South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

The Boca Raton Innovation Campus announces six new lease agreements

Read Time 4 Minutes

CP Group, Florida’s largest office landlord and a prominent owner-operator of office properties throughout the Sunbelt, announced six new leasing agreements at Boca Raton Innovation Campus (BRiC) — its fast-growing, 1.7-million-square-foot technology and life sciences hub in Boca Raton, Florida.

Designed by Marcel Breuer, the campus was originally built in 1969 for IBM and is home to the invention of the first personal computer. The campus was acquired by CP Group in 2018 with the vision of building off BRiC’s history and evolving the campus into a science and technology hub. An ideal landing spot for companies with large footprints, BRiC is currently home to 18 national headquarters and 19 regional offices, including Kroger, Modernizing Medicine, Canon, and Bluegreen Vacations.

As the state’s largest single-office complex, BRiC has historically attracted companies with large footprints. However, throughout its renovation process, CP Group has pivoted its strategy to attract startups and growing companies seeking modern amenities and a holistic workplace ecosystem in the technology and life science spaces.

CP Group’s executed deals include four new tenants and two lease renewals, one with an expansion, all signed during the initial phase of the spec suites’ construction at BRiC. The four incoming tenants are relocating from other office locations within Boca Raton.

  • Engineering Express, a structural engineering firm.
  •, an entertainment company. CBRE’s Will Morrison represented the tenant.
  • LandAirSea (LAS), a GPS tracking system manufacturer. Posh Realty’s Anthony Villagi represented the tenant.
  • MODE Architects, a full-service architecture and design firm
  • EdgeMed, a revenue cycle management platform for medical organizations, renewed its lease and signed for a new spec suite. Stagman Commercial Realty’s Jason Stagman represented the tenant.
  • Orchid Bay Financial Holdings, an investment firm, renewed its lease and expanded its footprint at the property to a new spec suite.

“LandAirSea is thrilled to be moving into our new home at BRiC. BRiC offers us a combination of amenities, convenience, and comfort that not only makes us excited but impresses our clients and, importantly, our new Florida employees. As we think about enrolling team members in the idea of coming ‘back to work,’ a big part of it is providing a safe, comfortable, and inspiring place for them to collaborate, create, and innovate,” said Greg Jacobson, CEO of LAS. “For us, there was nothing else that even came close to providing this environment, and new hires, vendors, and customers that are touring the facility are telling us we got it right.”

Jeff Kelly of CBRE represented the landlord in all six transactions. The tenants will begin occupying their respective spaces early this year, and construction on additional spec suites will start sometime in 2024.

The spec suites are part of CP Group’s portfolio-wide ‘worCPlaces’ flexible workspace offering. Within the “Spec Places” service offering, CP Group designs customized suites to meet the needs of companies seeking move-in ready, yet scalable, office environments for evolving teams.

“We are continuing to see an influx of cutting-edge companies flocking to South Florida in search of flexible, yet turnkey, workspaces to meet the needs of their employees,” said Michael Perrette, General Manager for BRiC. “BRiC is meeting this demand and sustaining the property’s legacy of innovation by cultivating state-of-the-art office environments with top-tier amenities that empower our tenants to lead their respective industries.”

The former IBM research and development facility is undergoing a $100 million capital improvement program to transform into an amenity-rich campus. BRiC completed many of these amenities last year, including an on-site wellness center run by Boca Raton Regional Hospital, coffee shop Java, an autonomous grab-and-go store called Bits, a revitalized dining hall, and flex space for events and presentations for up to 1,000 people, two fitness studios; on-site bike storage; and a parking garage with 1,300 spaces and a covered top deck with the flexibility to add solar panels. These renovations awarded BRiC South Florida Business Journal’s 2023 Structure Award for Best Reuse/Rehab Project. Further planned renovations include a new main entrance and porte-cochere with a secondary ring road and a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) lab, among others.

Other amenities currently available to BRiC’s office tenants include a fitness center; onsite daycare; outdoor courtyards; running and biking trails; and abundant displays of art as part of its Art on BRiC Walls program, including an NFT exhibit and “Rocket” — a 30-foot-tall, mirrored stainless-steel outdoor sculpture by artist Hubert Phipps.

CP Group also recently received approval from the City of Boca Raton to rezone BRiC for the development of a planned +/- 1,250 residential units; 125,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, grocery stores, and entertainment; a 150-room hotel; a 4,000-seat live concert venue; an accredited daycare and afterschool childcare center; and several parking garages. These rezoning permits allow BRiC to be open to the public seven days a week, and their new event and presentation hall is already slated to host large-scale meetings, galas, student testing, weddings, and even TedXBocaRaton.

BRiC’s mid-century modern aesthetic and superior location between two I-95 exits — adjacent to a Tri-Rail station and proximity to two major airports — offer ideal conditions for the complex to transform into a ‘town center’ integrated into the social fabric of Boca Raton.

Check out the Boca Raton Innovation Campus website here.

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 here:

For more information about IBM’s cybersecurity grants for schools, visit:

For more information about IBM Security X-Force’s services and capabilities, visit:

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

By Nikki Cabus

Did you know? History & Future of Tech in South Florida started in Boca Raton.

Read Time 10 Minutes

From Miami Beach to Palm Beach, South Florida is becoming one of the best-known tech hub’s across the country. 

Many cities throughout the state of Florida — now the fastest-growing state in the nation — have been announced as up-and-coming tech hubs. South Florida Tech Hub recently celebrated the birth of the tech scene in South Florida and our region’s continued innovation at the “History & Future of Tech in South Florida” event held at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus. 

Guests at the event enjoyed a blast from the past as we explored the era of IBM’s first PC, the ground-breaking research being done, and the thousands of patents and inventions still driving technology today. We heard from some of the original OGs of South Florida tech and former IBM employees – where they went, what they built, and where they are now.


South Florida holds a major piece of tech history right in the heart of Boca Raton. Designed by iconic architect Marcel Breuer, the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, or “BRIC,” was IBM’s North American Research and Development facility in the 1960s.

BRIC is home to the invention of the first personal computer. IBM’s own PC (IBM 5150) was introduced in August 1981, only a year after corporate executives gave the go-ahead to Bill Lowe, the lab director in the company’s Boca Raton facilities. He set up a task force that developed the proposal for the first IBM PC.

As home to the invention of their first personal computer, one might argue that the future of tech in South Florida began here!

The office park has been significantly upgraded since Crocker Partners acquired the property in 2018.What began as an outpost for IBM’s R&D and became the birthplace of the PC is now a state-of-the-art office park that is a magnet for forward thinkers in technology and life sciences. There is a growing roster of entrepreneurs, visionaries and global enterprises who have chosen BRIC as their stomping grounds.

Today, at 1.7 million square feet, BRIC is the largest single-office facility in the state of Florida. BRiC consists of three interconnected facilities located on 123-acres of beautifully maintained land with a lake situated in the center of the property, offering supreme office views and walking paths. CP Group, formerly known as Crocker Partners, has a massive vision of building off its innovative past and evolving the campus into the premier technology and life sciences hub in the Southeast.

Among the future featured amenities, there will be a Science Technology Engineering Art and Technology (STEAM) lab and coworking space, presentation hall that seats up to 1,000 to host science and technology trade shows, TedX events, coding camps and community events, a wellness center, including on-site salon, medical center and massage therapy and so much more. The renovations and construction have already begun. 

Oh, and BRIC is also home to the longest hallway in America coming in at 907 feet. For comparison, the Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall, the Gateway Arch is 630 feet and the Golden Gate Bridge stands at 746 feet in height.



The event started with a special keynote by Dr. Dave Bradley, or “Dr. Dave,” one of the twelve engineers who worked on the original IBM PC. He is famously known for developing the computer’s ROM BIOS code and for implementing the “Control-Alt-Delete” key combination used to reboot the computer. In his speech, he shared insights on early IBM marketing, the release of the first personal computer, working with Bill Gates, and other significant inventions.

Although internationally know for being the inventor of CTRL-ALT-DELETE, he doesn’t think this is his biggest contribution to to computing history. He’s proud that he created something became so popular, but knows that this is minimal to some of the other development work having been done in IBMs early days.

Bradley described the time that he helped with a sales pitch to the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, aiming to convince them to use personal computers as part of their instruction. They showed a demo program allowing the user to pick a song, which is then played on the two-and-a-quarter-inch speaker. However, there were 30 people in the room. They came up with the idea to plug in a guitar amplifier into the cassette cord. Then, no matter what song the user chooses, The Stars and Stripes Forever is played. They made the sale.

During testing of the IBM PC, Bradley frequently had to power the computer off, wait a few seconds, and turn it back on. As a result, he decided to make a shortcut: CTRL + ALT + DELETE. This was never supposed to be used in production, but then the publications team found out about it. They were trying to tell people how to start up a program, and they found the answer with the keyboard shortcut. It took Bradley five minutes to create and has since become an essential element of the user experience and even a “cultural icon”.

After the success of the IBM PC, thousands of IBM employees started working on the PS/2 family of products in Boca Raton. They took up so much office space, and even expanded into the Boca Raton mall where a department store went out of business. Bradley remarked that IBM filled all of Boca Raton in order to get the PC developed.




The evening’s agenda featured two panel discussions focused on the history and future of South Florida’s tech ecosystem and featured some of the trailblazers of modern technology.

The goal of the event was to educate the community about South Florida’s history in tech and innovation, honor some of the former IBMers who made huge strides back in the 80s, 90s and 2000s allowing the rest of the tech community to flourish today, and showcase what many of these technology leaders are doing currently.

Many people have no idea the original IBM PC was even born in South Florida, the fact that the company has thousands of patents that a huge percentage of current tech companies use, or that these tech professionals didn’t just stop innovating after they left IBM.

IBM patents range from the ATM to e-commerce, speech recognition technology, two-nanometer chips, the UPC bar code, Lasik laser eye surgery technology, screen rotation technology, “siesta” or sleep mode on the computer screen (Pete Martinez), quantum computing and so much more!

Now, the future of IBM is cloud, AI and quantum computing.



PANEL: History of Tech

The history of technology panel discussion was moderated by Pete Martinez, former IBM executive and founder of Sivotec and RaiseLink. Panelists included Chris Fleck, a former IBM executive and Vice President and Tech Fellow at Citrix, Maria Hernandez, a former Chief Innovation Officer-LATAM at IBM and CEO of InnoGuia, and Nick Savage, a former Senior NLS Developer at IBM, entrepreneur, and Digital Inclusion Director at CPSF. Each speaker transformed from working at IBM to executive roles or founding their own companies.

Each former IBM employee shared stories of their experiences at IBM, the culture around innovation they created, and some of the forward-thinking projects they were a part of at the time.

  • Hernandez was a developer on IBM’s airline reservation system in 1985, which, believe it or not, is still in use as a main system today. She also served as the technical assistant to the senior vice president of research. Her job was to help take research projects to the market faster. Hernandez helped train the voice control in cars’ natural language processing algorithm. She worked with Modernizing Medicine to introduce IBM Watson and AI to the healthcare industry.
  • Savage was a Senior Systems Engineer & Product Manager helping to develop the disk operating system (DOS) and modernize the keyboard into a software app. Savage remarked that he knew he was at the forefront of something great. He helped design SQL (Structured Query Language), and all the products building off of the operating system. Savage was in biweekly meetings with Bill Gates, Steven Ballmer, and Paul Allen. Savage was asked to escort the IBM Personal Computer AT to its announcement in New York. The AT computers took up three first-class seats.
  • Fleck was a Business Unit Executive at IBM, working on mainframe manufacturing. Fleck turned a lot of IBM technology into commercial offerings, such as IBM branded robots and industrial computers.
  • Martinez described his department in IBM working long hours on the original PCs and being given special permission from IBM to break the rules, to not conform to the old standard of five years of product development and three years of testing. They became a favorite of the company, which came with respect, but also responsibility. Failure was not an option. Martinez used the RISC chip (reduced instruction set computing), which was very fast, allowing a PC to act like a supercomputer. He and his team worked with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to do the age progression of children who had been missing for years. This process would take around two weeks for a skilled agent to do manually, but the IBM team reduced this to about an hour. This led to an increase from a 46% to a 78% recovery rate in a year.

PANEL: Future of Tech

The future of technology panel was moderated by Nikki Cabus, CEO of South Florida Tech Hub. Panelists included Pete Martinez (above) , Vanessa Michelini, a former Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technologist at IBM and Senior Director of Engineering at Natera, Mark Smith, a former VP and Senior Partner at IBM and President of OZ Digital Consulting, and Ania Rodriguez, a former UX Consultant at IBM and CEO of JourneyTrack.

Panelists discussed the biggest contributions of South Florida’s tech industry, the largest enterprises, the coolest startups, and companies that made an impact in the industry.

  • After working at IBM, Martinez decided to dedicate his next stage in life to improving the human condition, primarily in health and education. He created a number of companies, primarily in the AI space, starting with biotech and genomics. Martinez also co-founded a fintech company called RaiseLink, which uses a matching engine to link investors with startup opportunities, supported by AI technology.
  • Michelini worked on applying speech recognition technology to the industry at IBM before moving on to the genomics space. She worked on a project called Watson Genomics, which focused on using artificial intelligence and data analytics to interpret genomics in clinical oncology. Michelini fell in love with the mission of helping people through the combination of biology and technology. She joined Natera, a company dedicated to using genomics to interpret oncology, prenatal care, and organ transplants, after leaving IBM.
  • Rodriguez started at IBM in 2000, where she worked on building user experience and front-end interfaces, which she excelled at, particularly in accounts that were struggling with their technology. She also mentioned being part of a program for top ten women at IBM, which allowed her to meet many influential people. Rodriguez started her own consulting firm, which ended up being one of South Florida’s top women-led businesses. Rodriguez’s firm works with Fortune 500 companies to help optimize their digital transformations by focusing on the strategy behind it, rather than the design. Rodriguez also shared her recent successful venture into SaaS (Software as a service) product creation. However, she has had some difficulties with fundraising, particularly as a woman in the industry.
  • Smith worked in the management consulting group at IBM and focused on digital transformation, using artificial intelligence. He also worked on commercializing Watson’s natural language processing capabilities to help clients digitize unstructured data in the insurance industry. The main struggle was to attain trust in the data and algorithm. Now with OZ Digital Consulting (the food sponsor of the evening!), Smith works with startups to help them leverage emerging technologies and solve business gaps. Smith believes that startups are often at the forefront of innovation and offer valuable insights on how to use emerging technologies.

For almost 30 years, IBM led the United States in producing patents and in its pinnacle year filing over 10,000 US patent applications just that year. That’s more than any other tech company including companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft. These patents generate around $3 billion per year. They do not need to build products anymore, instead, they license them. Therefore, IBM technology is used extensively behind the scenes.

That all changed in 2022 – the first time since 1993 that IBM didn’t claim the top spot on the list of companies with the most U.S. patents. That was completely intentional though. IBM decided that they no longer aimed to be the leader in patent creation, but in innovations in hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. IBM has been opening collaborating with competitors in an effort to further innovation. IBM has re-focused.


The Boca Raton Historical Society Martinez made a patent called siesta mode, which turns off the monitor when it is not used for a period of time. exhibited a working original IBM personal computer at the event which was a treat for our younger attendees who probably hadn’t seen one in real life. It sure captured some of their attention.


Brian Callanan from Callanan Financial Advisors opened with a sponsor message telling his story of “1995’s spring break capitol of the world” in Ft. Lauderdale as a college student to relocating back to South Florida years later during a time when the internet and technology industry was rapidly evolving, with companies like Microsoft, Craigslist,, Amazon, and eBay emerging as major players. Only 12 million people, or 3% of Americans, had logged onto the World Wide Web at that time.

Callanan initially sold telephone systems, voicemail, and data networks before getting involved in the technology community. He was introduced to an organization by a direct competitor and began attending meetings with a small group of like-minded individuals to stay on top of the latest developments. As the group grew in size and influence, Callanan became increasingly involved in regional technology initiatives, eventually serving as president of the South Florida Telecom Forum which was later acquired by SFTA and then by South Florida Tech Hub.

Callanan shared some insights on the current market trends for platform acquisitions. Private equity firms are the main financiers in this space and are actively seeking businesses in the tech and skilled labor sectors. Callanan emphasized the importance of having scalable, bankable profits and transferable value for companies to be considered exit-ready. He also mentioned the importance of effective communication among professionals to avoid costly mistakes. In addition, Callanan encouraged a regional approach to promoting South Florida’s tech ecosystem applauding the work of South Florida Tech Hug, highlighting the potential benefits for all businesses in the area.

The event was a great success, and attendees had the opportunity to learn about the journey of South Florida’s tech industry, its pioneers, and its future. Thank you to our sponsors and partners: Callanan Financial Advisors, OZ Digital Consulting, Boca Raton Innovation Campus, The Boca Raton Historical Society, Dr. Dave and all our panelists.

See event photos here. 📸

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This article was written in collaboration between South Florida Tech Hub and Tech Hub volunteer, Adam Elitzur. To read his full article, click here.

By Riley Kaminer

Here’s to another 13 years of healthtech innovation for Modernizing Medicine

Read Time 3 Minutes

The US healthcare sector is rife with inefficiencies – from uneven care to overworked medical professionals to outdated digital systems. In a country that spends almost 20% of our GDP on healthcare, there remains a large opportunity to create better outcomes for patients and better working environments for providers.

For the last 13 years, Boca Raton-based Modernizing Medicine, now known as “ModMed.” has worked tirelessly to improve the tech tools that keep us healthy. They have developed a wide range of specialty-specific electronic health record (EHR) systems and solutions, practice management platforms, revenue cycle management software, and more.

And in an interview with South Florida Tech Hub, co-founder and CEO Daniel Cane said that this is just the beginning for the 3,400-person company.

“You can expect to see more growth, including coverage of more specialties throughout the US – and we will certainly become international,” Cane said of his plans for the company’s next 13 years. 

As for what accomplishment he is most proud of in Modernizing Medicine’s history thus far, Cane said that it was “creating an incredible culture and environment for all our team members.” Building a strong company culture creates lots of work and is a top down effort at ModMed, with Cane still personally meeting every new member of the team.

So is Cane ready for his next venture? Not quite yet. The entrepreneur, who previously co-founded EdTech giant Blackboard, said that he is still laser focused on tackling some of the many issues still plaguing the healthcare industry. “I’ve got a lot more work cut out for me, fixing healthcare and making sure that ModMed is incredibly successful.”

Of course, ModMed has already reached a level of success that most companies will never see. It has 3,400 employees around the world – 700 of whom are based in Modernizing Medicine’s headquarters at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, IBM’s former R&D facility.

So what advice would Cane give to budding entrepreneurs?

“100% of big companies you see today started off as a small company, so remember to dream big.” Cane also admitted that he has had more failed companies than successful ones, and that is normal. “If you’re going to fail, fail fast. You can learn a lot from those failures.” He noted that while someone might be born an innovator, entrepreneurship – building, running, and scaling businesses – requires a specific set of skills that can be taught.

As ModMed has grown over the last 13 years, so has South Florida’s tech ecosystem, noted Cane. But he urged us to recall that South Florida has had a long tradition of innovation, not least of which includes IBM’s storied past in Boca.

“South Florida is on the map as a strong entrepreneurial hub,” he asserted. This is despite any turbulence caused, for example, by the decline of crypto.

“Our biggest challenge is our geography,” said Cane, noting that South Florida is very long but not very wide, and lacks a main downtown area. “South Florida Tech Hub is essential for bringing all of our amazing companies together.”


The Boca Raton Innovation Campus announces six new lease agreements
IBM to grant $5M to schools to boost cybersecurity & AI skills
Did you know? History & Future of Tech in South Florida started in Boca Raton.
Here’s to another 13 years of healthtech innovation for Modernizing Medicine