South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

Research Park at Florida Atlantic Elects 2024 Officers; Vote Marks First Time an FAU President is Chair Since 1985

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The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® is pleased to announce the election of Stacy Volnick, Ph.D., FAU President, and Imran Siddiqui, JD as chair and vice chair of the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority (the Authority), respectively, for 2024.

The Research Park at Florida Atlantic is governed by the seven-member Authority, an independent special district which supports and promotes research and development in affiliation with and related to Florida Atlantic. It fosters technology-based economic development in both Palm Beach and Broward counties. The Research Park at FAU is widely regarded as South Florida’s laboratory for new entrepreneurial ideas and technologies.

Established in 1985, Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® is a 70-acre destination for R&D companies and home to technology and research-based organizations working to support the research and development activities of Florida Atlantic University and to foster economic development and broaden the economic base of Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Research Park at FAU hosts Global Ventures, an international soft-landing center for second-stage technology companies and Florida Atlantic Tech Runway, a hub to accelerate technology development and incubate startup companies.

The Research Park at FAU is governed by the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, an independent special district created by Palm Beach and Broward counties in partnership with Florida Atlantic University, organized under Chapter 159, Part V, Florida Statues. (www.research-park.org)

In their leadership roles, Chair Volnick and Vice Chair Siddiqui will work closely with the members of the Authority and executive management to continue the Research Park’s mission of promoting research and economic development in South Florida, and to complete the execution of the Research Park’s 2023-2025 strategic plan.

“The work of the Research Park at Florida Atlantic has a significant impact on both the University and its surrounding communities,” said Volnick. “I am proud to lead its governing authority this year as we continue to advance its mission for the benefit of our entire region.”

President Volnick became a member of the university’s administrative staff in 1991, advancing steadily through the ranks. In 2013, she became vice president for administrative affairs and chief administrative officer, and more recently, she was promoted to chief operating officer. A three-time alumna, she earned a doctorate and master’s degree in educational leadership from FAU’s College of Education, as well as a bachelor’s degree in communication from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. Appropriately, her doctoral dissertation addressed the challenges facing women college presidents. Dr. Volnick joined the Authority in 2022.

Siddiqui, also a Florida Atlantic graduate, is a dynamic leader with a rich track record in law, civic engagement, higher education technology and public service. Most recently, he served as the Executive Director of Tech Equity Miami, leading a $100 million funding consortium dedicated to promoting equity in the tech industry. Before that role, he served as an Associate Vice President at Broward College where he launched Employment Solutions, a new division dedicated to corporate partnerships and job placement initiatives. Mr. Siddiqui was appointed to the Authority by Commissioner Marci Woodward and the Palm Beach County Commission in 2023.

“I am truly honored and humbled to accept the nomination for the position of Vice Chair at an exciting time not only for the Research Park but for Florida Atlantic University as a whole,” commented Imran Siddiqui. “Working under the leadership of our new chair, President Stacy Volnick is an exciting prospect, and I am eager to contribute to our shared vision for advancing research and development initiatives.”

Membership of the Authority is made up of private sector appointees by the Broward County Commission and the Palm Beach County Commission, each appointing three members. FAU’s president, or designee, rounds out the membership total of seven.

“We are thrilled to have President Volnick and Mr. Siddiqui step up and be elected to lead the Research Park at Florida Atlantic at this important time,” said Andrew Duffell, president of the Research Park. “Their leadership and expertise will be invaluable as we drive innovation and collaboration between the companies based in the Research Park and the research faculty and students at Florida Atlantic. I look forward to working with both of them to achieve our goals and support economic growth in our region.”

For more information about the Research Park at Florida Atlantic, visit www.Research-Park.org.

By Nikki Cabus

Guest Blog: Digital Transformation South Florida Style at TECHpalooza

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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

UKG Ranks #3 Best Place to Work in IT by Computerworld

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UKG is ranked #3 in the world among large companies on the Foundry’s Computerworld 2024 Best Places to Work in IT list.

In addition to the overall #3 global ranking for companies with 5,000 or more employees, UKG also ranked #3 for Diversity, #7 for both Benefits and IT Growth, and #8 for Career Development on associated Computerworld lists.

This marks the third consecutive year that UKG has climbed the Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT list, advancing two spots from #5 on the 2023 list and ranking #6 in 2022 on the U.S.-only list, prior to the award going global. The annual recognition honors top organizations that challenge their IT staff with purposeful and meaningful careers while providing great benefits and compensation. Rankings are based on a comprehensive questionnaire about company offerings in categories such as career development; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B); the future of work; training; and retention.

UKG cares for its more than 15,000 employees — known as U Krewers — worldwide through a range of comprehensive benefits, employee resource groups (ERGs), and opportunities for career development and pursuing passion projects through its quarterly “Spark[Tank]” and “48 Hours” global innovation and programming events.

Standout Benefits

The company’s standout benefits program is highlighted by:

  • Fully paid healthcare premiums for medical, dental, and vision — including for spouses, domestic partners, and dependents — for the majority of employees, with coverage for infertility treatments, gender affirmation surgery, and surrogacy reimbursement, where allowed.
  • A 45% dollar-for-dollar company match on employee retirement-fund contributions in the U.S. and Canada, up to federal limits, as well as retirement-matching programs worldwide.
  • A global equitable benefits program called U Choose, launched in January 2023, which provides annual funds that U Krewers can use for over 150 different life expenses, from childcare and kids’ extracurriculars to pet care and personal wellness or lifestyle activities.
  • At least two paid days off for volunteering annually, through the company’s Global Volunteer Time-Off Policy. Together, this represents more than 245,000 hours of global impact each year.

Inclusive ERGs

UKG offers nine diverse, inclusive ERGs for community members and their allies to help build a culture of trust, equity, and belonging for all U Krewers. This includes groups such as BUILD (Black U Krewers in Leadership and Development); FIRE Up (Female Inclusion, Resilience, and Excellence) for women at all levels of the organization; NEST, which nurtures, empowers, and supports parents and caregivers through community, resources, support, and advocacy; and VETS for military veterans, their families, and their friends, along with UKG colleagues and supporters of veterans.

Spark[Tank], 48 Hours Programming Events

Recognizing that great ideas and innovation can come from anyone in the organization, UKG hosts two structured innovation programs open to all U Krewers worldwide: Spark[Tank] and the corresponding 48 Hours event. Spark[Tank] is a hybrid event that connects people across the company to foster innovation at UKG, and 48 Hours is a two-day, marathon coding event during which UKG engineers help bring the Spark[Tank] ideas to life. Participants present working concepts to a panel of UKG leaders, and the winning projects are often added to the UKG product roadmap. Over the years, concepts from 48 Hours have become award-winning UKG solutions, such as UKG Pro Giving, which allows companies to easily create and match charitable giving campaigns directly through employee payroll deductions.

“UKG strives to help every organization become a great place to work, and that mission shows up in the ways we value, respect, and care for our U Krewers every day,” said Scott Howitt, chief digital officer at UKG. “Just as we’re committed to providing our 80,000 customers across industries with innovative HCM solutions that help create top workplaces for their employees, we’re equally focused on making UKG the best place to work for our more than 15,000 U Krewers across the globe — including the hundreds who work in enterprise-technology roles.”

At UKG, our purpose is people. We are on a mission to inspire every organization to become a great place to work through HCM technology built for all. More than 80,000 customers across all sizes, industries, and geographies trust UKG HR, payroll, and workforce management cloud solutions to drive great workplace experiences and make better, more confident people and business decisions. With the world’s largest collection of people data, work data, and culture data combined with rich experience using artificial intelligence in the service of people, we connect culture insights with business outcomes to show what’s possible when organizations invest in their people. To learn more, visit ukg.com.

By Nikki Cabus

13 South Florida companies named winners of the 2023 Deloitte Technology Fast 500

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Deloitte today released its “North America Technology Fast 500™,” an annual ranking of the fastest-growing North American companies – and thirteen South Florida companies were winners this year!

Now in its 29th year, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list highlights the passion and dedication it takes to be an industry disrupter across the technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, fintech, and energy tech sectors. Each year, companies can receive increased visibility, brand recognition, and growth opportunities by joining this elite group,

“Each year, we look forward to reviewing the progress and innovations of our Technology Fast 500 winners. This year is especially celebratory as we expand the number of winners to better represent just how many companies are developing new ideas to progress our society and the world, especially during a slow economy,” said Paul Silverglate, Vice Chair, Deloitte LLP and U.S. technology sector leader.

“While software and services and life sciences continue to dominate the top 10, we are encouraged to see other categories making their mark. Congratulations to all the winners who show us how creativity, hard work and perseverance can lead to success.”

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winners represent 41 states and provinces across North America. California’s Bay Area continued to lead the regional pack with 18% of the Technology Fast 500 winners, followed by the Tri-State Area representing 13% of the winning companies. Software and services is the leading industry in all major markets, even New England, where historically life sciences has dominated.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of the companies listed in the 2023 Technology Fast 500 were backed by venture capital or private equity funding at some point in their company history.

Software and services companies once again topped this year’s Technology Fast 500 listing, representing the majority of the winners for the 28th straight year (57%). Of the software and services companies on the list, digital platforms represented the majority of winners (49%) with enterprise infrastructure and productivity following with 31% of the winners. Security (13%), consumer software (5%) and education (2%), comprised the rest of the subsectors within software and services. Life sciences and fintech rounded out the top three industry categories with 16% and 12% of total winners, respectively.

Overall median growth rate of the winners was 497%. Life sciences had the highest median revenue growth rate at 665%.

 

The South Florida companies honored this year are:

  • #20 | MyFBAPrep
    • Software & services
    • 8,792% Growth
    • Coral Springs (Broward County)

MyFBAPrep is the highest ranked company in Florida and in the logistics and transportation category. The are a leading eCommerce warehouse logistics network, MyFBAPrep’s hypergrowth comes on the back of several major CPG client wins and the expansion of its warehouse network footprint to 85-million-square-feet of warehouse space globally.

Achieving a three-year growth rate of 8,792%, MyFBAPrep is one of the highest-ranked logistics and transportation companies on the list. This hypergrowth comes on the back of several major consumer packaged goods (CPG) client wins and the expansion of its warehouse network footprint to 85-million-square-feet of warehouse space globally. Handling all eCommerce needs from port to porch, MyFBAPrep offers its roster of enterprise-level customers and top eCommerce sellers cutting-edge warehousing and logistics solutions powered by its SaaS platform Preptopia®.

“Our team has been on a mission since Day One to change the face of eCommerce logistics as it exists today. Being recognized on the 2023 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ list alongside the other high-flying  technology companies is a testament to our team’s commitment to this mission,” said Tom Wicky, Co-Founder and CEO of MyFBAPrep. “Our tech-first approach leveraging customer service and execution has been a winning formula, complimenting a client roster that has responded well to our product and continues to help us make our network and suite of services even better.”

  • #41 | Fox Ordering
    • Software & services
    • 4,143% Growth
    • Boca Raton (Palm Beach County)
  • #114 | ClassWallet
    • Fintech
    • 1,263% Growth
    • Hollywood (Broward County)
  • #162 | Honorlock
    • Software & services
    • 865% Growth
    • Boca Raton (Palm Beach County)
  • #165 | ViB
    • Software & services
    • 855% Growth
    • North Palm Beach (Palm Beach County)
  • #186 | Social Mobile
    • Hardware & semiconductors
    • 779% Hollywood (Broward)
  • #202 | Drawbridge
    • Software & services
    • 694% Growth
    • Palm Beach Gardens (Palm Beach County)
  • #215 | Instreamatic
    • Software & services
    • 660% Growth
    • Boca Raton (Palm Beach County)
  • #235 | Taxfyle
    • Software & services
    • 612% Growth
    • Coconut Grove (Miami-Dade County)
  • #257 | Launch Potato
    • Digital content/media/entertainment
    • 534% Growth
    • Delray Beach (Palm Beach County)
  • #276 | PlanHub
    • Software & services
    • 490% Growth
    • West Palm Beach (Palm Beach County)
  • #355 | springbig
    • Software & services
    • 365% Growth
    • Boca Raton (Palm Beach County)
  • #361 | CloudHesive
    • Software & services
    • 360% Growth
    • Fort Lauderdale (Broward County)

 

“As for growing companies, it’s always rewarding to be recognized for the ongoing commitment it takes to navigate obstacles, transform when necessary and ultimately create a thriving business,” said Christie Simons, Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and industry leader for technology, media and telecommunications within Deloitte’s Audit & Assurance practice.

“Over the nearly 30 years we’ve been compiling the Technology Fast 500, we’ve seen new categories emerge, growth rates explode, and certain regional markets shine from the bright talent they attract. We are proud of all the winners for achieving this well-deserved honor.”

Technology Fast 500 awardees are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2019 to 2022. Overall, the 2023 Technology Fast 500 companies achieved revenue growth ranging from 201% to 222,189% over the three-year time frame, with an average growth rate of 1,934% and a median growth rate of 497%.

The rankings are based on submitted applications and public company database research, with winners selected based on their fiscal-year revenue growth percentage over a three-year period. With so many entrants meeting the eligibility criteria this year, we expanded the 2023 Winners’ List to include those companies that achieved a growth rate of 200 percent or higher, as a celebratory sign that tech companies are thriving even amidst challenging economic times.

For more more information and full data points on the winners, please visit www.Fast500.com

By Nikki Cabus

Pines Middle School celebrates the opening of the Verizon Innovative Learning Lab

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This month, Pines Middle School celebrated the grand opening of the new Verizon Innovative Learning Lab in the City of Pembroke Pines.

The Verizon Innovative Learning program is helping millions of students thrive delivering technology and access to millions of students, inspiring teachers with learning tools and students to explore STEM, and training over 10 million youth in digital skills by 2030.

Whether learning about under water animals, music, content creation, art or engineering, students can tap into their creativity. Through an online portal, teachers can access lessons, training tools and innovative apps at no cost to help bring next-gen tech into the classroom. From the needed devices to the online portal, everything is provided.

Pines Middle School is located in Pembroke Pines which is a part of Broward County Public Schools. According to a US News World Report, Pines Middle School’s minority student enrollment is over 94% with over 600 students in 6th – 8th grades. Less than half the students have proficient test scores in reading and math as of 2021. The school district and the middle school are working very hard to change this.

In November 2014, Broward County voters approved an $800 million bond referendum that provides critically needed funding for students and schools. Broward County Public Schools has committed to investing the funding in safety, music, art, athletics, renovations, and technology (SMART) at every school. The Office of Facilities and Construction is tasked with renovations to schools based on the SMART program needs assessment. Pines Middle School was allocated $1,163,728 with a targeted completion of Q2 in 2024.

Additionally, as part of the School Choice Enhancement Program (SCEP), schools are allocated $100,000 to spend on customized enhancements voted on by the school and its community. Common uses of the funds include laptops, security enhancements, projectors, and other useful educational tools. Pines Middle School chose to use some of the funds towards desk tops, laptop wiring, a Think Station, morning show equipment, Thank Pads and more.

This recent gift from Verizon is a perfect complement to all the renovations and improvements that school has been going through for the past few years.

Through the Verizon Innovative Learning Lab program, teachers receive robust professional development and coaching to cultivate powerful learning that extends beyond the classroom. Education leaders benefit from the infrastructure, expert guidance, and learning community to design and implement sustainable approaches to digital equity. There is no cost to the school.

Verizon is always looking to partner with new districts where Verizon Innovative Learning Schools can support digital equity and learning. Interested public school districts or public charter networks in the U.S. with at least two qualifying schools may apply. To qualify, schools must: (1) Serve middle and/or high school students and (2) Have a free and reduced price lunch participation rate of 65%+ or participate in the Community Eligibility Provision.

The event was attended by Pembroke Pines City Commissioner Thomas Good, Jr. and Verizon’s Director, Local Engagement (State & Local Government Affairs), Merdochey LaFrance.

Merdochey wrote in a recent social media post, “Technology is the great equalizer and can propel students to brighter futures. Pines Middle School students can access innovative learning tools with the opening of the Verizon Innovative Learning Lab!” She continued, “I’m grateful to City of Pembroke Pines Commissioner Tom Good for joining me last night for the Verizon Innovative Learning Lab ribbon cutting at Pines Middle School!”

To learn more about Verizon’s Innovative Learning Program, visit https://www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/digital-inclusion/verizon-innovative-learning

By Nikki Cabus

Team Llamaa wins Tech Hub’s “Hack for Humanity” community hackathon 2023

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The 2023 Tech Hub Hackathon aimed to “Hack for Humanity” building solutions for problems faced by two of South Florida’s local nonprofits, American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity Broward. 

A Hackathon is an overnight event where participants form teams, vet ideas, create a project, then present their work to an expert panel of judges. This year, teams were asked to solve a wide range of problems, including streamlining donations, coordinating pickups, improving data management for Habitat for Humanity Broward, and promoting American Cancer Society’s “Get Screened” campaign to individuals and corporations, with a focus on HR benefit integration and process monitoring.

This year’s first place winning team created a solution in support of Habitat for Humanity Broward – Team LLAMAA!

According to the Habitat for Humanity Broward website, Broward is one of the nation’s most cost burdened housing markets, making homeownership out of reach for 94% of families. Habitat for Humanity Broward is on a mission to change that.

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity of Broward brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat Broward offers a “hand up” not a “hand out” to empower families who are willing to work hard to improve their family’s lives through affordable home ownership.

Together, Team LLAMAA which is an acronym for the first letters of each team members name; Leon, Lia, Ashley, Maria, Ashley, Aimee, created a software solution to aid the non-profit Habitat for Humanity of Broward which aimed to streamline the potential home owner application through digitization enabling tracking in a more convenient way for the employees, hard-skill volunteers and potential home owners.

“There is nothing like being in the presence of bright minds, tirelessly and enthusiastically working to increase the reach and impact for organizations like Habitat for Humanity of Broward and American Cancer Society who are tackling community and societal challenges,” said Nathan VanDeman, Habitat for Humanity Broward’s VP of Housing Development.

“I made many new friends, saw numerous great concepts and we’re excited to work over the coming weeks with the teams and organizers to see which can be developed and put to use.”

The Hackathon was held at the CITY Furniture headquarters in Tamarac where guests had the opportunity to tour the CITY facilities, meet with leadership and the technical team, and learn about the expansive and fast-growing tech department at CITY, all while enjoy the first-ever hackathon in CITY’s history working with two of their closest nonprofit partners.

With 16 teams presenting, over 100 hackers, and over 50 volunteers, coaches, and judges, there were many innovative ideas and projects created that could support both nonprofits.

Our judges panel included Mick Feller, Sr. Principal Software Engineer @ ODP Corp, Giovanni Punzo, Founder & CEO @ Streann Media, Michelle Bakels, Program Director @ G2i, Christy Poe, former Sr. VP of IT @ Garden of Life, Nathan VanDeman, Habitat for Humanity Broward’s VP of Housing Development, and Stephanie Watts, American Cancer Society’s Senior Director, Corporate Relations.

Thank you to all our major sponsors for the event. We would not have been able to make it happen without the support of CITY Furniture, The ODP Corporation (Office Depot), Florida Power & Light (FPL), OZ Digital, Streann Media, TechStrong Group, and Adam & Joe’s.

We also had the support of student sponsors this year from Cox Science center & Aquarium, CareerSource Palm Beach County, FAU’s College of Engineering & Computer Science, and the Tech Hub Foundation.

 

The top three projects chosen by our esteemed panel of judges were as follows:

1ST PLACE, $2,500 PRIZE: TEAM LLAMAA

  • Nonprofit: Habitat for Humanity Broward
  • Solution: On-boarding platform to support administrators in managing housing applications and their progress
  • Team Members: Ashley N Dennis, Asiangel Moua, Leon Kipkoech, Aimee Gonzalez-Cameron, Maria Bruno, Ashley Clayden Moss
  • See Presentation
  • See Github

2ND PLACE, $1,500 PRIZE: PIXEL POETS

  • Nonprofit: American Cancer Society
  • Solution: Custom Campaign Portal for “Get Screened” Campaign
  • Team Members: Shashank Mishra, Prakash Raghothamachar, Jasmine Kloub, Ryan Young
  • See Presentation
  • See Github

3RD PLACE, $1,000 PRIZE: ASK ME LATER

  • Nonprofit: Habitat for Humanity Broward
  • Solution: Donation quality inspection and intake process optimization
  • Team Members: Pinak Upadhyay, Angel Diaz, Daniel Muthama, Rabea Abdelwahab, Alexander Aranda, Adrian Perdomo
  • See Presentation
  • See Github

Click here to view ALL TEAM PROJECTS and here for PHOTOS FROM EVENT. 📸

 

Stay tuned for updates on project implementations. . .

By Nikki Cabus

StevenDouglas celebrates 40 years in business as recruiting leaders

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StevenDouglas, a national search and interim resources firm founded in Miami in 1983, officially turns 40 years old.

Over the last 40 years, StevenDouglas has become a nationally recognized, Top 25 firm in the U.S. offering Executive Search, Professional Recruiting, Technology Staffing & Interim Resource services, with over twenty-five locations domestically, as well as a presence in Latin America and Canada. StevenDouglas has grown over 2500% since 2005, making it one of the fastest-growing firms in America.

The firm has a lot to celebrate as they have not only solidified their dominance in Florida being ranked the #1 Executive Search firm in the state, but the company has also made substantial gains over the last decade to become a top recruiting firm in the U.S.

In March of 2023, StevenDouglas moved to new updated, state-of-the-art offices in Broward County to support their on-going national expansion to over 25 markets in the U.S. as well as a presence in Latin America and Canada.

Adriana Duque, Director Of Client Services at StevenDouglas, posted a recent social media post stating, “Absolutely thrilled to share this incredible milestone with you all!  I’m honored to work with such an amazing organization. A personal thank you to our clients and candidates for trusting in us. Here’s to many more years of success.” Adriana is also a South Florida Tech Hub Ambassador and involved technology community member.

Founder Steve Sadaka and CEO Matthew Shore have opportunistically grown the firm from 1 office and 15 employees into a national business with 25 offices and over 165 professionals and over 450 active project associates and consultants.  This rapid expansion was based on their belief that by providing exceptional services to clients and working closely with them as trusted advisors, you’re able to create successful outcomes.  The firm’s success is evident as it reached the milestone of $130 million in revenue in 2022 and has been the recipient of various awards and top rankings in recent months.

“On this big milestone anniversary, I am feeling grateful for the trust and confidence that our amazing clients, candidates and employees have put in us for so many years”, said StevenDouglas Founder & Chairman Steve Sadaka who went on to say, “I remain committed to our roots as a boutique high-touch service business, with a great culture where employees can be themselves and enjoy coming to work, while having great opportunities to grow personally and professionally.  We are doing something special here and I can’t imagine the last 40 years any other way.”

StevenDouglas is also celebrating the firm’s unprecedented evolution over the last decade, being honored this year with multiple awards including being named on the prestigious Inc. 5000 which celebrates the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.  StevenDouglas’ dominance of the Florida market after 40 years in business has brought many firm accolades in 2023, including being ranked #1 Executive Search Firm in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal (SFBJ) and appearing on the Hunt Scanlon Top 25 Executive Search Firm list which ranks firms across the Americas. These rankings position StevenDouglas as not only the #1 Executive Search firm in Florida, but also in the southeastern United States.  They were also recognized by the SFBJ as the Business of the Year in the $100-250m category and Best Places to Work.

StevenDouglas CEO Matt Shore said about the firm turning 40 this year, “It’s an honor every day to lead such an amazing team and be a part of a South Florida mainstay that companies have counted on since the early 1980’s.  Over the last two decades we’ve used our drive and passion for excellence to expand our footprint and capabilities to be able to serve a broader client base and create more positive outcomes for our clients and candidates.

While StevenDouglas reaffirms its commitment to creating great outcomes for the clients and candidates they serve, the last 40 years is proof that this recruiting firm is equally committed to cultivating an incredible corporate culture for its employees and supporting the community by partnering with various local causes and non-profits.

StevenDouglas states its mission is “To be committed to a culture where experienced recruiting and client service professionals can truly act as trusted advisors that care about people and put relationships first, act with integrity, and give back to the community all while providing industry leading services”.  At 25 years old, when Steve Sadaka founded StevenDouglas as a Search firm in Miami specializing in Accounting and Finance recruiting, he never dreamed he’d be here 40 years later with offices across the country. The one thing he always knew is that he wanted to make a positive impact with his business.  StevenDouglas has clearly lived up to Steve’s goal over the last four decades and is banking on the fact that this kind of perspective will serve them to continue to grow over the next 40 years.

To learn more about StevenDouglas, visit https://www.stevendouglas.com/

By Nikki Cabus

GrowFL Announces 13th Annual Florida Companies to Watch Honorees

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GrowFL has announced the 50 companies selected as the 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honorees.

The awards program – now in its thirteenth year – honors impressive second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida.

The 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch awards celebration is brought to you by Duke Energy and Nperspective CFO & Strategic Services, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Companies to Watch was developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation as a unique way to recognize and honor second-stage companies that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes. In addition to evaluating past growth and projected success, applicant companies are judged according to their special strengths and impact in their markets, communities, and within the state – thus deeming them worth watching.

71 finalists were announced earlier this year, and the 50 honorees were selected after a final round of judging by a panel comprised of past honorees, economic development leaders and corporate partners of GrowFL. Companies were judged on a number of criteria including growth in number of employees; impact of the business in the job market; increase in sales and/or unit volume; current and past financial reports; innovativeness of the product or service; response to adversity; and contributions to aid community-oriented projects.

“GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch was designed to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and to shine a spotlight on the deserving second-stage businesses in our state,” said Jennifer Taylor, president, and CEO of GrowFL. “Second-stage companies are the lifeblood of our economy, creating jobs and fueling prosperity. This diverse group, spanning 20 different counties, representing 18 different industries and 32% of them being woman, veteran, or minority owned, proves Florida is a place where entrepreneurs can thrive. We look forward to celebrating their success for years to come.”

Since the first awards celebration in 2011, GrowFL has honored 600 companies from throughout Florida with this prestigious award. With this year’s honorees, GrowFL has now recognized 650 companies throughout the state that are making a positive impact on the economy and the communities in which they live. Many of the past honorees have now grown their companies to stage 3 and stage 4 businesses employing more than 500.

“The companies selected as Honorees are some of the most vibrant and dedicated entrepreneurs in our state,” said Pete Previte, GrowFL Advisory Board Chair. “They are the visionaries and trailblazers of our economy who face challenges head on, lead with innovation and give back to their communities. It is our privilege to recognize them and their achievements.”

To qualify for the award, companies must be headquartered in Florida and have between 6 and 150 employees and revenue between $750,000 and $100 million. From 2019 through 2022, these companies generated close to $2 billion in revenue and added 871 employees, reflecting a 99% increase in revenue and a 62% increase in jobs for the four-year period. That translates into a 27% average annual revenue growth and a 19% average annual growth in employees.

These companies projected continued growth in 2023, with a 28% revenue increase and a 22% growth in employees compared to 2022. If their projections hold, these companies will have generated more than $2.8 billion in revenue and added 1,370 employees over the last five years — a 155% increase in revenue and 97% increase in jobs since 2018.

Companies named to the list will be officially recognized at the 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Celebration on February 15, 2024, at the Hard Rock Live in Universal CityWalk, Orlando, FL. Tickets are on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://growfl.com/about-growfl-flctw/.

Five of the companies hailed from South Florida and the Treasure Coast. One of those companies was Streann Media.

One of the second-stage company honorees is Streann Media, a content-creation and streaming company, disrupting the content landscape. The company has built the most complete OTT platform in the world with a powerful Content Management System, Content App Editor and 150 tools to distribute, engage and monetize live and on demand content. Streann’s innovations include proprietary integration with Artificial Intelligence and Patent Technologies for Monetization. The Miami-based company has won multiple industry awards, has millions of active users and has been deployed in 141 countries.

Founder and CEO of Streann Media, Gio Punzo, told South Florida Tech Hub, “We are thrilled to be selected for the GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Awards. This reconfirms the dedication and expertise of our talented team who consistently strive to provide innovative solutions and exceptional service to our clients.”

He continued, “We are delighted to be a part of Florida’s thriving business community and look forward to continuing our growth trajectory. We have grown to 70 million unique viewers in 141 countries around the world thanks to our breakthrough technology made in Florida.”

Below is the complete list of the companies named 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honorees:

Company Name County Industry
Alternative Repair & Machining Services Duval Other Services (except Public Administration)
AME International Hernando Wholesale Trade
Aspire Communications Seminole Telecommunications
Baker Design Build Duval Construction
Billed Right LLC Seminole Other Services (except Public Administration)
BlueWind Technology LLC Escambia Manufacturing
Charter Research Sumter Scientific Research and Development
Cigent Technology Inc. Lee Information Technology
Continuum Health IT St. Johns Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
Cromulence LLC Brevard Scientific Research and Development
DACKOR Orange Manufacturing
Data Graphics Inc. Lake Manufacturing
Delamere Industries Inc Hernando Manufacturing
Design Interactive, Inc. Orange Scientific Research and Development
Fort Myers Brewing Company Lee Manufacturing
Fox Logistics Bradford Transportation and Warehousing
GRACE Aerospace, LLC Duval Manufacturing
HOLLYWOOD WOODWORK Broward Manufacturing
Integrated Security Consultants Hillsborough Utilities
INTELLITEC PRODUCTS LLC Volusia Manufacturing
International Insulation Products Orange Manufacturing
Kinley Construction Brevard Construction
KMI International Orange Architecture and Engineering Related Services
Macrocap Labs Seminole Manufacturing
Mainstream Engineering Corporation Brevard Manufacturing
Martin Aquatic Orange Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
Martinez Construction Services Brevard Construction
McGaw.io Orange Management Consulting Services
NLP Logix Duval Information Technology
Nona Scientific Laboratory Marion Health Care and Social Assistance
Optimus Energy Solutions Lake Construction
Paragon Cyber Solutions, LLC Hillsborough Information Technology
Pem-Air Turbine Engine Services Hernando Manufacturing
Pointer Construction Group Broward Construction
Pro-Tec Plumbing Collier Other Services (except Public Administration)
ProfileGorilla Duval Information/Media
PVM, Inc. Pinellas Information Technology
Spot Pet Insurance Miami-Dade Finance and Insurance
SSM Enterprises Duval Manufacturing
Streann Miami-Dade Information Technology
SunBlest Gardens Wakulla Wholesale Trade
SwiftPaws Brevard Retail Trade
SYL Roofing Supply Orange Wholesale Trade
Tech Rage IT Seminole Information Technology
The Association Partner St. Johns Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
Thompson Pump Volusia Manufacturing
TruPoint Communication Solutions Seminole Telecommunications
Volt Lighting Hillsborough Manufacturing
Weedoo Greenboat, Inc. Palm Beach Manufacturing
Young Innovators Academy Seminole Educational Services

By Adam Elitzur

24by7Security: A Decade of Cybersecurity Leadership

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24By7Security is a cybersecurity and consulting compliance firm based in Coral Springs, Florida. 24By7Security (originally called HIPAA-HITECH-SOLUTIONS) was founded by Sanjay Deo in 2013, when he noticed a pressing need to help healthcare organizations properly comply with critical regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Initially focused on the healthcare industry in South Florida, 24By7Security quickly expanded its geographic reach and its industry expertise as non-healthcare companies also sought out its compliance services. This growth led to a rebranding as 24By7Security in 2015.

Over the past decade, 24By7Security has established itself as a trusted cybersecurity advisor delivering over 3,000 risk assessments, compliance assessments, training, and support. The company has particularly deep expertise helping clients meet healthcare and financial regulations, and payment card industry requirements.

24By7Security has 25 professionals serving more than 100 clients across the United States, primarily in healthcare, financial services, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and technology. The company was recently selected as an endorsed partner of the Texas Hospital Association, including over 400 hospitals, which was an important milestone.

24By7Security prides itself on its continuous communication model, whereby if during an engagement, its employees discover a serious issue or vulnerability, they immediately let their client know and help them fix it. Many times these issues, if not fixed immediately, could lead to an attack. This could potentially cost the company millions of dollars, whether from a ransomware attack or fines from government agencies if personal information is leaked, such as medical records.

Rema Deo, CEO & Managing Director of 24By7Security, believes that one of the foremost challenges of 24By7Security lies in meeting the ever-growing demand for cybersecurity and compliance efforts, especially in a world where hackers operate around the clock. Therefore, the company is continually on the lookout for new hires, with the hiring cycle showing no signs of slowing down. In March 2020, another challenge arose when the sales pipeline froze due to the pandemic. Despite this, the company retained all its full-time employees and used this time to provide extensive training to them. It successfully achieved status as a PCI-DSS Qualified Security Assessor company. During this period, the company also sought authorization to become a CMMC Registered Practitioner, thus able to assist contractors working with the Department of Defense in fortifying their security measures and preparing for the upcoming mandatory CMMC certification.

As 24By7Security celebrates its 10th anniversary, it remains as committed as ever to empowering clients to expertly navigate the complex compliance and cybersecurity landscape. 24By7Security works round-the-clock to address potential threats whenever they are needed. “Cyber criminals never sleep,” stated Deo. “Security breaches and cyber attacks can occur in your environment day and night, 365 days a year. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve had calls from clients on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. We’re always here to support our clients.”

By Nikki Cabus

NSU’s Board of Trustees Announces Succession Plan for NSU Presidency

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At its September 21, 2023 meeting, Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Board of Trustees and President Dr. George Hanbury finalized plans for him to step down as president and CEO and continue to serve NSU in a new role as of January 1, 2025. At the same meeting, the Board voted unanimously for Harry K. Moon, M.D., currently NSU’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, to become NSU’s 7th President and CEO. Dr. Moon will begin his tenure as president, also on January 1, 2025.

The decision by the President and Board to make this announcement now gives the university and its executive leadership abundant time to implement a well-thought-out transition period to ensure the long-term success of the university, its students, faculty, staff, alumni, patients, partners and the communities it serves.

“George Hanbury has led Nova Southeastern University through years of unparalleled achievement. The university is financially sound and well on track to continue its rise to preeminence among national research universities,” said Mr. Charlie Palmer, Chair of NSU’s Board of Trustees. “We have recognized the strong and effective partnership between President Hanbury and Dr. Moon over these past five years and we see that promotion from within will serve the university’s best interest.

“Dr. Moon has contributed significantly to NSU’s growth and brings recognized strategic planning and vision to this role,” Palmer continued. “He can build upon President Hanbury’s considerable legacy and lead NSU to continue its rise to preeminence among national research universities. Having such a clear succession plan and process will ensure an intentional and effective transition at the executive level. We are confident this appointment will help ensure continuity, stability, and the fulfillment of NSU’s destiny.”

President Hanbury, who has served as president of Nova Southeastern University since 2010, will continue to serve NSU in a new role as Chancellor and creator of a new Institute of Citizenship, Leadership, and International Affairs.

“Serving the students, faculty and staff of this great university has been the most noble thing I have ever done in my life. My job became my passion at NSU, and because I loved what I was doing, I feel like I never worked a day. I love being president of the NSU family,” said Dr. Hanbury. “As my contract draws to an end, I’m blessed to be healthy and happy, and it’s time to prepare to pass the gavel to the next and seventh presidency of this fine institution.

“I’ve been considering and planning for this transition for some time now, and I couldn’t imagine a better successor than Harry Moon,” Dr. Hanbury continued. “When I recruited him to the senior leadership position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer – a position I held myself for 12 years at NSU before I became President – I had this kind of opportunity well in mind. We’ve worked well as collaborators and I strongly endorse Dr. Moon’s selection by the Board as NSU’s seventh President in order to continue the University’s measured progress toward preeminence. We will continue to work closely over the next 15 months so that I can impart the knowledge I have gained, and to seamlessly transition leadership responsibilities.”

Dr. Moon currently serves as NSU’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a role he has held since July 2018. Additionally, Dr. Moon is Chief Operating Officer of NSU Health, a patient-centric integrated health care network encompassing the university’s many clinical operations. As NSU’s EVP/COO, he oversees the units of Innovation and Information Technology, Facilities and Public Safety, Business Services, Internal Audit, Environmental Health and Safety, Engagement Center, Regional Campus Administration, University Library, NSU Art Museum | Fort Lauderdale, and the Grande Oaks Golf Club.

“I am humbled and honored that NSU’s Board of Trustees and President Hanbury have placed their trust in me to be the next president to lead this extraordinary university,” said Dr. Moon. “President Hanbury has built a strong foundation for the university. It has been his vision and drive that has led us to our emergence as a preeminent national research university; my goal is to continue that upward trajectory. And, as it has been with Dr. Hanbury, my vision also starts with the core mission of the university: its students.

“My goal is to ensure NSU continues to provide a high-quality educational experience for all our students – K-12, undergraduate, graduate and professional – as we also continue to strengthen our fiscal foundations and endowment, and focus on strategic growth in our research, athletics and health care enterprise,” said Dr. Moon. “NSU is ready to take the next dynamic steps forward on its path to preeminence, and I am honored to be chosen to lead our next chapter.”

The university will begin a national search for the institution’s next Chief Operating Officer to prepare for the presidential transition that will take place as of January 1, 2025. Additionally, in alignment with these changes and in recognition of his many years of service as NSU’s fifth president, Chancellor Ray Ferrero Jr., J.D., will be granted the new title of President Emeritus.

By Nikki Cabus

BrandStar Studios takes home two prestigious awards at the 44th annual Telly Awards 2023

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The Telly Awards has announced its 44th annual winners after a record-breaking year for entries. BrandStar Studios takes home not one, but two, awards this year!

The Telly Awards is the world’s largest honor for video and television across all screens. This year’s winners include some of the most prominent global brands and companies alongside smaller and independent production houses, including Cut+Run, Netflix, Disney Parks, Media.Monks, Paramount, National Geographic Society, and dynastic NBA team the Golden State Warriors.

Founded in 1979 to originally honor commercials made for cable and local TV, The Telly Awards has continually refreshed its categories to honor the evolving, broad range of work being made today – work that reflects the trends, issues, and topical matters of each year. This season, the Tellys unveiled categories to better recognize work across Pro Bono and CSR, video journalism, and those pushing boundaries across virtual production.

“The caliber of the work this season truly has reflected the theme of breaking out and standing out,” said The Telly Awards Executive Director Sabrina Dridje. “Our industry is experimenting with new technologies like never before, crafting truly compelling stories to draw attention to some of the world’s most pressing issues, and companies big and small are turning to more sustainable practices to break the cycle of past production processes.”

The Telly Awards’ 44th annual edition – “Break through the static” – boasted nearly 13,000 entries from across the globe, the most in a decade, with submissions flowing in from the US, Middle East, UK and Canada, as well as strong entries from Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and as widespread as Afghanistan, Sweden, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa. 

BrandStar Entertainment and BrandStar Studios both shines bright with a double victory at the Telly Awards 2023 bringing home two bronze awards!

  • B2B Branded Content
    • Inside the Blueprint – Going Electric, Going Green: Forklifts for a Sustainable Planet
    • Senior Associate Producer, Robert Holodak, BrandStar
    • As the world’s largest supplier of forklifts and material handling equipment, Toyota Material Handling will help bring your company to the next level. For more than 50 years, this global market leader has successfully helped companies worldwide operate at their highest levels of efficiency and workloads.
  • Health & Safety Branded Content
    • Access Health – The Importance of Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Senior Producer/Writer, Amy Robinson, BrandStar
    • Join host Ereka Vetrini for an in-depth discussion on managing your brain health. Panelists will discuss the differences between healthy aging and Alzheimer’s, as well as reducing your risk of cognitive decline. Plus, we’ll also meet two very special advocates.

In the TV production business for close to 30 years, BrandStar’s founders made their mark through programs such as Access Health, Inside the Blueprint, The Balancing Act, Military Makeover, and Designing Spaces. Each show has a goal of helping people just be a little better at life.

Prominently displayed near the front entrance of BrandStar’s 43,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Deerfield Beach, you will notice over 140 Telly Awards honoring the television and video production for multiple show airing on the Lifetime Television Network.

Along with the awards themselves, The Telly Awards continues to connect with its audience year round and provide a valuable platform for thought leadership and community. This season’s highlights included the expansion of The Telly Awards global screenings to include the production hub of Atlanta, and a packed panel with partner Green The Bid focused on sustainable production.

Meanwhile, season two of The Telly Awards Podcast made its triumphant return bringing together two leaders from the video and television community with similar expertise in different disciplines – including a candid conversation between Tribeca Enterprises and Alamo Drafthouse. The Telly Awards’ unfiltered, unrehearsed interview series “Hot Takes” also returned with industry experts on hot-button topics, with this year’s programming covering the impact of AI on the animation industry, how to stand out as a freelancer in a crowded market, and the critical work of partner We Are Parable in exhibiting Black Cinema.

The fan favorite, the “People’s Telly Awards”, which were chosen by the public, went to a diversified, solid roster of creative and production talent, from Netflix and MTV Entertainment Studios to Paramount Brand Studio and Sesame Workshop.

To learn more about BrandStar, visit https://brandstar.com/

By Nikki Cabus

CloudHesive appoints Global Leader Michael Tobin OBE to its Board of Directors

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CloudHesive announced the appointment of Michael Tobin OBE to its board of directors.

Michael brings decades of experience in corporate leadership and is a globally recognized leader. He is a serial technology entrepreneur and pioneer with over 30 years experience in the telecoms & technology sector.

“CloudHesive is one of the fastest growing companies in the United States“, said Michael Tobin. “I’m delighted to be joining this exciting organization as it continues to cement its position as a leading international AWS partner, leveraging its broad capability and experience to create significant value for its clients worldwide.”

An innovative and experienced leader, Tobin has decades of technical industry experience, including his role as Chief Executive Officer of UK’s Telecity Group PLC from 2002 to 2014. There, he led the company’s transformation from a £6 million market cap entity in 2002 to a top-performing FTSE250 company valued at over £2.5 billion. Under his direction, Telecity Group was recognized as Britain’s Most Admired Tech Company in 2012, helping to solidify its position as an industry leader.

Throughout his career, Tobin has received numerous accolades, including the London Business Awards‘ “Business Turnaround of the Year” in 2005, the UK Innovation Awards’ “IPO of the Year” in 2008, and the techMARK Personality of the Year in that same year. In 2014, Tobin was honored in the Queen’s New Year Honours List with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal for his outstanding services to the Digital Economy.

His dedication to excellence extends beyond his professional endeavors, as he ran 40 marathons in 40 days for the Prince’s Trust in 2016 and trekked the South Pole in 2020 for charity.

“We are thrilled to welcome Michael Tobin to CloudHesive as a new member of our Board of Directors,” said Jim Walker, CEO of CloudHesive. “His remarkable track record of leadership, innovation, and commitment to excellence aligns with our company’s values and current vision.”

CloudHesive is an Amazon Premier Partner and an Amazon Managed Services Partner founded in 2014 by veterans in the cloud technology space. We help our customers adapt and transform their organizations by leveraging the power of the public cloud ecosystem through consulting, and next-generation managed services with a focus on Operational Excellence, Security, Reliability, and Application Optimization. We service global customers and have headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and offices in Denver, ColoradoSantiago, ChileBogota, Colombia and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“We are thrilled to announce Michael Tobin OBE’s addition to our board of directors. His esteemed leadership enhances our outstanding team further. As we remain dedicated to supporting our clients in their AWS digital and AI initiatives, his presence strongly reaffirms our mission,” wrote John Clendennen, CloudHesive’s Chief Revenue Officer in a social media post.

 

By Nikki Cabus

ModMed doubles down on efforts to empower young girls in tech with Pace Center for Girls Broward

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ModMed and Pace Center for Girls Broward double down on their efforts to empower high school girls and promote the technology industry. This collaboration seeks to inspire the next generation of female technologists and expand their horizons when it comes to career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

ModMed’s Women in Innovation & Technology, or “mmWIT,” is focused on advancing women in STEM fields by fostering diversity and inclusion within the tech sector. mmWIT is an Employee Resource Group that provides support, mentorship, and resources to empower women in technology-related careers. This program develops and enables women to lead and innovate as they grow in their professional careers. mmWIT hosts educational panel discussions, mentoring events, networking gatherings, book clubs and community outreach programs. Through mmWIT, ModMed strives to establish a strong community for women to reach their highest potential.

Pace Center for Girls envisions a world where all girls and young women have power, in a just and equitable society. Founded in 1985, Pace provides free year-round middle and high school academics, case management, counseling, and life skills development in a safe and supportive environment that recognizes and deals with past trauma and builds upon girls’ individual strengths. Dedicated to meeting the social, emotional, and educational needs of girls, Pace has a successful and proven program model that has changed the life trajectory of more than 40,000 girls and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading advocates for girls in need.

For more than four years, mmWIT and Pace Center for Girls Broward have worked hand in hand to champion women in STEM.

An early effort was mmWIT’s 2018 Fashion Show to raise funds for the Pace Center for Girls Broward. ModMed’s employees received a casting call and the response was amazing. As if strutting their stuff down the catwalk for a good cause wasn’t enough, the model who sold the most raffle tickets won a prize: an outfit they wore on the runway. That event raised over $4000 for the Pace Center for Girls.

Their joint efforts are designed to introduce high school girls to the vast potential of a tech career and encourage more women to pursue opportunities in this dynamic industry. By broadening the perspectives of young women, this collaboration not only advances women in STEM but also motivates them to explore the myriad of possibilities available at forward-thinking companies like ModMed®.

Headquartered in Boca Raton, ModMed is transforming healthcare around the countryy by placing doctors and patients at the center of care through an intelligent, specialty-specific cloud platform. With our electronic health records (EHR) and practice management (PM) systems, and our patient engagement and revenue cycle management (RCM) services, our all-in-one solution empowers specialty medical practices by providing clinical, financial and operational software solutions. Our staff physicians help to develop products and services for allergy, dermatology, gastroenterology, OBGYN, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, pain management, plastic surgery, podiatry and urology practices, as well as ambulatory surgery centers.

The “Life After High School” Event: Inspiring and Equipping the Next Generation

The “Life After High School” event is a standout collaboration between mmWIT and Pace Center for Girls Broward. Esteemed women from the technology industry come together to share their insights and personal journeys with the students. The panel discussion covers a wide range of essential topics, including effective communication skills, professionalism in the tech industry, the transition from high school to the professional world, and the art of collaboration with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Through these discussions, the aim is to provide the young audience with the valuable knowledge they need to seize limitless opportunities and excel in their chosen paths.

Rose Anderson, Career & College Readiness Coordinator at Pace Center for Girls Broward, expressed her enthusiasm for the collaboration with mmWIT, saying, “This event perfectly aligns with our mission to empower girls and equip them with the necessary skills and confidence to thrive in their future careers. We are immensely grateful to ModMed for their unwavering support and commitment to advancing women in STEM.”

The panelists, accomplished women with diverse backgrounds in technology, will leverage their expertise and experiences to engage and inspire the Pace girls. Through this event, ModMed and Pace Center for Girls Broward aim to provide young women with the skills and confidence they need to flourish in their future careers.

Breaking Barriers

Girls aspiring to enter the tech field sometimes struggle due to factors such as the lack of visible role models, gender stereotypes and biases, a lack of support and encouragement, and the challenge of maintaining work-life balance. To address these issues, it is important to provide girls with mentorship, promote diversity and inclusivity and ensure equal access to education and resources.

The collaboration between mmWIT and Pace Center for Girls Broward represents a significant stride toward creating a more inclusive and diverse tech industry. By inspiring and empowering high school girls, this collaboration aims to pave the way for a new generation of female technologists who will drive innovation and contribute to a more equitable future. Together, they are dismantling barriers, breaking stereotypes, and creating a brighter and more inclusive tomorrow for women in technology.

Jodi Sherman, senior manager of customer success operations at ModMed and the President of mmWIT, shared her views on how the collaboration with the Pace Center for Girls Broward is making a difference. Sherman stated, “By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we hope to ignite the passion and curiosity of these high school girls, encouraging them to pursue careers in the technology industry. We firmly believe that by increasing the representation of women in STEM, we can drive innovation and create a more inclusive and diverse future.”

By Nikki Cabus

Finalists Announced for the 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch

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GrowFL just announced the Finalists for the 13th Annual Florida Companies to Watch Awards and nine South Florida and Treasure Coast companies made the list!

A prestigious recognition program celebrating high-performing second-stage companies that demonstrate innovative business strategies and excellent potential for future growth, the 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch is brought to you by Duke Energy and Nperspective CFO & Strategic Services, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Companies to Watch is a unique way to acknowledge the remarkable achievements of second-stage companies that contribute significantly to the state’s economic vitality. These companies have successfully navigated through challenges and exhibited outstanding entrepreneurial leadership and innovation, creating a positive impact on their communities and industries. Since 2011, GrowFL has recognized 600 companies with this prestigious award. Many of the past honorees have now grown their companies to stage 3 and stage 4 businesses employing more than 500.

More than 150,000 high-growth second stage companies headquartered in Florida represent nearly 4 Million jobs. That’s almost 30% of the jobs from less than 5% of the state. Second stage companies are no longer worried about failing, but focused on growth and job creation bringing real economic impact to their geographic regions.

To qualify for the award, companies must have between 6 and 150 employees and revenue between $750,000 and $100 million in 2022. The finalists were selected from more than 550 nominations from throughout Florida and represent a diverse group of growing companies representing a variety of industries. Together, they reported a total of more than 2,770 jobs and generated close to $813 million in revenue in 2022. These companies anticipate growth of 29 percent in revenue and 21 percent in employment by the end of 2023.

“The companies selected as Finalists are a testament to the resilience and creativity of Florida’s entrepreneurs. They are thriving in an ever-changing business landscape, and their accomplishments inspire others to strive for excellence,” said Jennifer Taylor, president and CEO of GrowFL.

“Each finalist has demonstrated outstanding growth and innovation, positioning them as leaders within their industries. We are honored, year after year, to celebrate the outstanding success of the entrepreneurs in our state.”

One of the second-stage company Finalists in the running is Streann Media, a content-creation and streaming company, disrupting the content landscape. The company has built the most complete OTT platform in the world with a powerful Content Management System, Content App Editor and 150 tools to distribute, engage and monetize live and on demand content. Streann’s innovations include proprietary integration with Artificial Intelligence and Patent Technologies for Monetization. The Miami-based company has won multiple industry awards, has millions of active users and has been deployed in 141 countries.

Founder and CEO of Streann Media, Gio Punzo, told South Florida Tech Hub, “We are thrilled to be selected as a Finalist for the GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Awards. This reconfirms the dedication and expertise of our talented team who consistently strive to provide innovative solutions and exceptional service to our clients.”

He continued, “We are delighted to be a part of Florida’s thriving business community and look forward to continuing our growth trajectory. We have grown to 70 million unique viewers in 141 countries around the world thanks to our breakthrough technology made in Florida.”

Finalists undergo a second round of judging before the top 50 companies are selected and emerge as Honorees. Honorees will be announced in early October and will be recognized at the awards ceremony on Thursday, February 15, 2024, at the Hard Rock Live, Universal CityWalk in Orlando, Florida. Tickets will go on sale in September.

GrowFL is driven by one goal – to cultivate second-stage growth companies across the state. Second-stage companies are the backbone of Florida’s economy and the definition of economic success and prosperity. Through our diverse programs and services, GrowFL provides proven methods to help overcome unique challenges facing second-stage companies as they grow.

Congratulations to the 12th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Finalists from South Florida & Treasure Coast:

  • Flexxbuy (St. Lucie)
  • HelixVM (Palm Beach)
  • Hollywood Woodwork, Inc. (Broward)
  • Loupe Tech, Inc (Miami-Dade)
  • Pointer Construction Group LLC. (Broward)
  • PUR-FORM (Palm Beach)
  • Spot Pet Insurance, LLC. (Miami-Dade)
  • Streann Media (Miami-Dade)
  • Weedoo Greenboat, Inc. (Palm Beach)

To view the full list of Finalists, click here.

By Nikki Cabus

Tech Hub Announces 2023 Golden Palm Award Honorees

Read Time 5 Minutes

For the first time, the Golden Palm Gala & Awards, hosted by the South Florida Tech Hub, brought together a convergence of leaders, technologists, and organizations from across the region, all gathered to celebrate exceptional achievements and to acknowledge their collective impact on our vibrant tech ecosystem.T he event unfolded on August 3rd at the iconic Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in downtown West Palm Beach. It was an evening that marked a significant milestone in the South Florida technology landscape.

With the event’s presenting sponsor, 35 Mules, an Innovation Hub powered by Florida Power & Light, the evening held the promise of honoring the remarkable talent that South Florida nurtures within its technology community. Tech Hub received almost nominations in its first year which is a testament to the innovation and dedication that define this thriving tech hub. Each nomination was a story of determination, creativity, and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of possibility.

As the doors of the Kravis Center opened with a VIP reception with passed hors devours and open bar, a palpable sense of excitement filled the air. The attendees, representing a diverse spectrum of expertise and backgrounds, were met with an elegant ambiance that set the stage for an evening of recognition, connection, and inspiration. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm, as conversations flowed and new connections were forged.

Special guest Miss Florida 2023, Juliette Valle, made her way around the room interviewing attendees and honorees for the well-known #minimicminute segments usually held by Tech Hub’s own Nadia Volkova. The guests were also captured by Miss Valle’s opera serenade as she welcomed guests into the main dining hall.

The core essence of the evening was to acknowledge the transformative contributions of individuals, companies, and organizations that have played pivotal roles in shaping the South Florida tech landscape. CEOs who have steered companies to unprecedented heights, startup founders who have dared to dream differently, and community leaders who have tirelessly advocated for progress were all in the spotlight.

The emcee and our Mistress of Ceremonies was Founder and CEO of Entreprenista, Stephanie Cartin. She guided us through an evening that will remain etched in the memories of those who attended, not just as an evening of recognition, but as a testament to what can be achieved when visionaries, leaders, and technologists unite. As the lights dimmed and the attendees dispersed, the echoes of inspiration continued to reverberate, a reminder that the journey of the South Florida tech community is one of limitless possibilities.

 

Golden Palm Award Honorees:

  • Collaboration of The Year | Owwll, Premier Virtual, TEDxBocaRaton, and FAU Adams Center Entrepreneurship – For their achievements and efforts to provide free valuable mentors and experts to the those in the field, and those new to it, to veterans and students, and to the ever-expanding tech community.
  • Social Responsibility | Virtual Intelligence Briefing (ViB) – Woven throughout the fabric of the organization are the core values of humanitarian, economic and philanthropic servant leadership. “Service over Self” is not just a TedTalk for this outstanding organization, but a mantra relected in the staff, the Board of Directors, volunteers, and all who support them. This honoree is a shining example who inspires to provide technology and talent to those in need.
  • Innovator of The Year | BiFarm Tech – For their efforts to not only increase crop yields in state where Agriculture is a significant factor in our economy but they did so while reducing the environmental footprint AND adapted their technology for small indoor and home-based farms.
  • Community Connector Venture Mentoring Team (VMT) – For their tremendous efforts to develop and connect mentors and startup entrepreneurs to provide in-valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of the startup world.
  • Inclusion ChampionUrban League Palm Beach County – This Honoree works to prepare young adults who are unemployed and underemployed for career-readiness to address socio-economic challenges and advocate for diversity in the tech sector to create a more equitable and inclusive environment for all.
  • EdTech Excellence | Code/Art – This Honoree Code Art has worked with 8,000 girls, trained 400 teachers, impacted 23 states, and can boast that 87% of their clients are motivated to continue coding in the future.
  • Leadership ExcellenceSaif Ishoof, Founder, Lab22C – A true visionary, leading by example, and encouraging those around him to take the work seriously but never to take themselves too seriously, he injects a sense of joy into every conversation. Known as “Miami’s Connector-in-Chief”, he has had a significant impact on entrepreneurs and founders across the region by making meaningful connections, providing sound advice, and being a trusted ear or shoulder.

A special award, the Ethos Award, was given at the close of the ceremony. This award was not a category open for nomination, but one that Tech Hub CEO Nikki Cabus felt was a hugely important one. The award was presented to the entire Florida Power & Light team there that night from senior execuitives to entry-level developers. They all make up the FPL fabric we all know.

“In todays world every company has the opportunity to be an innovator, to be a sustainability leader, to provide opportunity, and to put the larger community first. Few succeed at demonstrating each of these pillars, and even fewer at all four,” stated Cabus.

“Supporting 2000+ nonprofits, $3.8 Million donated by employees, 46,000+ hours by employees, 180+ nonprofit boards served by employees, awarding 5 makeover grants of $50,000 each to schools in our area, educating and protecting our natural resources, embracing future generations, delivering books to improve reading levels, developing curriculum for STEM, implementing Communications, and Leadership Development, working to lower costs to our nonprofit sector, and serving alongside our neighbors to make South Florida an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. I’m honored to present the Ethos Award to Florida Power & Light.”

The evening closed with robots, music and dancing with Digital Vibez. It was the perfect close to a perfect evening. Thank you to all our speakers, sponsors, media partners, production partners, The Kravis Center of Performing Arts, our event Chair, Cathy Miron, event organizing committee, Tech Hub Board of Directors, and a HUGE congratulations to all the nominees and honorees of the evening!

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