Tech Hub South FloridaTech Hub South Florida

Stronger Together | South Florida’s United Future as a Tech Hub

on February 22, 2021 / by Rebecca Bakels ,


Read Time 3 Minutes

This past week, Palm Beach Tech announced its rebrand and new name of Tech Hub South Florida as it convened for the first Community Coffee of 2021. The discussion brought together some major local voices to speak on South Florida’s booming tech hotspot and how we can maximize on the national attention and desperate need for tech talent within the region. 

 

Scott Singer | Mayor, Boca Raton

The conversation began with a short history lesson from Mayor Singer of Boca Raton, acknowledging Boca Raton as the home of IBM (and birthplace of the personal computer) from the 1960s to 90s. “The spirit of tech and innovation remains.” At this, multiple former IBM employees popped into the chat, proving that our tech roots are here to stay

Once the location of IBM, now sits the 1.7 million square foot Boca Raton Innovation Campus (also know as BRiC) which houses companies such as Modernizing Medicine with almost 1,000 employees.

 

Daniella Levine Cava | Mayor, Miami-Dade

But with this national attention, there is some concern rising among our local tech community: what will be done to ensure that local resources and talent will be prioritized? Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade took this question acknowledging the important role played by existing code schools and apprenticeship programs but she went on to say “we need to do even more, we need to double down.” The importation of talent is not a bad thing per se, but should not serve as a substitute for cultivating local talent. We have the opportunity to expand access to affordable housing and public transportation, vital resources for our budding young professionals to stay local and succeed.

 

Michael Udine | Vice Mayor, Broward

Housing and transit are only part of the issue facing South Florida; major gaps still exist in our public education system and Computer Science courses need to become the norm in local schools. Broward County’s Vice Mayor Udine said “inclusivity is key; there’s major untapped potential” within our black and brown communities and often overlooked differently-abled students. Not only do we need to expand current CS programs within the standard educational track but we need to ensure the most in-demand skills are being taught. This includes soft skills, such as professional email correspondence, direct interactions with associates, and effective networking.

 

 

David Coddington, Co-Chair of TechGateway

David Coddington, Co-Chair of Tech Gateway, jumped in on this discussion with the importance of early exposure; it started with “‘certainly we have to be in the universities . . . no, we actually need to be in the middle schools.’” It’s crucial to expose students to these fields while their minds are still developing. Success starts with the knowledge that the opportunities are out there and TechGateway is working to expand their ‘TechGateway Day’ to more middle and high schools in the coming year to foster just that.

 

Above all else, unity will help South Florida live up to our potential; “we’re stronger together” was a repeated sentiment. Mr. Coddington pointed out that you can’t speak about Broward without mentioning Palm Beach or Miami; we’re an intertwined region, often thought of to non-Floridians as simply ‘Miami’. That sentiment may give locals a laugh, but we can capitalize on this name recognition to boost our visibility as a strong contender for the next booming tech hub. 

 

Together, we are #BuildingSoFlo!

Stronger Together | South Florida’s United Future as a Tech Hub