The state of Florida added more tech companies than any other state in the nation in 2021, according to a new report published by CompTIA, a top trade associate of the IT sector.
Driven by rising prices and unfavorable tax regulations, tech companies flocked to The Sunshine State, landing in cities like Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville. According to the report, Florida added 2,715 tech businesses last year, placing ahead of previously known tech hubs like California and North Carolina.
“On a numeric basis, Florida had the largest year-over-year increase of net-new tech business establishments (+2,715),” the report states. “Rounding out the top five for net-new tech business establishments were Texas, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts. On a percent change basis, Vermont experienced the largest increase at 11.6%, followed by Idaho, Nebraska, Montana, and Tennessee.”
Florida also placed second in the top states by net tech employment increase, with 10, 522 new jobs created, just second behind Texas at 10,851. The influx of tech companies and workers has occurred alongside a population boom in both Florida and Texas.
Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing Florida’s entry into the tech industry, awarding $6 million to Osceola County earlier this year in order to expand the southern corridor of the county to connect with the NeoCity technological research and development district, creating a space for tech manufacturers, specifically those creating semiconductors, to enter Florida.
“Manufacturing is something that we need to do a better job of. We’ve worked really hard … to expand our manufacturing footprint and we want to continue doing that moving forward,” said DeSantis. “Semiconductors are a huge issue. If you look at how the supply chain works, we are overly dependent on foreign nations, including Taiwan, which is a good ally of ours but is one that is under really serious pressure by the CCP in China, so I think the more we can do manufacturing semiconductors here, the better off we’ll be.
Taiwan is home to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a global leader in semiconductor production and export, holding over 58 percent of the global market share. Their chips are used in a plethora of American-made products like cars and computer technology, which leads to concern given the ongoing chip shortage the company has faced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shortage has led to a scarcity of semiconductors available for purchase, driving up the prices of products that utilize the technology. Used cars, for example, have seen their value appreciate in some instances. Likewise, computer production has been brought to a massive slowdown as both corporations and at-home PC builders struggle to find graphics cards and likewise components.
NeoCity is a developing extension of the growing tech scene in central Florida and its surrounding areas, housing both domestic and international technology companies, with an intended purpose of becoming a ‘catalyst for high-tech innovation and creation, including jobs and capital investment.’
NeoCity is strategically located between two state universities, the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida, which boast top engineering programs. The schools would have opportunities to conduct research within NeoCity facilities, and could eventually serve as a job pipeline for the two schools.