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Re-Discovering Innovation at TECHPalooza 2022!

on January 6, 2023 / by Nikki Cabus ,

Read Time 7 Minutes

Where do we start?

You may think that not having a main highlight at this year’s event would be a bad thing. In fact, it’s just the opposite. There were so many exciting things happening this year, we don’t know which was better. I guess it depends on who you ask.

From flying cars, augmented reality dodgeball, robot dogs, 3D printers, speaking sessions and taking over an entire museum, this year’s TECHpalooza was one for the books!

Over the past couple decades, Florida has consistently been ranked as one of the top states in the country for entrepreneurial activity, but has struggled to gain national attention as a true technology hub attracting businesses, talent, and funding. Technology and STEM related fields such as fintech, healthtech, proptech, oceantech and aerospace have been a focus for the state for years, but now just starting to the attention. Over the past few years, others areas of the state such as Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville have really stepped up and helped put Florida on a national (and international) level.

TECHpalooza is here to showcase that technology.

TECHpalooza celebrates 10 years.

Formerly known as ITpalooza, the event has been know as one of the main annual tech events in South Florida attracting approximately 1000 – 1500 each year. It started as a holiday party and local meetup with many IT and MSP folks in the community and grew over the years into something much more.

Being at the intersection of it’s 10th year anniversary and the first one back in person since the pandemic, TECHpalooza 2022 was due for a little shakeup!

The 2022 theme was Re-discovering Innovation so we wanted to create an environment where our tech professionals and executives could re-discover that child-like wonder of discovery STEM for the first time. Presenting sponsor, Dynatrace, was on board!

The Tech Hub team decided to move the event from the Broward County Convention Center to the Museum of Discovery & Science in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. MODS was gracious enough to allow Tech Hub to do a museum takeover and use the IMAX theatre, multiple classrooms, and the entire 2-story museum to feature the events’ keynote sessions, panel discussions, interactive activities, and 50 featured exhibitors. Imagine having your booth right next to a life size replica of an extinct megalodon or the live otter viewing area!

David Coddington interviews Rony Abovitz.

There were almost 20 sessions with discussions touching on topics from cybersecurity to mixed reality, but the opening keynote sure made a splash that morning.

Serial entrepreneur, inventor and Founder of Magic Leap, Rony Abovitz, was interviewed by David Coddington, Sr. VP of Business Development at The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

Abovitz is not only the Founder of Magic Leap, but also the founder of Z-Kat Inc, Mako Surgical Corporation, and Sun and Thunder. He had never shared his founder journey publicly so it was a great honor for all in attendance.

The other two keynote sessions of the day were Sam Jaddi, CIO at ADT, who spoke about the importance of culture within a company in his talk titled ‘Change the Culture – Change the Game,’ and Chuck Miller, VP of Global Solutions Engineering at Dynatrace, educated the audience on the topic of ‘Modern Cloud Done Right.”

Additional sessions topics included Smart Cities, ClimateTech, Cybersecurity, Web3, Data and AI, The Future of Work, Mixed Reality Tech, Digital Transformation, Cloud Migration, Robotic Process Automation, and the Future of Flying Cars. Yup – flying cars.

Cybersecurity panel

Sessions were sponsored by Dynatrace (the event’s Presenting Sponsor), LAN Info Tech, Excess IT Hardware, Focus Global Talent Solutions, Brightline Trains and South Florida Business & Wealth.

In between educational speaking sessions and networking with exhibitors, VIP attendees got a chance to relax and get some coffee and food in the VIP Lounge, sponsored by the TechStrong Group with Coffee Bar sponsored by General Provision and VIP swag bags by OZ Digital Consulting.

There were food trucks and outdoor food court area sponsored by Culture Partners and a station with free snacks and water for all guests, sponsored by Origina.

Some of the featured interactive exhibitors featured this year were:

DORONI H1, go-to-market ‘flying’car’

Doroni Aerospace, an eVTOL, short for electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (AKA ‘flying cars’) gave attendees to see their first flying car prototype ever. Over $6B was invested in eVTOLs in 2021 alone, and 5 of the largest air taxi companies went public for a combined market cap of $10.7B

They are already a leader in the 2-seater segment of this industry, with a vehicle designed for personal use with potential use cases in law enforcement, search & rescue, and emergency response. The company had a cockpit protype there to educate attendees about their soon-to-launch vehicles for pre-purchase.

HADO, AR dodgeball esports game

HADO featured an exciting interactive arena where you could challenge another team to a dodgeball game by launching virtual blue fireballs, blocking those thrown at you with energy walls, and racking up points for your team. HADO combines traditional sports with competitive gameplay as the world’s first Augmented Reality (AR) physical Esport.

The company launched in Japan where the game is highly competitive and sold out arenas bring thousands of players and fans together to watch a team battle it out for cash prizes. HADO was recently launched right here in South Florida as the U.S.-based headquarters and the company is starting with schools as an immediate target audience.

It’s fast-paced, fun, and catching on quickly.

Robot buddies, Izzy and Spot

NextEra Energy brought out some of their drone technology as well as a little friend named Spot.

Spot may not be a cuddly puppy, but this robot dog built by Boston Dynamics can be deployed amidst storms to perform essentials functions that would normally be required to be performed manually. Spot can collect substation data earlier, allowing improved coverage without risk to humans. He even had his first Super Bowl ad cameo in 2020.

Spot became fast friends with Florida Robotics’ walking and talking robot Izzy. The new pair were certainly a sight to see.

Alice Figuerola from The SilverLogic

The SilverLogic, a custom software development company, had a large interactive space showcasing multiple technologies they had built for some of their clients.

They are a global organization of full-time software engineers, designers and architects focused on developing and delivering products that help businesses grow. TSL works with clients in all sorts of industries tacking issues through app creation to process automation.

Three of the featured interactive technologies that TSL featured were Lumentender, a lighting controller app, Why The Face, a facial feature detection app, ZF, an augmented reality boat parking assistance app, and a generative AI demo using test-to-image AI models to generate images with Demo Stable Diffusion and GPT3.

Rodrigo Lima from Lime Design

Lime Design, one of the leading product design companies in the U.S. and a local tech and creative hub in Hollywood, was there to feature some of the cool technologies they use when designing, prototyping and developing their one-of-a-kind products for clients.

From 3D printers, CNC machine, plasma cutters, laser cutters, blasters, graphics machines and so many more, Lime Design has all the equipment and professionals needed to bring products to life.

Attendees got the opportunity to learn more about how products are created and built, see a couple 3D printers and CNC machines at work. Just in time for the World Cup, Founder Rodrigo Lima, even printed a replica World Cup trophy that was later raffled off that night.

EventFy, a Miami-based startup company and XR virtual event metaverse cross device platform showcased its futuristic technology to business executives.

The platform allows users to be transported to another world using AR, VR, and XR tech. You can get comfortable, enjoy and relax in this new immersive experience while attending a concert, trade show, or board meeting. The possibilities are endless.

EventFy has already nabbed clients such as the NFL and Televisa Univision!

‘The Cyberdelics’ Band at after party

The day ended with live music from our Tech Hub band, The Cyberdelics which includes Kelly Boyle, Tech Hub board member, Jeb Reynolds, Tech Hub Ambassador, and Lenny Chesal, former board member and current Tech Hub advocate. Food and drinks were sponsored by Semantix and Gravity IT Resources.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who came together to make this year a success. The City of Ft. Lauderdale, Mayor Dean Trantalis, City Manager Greg Chavarria, NBC South Florida, our volunteers, the Dan Marino Foundation, organizing committee and so many others. Although you may not be mentioned here, we know who you are and thank you!

We have big plans over the coming years so make sure you are a part of all the action. See you at TECHpalooza 2023!

Re-Discovering Innovation at TECHPalooza 2022!