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Global Entrepreneurship Week shines a spotlight on South Florida’s tech scene

on November 20, 2021 / by Riley Kaminer ,

Read Time 4 Minutes

As South Florida’s innovation ecosystem continues to grow at a rapid clip, it can be difficult to keep track of the various tech initiatives happening from Miami to Martin County. The recent Global Entrepreneurship Week was no exception. This celebration of entrepreneurship saw a wide range of events, from the practical to the celebratory.

Scroll down to learn about some of the top Global Entrepreneurship Week events in South Florida.


1909 Gala: Taking stock of Palm Beach’s thriving tech scene

The first 1909 Gala, which had a 1900s-themed dress code, was a roaring success. Almost 200 local entrepreneurs and creatives attended to celebrate the West Palm Beach-based innovation hub.

“The 1909 Gala was extra special because it felt like the celebration of all of our efforts over the past 3 years including having to shift all of our programming during a global pandemic,” 1909’s Executive Director, Shana Ostrovitz, told South Florida Tech Hub.

Ostrovitz acknowledged that the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Palm Beach County is way more than just tech. “It feels like this is the moment in time we’ve all been waiting for,” she said. “We have a collaborative and supportive community foundation laid and we are starting to see the positive impact and results. Founders are able to find the support resources they need to be successful and sustainable – and they don’t have to move away to do it.”

The event featured a handful of speakers from the Palm Beach entrepreneurship and 1909 community, including Gaida Zirkelback of Sustainabase, Rodrigo Griesi of Neptunya, and Michelle Bakels of G2i.

Mayor Keith A. James of West Palm Beach delivered an opening address in which underscored that the city is an emerging tech hub, and that there is a “special place for entrepreneurs in [his] heart.”

Photos from the 1909 event are courtesy of Koda Creative.


Pitch Night at NSU’s Levan Innovation Center

South Florida Tech Hub hosted a pitch event at the Alan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation. Levan Center’s headquarters in Davie and the night was sponsored by New World Angels

“The event was a safe space for founders to share their ideas and pitch desks,” said Nikki Cabus, Tech Hub’s interim CEO. “It was a great opportunity for these local startups to get honest feedback and constructive criticism directly from founders, mentors and investors allowing them the the ability to implement impactful changes prior to pitching their ideas to investors.”

The session revolved around helping startups improve their pitches from the founders stage presence to pitch deck design and information and data presented. There was no competition or prize component, and the event’s intimate setting enabled experts to provide the most tangible and constructive advice to those who pitched.

There were around 40 entrepreneurs and business experts in attendance, including New World Angels COO and Tech Hub’s Startup Committee Chair, Sarah Lucas; CEO and CTO of LifeState, Tahl Milburn; local entrepreneur, Jim Green, and Mike Maniscalco, the Chair of Tech Hub’s Startup Founders Peer Group and the founder/CEO of Better Living Technologies.

The Startup Pitch Night lineup included:

  • SafeDate | Sid Klein
  • PadBlock | Alberto Marinas
  • Commin | Ryan Cox
  • Showspace Technologies | Mark Morrison
  • Happy Gift | Jeffry Mauricio Catano
  • Emergency Ventures | Joseph Russo
  • Owwll App | Jason Hill
  • Coally | Andres Joya Mosquera
  • Carevocacy | Stefano Carl Selorio
  • Edutainment | Ola Litkova

Jason Hill, Founder & CEO of the Owwll App, shared that it was his first time pitching his startup. Hill said, “It was amazing to see the Owwll Brand come alive on the big screens.” He continued, “It was truly a honor to have this opportunity to share the journey.”

The Innovation Center’s Chief Innovation Officer, John Wensveen, announced that evening that it was the center’s very first pitch event in their new “pitch room” with a state-of-the-art 18-screen video wall.


Developing the future of South Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

In collaboration with Junior Achievement of South Florida, Tech Hub hosted a panel conversation entitled “Inspiring Our Future Entrepreneurs.”

The JA panelists included Irlanda Velazquez, a current high school student; Isaac Hetzroni, Founder & CEO @ Imprint Genius; and Huguette St Hubert, an intern at South Florida Tech Hub, who all completed entrepreneurship programs with Junior Achievement. 

Additionally, young entrepreneurs from all over The School District of Palm Beach County heard inspirational experiences from area business leaders, thanks to a partnership with Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast. Local business owners and entrepreneurs shared ways students can use the skills they’re learning to prepare for a successful future. A video highlight showcased some of the week’s work.

One of those business leaders was Ryan Boylston, Founder and CEO of 2TON. Ryan leads a team of highly skilled design professionals and technologists that assist clients in increasing business awareness and visibility through creative marketing strategies. Ryan also serves as a City of Delray Beach Commissioner. He took the time to speak to local students at William T. Dwyer High School this year. Boylston stated, “I have a lot of hope for this generation. I think their ceiling is higher than any other generation.”

Are you a local technologist, businessperson, or innovator that is looking to play an active role in developing the future of South Florida’s tech entrepreneurial ecosystem? JA is always looking for partners. “Please support this organization,” said Cabus. “They are your future workforce!”

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Global Entrepreneurship Week shines a spotlight on South Florida’s tech scene