towels are a must. Match any kitchen with twelve different colors and prints from neutrals to shades of blue and stripes.

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Latest fed rate increase expected to further cool Phoenix real estate azfamily.com, Arizona

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Web3 Developers Can Thrive In The Bear Market With The Right Support Services

The blockchain and crypto sector is undoubtedly going through difficult times, with the market falling $2 trillion since its November 21 peak. An overwhelming negative sentiment is shrinking the industry’s resources while weekly outflows amount to $102 million.

The Crypto Fear & Greed Index shows that investors remain “fearful” of the current bear market conditions. But history teaches us that this lack of hype and market exuberance actually provides fertile conditions for developing innovative technological solutions.

When the DotCom Bubble burst in the early 2000s, companies like Amazon, e-Bay, Google, Facebook, and Cisco all survived the crash. Indeed, they emerged from the crash stronger because their developers continued building instead of allowing volatile markets and negative sentiment distract them. Similarly, crypto projects like Tron, ChainLink, Polkadot, and EOS, were able to survive the 2017 ICO craze and the crypto winter that followed.

Bear markets have historically filtered out opportunists and stupid capital to make way for real innovators delivering scaleable market solutions and longer-term investor growth.

Nevertheless, bear markets also entail a shortage of capital as investor disappear or sit on the sidelines and liquidity disappears from the market. Only a handful of serious project developers, entrepreneurs, and long-term investors stay back to support each other.

These stakeholders require a space where they can connect, collaborate, and build cutting-edge technologies to sustain themselves and the industry overall. Incubators, launchpads, and accelerators become crucial resources for entrepreneurs, companies, and developers during a bear market.

Incubators can be essential to a company’s long-term survival and success. The National Business Incubator Association reports that 87 percent of incubated startups continue to survive after five years—twice the success rate of startups that develop completely on their own. Moreover, 84 percent of incubated companies share the incubator’s community, creating a wide but well-knit network of entrepreneurs, advisors, developers, and investors, however, community support is just one aspect of incubators.

Among the diverse services offered by crypto launchpads, fundraising is one of the most important. Since developers and entrepreneurs usually do not have large amounts of capital available, startups need financial assistance to build their protocols. Venture capitalists and angel investors associated with an incubator provide the much-needed liquidity for early-stage Web3 companies. This funding helps startups focus on development, scaling operations, marketing, and hiring.

In addition to funding, incubators provide the expertise and experience of professionals to mentor startup employees during early stage development. Domain experts act as consultants to project leaders during incubation to build better products that are ready for mass markets. TDeFi, an incubator for DeFi protocols, offers a “Lifetime Advisory Program” for incubated companies. This ensures that protocols continue to get the support and assistance of mentors, even after their official launch.TDeFi’s CEO Gaurav Dubey explains, “Mentoring comes in varied forms. Apart from ideation, launchpads assist in designing utility-based, growth-oriented tokenomics, which is necessary for attracting investors. A well-networked incubator always finds strategic investors for startups even in a bear market.”

Incubators like TDeFi also provide post-launch assistance to comply with a country’s crypto legislation and follow regulatory best practices. To date, TDeFi has incubated over 40 startups across the DeFi, NFT, gaming, metaverse, infrastructure, and healthcare sectors.

Despite the bear market, blockchain gaming and game-based NFTs have thrived recently, outperforming other crypto-based sectors. The DappRadar-BGA Blockchain Games Report recorded 1.1 million unique active wallets (UAWs) in Q2 2022, making up 52 percent of all UAWs. Investor sentiment also remained strong in the blockchain gaming domain, with investments amounting to $2.5 billion in Q2 2022, a clip rate that appears to continue in the year.

Against this backdrop, NFT gaming launchpads and accelerators like QGlobe are helping new gaming projects build their products in a bear market. QGlobe offers support for metaverse and crypto gaming startups by organizing IGOs and providing product development, tokenomics, and marketing strategies.

Apollo Green, CEO and founder of QGlobe, says, “Amidst a turbulent market, the gaming sector is performing well and successfully weathering the storm. At this critical juncture, we need efficient gaming launchpads to build promising projects to help us out of this crypto winter.”

The Crypto Industry Needs Everyday Resources

Regardless of the size of startup, companies must manage employee payrolls and account for financial transactions, and annual audits. Payments and bookkeeping can be time-consuming and often become an enormous administrative challenge for these companies to tackle, leading to increased chances of fraud and data entry errors.

Automating the crypto finance infrastructure is necessary to help companies manage their accounts efficiently. Blockchain-based automated platforms can help save time, reduce human error via on-chain reconciliation, and ensure robust bookkeeping practices. Automation may also help crypto companies devote their time and resources toward innovation and building their platform.

Industry now offers solutions for Web3 businesses to manage their crypto invoices, employee salaries, and balance sheets.

Protocols like Request Finance provide a non-custodial, decentralized platform for invoice generation and payment management featuring real-time, on-chain settlement. Request Finance supports batch payments to multiple addresses, invoice requests, and integration with multi-sig wallets like Gnosis. Companies like The Sandbox, Maker DAO, and RealT use Request Finance for managing financial operations, invoicing solutions, and as a payment gateway.

Emphasizing the need for payment request protocols, Christophe L., co-founder and CEO of Request Finance, said, “Making crypto mainstream by focusing on real world use cases, is crucial for emerging from this bear market. Invoicing and payroll dApps can enable more businesses to adopt crypto, especially stablecoins in a compliant manner.”

For everyday crypto usage, investors, blockchain entrepreneurs, traders, and general users need one another imporant resource — tax calculators. As countries worldwide begin increasingly adopting crypto regulations, it likewise becomes necessary to understand tax liabilities and file for tax.

Calculating crypto tax is not an easy task. Users are liable for capital gains and income tax, depending on the nature of the transaction. Moreover, some countries require recording crypto transactions in local currency value before filing for taxes. This becomes a time and resource-intensive process.

Some users turn to resources like CryptoTaxCalculator to accurately calculate their taxes by importing transaction data from crypto exchanges and non-exchange platforms. CryptoTaxCalculator lets users directly upload data from DeFi platforms, staking protocols, NFT marketplaces, mining, ICO/IDO/IGOs, and airdrops via CSV or API for calculating taxes.

In-Person Discussion is the Most Important Resource

When it comes down to it, one resource emerges as the most crucial of all – talent. No matter how many software resources we have at our fingertips, nothing beats face-to-face conversations and exchanging ideas. Indeed, talent is the largest and richest resource we have for developing new products and innovative technologies.

Following a long pandemic-induced hiatus in conferences, meetings, and hackathons, these events are finally back for offline sessions. Through these events, crypto companies, blockchain entrepreneurs, and Web3 developers can all come together to discover technological solutions for solving real-world problems.

DCENTRAL will host one of Web3’s largest conferences this November 28-30 in Miami right before Art Basel, a massive global art event. The conference will bring together innovators across 30+ Layer-1 and Layer-2 DeFi, NFT, Metaverse, DAO, and Gaming protocols.

Justin Wu, co-founder and CEO of DCENTRAL Conference, elaborated on the need for such conferences, stating, “The bear market is giving us the time and space to build robust Web3 protocols. This is high time we collaborate and learn from each other to make Web3 sustainable in the long run.”

By using incubators, launchpads, accelerators, and business support services, and reconnecting to talent pools with in-person interactions, entrepreneurs and developers can create a veritable armada for taking on the bear market with a greater capacity to innovate. With the right resources and networks, successful earlier stage plays will weather the storm and emerge from the bear market with resilience: greater talent, stronger businesses, and more innovative products and services.

I cover fintech, crypto and digital assets, and sustainable finance and investments, and promote policies for a transparent, secure, and quality digital financial future for everyone.

Source: Web3 Developers Can Thrive In The Bear Market With The Right Support Services

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The Year In Franchising: Reflecting On 2021, And Anticipating 2022

Over the past two years, the world has changed in ways it never has before, and the franchise industry is no exception. It has taken a while, but following the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022 is positioned to be a massive year for franchise development and sales growth. First, as we wrap up 2021, let’s take a look back at how the franchise industry has adapted to the ups and downs of the past year.

2021: A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Following the unprecedented challenges of 2020, this year saw a steady return of in-person events and the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. Several people and industries started to see a much-anticipated comeback and recovery in the beginning of 2021.

There were certainly still some challenges for franchisors especially on the retail and restaurant side. This included geographic limitations, where certain areas were still heavily locked down and others weren’t, forcing some restaurants to operate without full indoor dining and some retail stores to operate with restricted capacity.

As the year progressed, more people became comfortable with traveling and spent more money at businesses. It also made it more challenging for businesses in certain industries to satisfy this pent-up demand successfully due to complicated in-person requirements. Additionally, business owners have had to adapt their operations to combat the ongoing labor shortage, resulting staffing issues, supply chain interruptions and product shipment delays.

Much has changed for the foreseeable future, there’s no doubt. That said, in 2021 franchise brands have continued to rise above the challenges and seen growth in their systems overall.

2022: An Opportunity for Franchising to Emerge Stronger Than Ever

2022 will likely be a tremendous year for the franchise industry as a whole with a majority of individual brands set to prosper both in terms of system wide sales and franchise development. Many franchisors have been reporting increased sales in 2021, and there is no reason to believe that trend is going to change in 2022. Additionally, the International Franchise Association predicts franchise development is also on the rise with 26,000 franchised locations expected to be added in 2021 and franchise employment projected to grow by more than 10% to nearly 8.3 million workers.

The sector that is positioned better than any other is home services. With more people spending increased time at home and saving money on travel, the demand for home services and home improvement has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. As a result, more and more savvy entrepreneurs are recognizing the uniquely lucrative opportunity to enter the home services space.

Some of the other trends that will likely continue in the franchise industry include prospects investing in concepts sight-unseen. Candidates are more comfortable now meeting online than ever before, and development teams have learned how to adapt and appeal to a prospect’s comfort level.

Technology, of course, has also brought on several changes to the industry. Whether it was Zoom meetings, curbside pickup or QR codes, these new digital tools have helped businesses get by and drastically changed the landscape of the industry. These will all continue to be a huge trend in 2022 as brands adapt to challenges including the evolving workforce and supply chain issues.

Overall, it has been a long and difficult time, but the franchise industry has made it through to the other side. Now, as more and more people look to take control of their destiny through entrepreneurship and customers return to their pre-pandemic habits, it is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the franchise industry.

I am Steve Beagelman, Founder and CEO of SMB Franchise Advisors. In 1991 I co-founded Black Tie Express, a multi-restaurant delivery service.

Source: The Year In Franchising: Reflecting On 2021, And Anticipating 2022

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Can Miami Survive Tech Recession and Stock Market Crash, Become Next Silicon Valley

The music is always too loud in Miami, but tech workers seem to love it anyway.

As the tech industry fanned out across the US over the past two years, a geographically liberated workforce found itself in new and unexpected places — like frivolous, beachy Miami. Where other cities have spent billions of dollars on incentives, planning, and research parks over decades to lure startups, Miami’s inchoate community was tweeted into existence in a matter of months.

Right now, the US tech sector is on tenterhooks as markets tumble, startup valuations crater, and tech layoffs are announced daily. The industry’s uncertain future raises a question: Can Miami parlay its recent success into a status as a globally competitive tech hub to someday rival Silicon Valley? Or will it turn into a cautionary tale about placing all your bets on a bubble?

The Miami miracle of migration

Ed Glaeser, an urban economist who wrote the book “Triumph of the City,” once told an interviewer that “the most successful economic development policy is to attract and retain smart people and then get out of their way.” Miami may not be the most obvious place to attract the type of people who would build a new Silicon Valley.

After all, as the venture capitalist Paul Graham wrote in 2006: “Most nerds like quieter pleasures. They like cafes instead of clubs; used bookshops instead of fashionable clothing shops; hiking instead of dancing.” Even some in Miami doubted the city could become a tech hub.

In 2013, the Knight Foundation, The Atlantic, and the urbanist Richard Florida held a conference to discuss the future of Miami’s economy. Named “Start-up City: Miami,” the gathering marked one of the city’s first attempts to brand itself as a transcontinental tech hub, but it was not well received by all the area’s leaders. Miami Beach’s mayor at the time, Phil Levine, unforgettably called the idea of a tech-driven Miami Beach “the dumbest idea in the world.” He believed that Miami Beach should play to its strengths: tourism and travel.

When Zappos’ CEO at the time, Tony Hsieh, the internet pioneer who helped revitalize downtown Las Vegas, took the stage during the conference, he asked the audience of Miamians, “How many opportunities do you have in a lifetime to help shape the future of a major city?” Nearly 10 years later, the city’s new contingent of tech disciples and policymakers are welcoming the challenge to create something in a place with no tech traditions.

“You could see the need for Miami to diversify,” Francis Suarez, Miami’s mayor since 2017, told me during an interview in March.

Suarez is one of the biggest reasons for Miami’s economic transformation. Using social-media buzz and livestreamed conversations with recognizable tech leaders over sugary Cuban espressos called cafecitos, Suarez called for investors, programmers, designers, and entrepreneurs to relocate to Miami’s shores. He has argued that the city has the ability to remake itself.

“We’re a relatively young city — 125 years old,” he said. “The modern Miami started in my lifetime.”

There’s no playbook for building a sustainable, long-term tech ecosystem using online publicity and peer pressure, but the early returns from Suarez’s constant promotion are encouraging. In the year following the start of the pandemic, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region had the greatest inbound migration of software and IT workers of any US metro area, at 15.4% year over year, while the Bay Area fared the worst.

Miami was aided in its efforts by the snowglobe-shaking disruption of the pandemic. “Part of what made this moment possible were macro factors,” Suarez told me. Remote work empowered people to find places with a cheaper cost of living, better quality of life, lower taxes, and less stringent health protocols. Sunshine and socializing in a Sun Belt city became a temptation for many in New York City and San Francisco. And the Magic City, similar to other warm-weather cities, became a “have-it-all hub.”

“You’re starting to see this decentralization of talent in tech. I think Miami is well positioned to come out of that era as a dominant player,” Suarez told me. “Many of the people I talk to are saying, ‘We’ll build here, but we may hire from all over the country.'”

Peter Yared, a founder of the software startup InCountry, arrived in Miami from San Francisco in September 2020 after briefly considering Los Angeles. “People think that you move for taxes, but you don’t upend your life for them,” he told me. For Yared, as for many others, it was a combination of factors including governance and crime that turned him away from San Francisco and the “monoculture that had distilled” the city.

More than a flash in the pan

To be sure, Silicon Valley wasn’t successful just because it was a suburban area with nice weather. What fueled its rise as the center of the tech world were its competitive research institutions, friendly business and labor laws, access to venture capital, and web of legal, financial, and accounting firms ready to aid eager entrepreneurs. Plenty of cities have tried to follow in its footsteps — from Atlanta’s “Silicon Peach” to Salt Lake City’s “Silicon Slopes” — but have mostly ended up as promising but pale imitations.

Miami’s most distinguishing feature as a startup hub is its status as an international city — a crossroads for a variety of industries, events, and people. Its network of domestic and international flights and its proximity to Latin America make it a gateway for people and globalized markets. In 2019, more than 54% of residents of Miami-Dade County were immigrants, and immigrants held 61% of STEM jobs.

The city can capitalize on its title of the “capital of Latin America” and its existing industries — namely hospitality, aviation, and healthcare — to provide an economic base for the tech sector that could spur recombinant urban economic growth. With its density of hospitals and treatment centers, it can build up its biotechnology reputation, which the University of Miami’s life-sciences-and-technology park and incubator has ventured to do. And the robustness of the region’s tech economy may depend on expanding beyond crypto projects and into traditional industries and newer sectors such as climate technology.

It also has the advantage of being a vibrant city that can draw entrepreneurs, business celebrities, and startup CEOs from across the country to events. Back-to-back tech conferences and large-scale events like Miami Tech Week, the Bitcoin Conference, and eMerge Americas have brought in powerful people. And the city has become an alternative to New York and Las Vegas for some of the most voguish nonbusiness events including Art Basel and the Formula 1 ​​Grand Prix in early May.

Now that the idea of Miami as a tech hub has caught on, startup founders, developers, and venture capitalists are flocking to be part of it. “There’s a vanguard of interesting people all showing up at the same time,” Yared told me. “It’s what makes cities boom.”

Miami is also rapidly drawing in venture capital. In 2021, the value of venture-capital deals for Miami-based startups nearly quadrupled, reaching $4.6 billion overall, up from $1.2 billion in 2020 and right behind Austin. While the city ranks 12th in the country in terms of venture-capital funding, representing only 1.4% of the total amount raised in the US, the year-over-year growth is substantial.

SoftBank grew its Miami fund to $250 million, while Founders Fund, Atomic, and Silicon Valley Bank opened offices. As more funds relocate or expand their offices to Miami, other venture firms will be drawn into this vortex. And this convergence of capital makes Suarez confident that Miami “will be the main aggregation center of capital.” The growing white-shoe network of legal and accounting firms within the banking and financial-services sector is also poised to support the city’s growing tech sector.

Despite the recent precipitous drop in tech stocks, momentum doesn’t appear to be slowing. So far this year, startups in the Miami area have raised over $1.15 billion, according to PitchBook. Nationally, a record-breaking year in venture-capital fundraising has given way to sobering expectations of an industry pullback as public markets get hit hard and startup valuations slump.

Eventually, the macroeconomic environment may drag down Miami’s nascent tech economy, but with newly funded venture-capital firms needing to deploy capital, the fallout could be minor.

To make sure this rapid boom doesn’t result in a just-as-sudden bust, Miami will need to couple the tech cheerleading with more sustainable development. The city has to invest in nuts-and-bolts infrastructure, the kind that helps keep housing costs, homelessness, crime, and poverty low. And it must face down its most existential crisis: climate change.

The higher-education brain drain

The most glaring roadblock on Miami’s path to challenging Silicon Valley is brain drain and the lack of top-ranking applied sciences and research universities. Regional experts such as Alejandro Portes, a sociologist who has studied Miami’s economic history, have highlighted that the region’s top young people often depart for Boston, New York, or California for college. Keeping these students near home — during and after school — requires South Florida to have a top-tier engineering university.

“Higher ed is ripe for disruption. We are looking at higher-ed partnerships or at creating something completely new,” Suarez told me. He’s heading up a free, tech-oriented charter school to encourage young people toward tech.

Local universities are also aware of this need. Florida International University is constructing a $48 million facility to expand engineering programs, and it says that in the past four years it’s grown its computer-science enrollment by 60%, to about 8,000 students. Even with all this, Miami’s tech education pales in comparison to the roughly 18,000 science and engineering graduates in and near Silicon Valley in 2016 and the thousands more in software boot camps.

Research facilities are also critical for developing an innovative ecosystem. The benefits of research and development are hyperlocalized, meaning research benefits the community through local commercialization of new technologies before spreading nationally and internationally. And research has suggested that university spin-off companies are more likely to attract venture capital.

In a report by the National Science Foundation ranking colleges and universities by the number of utility patents developed through their research from 1969 to 2012, the highest South Florida institution ranked 29th, behind institutions in areas with much smaller populations. To boost that number, Miami could follow the example of New York City: In 2011, the city partnered with Cornell University and the Institute of Technology to build an engineering campus on an underutilized piece of land.

As these tech-talent pipelines form, however, companies based in Miami can draw on their proximity to Central and South American markets and labor, setting up remote teams in places like Mexico City and recruiting more diverse talent from abroad.

Can Miami fight the housing crisis and rising shorelines? 

Only a few years ago, Miami’s cost of living was just above the national average. But thanks to a precipitous jump in newcomers, Miami has become the most expensive housing market in the US, a May report from RealtyHop said. According to Redfin, the average rent in Miami increased by 34% over 2021, hitting an eye-watering $3,020.

The consumer price index for Greater Miami increased by 9.8% over the year to February; that figure was nearly 2 percentage points higher than in most parts of the country. How can Miami avoid the pitfalls of growth that accompanied the Bay Area’s rise, a phrase that local newspapers have pejoratively called the “San Francisco-ization” of Miami?

Suarez is transparent about the challenges Miami faces and the looming crisis of unaffordability. “We are not perfect and we have all of the challenges of major cities but we are at historic lows in homicides, unemployment and taxes. Much work to be done on affordability and education,” he tweeted in February. Despite the hot market, more units are being built, offering a positive, if imperfect, outlook as many residents are uprooted.

“We have in our pipeline 47,000 units in construction. That’s a 25% increase in dwelling units that we’re going to see over a two- to four-year period,” Suarez told me. For now, the housing crisis has not translated into homelessness; rates are at a 25-year low.

What’s more, with the exception of the pandemic spike, the unemployment rate, currently at 3%, has remained low in recent years, and wage growth has surged by more than in other metro areas recently — things that, taken together, may help alleviate the cost of living.

Just as pressing as housing issues, the crescive tides accompanying the climate crisis may affect the city’s growth over the next several decades. In 2017, voters approved a $400 million “Miami Forever” bond to help protect against rising sea levels and flooding.

The city in recent years has embraced advisors from the Netherlands to help it adapt. Over the next two decades, the sea level is expected to rise by 11 inches around Miami, threatening billions of dollars in real estate if the city isn’t able to adapt effectively. Undoubtedly, the region will need to invest substantially more toward mitigation efforts.

It takes time to build

For Miami and its newly minted tech hub to continue growing at the current pace, the city will need to address these imminent risks and the challenges of responding to the climate crisis and the second-order effects of growth. Greater Miami, by various metrics, consistently hovers between 10th and 12th among US metros for economic output, number of knowledge workers, and annual venture capital, which together provide a picture of Miami’s tech economy: Miami is midsized, but it’s growing fiercely.

The city has embraced a talent-focused and place-based policymaking approach to building a tech hub. And it has many of the ingredients for a hub that’s perfect for a remote-work era: a high quality of life with many social opportunities to counteract the siloing effects of working from home. But the one factor in Silicon Valley’s success that Miami still needs is time.

“We’re a 10-year overnight-success story,” Suarez told me. That is far short of the decades it took for Silicon Valley to mature. It’s clear that Miami’s star is rising, but to become an entrenched part of the tech industry, the city will need to weather economic storms like what we’re seeing today. Reading the coffee grounds from cafecitos, there is a growing chance that Miami could very well become a superstar city with an international tech hub.

Emil Skandul is a writer and founder of digital innovation firm Capitol Foundry. He is working on a book about tech hubs.

Source: Can Miami Survive Tech Recession and Stock Market Crash, Become Next Silicon Valley

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