What’s fueling investment and innovation in Miami? A conversation with Philippe Houdard


Over time, Miami has developed a reputation for suffering from brain drain, but that narrative couldn’t be further from the truth, according to Philippe Houdard, co-founder of Pipeline Workspaces and Co-chair of Miami Downtown Development Authority’s Enterprise Committee.

Houdard is a living, breathing example of how Miami is turning the tide against brain drain. After graduating from the University of Florida and Harvard University, Philippe arrived in Miami and scored a job at Lucent. Since then, he’s gone on to launch multiple companies as well as the Developing Minds Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on rehabilitating at-risk youth in South America.

Today’s Miami is a far different place from what Philippe found when he moved here more than 20 years ago. With the emergence of urban hot spots like Downtown, Brickell and Wynwood — and the flexibility offered by coworking spaces — it’s no wonder why Miami is strengthening its appeal among talented professionals and new employers.

“I think Miami has been undergoing this amazing transformation. It’s no longer just looked at as a place for sun and fun. Over the years, it’s become known as a center of innovation and business growth,” said Houdard in a recent Miami Herald Q&A feature.

Houdard calls Miami a “young city” that is “full of risk takers” and highlights diversity of thought and creativity among the City’s top selling points to businesses. We are “a city of immigrants, people coming from all different perspectives and from different parts of the world. That diversity of thought is really central to what companies are looking for today,” he explains.

We caught up with Philippe and asked three rapid-fire questions capturing his views on what drives Miami.