Editor’s Note: We are heading to California and will be back next week with more posts. Here are some tidbits to start your week.
Florida booming again
New Census numbers are in and the Sunshine State is seeing a strong surge in population, but not to the levels of previous booms.
Florida’s foreign-born population increased by 140,000 from 2010 to 2013. Meanwhile, migration from within the United States added another 105,000 net new residents last year and 109,000 in 2012 — 84 percent more than in the previous two years.
That adds up to about 700 new residents a day, short of the 1,000 of recent boom years, but significant nonetheless.
Florida is nearing 20 million in population, up from 17.9 million a decade ago.
Florida VC Monies Barely Register
While demographers are saying at least some of the population boom is a result of young professionals flocking to the state and a burgeoning start up scene, Florida still barely registers when it comes to attracting venture capital.
According to the Miami Herald, Florida reaped just a tiny sliver – about a third of 1 percent – of the U.S. venture capital pie in the third quarter. In the state, $36.7 million was invested in six deals. That’s down considerably from $113.9 in 13 deals last quarter and the lowest total since the first quarter of 2013.
While we may not be swimming in VC cash, we are deluged with political ads, $83 million worth since last March, according to those who track that type of thing.
Florida’s gubernatorial race is one of the hottest in the country (Charlie Crist will be in Boca to soak up more cash this week) and has captured the attention of national news outlets for more than just the “fantrum”.
The New York Times Magazine weighed in with a lengthy piece saying the race between incumbent Rick Scott and former Gov. Crist is really a proxy battle between billionaire hedge funder Tom Steyer and the Koch Brothers.
The hot button issue: climate change, with Steyer’s Next Gen Climate group battling the Koch brothers’ led Americans for Prosperity.
It seems the political parties are playing less and less of a role as SuperPacs, which can raise unlimited cash and are often bankrolled by billionaires are not only spending tons of money but also opening field offices and organizing volunteers, traditional roles played by parties.