Why Did I (and Many Others) Relocate to Miami?

Derek Distenfield
6 min readApr 21, 2022


Miami is a Booming International Melting Pot

Did you know Miami is the only city in the U.S. with a diverse Latin American, Caribbean and European population? With 70% of its people classified as Latinos/Hispanic, it is no wonder that Miami is known as the Gateway to the Americas. Its thriving Latin American business and cultural hub aligns it perfectly with our #GoGlobal mantra.

Florida Has No Income or Capital Gains Tax

One of the reasons I decided to move to Florida was because it’s one of the few states that doesn’t have an income tax. For decades, Florida has been known to have the lowest tax burdens in the country. Florida also has no capital gains tax, no estate tax, no inheritance tax, no gift tax, and no corporate tax either. With a few exceptions, Florida also doesn’t have sales tax on grocery store food or medicine, which is another perk.

However, there are a few things you should know about before considering a move here:

  • Property taxes are high. Florida’s average real property tax rate is 0.98%, which is slightly lower than the U.S. average of 1.08%. Although there are some exemptions to lighten the load, Florida has some of the highest property taxes in the country.
  • Florida has a 6% sales tax on most goods and services (except for clothing). With 2.9% being the lowest sales tax rate in CO and 7.25% being the highest in CA, Florida still swings to the higher end of the spectrum.
  • The traffic is as bad as they say in Miami and you might want to avoid driving South between 7–9 am and North between 3:30 pm — 7:00 pm.

The Good News? The Miami tech scene is growing exponentially and may even surpass San Francisco. Since 2020 there has been a mass exodus out of the Bay Area, and Florida is trailing behind Texas as the most flocked to destination, and for good reason.

The Weather is Excellent, With Beautiful Beaches and Tons Of Fun Things To Do Outside Year-Round

Miami is known for its fantastic weather, white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and many outdoor activities year-round. With a temperate climate throughout the year (average temperature of 76° F), there are plenty of things to do outside such as cycling, jogging, swimming, surfing, boating, jet skiing, etc.

If you’re not into beaches, you can find other outdoor options, including parks with jogging trails, zoos, and outdoor museums. The most popular attractions include Miami Beach, South Beach, Miami Zoo, Bayside Marketplace, Little Havana, Ocean Drive, and Deering Estate. Or you can catch a Miami Heat game at the FTX Arena in downtown Brickell or a Dolphin game at the Hard Rock Stadium. The world-famous Everglades National Park is also only a 90-minute drive away.

When it comes to food, the culinary scene is on fire with Latin American fusion. So when you’re in town, be sure to grab a cup of delicious Cuban coffee, fresh ceviche, or an authentic Cuban sandwich. Miami has many world-renowned festivals, too-most are outdoors, rain or shine!

Miami is a Hub for Real Estate, Crypto, and Venture Capital

Miami is considered the capital of Latin America and is a growing hub for real estate, crypto, and venture capital. It is home to some of the best venture capital companies in the world While Miami is home to funds like Junipero, Miami Angels, and Blue Cloud Ventures the city is most notably the headquarters for SoftBank. The Japanese multinational conglomerate recently announced plans to invest $100 million, drawn from across its funds, into Miami-based startups in 2021. Additionally, they run a $5 billion Latin America fund.

Now tied with LA for blockchain fundraising, Miami has quickly become the center of the crypto universe, laying claim to many cryptocurrency investments, NFTs, fintech, and blockchain companies such as RECUR, InfiniteWorld, QuikNode, and MoonPay. In addition, there are weekly events at places like The Lab Miami, and the city will be home of the Bitcoin Conference in 2022.

The city has many businesses looking to adopt the use of cryptocurrencies, spurring the city to grow incredibly. EdTech company, Blockchain Center Miami is a new education center, event venue, and coworking space aiming to be the hub of the Miami blockchain and cryptocurrency community.

So many businesses in Miami are transitioning to crypto-currencies as a payment method because of their ability to make transactions without going through banks or any other third-party institutions.

There’s No Other City Like Miami Anywhere In The World

By now, you can see that the city of Miami is unlike any other place in North America. In fact, it’s unlike any other place in the world. It’s a city where one can find the multicultural diversity of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. In this coastal metropolis, you’ll find people from Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Eastern Europe, France, and Italy among the native white and African American communities.

People love Miami because it has everything you could want: beautiful beaches (hello South Beach!), great music (reggaeton anyone?), delicious food (have you had a guava pastelito yet?), and fantastic weather (although it can get muggy in the summer). Not to mention you have direct flights to just about anywhere in Latin America and the Caribbean-the Bahamas are less than an hour away by plane, and the breath-taking Florida Keys are a short car ride down the Overseas Highway.

Miami is truly a city of the future, and its diversity is what makes it so special. If you visit this tropical paradise, I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with it as I did!

It’s hard to beat the beauty of this city.

My opinion: Miami is the greatest city on the planet. Its beaches are world-class, its climate is heavenly, and it has a wildly diverse culture. The real estate market is exploding, making for a fantastic investment. The venture capital scene here is also vibrant and thriving. I have launched many successful businesses in Miami, such as Miami Crypto and GSD portfolio company VoiceScript, just north of Miami. I’ve lived all over the country, but this mind-blowing city has stolen my heart, and I will never live anywhere else!

We think GSD Venture Studio will gain a ton of value from this move, and we will make great strides as we continue our mission to help companies #GoGlobal .

Originally published at https://www.gsdvs.com on April 21, 2022.

About GSD Venture Studios:
We travel the world investing in resilient teams bold enough to #GoGlobal.
For too long, self-motivated entrepreneurs have navigated the minefield of challenges to launching a global company with very little support. The last thing you should bet on in this situation is an unproven team that you don’t trust. GSD Venture Studios travels to every corner of the globe inviting resilient teams to establish partnerships that ensure organizations grow the right way, without games or gimmicks. You can learn more about GSD Ventures Studios here: https://www.gsdvs.com/post/interview-with-derek-everything-you-need-to-know-about-gsd

About Derek Distenfield:
Known for both bringing revolutionary new ideas to organizations that deliver explosive growth and for displaying a high tolerance for ambiguity and complexity. For over 15 years, Derek has blazed high impact careers in startups, corporations, governments, and nonprofit organizations that range from $0 to $2 billion.
He is the operational mastermind, COO and Co-founder behind the success of GSD Venture Studios. Derek brings a variety of resources together to deliver explosive growth for GSD’s portfolio companies. Additionally, he lectures on startup growth at leading universities and writes for Forbes.com. Analytic Insight Magazine honored Derek as a 40 under 40 Innovator for his work in redefining the future of tech through cutting edge innovation. Yahoo.com called Derek as one of 2020s most influential people.
Derek is a frequent keynote speaker, advisor, and mentor. Silicon Valley is home, and he travels the world frequently to work with GSD’s portfolio companies.
More information can be found at: https://www.gsdvs.com/post/meet-derek-distenfield



Derek Distenfield

Derek Distenfield is an investor, operational mastermind, frequent keynote speaker, advisor, and mentor based in Charlotte, GA.