South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

AI Powered Convenience Store Chain Re-Up to Deploy Autonomous Kitchens

Read Time 4 Minutes

Re-Up, the world’s first AI-powered convenience store, redefining gas stations with cutting-edge technology, announced that the company will be installing autonomous robotic chefs at a variety of locations powered by Nala Robotics, an AI technology company revolutionizing the culinary industry.

Re-Up is a gas station and convenience store retail operator, focused on elevating customer experience through the integration of AI-powered technology and design. Re-Up is elevating the way people re-fuel, re-charge, re-fill, re-up, answering a pent up demand for a modern, clean, and healthy convenience retail experience. With more than 30 stores in the pipeline, strategically positioned for accessibility and convenience across Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, Re-Up is led by a dynamic team, contributing unique expertise in the sectors of retail operations, technology, and real estate.

Nala Robotics is an AI technology company disrupting the culinary industry with the introduction of The Wingman, Pizzaiola, Nala Chef, Bowl Bot and Sandwich Bot. Its fully automated, customizable robots use machine learning to cook infinite recipes replicated with exact precision anytime, anywhere. The company’s autonomous robotic solutions are ideal for multiple cuisines including American, Chinese, Indian and Thai. Based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, Nala Robotics has offices in California, India and Ukraine.

The Wingman by Nala Robotics is an autonomous fry station that can easily be added or configured to any restaurant or commercial food service operation. Re-Up will leverage Nala Robotics’ advanced artificial intelligence technology to enhance its food service offerings, enabling customers to enjoy freshly prepared, fully customizable, fried chicken, french fries and other menu items on demand, quickly, easily and without human intervention.

“As the c-store for the new generation – offering clean and healthy alternatives to the traditional convenience retail experience, we are thrilled to partner with Nala Robotics,” said Michael Salafia, Founder and Managing Director of Re-Up. “By harnessing the power of AI, we are able to provide our customers with convenient, personalized, and safe shopping and dining experiences. We believe this groundbreaking concept will revolutionize the way people shop and fuel up.”

 

The announcement comes on the heels of Re-Up’s grand opening of its inaugural location in Melbourne, Florida, located just a mile and a half from Melbourne Orlando International Airport, at 601 South Babcock Street, Melbourne, Florida.

According to U-Haul data, the Palm Bay-Melbourne market netted the largest number of movers in one-way U-Haul® equipment last year, dominating the US city growth trend. Re-Up currently has 9 open stores and more than 30 in the pipeline.

“Our expansion efforts at Re-Up are proceeding at an accelerated pace. We aim to procure 25-30 additional stores by the end of 2024 and more than 200 stores in the coming years,” said Narendra Manney, Co-Founder & President of Re-Up. “The integration of robotics kitchens stands as a pivotal strategy in our modernization initiative, enabling us to enhance operational efficiency and deliver seamless services while upholding unwavering quality standards around the clock.”

Nala Robotics’ AI-enabled virtual kitchens are equipped with advanced sensors, precision cooking mechanisms, and machine learning algorithms, allowing its robotic chefs to autonomously prepare a wide range of menu items with unparalleled consistency and efficiency. In addition to on-premises ordering via multi-modal kiosk, restaurants can create virtual storefronts for remote transactions through a website or online food ordering and delivery platform. The integration of The Wingman into Re-Up’s convenience stores will enable faster service, reduced wait times, and enhanced food quality, improving the overall customer experience.

“Our agreement with Re-Up underscores both companies’ commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction and will deliver better outcomes for both operator and consumer,” said Ajay Sunkara, CEO of Nala Robotics.

“The Wingman doesn’t get sick, can work around the clock and can cook any dish efficiently all the time, improving on quality and saving on labor costs. At the same time, customers get to choose from an assortment of great-tasting food items just the way they like it.”

Re-Up’s pillars consist of clean, safe, healthy, and modern; the ultimate elevated customer experience. Built on multigenerational retail expertise, Re-Up prioritizes exceptional customer service, on trend merchandising, and modern store layouts, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience for every patron. Re-Up offers nutritional food options, free WiFi, and cafe seating.

To learn more about Re-Up, visit www.reupfuel.com

By Adam Elitzur

Driving South Florida’s Tech Landscape: Michael Fowler’s Journey Through Tech and Leadership

Read Time 2 Minutes

Michael Fowler, former board chair of South Florida Tech Hub and current chair of TECHpalooza, is a driving force in the region’s tech landscape. With a career spanning decades in the energy industry, Fowler has held key roles at NextEra Energy and currently at its subsidiary, Florida Power & Light (FPL), serving as the business unit chief information officer.

In 2010, Fowler moved to Florida but initially struggled to find the pulse of the local technology community. However, he made it his mission to uncover pockets of innovation. “It took me a few years to find South Florida Tech Hub. When I found that, I jumped in with both feet,” he explained. For Fowler, a rewarding aspect of South Florida Tech Hub has been finding the intersection between local companies and the tech community.

As board chair of South Florida Tech Hub, a role he held for five years, Fowler played a pivotal role in merging TechLauderdale and Palm Beach Tech into the unified organization, South Florida Tech Hub. “As a region, it was beneficial to all if we operated as one tech community,” he said.

One of Fowler’s proudest achievements with South Florida Tech Hub was facilitating the expansion of Mark Cuban’s AI Boot Camp in South Florida, growing from one to three camps across Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. “The fact that we can be a unified tech region enables us to participate in programs like the boot camp and attract similar opportunities,” Fowler noted.

Cultivating close partnerships with local universities has been a key focus area for Fowler during his time at South Florida Tech Hub. He recognizes the importance of developing a strong pipeline of tech talent from within the region to meet industry demands. Fowler has worked diligently to engage higher education institutions like Miami Dade College, Florida Atlantic University, and Florida International University to align their curricula with industry needs. “Even with students who want to pursue degrees and interests outside of tech, I still think that having a core of tech is really powerful for any career,” Fowler mentioned.

Fostering tech talent remains a priority for Fowler, who believes in exposing students to STEM education from an early age. “I want us to continue getting more K-12 students involved in STEM,” Fowler remarked. “I think there’s more work we have to do to engage young minds and get them excited about STEM so that they want to pursue advanced degrees in this area.”

Looking ahead, Fowler is excited about his role as the incoming chair of TECHpalooza, an annual technology conference hosted by South Florida Tech Hub, aiming to double the event’s attendance to 5,000 this year. TECHpalooza will be hosted at the Broward Convention Center on December 11th, 2024.

Fowler envisions an exciting future for the tech industry, particularly in the realm of AI. “I’m an optimist and think it will take a lot of humans for this journey to be successful. I see AI being a tremendous tool that all of us will use in our daily lives,” he remarked, emphasizing AI’s role in augmenting human capabilities.

With his wealth of experience and vision, Michael Fowler continues to be a driving force in shaping the region’s tech landscape, nurturing talent, and fostering collaboration among industry giants and local innovators alike.

By Nikki Cabus

Palm Beach County startup TurboDocx announces successful pre-seed funding round

Read Time 3 Minutes

TurboDocx announced a significant milestone as the company closed its pre-seed funding round, raising $75,000.

The Palm Beach County-based TurboDocx was founded in 2022 and is at the forefront of the digital transformation in document and slide deck creation. By leveraging modular, centralized content and cutting-edge AI technologies, TurboDocx aims to simplify and improve the document creation process for professionals and businesses worldwide.

With a strong focus on user-driven innovation, TurboDocx is dedicated to delivering solutions that empower users with efficiency, creativity, and control over their digital content. TurboDocx let’s you create documents and slide decks in a matter of minutes savings companies valueable time and money.

Thanks to the generous backing of friends, family, and early supporters, the company has successfully raised $75,000 achieving more than a financial milestone, but a strong endorsement of the vision TurboDocx is pursuing and the innovative strides it is making in the field of document automation.

“We are immensely grateful for the support that extends far beyond financial contributions,” expressed Nicolas Fry, CEO of TurboDocx. “This backing is a clear vote of confidence in our mission to transform document and slide deck creation with modular content accelerated by artificial intelligence. It empowers us to move forward with our vision, driving innovation that matters to our users.”

“At TurboDocx, we understand the importance of structure in document creation. Our initial phase focuses on deconstructing your existing documents into modular building blocks,” states Fry. “This lays the foundational ‘knowledge’ necessary for the next steps in our smart document evolution.”

TurboDocx remains steadfast in its focus, channeling this support to further develop its collaboration flows, AI capabilities, and ensuring that the solutions set benchmarks for efficiency, re-usability, and innovation. The company is dedicated to advancing its technology in ways that directly respond to the evolving needs of professionals and businesses alike.

The recent funding will accelerate the company’s efforts to enhance its collaboration toolsets, AI capabilities, refine user experience, and expand its offerings to meet and exceed market expectations. The funding will support focused partner and client need research to understand and address the evolving needs of users, enhanced solutions that set new benchmarks for efficiency, re-usability, and innovation, and go-to-market (GTM) consisting of partner and channel growth with support from TuboDocx investment team and advisors.

TurboDocx’s approach to development is deeply rooted in a commitment to meaningful innovation. “Our partners and clients are the compass that guides our product roadmap. Their feedback and needs inspire our innovation, helping us prioritize features and capabilities that deliver real value,” Fry noted.

To learn more about TurboDocx, please visit www.turbodocx.com

By Nikki Cabus

Intel and DigitalBridge Launch Articul8, an Enterprise Generative AI Company

Read Time 4 Minutes

Intel Corp. and DigitalBridge Group, Inc. announced the formation of Articul8 AI, Inc, an enterprise level geneartive AI company.

Articul8 AI, Inc. (Articul8) is an independent company offering enterprise customers a full-stack, vertically-optimized and secure generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) software platform. The platform delivers AI capabilities that keep customer data, training and inference within the enterprise security perimeter. The platform also provides customers the choice of cloud, on-prem or hybrid deployment.

“With its deep AI and HPC domain knowledge and enterprise-grade GenAI deployments, Articul8 is well positioned to deliver tangible business outcomes for Intel and our broader ecosystem of customers and partners. As Intel accelerates AI everywhere, we look forward to our continued collaboration with Articul8,” said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO.

Intel Corporation (Nasdaq: INTC; “Intel”) is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance the design and manufacturing of semiconductors to help address our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge and every kind of computing device, Intel aims to unleash the potential of data to transform business and society for the better.

Boca Raton-based DigitalBridge Ventures, the venture initiative of DigitalBridge Group, Inc. (NYSE: DBRG; “DigitalBridge”) , served as lead investor of Articul8. In addition, Intel, along with a syndicate of established venture investors, including Fin Capital, Mindset Ventures, Communitas Capital, GiantLeap Capital, GS Futures and Zain Group, has taken an equity stake in the company.

DigitalBridge is a leading global alternative asset manager dedicated to investing in digital infrastructure. With a heritage of over 25 years investing in and operating businesses across the digital ecosystem, including cell towers, data centers, fiber, small cells, and edge infrastructure, the DigitalBridge team manages $75 billion of infrastructure assets on behalf of its limited partners and shareholders. Headquartered in Boca Raton, DigitalBridge has key offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Luxembourg, and Singapore.

“Every global enterprise today is challenged to integrate GenAI capabilities into their workflows. Articul8 has built a scalable and easy-to-deploy GenAI software platform that is already enabling enterprises to unlock value from their proprietary data. We see GenAI as a pivotal force driving digital infrastructure, and we are pleased to collaborate with Intel to support Articul8’s growth,” said Marc Ganzi, DigitalBridge CEO.

Articul8 was created with intellectual property (IP) and technology developed at Intel, and both Intel and DigitalBridge will remain strategically aligned on go-to-market opportunities and collaborate on driving GenAI adoption in the enterprise.

Arun Subramaniyan, formerly vice president and general manager in Intel’s Data Center and AI Group, has assumed leadership of Articul8 as its CEO.

In a social media post, Arun writes, “It has been a phenomenal journey building a GenAI business and launching Articul8 AI. I am deeply grateful to Intel leadership and the broader Intel Corporation family for enabling us to be successful. I am also thankful for our strategic investors (DigitalBridge, Intel Capital, Fin Capital and others), partners, and customers who came together to make the launch possible. We look forward to delivering value to companies and even governments globally as we scale Articul8.”

Articul8 offers a turnkey GenAI software platform that delivers speed, security and cost-efficiency to help large enterprise customers operationalize and scale AI. The platform was launched and optimized on Intel hardware architectures, including Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and Intel® Gaudi® accelerators, but will support a range of hybrid infrastructure alternatives. Following the technology’s early deployment at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the team has scaled the platform to enterprise customers in industry segments requiring high levels of security and specialized domain knowledge, including financial services, aerospace, semiconductors and telecommunications.

“GenAI is at the forefront of our clients’ business strategy and needs. Our collaboration began nearly two years ago while the venture was still in the incubation stage at Intel. Since then, we have deployed Articul8 products for multiple clients seeking production-ready platforms with rapid time to market,” said Rich Lesser, Global Chair of BCG.

As an independent company supported by industry investment, Articul8 will be able to accelerate its go-to-market strategy and scale its product offerings for the broader GenAI ecosystem.

For more information about Articul8, visit www.articul8.ai.

By Nikki Cabus

DSS Wins Third Place in the precisionFDA Veterans Cardiac Health and AI Model Predictions Challenge

Read Time 4 Minutes

Document Storage Systems, Inc. (DSS) announced it has been named a third-place winner in Phase 2 of the precisionFDA Veterans Cardiac Health and AI Model Predictions (V-CHAMPS) Challenge.

Palm Beach County-based DSS Inc. is a leading provider of health information technology (HIT) solutions for federal, private and public health care organizations. DSS is a catalyst for health care innovation and digital transformation, helping the Department of Veterans Affairs as a solutions provider, systems integrator, and services contractor. DSS is committed to assisting VA in its High Reliability Organization journey and delivering care quality for Veterans by meeting top initiatives, changing regulatory requirements, and implementing enhanced business transformation across VA enterprise.

The V-CHAMPS challenge calls on the scientific and data analytics community to develop and evaluate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) models to predict cardiovascular health related outcomes in Veterans. Cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and peripheral artery disease, are the leading cause of hospitalization in the VA health care system, and are a major cause of disability among Veterans.

In 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs published a study that found that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might be an underlying cause of developing premature cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular health is an important part of Veteran health, therefore the prevention and reduction of risk for heart disease is a key area of focus for the VA.

For Phase 1, the DSS team led by Xiupeng Wei, PhD, was able to meet key criteria in the challenge using the synthetic Veteran data provided and which included a combination of clinical and data science subject matter experts. They were evaluated on innovation in clinical predictors, completeness of data science approaches, statistical metrics, and the exploration of demographics measures. As a result, the DSS team was selected as a Top Performer for Phase 1.

Phase 1 was focused on synthetic data and ran from May 25 to August 2, 2023. In this Phase of the Challenge, AI/ML models were developed by Challenge participants and trained and tested on the synthetic data sets provided to them, with a view towards predicting outcome variables for Veterans who have been diagnosed with chronic heart failure. Please note that in Phase 1, the data is synthetic Veteran health records.

For Phase 2 of the V-CHAMPS challenge, DSS won third place for creating predictive algorithms using AI/ML, which were tested used actual Veteran data, producing highly accurate results.

Phase 2 focused on validating and further exploring the limits of the AI/ML models. During this Phase, high-performing AI/ML models from Phase 1 were brought into the VA system and validated on real-world Veterans health data within the VHA.

“We are honored to be named a winner in the V-CHAMPS challenge, and are moving towards using these predictive algorithms for cardiac health in our product suite,” said Michele G. Burst, director strategic innovations, analytics at DSS.

“Our vision is to use these AI/ML capabilities to fully understand and predict Veteran health outcomes, which will have tremendous implications on the future of Veteran care.”

The primary outcome of interest for the V-CHAMPS challenge is a composite of all-cause mortality during a hospitalization and all-cause hospital readmissions. Secondary outcomes of interest are all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality during a hospitalization, hospital readmission for all causes (cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular), and hospital readmissions for cardiovascular causes.

According to the preceisionFDA website, “The V-CHAMPS Challenge showed us that artificial intelligence (AI) models that performed well on the synthetic patient data in Phase 1 also performed well on the RWD during Phase 2, highlighting the potential value of using synthetic data in AI model development. Teams that employed ensemble learning approaches also tended to perform the best. Overall, isolating the clinical features that drove model performance was considered the most critical differentiator in evaluating whether AI models could potentially be valuable aids to clinicians treating patients with cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure. A formal publication is planned to provide more detailed information on the V-CHAMPS Challenge, the challenge process, the lessons learned, and details of the models entered into the challenge.”

The V-CHAMPS challenge is managed by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Innovation Ecosystem (IE), the Digital Health Center of Excellence (DHCoE) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA Office of Digital Transformation (ODT)’s precisionFDA, and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Learn more about the V-CHAMPS Challenge winners and the challenge outcomes here.

By Adam Elitzur

Microsoft 365 Community Day Miami (M365 Miami)

Discover the best of what’s next in Microsoft 365 with Artificial Intelligence and the Power Platform at M365 Miami. Join us for a day of problem-solving with experts, making global connections, and empowering yourself to lead your organization in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Immerse yourself in a day of cost-free tech education at our event, showcasing 34 expert international speakers, including Microsoft employees and MVPs. Dive into five tracks of sessions exploring real-world use cases, with increasing complexity as the day unfolds. Get your questions answered at an Ask the Experts booth. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, business owner, or simply curious about cutting-edge technology, join us to elevate your skills and discover what is left uncharted!

By Nikki Cabus

Guest Blog: Digital Transformation South Florida Style at TECHpalooza

Read Time 3 Minutes

I was privileged to be invited to participate on a panel for the CIO Breakfast as part of the recent TECHpalooza event here in South Florida (Ft. Lauderdale to be exact). The panel was entitled, “The Future of the AI Revolution.”

I must admit I had modest hopes for the discussion taking place at the ungodly hour of 7am, but I was pleasantly surprised – not only with the sophistication and maturity of the state of digital transformation at the companies represented on the panel, but equally so by the companies represented in the audience.

Having lived in South Florida for almost 22 years now, I have come to accept that this isn’t Silicon Valley, Boston, Austin or any of the other hot tech markets. However, due to Covid, digital nomads and the hard work of local organizations like Tech Hub South Florida, that isn’t the case anymore.

There is a vibrant tech scene stretching from Miami, past Ft. Lauderdale and all the way up to Northern Palm Beach County – and even beyond.

Besides myself, on the panel was Michael Fowler, who is a VP and business unit CIO at Florida Power and Light (FPL), Sam Jaddi, SVP and CIO at ADT, Caroline Roche, VP and Senior Partner IBM’s Transformation Services, and Chad Simpson, the CIO for City Furniture. The panel was moderated by Colby Brannan and Lee Buchness, senior partners at Culture Partners.

Also not able to join us, and missed, were John Machado, the CTO of UKG and Tamecka Mckay, CIO of the City of Ft. Lauderdale. The audience had an equally impressive roster of well-known brands, as well as a good mix of consultants, smaller companies and startups.  All attendees were pre-approved and had to be a CIO or of the equivalent level to attend.

Though the discussion centered primarily around how the attendees were using AI or planned on using AI in their organizations, I was struck by the state-of-the-art technology that was being used almost universally across the board. These companies were almost all hybrid cloud users, shifting more and more of their infrastructure to the cloud.

To a person, they all were deep into DevOps and Cloud Native. Because several of them were in highly regulated industries, security and compliance processes were also very sophisticated. The level of digitization of these businesses was remarkable. ADT, for instance, is looking at how the smart home of the future will function and how they can be the hub of that. FPL is extremely forward thinking in communication with their customers via an app and being able to monitor their grid using every technology within their reach. Even City Furniture is digital first, with supply, shopping and delivery services all highly automated and digital.

We tend to think of our local companies, as just that – local. But hearing how they have transformed in the last few years and what their plans are to harness AI and other technologies to become the providers of tomorrow was extremely uplifting. The panel ran for near 90 minutes, as the standing room only audience would not let us off the stage.

Many members of the audience shared their own transformation stories with us. One interesting fact shared was that near 75% of the audience was already using gen AI in their business. Near 100% were well ahead on their digital transformation journeys. Another surprise for me was that their budgets for these initiatives were full speed ahead. I deal so much with tech tool vendors and venture backed companies that I have become used to hearing about budget cuts and delays on projects; but these participants whose companies are not generally thought of as “tech companies” were full speed ahead on their transformations.

We should remember that in the tech world. There is a big economy out there of companies doing exciting things around transformation. More than that, they are really jazzed about what else is coming down the pike and what that can mean as they seek to transform the very fabric of our day-to-day lives – not just in South Florida, but in the entire US and the world beyond that.

Shout out to the South Florida Tech Hub folks for putting on an amazing event.

 

Posted with permission from TechStrong Group and Digital CXO. Visit their website here.

By Nikki Cabus

FDA Clearance Granted for First AI-Powered Medical Device to Detect All Three Common Skin Cancers

Read Time 3 Minutes

DermaSensor Inc. announces FDA clearance for its real-time, non-invasive skin cancer evaluation system. For the first time, the 300,000 primary care physicians in the U.S. can now be equipped to provide quantitative, point-of-care testing for all types of skin cancer. Better identifying skin cancer in a primary care setting is designed to accelerate patient access to necessary care.

DermaSensor Inc. is a health technology company designing non-invasive tools to better equip primary care physicians for skin cancer detection. The DermaSensor device is an affordable, handheld tool that uses spectroscopy and algorithms to evaluate skin lesions for potential cancer in a matter of seconds. DermaSensor’s mission is to provide broad access to effective skin cancer checks. The DermaSensor device is currently FDA-Cleared, CE-Marked and is available for sale in the U.S.

One out of five Americans will have had some type of skin cancer by the age of 70, and the annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion, with an estimated 5.5 million new cases each year. The good news is that 99 percent of skin cancers, including the most deadly form, melanoma, are curable if detected early. Access to dermatology is challenging, especially in rural areas, which makes empowering primary care to identify those cases warranting a referral even more vital.

Primary care physicians are at the forefront of healthcare delivery, handling diverse and increasing medical concerns while playing a critical role in the early identification of disease. To date, PCPs’ limited options for evaluating suspicious moles have been the naked eye or magnified visual examination of lesions, both of which are dependent on clinical training and subjective judgment.But now, physicians can use DermaSensor’s AI-powered spectroscopy technology to non-invasively evaluate cellular and subcellular characteristics of a lesion in question for skin cancer. The wireless, handheld device then provides an immediate, objective result using an FDA-cleared algorithm.

The FDA pivotal study of over 1,000 patients, led by the Mayo Clinic across 22 study centers to validate device performance, showed that the device had a sensitivity of 96 percent across all 224 skin cancers. A negative result had a 97 percent chance of being benign for all skin cancers.2 In a companion clinical utility study with 108 physicians, the DermaSensor device was found to decrease the number of missed skin cancers by half (from 18% to only 9%), increasing the physicians’ accuracy and confidence in assessing cancerous lesions.3

“We are entering the golden age of predictive and generative artificial intelligence in healthcare, and these capabilities are being paired with novel types of technology, like spectroscopy and genetic sequencing, to optimize disease detection and care,” said Cody Simmons, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of DermaSensor. “Equipping PCPs, the most abundant clinicians in the country, to better evaluate the most common cancer in the country has been a major, long-standing unmet need in medicine. While dozens of companies have attempted to address this problem in recent decades, we are honored to be the first device cleared by the FDA that provides PCPs with an automated tool for evaluation of suspicious lesions.”

The benefits are as much for dermatologists as they are for PCPs. DermaSensor is expected to improve primary care and dermatology collaboration, enabling better-prioritized referrals in addition to the referral of more patients with skin cancer. The company has conducted 13 clinical studies in the last decade, six of which provided the principal support for FDA clearance.

“Achieving this medical milestone is a testament to the 12 years and tens of millions of dollars our company has invested in research and development to bring this powerful technology to market,” said Dr. Maurice Ferre, co-founder and chairman of DermaSensor. “We are incredibly grateful to the FDA for their collaboration and dedication to this area starting with our first FDA pre-submission meeting in 2016. Having begun patient enrollment in our FDA pivotal study in mid-2020, we are now ecstatic to have clearance of our FDA-Breakthrough Designated De Novo submission.”

By Nikki Cabus

South Florida high school student wins FBLA nationals

Read Time 4 Minutes

South Florida student Archit Namboodiri has won the championship at the 2023 National Leadership Conference of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

Archit finished second in the Management Information Systems (MIS) competition where more than 300 students competed. The final awards ceremony was held in Atlanta, Georgia. This is a very prestigious honor that is only awarded to a few students in each category every year.

Future Business Leaders of America, Inc. (FBLA) is the largest business Career and Technical Student Organization in the world. Each year, FBLA helps over 230,000 members prepare for careers in business. As the premier business education association in the country, FBLA is on a mission to inspire and prepare students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences. According to their organizational bylaws, “The organization provides an integral part of the instructional program, additional opportunities for secondary students (grades 9-12) in business and/or business-related fields to develop vocational and career supportive competencies, and to promote civic and personal responsibilities.”

The first FBLA high school chapter in Florida was founded in 1948 at Hillsborough High School in Tampa and has since spread with over 11,000 members across Florida, making it one of the largest FBLA chapters in the country!

Florida FBLA offers opportunities as early as middle school through high school, college and into their professional careers. The top five takeaways of Florida FBLA are aimed at developing your business leadership skills, increasing confidence in yourself and your work, learning how to become involved in leadership opportunities, having a better understanding of American business enterprises, and developing a path towards future college and career goals.

Archit’s interest in Information Systems grew after attending the Mark Cuban Foundation’s AI bootcamp in the fall of 2022. The hands on classes were co-sponsored by South Florida Tech-Hub and Florida Power & Light and held at FPL’s Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach.  They learned several artificial intelligence-specific methods and tools and made powerful connections with fellow students and instructors.

Archit and fellow students had the opportunity to listen and interact with tech executives such as Michael Fowler, IT Business Unit CIO at FPL. FPL is known for it’s philanthropic efforts, passion for driving tech talent, and giving back to the Florida community through multiple education initiatives such as STEM classroom makeovers, working with organizations such as Tech Hub, Mark Cuban AI bootcamps, Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code and so many more. FPL is also known for their one-of-a-kind internship program aimed at developing new talent and identifying candidates for a suitable future full-time employment opportunity.

Inspired by the AI Bootcamp, Archit then attended a Cyber Security bootcamp organized by the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa during the summer this year. He learned about several core cybersecurity topics, such as penetration testing, cross-browser scripting, and ransomware detection and negotiation. Archit had the opportunity to interact and network with several leading technology leaders from companies such as CISCO and Microsoft.

“The Marc Cuban AI boot camp sponsored by South Florida Tech-Hub and FPL opened a new world for me,” said Archit. “I learned about AI and how it is applied in our day-to-day lives. Through hands-on activities in the camp. I was exposed to several cutting-edge AI concepts, such as Machine Learning, Big Data, and Computer Vision and used these concepts in my FBLA competition to
demonstrate how organizations can make effective use of AI.”

He continued, “I’m thankful to the South Florida Tech Hub and FPL for providing me with this opportunity and to my school’s FBLA advisor, Mr. Pardo, for his continued guidance and support throughout the competition process.”

Archit is also the Treasurer of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization run solely by students, Surface 71, with a mission to raise awareness about plastic pollution and keep our cities and oceans cleaner and more beautiful. The students hold beach clean ups every month and have installed water refill stations into eleven local schools. He joined Surface71 in 2023 and is passionate about how technology can improve the environment.

Archit wants to pursue his college education in IT business with a focus on cyber security and data privacy and looking forward to helping the tech community by teaching middle and high school students what he has learned.

We wish you all the best Archit – we are sure to see you creating positive change for our future. Keep up the great work!

Click here for the complete 2023 list of winners. To learn more about Florida FBLA, visit https://www.floridafbla-pbl.com/

By Adam Elitzur

Techstrong Group Launches Techstrong.ai to Document the AI Revolution

Read Time 4 Minutes

Techstrong Group, the power source for people and technology, has unveiled its latest venture, Techstrong.ai.

Techstrong.ai is Techstrong Group’s community to discuss AI – all the time. Techstrong.ai covers how AI is disrupting multiple industry verticals, such as tech, media, finance, manufacturing, transportation and health. The community is creating content such as news, analysis, case studies and learning opportunities, in different form factors, such as written articles, podcasts, videos and interactive events.

TechStrong.ai is a part of the TechStrong Group company and larger portfolio. A Boca Raton-headquartered omniversal media company, TechStrong covers the IT industry and practices that are reshaping the world of technology. Techstrong Group accelerates understanding of technologies that drive business. With a broad set of IT-related communities and offerings, Techstrong Group is the only media company serving the needs of IT leaders and practitioners with news, research, analysis, events, education, certifications and professional development. The company’s focus is digital transformation, DevOps, cybersecurity, cloud and cloud-native. Techstrong Group business units include: Techstrong Media, Techstrong Associations, Techstrong Research, Techstrong Learning and Techstrong Live!. For technology providers, Techstrong business units offer many ways to reach IT professionals and tell their stories.

This addition to their portfolio of companies aims to document the forward march of AI as it rapidly disrupts one vertical market after another and become a destination site and community dedicated to the creation and distribution of AI-related content. Techstrong.ai will be covering many verticals in a variety of mediums, including current issues and concerns, use-cases within industries, research, news and Q&As.

 

Why Techstrong.ai now?

AI is not a new concept. By the late 1980s, AI made the leap from science fiction to science fact, and since the 2000s, many dollars have been spent and many hours of brain power expended to try to understand, apply and advance AI for real-world use cases.

“For many folks, though, AI really got real with the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The large language model (LLM) generative AI with a chatbot front-end has ignited a firestorm of attention worldwide. VC money is pouring in and everyone is trying to “AI enable” their applications; at the same time, there’s a vocal backlash from thought leaders trying to stop–or at least slow down– its further development until we can properly assess the risks and try to put some mitigating measures in place,” Alan wrote in a recent blog.

Alan Shimel has years of experience in venture-backed tech startups, especially in the cybersecurity field. He started his journey in tech with the onset of the commercial internet in the mid-90s and started and sold a company during that period. After writing and speaking about tech topics for years, Shimel launched MediaOps, the predecessor of Techstrong Group, in 2013. MediaOps grew from being a single-person blog, to a blog with multiple authors, and an online community.

Shimel pointed out his realization that AI is not just another technology trend, but a civilization changer that deserves its own platform, so he created TechStrong.ai. “If AI is going to change civilization, we can’t afford to just cover it as a side topic in our other channels. It has to have its own place,” Shimel said.

But for better or worse, the AI genie is out of the bottle.

 

TechStrong’s view on the future of AI.

“Every once in a while a tech innovation comes along that transcends technology and tears through the very fabric of civilization. We believe that AI is that kind of technology–perhaps the biggest thing since the internet itself. AI will disrupt one vertical market after another,” said Alan Shimel, Founder & CEO at Techstrong Group. “That is what Techstrong.ai is all about. We intend to document the forward march of AI as it disrupts so many models in existence today.”

Shimel expressed his conviction that AI is going to have a profound impact on humanity. “I’m not here to scare anyone that AI is going to take your job away,” Shimel remarked. “AI is not going to make fewer jobs. It’ll make more jobs. They’ll just be different jobs. And that’s part of what our mission is: to show these different jobs. How you not only survive but thrive in an AI world. We think AI’s impact is going to be like a seismic wave that works its way through civilization. What does it mean for young people? What does it mean for careers?” he said.

“All the various forms of AI are transforming how businesses around the world operate,” said Mike Vizard, Chief Content Officer at Techstrong Group. “With the launch of Techstrong.ai we are committing to not only providing strategic insights into where to apply AI, but also demystifying a set of technologies that at their core are based on familiar data science techniques and principles.”

Techstrong Group’s mission is to report the news and create content for technology professionals looking for fresh insights and new skills. Techstrong Group’s portfolio of companies includes DevOps.com, Security Boulevard, Cloud Native Now, Digital CxO and Techstrong TV. 

Mike says that TechStrong.ai welcomes your support and participation, whether as a contributor, community member or any other way you want to participate. If you would like to be involved, please contact us at info@techstrong.ai.

“We don’t make the news,” Shimel stated. “We report the news. So as this continues to unfold, we’ll keep on top of it.”

By Nikki Cabus

Levatas named as first Certified Technology Partner by Boston Dynamics for industrial AI

Read Time 4 Minutes

On June 7th, Levatas announced a strategic first-of-its-kind partnership with Boston Dynamics.

Based in West Palm Beach, Levatas is a leading provider of AI software and solutions for automating industrial inspections with robots, cameras and drones. The company creates and delivers end-to-end solutions that enable robots, drones, remote sensors, and camera systems to autonomously perform equipment monitoring, safety checks, and site surveillance tasks in industrial environments.

As part of the collaboration with Boston Dynamics, Levatas’ industrial AI software will be made available to Boston Dynamics customers through the 3.3 software release for the advanced mobile robot, Spot®, marking the first computer vision based inspection capability made available on the platform. The partnership expands on each company’s work to automate inspection tasks that are considered challenging, dangerous and otherwise undesirable for humans, freeing up employees in the field to handle more valuable work.

The MIT spinoff and Mass-based, Boston Dynamics, is on a mission is to imagine and create exceptional robots that enrich people’s lives. Building machines that can approximate the mobility, dexterity and agility of people and animals is a grand challenge. Curiosity and respect for the natural world are at the heart of the company’s work on robots. Boston Dynamics sees products derived from this work as the next step in the human history of building machines to reduce the danger, repetition and physically difficult aspects of work.

The first Levatas-powered inspection model being made available to Boston Dynamics customers is designed to detect and read analog gauges. Additional tools, available through Levatas’ Cognitive Inspection Platform, give customers the ability to autonomously detect and alert for unauthorized people, identify various forms of corrosion, notify employees of unsafe conditions like liquid spills, and detect unexpected changes to an environment.

“We are incredibly proud to work alongside Boston Dynamics, whose Spot robot represents the most sophisticated and capable option available for navigating challenging environments to automate inspections,” said Chris Nielsen, Founder and CEO of Levatas. “Pairing Spot’s incredible mobility with our Cognitive Inspection Platform gives customers the ability to automate inspection programs at an incredible scale.”

In April this year, Levatas announced the opening of their new Industrial AI Lab. The lab allows operations and innovation teams the ability to rapidly explore the capabilities of our Cognitive Inspection Platform in real-time, both in-person and remotely. It also provides a dedicated space for our engineers to incubate, test, resolve issues discovered in the field, and even explore new ideas for the way robots and advanced AI can be used for automated inspection.

In a recent Levatas blog announcing the partnership, the company wrote, “But this was hardly an overnight success. It was in October 2019 when Levatas first recognized the immense potential of Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot as the ideal platform to collect data in challenging environments; and, being a company that specializes in building computer vision models, data from hard-to-navigate places was what we needed. For this reason, each company seemed to complement each other extraordinarily well.

It was then that Spot became our firm’s lead platform for data collection and the automation of industrial inspections. Our team became laser focused on providing the Boston Dynamics robot the cognitive intelligence necessary to tackle the most demanding inspection tasks. Over the years that followed, our team set out to develop Industrial AI models specifically designed for Spot. Along the way, we made friends, delivered customer wins, broke things, fixed things, learned a ton, and probably had more Spot units operating at once than anyone else in the world. Cut to today, and we have created an entire platform of Industrial AI tools that can read analog gauges, identify thermal anomalies, listen for air and gas leaks, detect forms of corrosion, and even alert humans to any unexpected changes in their environments.”

Levatas has worked closely with Boston Dynamics’ sales and Spot development teams to help enterprise customers identify suitable use cases, set up the software, and integrate the technology into their existing systems and workflows. This new partnership designation reflects Levatas’ ability to assist joint customers in scaling these solutions.

“Our collaboration with Levatas has been instrumental in bringing advanced automation and inspection capabilities to our customers,” said Renee Burns, VP of Partnerships at Boston Dynamics. “Their capabilities align with ours, and their experience and track record helps our joint customers drive the value and impact they are looking for with robotic automation.”

The combined Levatas and Boston Dynamics solution is already significantly impacting industries such as manufacturing, electric utilities, oil and gas, and petrochemicals. Prominent customers utilizing this innovative solution include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Avangrid, BMW, and Global Foundries.

 

By Nikki Cabus

ChenMed, a leading primary care provider, recognized for using intelligence and automation in HR practices

Read Time 3 Minutes

ChenMed, a national leading primary care provider based in South Florida, was recently recognized at the Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience Awards as this year’s Intelligent Talent Experience: Advocate of the Year.

Phenom, a purpose-driven HR tech company, recently announced the winners of the Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience Awards, recognizing organizations for exceptional achievements using intelligence, automation and experience to hire employees faster, develop them to their full potential and retain them longer. Through AI-powered solutions, employers increased efficiencies, and saved valuable time for all talent stakeholders — candidates, recruiters, managers, employees, HR and HRIS teams. Award recipients were honored at IAMPHENOM, the company’s premier conference for human resources hosted in Philadelphia.

“We’re celebrating the organizations whose platform use and partnerships are driving lasting impact across their businesses, their industries, their teams and HR as a whole,” said Jess Elmquist, Chief Human Resources Officer at Phenom.

On a mission to hire faster and better and simultaneously empower employee development and mobility with a talent marketplace, ChenMed is a model example for hypergrowth peers. By infusing hyper-personalized experiences into their hiring, development and retention strategies, ChenMed has increased quality applies, reduced time to fill and improved employee retention despite a challenging talent landscape.

When three out of every four professionals in healthcare are looking to leave the industry, providing a better talent experience is no longer optional — it’s critical to hire, develop, and retain workers.

Being a rapidly-growing primary care provider, ChenMed knows this firsthand. To succeed, they needed:

  • A reliable, robust talent community of quality candidates
  • An improved candidate experience for both internal and external job seekers
  • Automated, time-saving talent acquisition processes for recruiters

ChenMed is a family-owned, family-oriented organization serving underserved moderate-to-low-income seniors with complex chronic diseases. The company’s high-touch, VIP, preventive primary care works for patients and team members. Unlike typical primary care providers, ChenMed has a much lower doctor-patient ratio which allows doctors to spend more time with their patients, getting to know them and their concerns so we can better serve them. ChenMed has 100+ centers across 15 states and is a privately held and physician-led company.

“Because we’re in hypergrowth, we’re looking for ways to automate things so our recruiters don’t have to do them. Phenom helps us do that so our recruiters aren’t bogged down by administrative tasks and have time to spend with candidates,” stated Christin Davis, ChenMed’s Managing Director of HR Operations and Technology.

Above all, the ChenMed culture is what’s most important for Davis and her team to maintain: “This company’s mission is simple: helping seniors live longer and healthier lives. The only way to manage that mission is to buy into it. Now that we can easily see who identifies with our culture, it’s easier to make the right hiring choices.”

ChenMed is using the Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience platform to increase applies, reduce time to fill, and level employee turnover. Through AI-powered solutions, ChenMed is increasing efficiencies and saving valuable time for candidates, recruiters, managers, employees, HR, and HRIS teams and in a candidate-driven market time could cost you.

Additionally, when candidates have options, a streamlined professional and timely process helps give candidates the first impression they are looking for and HR professionals not lose out on that next best candidate.

Phenom has a purpose of helping a billion people find the right job. Through AI-powered talent experiences, employers are using Phenom to hire employees faster, develop them to their full potential, and retain them longer. The Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience platform seamlessly connects candidates, employees, recruiters, hiring managers, HR and HRIS — empowering over 500 diverse and global enterprises with innovative products including Phenom Career Site, Chatbot, CMS, CRM, AI Scheduling, Video Assessments, Campaigns, University Recruiting, Talent Marketplace, Career Pathing, Gigs, Mentoring, and Referrals.

Phenom has earned accolades including: Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies (3 consecutive years), Deloitte Technology’s Fast 500 (4 consecutive years), five Brandon Hall ‘Excellence in Technology’ awards including Gold for ‘Best Advance in AI for Business Impact,’ Business Intelligence Group’s Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards (3 consecutive years), and a regional Timmy Award for launching and optimizing HelpOneBillion.com (2020).

Click here to read more about all award recipients.

By Nikki Cabus

IBM to grant $5M to schools to boost cybersecurity & AI skills

Read Time 4 Minutes

In response to the growing threat of ransomware attacks against schools around the world, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it will provide in-kind grants valued at $5 million to help address cybersecurity resiliency in schools. The deadline to apply is June 23, 2023.

Since its creation in 2021, the IBM Education Security Preparedness Grants program has expanded globally, and this year will also include enhanced offerings from IBM SkillsBuild on topics including AI and cybersecurity.

Ransomware is unfolding faster than ever, with attackers managing to cut down the time required to deploy ransomware attacks from over two months to just under four days between 2019 and 2021, according to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023. In fact, the share of cybersecurity incidents observed in the education sector more than doubled in 2022 compared to the year prior, experiencing the largest increase year over year than any other industry.

“Time and time again attackers go after the education sector, yet many of these institutions remain constrained in their security resources,” said Andy Piazza, Global Head of Threat Intelligence, IBM Security X-Force. “To date, this program has helped more than 350,000 students across schools in the US and abroad, with IBM Service Corps helping them recover from ransomware attacks, strengthen their security posture against future attacks, and prevent further disruption.”

Applications for schools are now open globally. Grants valued at $500,000 each ($5 million in total) will be awarded to six school districts in the US with an additional four around the world. Volunteers, through IBM Service Corps, will use their professional skills to help schools establish programs to address cybersecurity resiliency. Hear more from Andy here.

Each selected school will receive:

  • incident response plans and ransomware playbooks,
  • programs to help address the need for updating operating systems,
  • strategic communication plans to use in response to cyber incidents, and
  • training and digital credentials through IBM SkillsBuild on topics including AI and cybersecurity, and additional benefits such as enhanced access to IBM mentors, teacher training and toolkits, and customized learning pathways.

“The global skills gap across cybersecurity and AI is a growing challenge that demands immediate attention,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM Chief Impact Officer. “To address this challenge, IBM awards Education Security Preparedness Grants to drive impact with schools worldwide. This year, we’re excited to expand the program to bring the benefits of IBM SkillsBuild training on topics like AI and cybersecurity for students and teachers.”

Robert Losinski, Manager of Information Security at Denver Public Schools, stated that “With IBM’s assistance, we improved our cybersecurity incident response plan and used it to better prepare us for handling incidents in the future.” He continued , “Attackers are targeting schools because many do not have mature security frameworks to effectively defend against ransomware and other cybercrime. Getting professional assistance in expanding your cybersecurity program will really help you identify the most critical areas to protect.”

Since its inception in 2021, IBM has received hundreds of applications for this award-winning program from school districts seeking to strengthen their security postures in response to the growing threats in the education space. Past recipients of the IBM Education Security Preparedness Grants have encouraged other schools to apply.

The 2022 and 2021 Grantees included:

  • Brevard Public Schools in Viera, FL
  • City of Dublin Educational Training Board in Ireland
  • Cupertino Union School District in Sunnyvale, CA
  • Denver Public Schools in Denver, CO
  • East China School District in East China, MI
  • Goffstown School District in Goffstown, NH
  • KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools in Atlanta, GA
  • Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in United Arab Emirates
  • Newburgh Enlarged City School District in Newburgh, NY
  • Newhall School District in Valencia, CA
  • Poughkeepsie City School District in Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Prince William Country Public Schools in Manassas, VA
  • Rossville Cons. School District in Rossville, IN
  • Sheldon Independent School District in Houston, TX

Awards were allocated based on cybersecurity needs, experiences, community resources, and potential risks.

K-12 public schools and educational institutions/organizations that are interested in applying for IBM’s education cybersecurity grant can apply via IBM.com here: https://www.ibm.com/impact/initiatives/security.

For more information about IBM’s cybersecurity grants for schools, visit: https://www.ibm.com/impact/initiatives/security.

For more information about IBM Security X-Force’s services and capabilities, visit: https://www.ibm.com/security/xforce.

The 2023 grant cycle is now open. Apply by June 23, 2023 to receive one of ten available grants.

By Nikki Cabus

ODP Corporation expands collaboration with Microsoft to leverage the power of AI technology from Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service

Read Time 3 Minutes

The ODP Corporation (“ODP”) (NASDAQ:ODP) announced that it is expanding its longstanding relationship with Microsoft to include Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service advanced artificial intelligence technology to enhance customer experience, drive operational efficiencies, and more effectively pursue growth opportunities.

Recognizing Azure’s immense potential, ODP has been working with Microsoft to migrate legacy systems and to build out its customer-facing platforms, including its Varis digital procurement ecosystem and Business Central integration, on Microsoft Azure. This collaboration has enabled ODP to leverage the power of Azure’s scalable cloud infrastructure, improving the speed, reliability, and security of its online services and applications.

ODP is now expanding this relationship to include Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service advanced artificial technology capabilities. Through this collaboration, ODP is harnessing the power of Microsoft Azure OpenAI, including ChatGPT hosted securely on Azure, to further improve customer experience, streamline internal operations, and position the Company to pursue growth opportunities more efficiently.

“We’re excited to expand our collaboration with Microsoft to harness the power of Azure OpenAI Services, including ChatGPT,” said Gerry Smith, Chief Executive Officer of The ODP Corporation. “This technology will enable continued transformation in our business, driving additional operational efficiencies consistent with our low-cost business model, and positioning us to deliver greater value to customers while more effectively pursuing growth opportunities. Our relationship with Microsoft positions ODP to be at the forefront of innovation, enhancing our digital capabilities and creating a sustainable competitive advantage for the future.”

The ODP Corporation (NASDAQ:ODP) is a leading provider of products and services through an integrated business-to-business (B2B) distribution platform and omnichannel presence, which includes world-class supply chain and distribution operations, dedicated sales professionals, a B2B digital procurement solution, online presence and a network of Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores. Through its operating companies Office Depot, LLC; ODP Business Solutions, LLC; Veyer, LLC; and Varis, Inc., The ODP Corporation empowers every business, professional, and consumer to achieve more every day.

“We are delighted that ODP has chosen Microsoft Azure OpenAI service as its solution for integrating transformational AI capabilities into critical business processes and systems,” said Eric Boyd, Corporate Vice President of Azure AI Platform at Microsoft Corp. “Through our deepened relationship, we will partner more closely with ODP to take advantage of generative AI, to drive innovation, increase productivity and enhance the experience of ODP’s customers.”

ODP can now take advantage of large-scale, generative AI models with deep understandings of language and code to enable new reasoning and comprehension capabilities for building cutting-edge applications. Apply these coding and language models to a variety of use cases, such as writing assistance, code generation, and reasoning over data. Detect and mitigate harmful use with built-in responsible AI and access enterprise-grade Azure security.’

ODP and ODP Business Solutions are trademarks of ODP Business Solutions, LLC. Office Depot is a trademark of The Office Club, Inc. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

By Nikki Cabus

For the second year in a row, South Florida will once again welcome the Mark Cuban AI Bootcamp for high schoolers

Read Time 6 Minutes

For the second year in a row, South Florida will once again welcome the Mark Cuban AI Bootcamp for high schoolers to our region in the Fall. BUT, this year will be even better!

South Florida Tech Hub was able to connect the Mark Cuban Foundation with the wonderful folks at Florida Power & Light and with offices in both Palm Beach and Miami, FPL immediately saw potential to bring this program to the entire region.  Having a great relationship with Miami Dade College, FPL reached out to the MDC team who quickly hopped on board to be the first Miami location. The program launched in October 2022 in both Miami and Palm Beach counties.

We are proud to announce that this year, not two, but four Tech Hub member organizations have committed to bringing this program to South Florida ensuring that students all across all three counties (Miami, Broward and Palm Beach) can apply!

The AI Bootcamp will be targeted at underserved high school students (9th -12th grade) especially those from underrepresented groups and will introduce these high school students to basic AI concepts and skills.

“The future global competitiveness of our country depends on having as many AI literate people as possible. I think there is an untapped wealth of knowledge and innovation in underserved communities,” stated Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and founder, Mark Cuban Foundation.

The Bootcamp sessions will be held over four consecutive Saturdays starting on Oct. 14 and ending on Nov. 4. The bootcamp will run each Saturday from 2-6 PM and if accepted, high school students must commit to attending all four sessions. Aimed to increase AI literacy and understanding in students from underserved communities, the high schools students don’t need any prior experience with computer science, programming, or robotics to apply and attend. Students interested should apply by Friday, Sept. 8. (Apply at bottom of article.)

With AI being a relevant topic on many news sources, students will learn what artificial intelligence is and is not, where they already interact with AI in their own lives, and the ethical implications of AI systems—including but not limited to TikTok recommendations, smart home assistants, facial recognition, and self-driving cars, to name a few. Participants will also learn how Large Language Models like ChatGPT are changing life as we know it by answering questions, telling original stories, and even writing computer code.   

Students will benefit from volunteer corporate mentor instructors who are knowledgeable about AI, ML and data science and able to help students quickly understand material normally taught at a collegiate level. As part of the 4-hour curriculum, students will work with open source tools each day to build their own AI applications related to Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Generative AI.  

In 2022, Grace Kurian, Executive Director of Information Technology-Nuclear at NextEra Energy Inc, led the launch of the AI Bootcamp in Palm Beach County. She told South Florida Tech Hub that months of planning, hundreds of hours, and over 22 volunteers brought the program to life. From entry-level developers to tech executives such as Grace and Michael Fowler, VP of IT and Business Unit CIO at FPL the students got to interact with tech professionals of all levels.

In it’s fifth year, the Mark Cuban AI Bootcamp is still a fairly new initiative that was founded in 2019 by the Mark Cuban Foundation. With just about 30 locations across the entire United States chosen for this program, we are so proud to have three of them right here in our backyard. The Mark Cuban Foundation has impacted 900+ students to date and has a goal to increase that number year over year.

FPL is pleased to be the host company for Mark Cuban’s AI Boot Camp (Palm Beach) for the second consecutive year. As a company, we believe success begins with people, and this program helps introduce STEM and computer science to students that grew up with limited technology exposure,” said Jason Price, Agile Leader – EP Technologies & Innovation @ NextEra Energy Inc. (FPL parent company). “We are excited to help inspire bright young talent right in our backyard about how technology can elevate the world around them.”

Normally taught at the collegiate level, students had the opportunity to interact in hands-on workshops about chatbots, AI, Machine learning and Natural Language processing – topics many had never encountered before.

FPL is excited to welcome this year’s students into the new PGA Office Center.

 

Office Depot is excited to support such a wonderful program this year. Exposing our students and future talent to new technologies will help the talent pool down the road by sparking their interest in AI and showcasing how it’s being used in the real world,” said Andy Parry, VP of Application Development & Support at Office Depot.

Being able to add Broward county to the programming this year and support students in the underserved community fits right in line with Office Depot’s giving efforts.

Office Depot will be sponsoring the Broward bootcamp and partnering with Nova Southeastern University’s  Levan Center of Innovation as the host venue.

“We believe that this program will help to cultivate the next generation of AI leaders, who will shape the future of technology and create a more equitable world,” said John Wensveen, Ph.D., NSU’s Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the Levan Center of Innovation.

 

Miami Dade College‘s Mark Cuban Foundation AI Bootcamp was a huge success. After only 4 weeks the high school students that attended created impressive projects around AI in Music, AI in Healthcare and AI in Safety and Security,” wrote Antonio Delgado, VP of Innovation and Technology Partnerships at Miami Dade College, in a social media post.

“Kudos to everyone involved to bring this opportunity for free to Miami students. They represent a diversity that it’s not widely seen in tech companies today. They are the next generation that will be creating meaningful AI products and applications.”

Antonio told South Florida Tech Hub that this year Miami-Dade College will be sponsoring the Miami bootcamp and hosting two camps in Miami, one at each of their AI Centers (North Campus and Downtown Wolfson) allowing them to impact even more student within the county.

The Mark Cuban Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit led by Dallas Mavericks proprietor Mark Cuban. The AI Bootcamps Program at MCF seeks to inspire young people with emerging technology so that they can create more equitable futures for themselves and their communities. The Mark Cuban Foundation provides the Bootcamp’s curriculum materials, trains corporate volunteer mentors, and recruits and scores applications for local student selected to attend camp. In addition, the corporate sponsors, work to provide food, transportation, and access to laptops for students at no cost throughout the duration of Bootcamp.

Over the course of the four four-hour-long sessions, students will:

  • identify AI in the real world
  • build their own application
  • discuss AI ethics and bias in data
  • meet and learn from AI experts

The AI Bootcamp is open to students who:

  • live and attend high school (9th–12th grade) in Miami, Broward or Palm Beach county
  • have an interest in technology and machine learning
  • can attend in-person at one of the locations outlined below

Application deadline: Friday, September 8, 2023. For answers to some of your questions, please visit markcubanai.org/faq

👉🏽 Click here to apply today!

1 2
AI Powered Convenience Store Chain Re-Up to Deploy Autonomous Kitchens
Driving South Florida’s Tech Landscape: Michael Fowler’s Journey Through Tech and Leadership
Palm Beach County startup TurboDocx announces successful pre-seed funding round
Intel and DigitalBridge Launch Articul8, an Enterprise Generative AI Company
DSS Wins Third Place in the precisionFDA Veterans Cardiac Health and AI Model Predictions Challenge
Microsoft 365 Community Day Miami (M365 Miami)
Guest Blog: Digital Transformation South Florida Style at TECHpalooza
FDA Clearance Granted for First AI-Powered Medical Device to Detect All Three Common Skin Cancers
South Florida high school student wins FBLA nationals
Techstrong Group Launches Techstrong.ai to Document the AI Revolution
Levatas named as first Certified Technology Partner by Boston Dynamics for industrial AI
ChenMed, a leading primary care provider, recognized for using intelligence and automation in HR practices
IBM to grant $5M to schools to boost cybersecurity & AI skills
ODP Corporation expands collaboration with Microsoft to leverage the power of AI technology from Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service
For the second year in a row, South Florida will once again welcome the Mark Cuban AI Bootcamp for high schoolers