South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

Industry leaders and researchers brought together for the FAU Data Science Conference

Read Time 3 Minutes

Back in person for the first time since the pandemic, the Florida Atlantic University Data-Driven Science & AI Conference brought together industry leaders, students, and researchers from multiple industries. This is the fourth conference for the Schmidt College of Science and the first year the conference attracted support from the National Science Foundation!

“The conference was reshaped this year to meet the growth of the Schmidt College of Science as well as the dynamic tech, data and AI community we work with in South Florida,” said William Kalies, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Conference Chair. “The funding provided by the NSF enabled us to conduct this conference again and provide opportunities for our local industry to interact with our researchers and students to spark future collaborations, internship and career opportunities.”

Throughout the day-long event, participants had the opportunity to attend two panel discussions, six themed minisymposium sessions, ranging from the use of AI in chemistry and molecular medicine to the urban applications of data science, enjoy a student research poster competition, learn about opportunities in the community through Tech Hub South Florida, and had multiple opportunities for learning and networking.

Twenty-six students from FAU High School and FAU’s undergraduate and graduate programs exhibited their research at the conference. Three students, Kayla Ahlness, Dawn Raja Somu, and Deepika Regmi, earned recognition for their studies from faculty judges.

The conference included two sponsored panel sessions by South Florida Tech Hub, including the Health Tech panel that discussed, “Digital Transformation and Data-Driven Insight in Healthcare” with leaders in healthcare technology. This panel had a packed room of students, researchers and faculty interested in hearing about “Where We Are and Where We’re Going” in healthtech.

Meggie Soliman, Director of Strategic Innovations at DSS, Inc. opened up the conversation with a presentation and followed by moderating the discussion with panelists, Pete Martinez, CEO of Sivotech Bioinformatics and former IBM executive, Yenvy Truong, Founder of LSM Group, and  Christopher Kunney, Chief of Strategy & Business Development at DSS, Inc.

The Tech Career & Internship Experiences panel discussion paired recent FAU alumni with their mentors to discuss how they secured an internship and their current full-time industry positions. They also answered students’ questions and shared advice.

Panelists included Rich Viens, Chief Financial Officer at PeakActivity and former intern Valeria Tineo, now the Incoming Account Executive of Organizational Business Development at Cleveland Cavaliers, and Lakshamana Sankarakuttalam, Senior Manager IT, Enterprise Intelligence at Office Depot alongside recent FAU Alum and current Master’s student,  Jose Delgado, Software Developer at Office Depot.

The conference featured mini sessions highlighting everything from “The Impact of AI in Financial Market Investment Strategies” to “Topological Data Analysis Algorithms in Robot Motion Planning.” The final keynote talk of the day was Daniel Uribe, MBA, Co-Founder & CEO,, and active Tech Hub member. His talk was titled “BioNFTs: Enabling Decentralized Consented Genomics in the Metaverse” discussing the biodata provenance journey with an ethical risk analysis of who benefits, who is at risk, and who decides on the biological assets (biosamples + biodata) and the introduction of Biological Non-Fungible Tokens or BioNFTs that resolve in a public blockchain.

This year marked the return to an in-person event for the first time since 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last conference was held virtually in 2020. The last conference was successfully supported by the local Boca Raton company, TechStrong Group and Media Ops, which ensured it could be attended virtually. We are already looking forward to 2023!

Student Kerry-Ann Bartley shares how the M.S. in Data Science and Analytics program in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science provides training in analytic tools, preparing students with transferrable real world skills.

By Adam Ross

FAU Market Validation Program

MVP is a customer discovery program that challenges entrepreneurs to define their product market fit by conducting interviews with potential customers. Entrepreneurs also learn to uncover customers’ pain points and needs. The four-week program consists of a kickoff workshop with in-person team presentations, two 30-minute check-ins (virtual option) and a finale with an in-person team presentation.

We help entrepreneurs and small businesses:
– Identify or validate unmet market or clinical needs
– Discover your product market fit (i.e. who is your customer and what needs are you fulfilling)
– Refine your business thesis and value proposition
– Identify gaps and assumptions in your business model canvas
– Obtain individual business counseling
– De-risk your company/startup by conducting customer discovery interviews
– Gather qualitative data which can be used in future pitches/meetings

By Adam Ross

2022 FAU Tech Runway Launch Competition

Apply now for the chance to turn your entrepreneurial
dreams into a reality through FAU Tech Runway’s Venture Program.

Program participants receive more than $100,000 in resources and services, including but not limited to:
– Structured team-based mentoring
– Entrepreneurial instruction
– Introductions to potential sources of early-stage capital
– Programs and resources from FAU’s Innovation and Business Development pipeline
– Marketing and business planning support from college interns
– Free co-working space
– Access to regional business and technology events
– Free office hours from premier professional support firms (attorneys, accountants, etc.)

Learn more at

By Nikki Cabus

FAU student’s Bacon Boxes on Inc’s Coolest College Startup list

Read Time < 1 Minute

Florida Atlantic University student’s Logan Rae and Kimberly Hruda have landed a spot on Inc. Magazine’s Coolest College Startups list with their delectable business startup Bacon Boxes.


Logan Rae, a neuroscience student, made a bacon bouquet resembling roses for a friend’s birthday; that’s when she realized she was onto something innovative and original. Hruda, another FAU student had met Rae through friends, she also recognized the business potential of the bacon bouquets and decided to join forces with Rae and the two quickly became business partners. The two FAU students worked very hard to get their bacon bouquets on the market before Valentine’s day.  A task that required over 100 hours of work per week.

One year later, the company relocated to an industrial kitchen in Boca Raton. Bacon Boxe’s signature product, the Bacon Bouquet are all crafted using high quality ingredients that are free of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. Boxes ship nationwide and come in an assortment of flavors.

Rae and Hruda will also be providing duck, lamb and venison bacon varieties. The company offers a special occasion collection for baby showers, birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries.

Bacon Boxes has been featured on major news and media sources such as CBS12, Fox News, ABC7, Good Morning America, the Knot, and Yahoo.


By Nikki Cabus

Florida Atlantic University hosting Entrepreneur Bootcamp

Read Time < 1 Minute

The Entrepreneur BootCamp is a fast-paced certificate course empowering promising entrepreneurs and ambitious small business owners with the tools to write a successful business plan, find financial backing and design a blueprint for success!

Fall 2016: September 19 – November 21

Spring 2017: January 23 – April 3

Upon completion of the Boot Camp you will be prepared to enter the prestigious FAU Business Plan Competition and compete to fund your business*.

Open to all students, sta and the community

FAU Student $50 | FAU Alumni or Sta $100 | Community $200

For more information or to register visit or email
* At least 1 member of the team entering the Business Plan Competition must be a fully enrolled FAU student.

SAVE THE DATE: FAU Tech Runway’s Maverick Reception
Industry leaders and researchers brought together for the FAU Data Science Conference
FAU Market Validation Program
2022 FAU Tech Runway Launch Competition
FAU student’s Bacon Boxes on Inc’s Coolest College Startup list
Florida Atlantic University hosting Entrepreneur Bootcamp