I want to share some exciting personal and professional news today. After 9 years in the Bay Area (mostly in San Francisco, but also in Berkeley and Sausalito), I landed in Miami on August 1st to lead the startup banking team for Silicon Valley Bank’s new office as announced this morning.
I am from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and moved to the US in August 2012. When I arrived in the Bay Area, I had no idea that I was making one of the best decisions of my life. With one bag, no friends, and no connections in the city, I enrolled in a program for international students at UC Berkeley and bought a road bike (to make friends and stay fit).
During these 9 years in the Bay Area, I made amazing friends and collected many stories, from meeting roommates on Craigslist to hanging out with Richard Branson. I actively participated in the creation of Latinas in Tech, a nonprofit with the mission to support, empower and connect Latina women working in technology, worked at Evernote (one of Silicon Valley’s first unicorns) as a marketing manager and scrum master, volunteered at BayBrazil, non-profit connecting Brazilian companies to Silicon Valley, and then joined SVB in September 2018 to lead their portfolio of Latin America-based startups and venture capital funds.
SVB is the bank of the innovation economy in the US and around the world. We started banking companies in LATAM in 2012 and today we bank 85% of all unicorns and the leading venture capital funds in the region. The tech ecosystem in LATAM continues to mature — VC investments in LATAM grew 50% just in the first half of 2021 compared to the whole year of 2020!
Great but… why Miami and why now? Miami is the gateway to Latin America, and corporations like Microsoft, Visa, Mastercard, SAP, and HP, already have their LATAM headquarters in South Florida. To add to that, the pandemic has encouraged resilient and creative thinking in how we view remote work, which has allowed tech innovation to thrive across the country. Miami has been a major beneficiary of this shift with its amazing weather, corporate tax policies, entrepreneurial base, and more.
A growing number of companies have relocated to FL in the past 10 months, from other cities within the US and countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. According to Hamonic Data, pre-seed and seed startup formation will grow 70% in Miami in 2021 making it the fastest-growing market in the United States, compared to 30% in California and NYC. SVB serves entrepreneurs and investors in every major innovation hub around the world, and we’re excited to expand in Miami.
I feel fortunate to be a part of the opening of the Miami SVB office. My main role is to serve as a resource for the local ecosystem and support pre-seed, seed, and growth startups, and their investors. I’m partnering with my teammate in Miami, Luiz Rabelo, and our colleagues in the Life Science & Healthcare and Global Fund Banking teams, and at SVB Capital and SVB Private Bank to meet the needs of our clients. I’m thrilled to also continue to work with and grow our LATAM client base with our Global Gateway team. We are based in the Brickell neighborhood, sharing the office with 13 new teammates from Boston Private, the private bank and wealth management firm that SVB had the privilege to acquire in July 2021.
AH! Did I mention we are hiring? There are currently 2 portfolio management positions open on my team in Miami:
Although I will miss the mountains and the trails of California, I am already enjoying the heat (and yes, the humidity too!) and excited to continue improving my kiteboarding skills. Miami was the very first city I visited outside of Brazil when I was 11. We landed in Miami to drive to Disney World and I remember driving through Miami Beach and thinking… WOW imagine what it’s like to live here?! I am excited for my new chapter in Miami and to contribute to the growth of the technology ecosystem in the Magic City!