South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Riley Kaminer

Tech Hub South Florida as a career launchpad

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Monica Rojas discusses her plans to continue building South Florida tech ecosystem

Tech Hub South Florida prides itself on launching the careers of South Floridians, and providing young innovators with exposure to some of our region’s most prominent companies. 

Monica Rojas, Tech Hub South Florida’s Community & Startups Manager, recently announced that she will be joining professional networking platform Upstream as a community operations manager.

Monica’s Tech Hub journey started in 2015, when she worked as an intern. She then came back to the organization on a part-time basis in 2019, before joining the team full-time in 2020.

“I have really enjoyed my time at Tech Hub South Florida,” Monica said. “The organization’s growth has been pretty incredible,” underscoring Tech Hub South Florida’s 120% growth in 2020. 

Reflecting on her time at Tech Hub, Monica said that she is most proud of the work she has done to help South Florida startups flourish: “It has been priceless to see our startup partners grow from just an idea to a whole company with employees and customers.”

Since Monica has been involved with Tech Hub, the organization has undertaken a variety of initiatives to grow our region’s tech community. Most notably, Tech Hub has developed nine different peer groups, where industry experts across verticals can come together to share best practices and support each other – all while continuing to develop the local ecosystem.

At Upstream, Monica plans to continue working to build South Florida’s tech hub. “Tech Hub and Upstream have a lot of synergies. I look forward to connecting the two because they can complement each other in their efforts to build up our community,” she said. Monica will continue to be involved in Tech Hub’s startup-related initiatives in a voluntary capacity.

“I learned at Tech Hub that creating a community takes time, takes the right people, and takes having a common mission,” Monica explained. “If you bring value to your community, the overall ecosystem will grow.”

For Monica, working at Tech Hub was an excellent opportunity to hone her skills. “I have worn  a lot of hats at Tech Hub and done a bit of everything, from marketing to communications and events. It’s allowed me to be super agile and focused on getting things done, all while understanding the needs of the community.”

Recently, our interns and junior staff have also gained employment and additional internships at some of Tech Hub’s member companies. Ally Costa now works at PlanHub, Rebecca Bakels at CITY Furniture, Jose Delgado works at Office Depot, and Madison Cuellar works at NextEra Energy.

Madison, who also sits on the board of Code Palm Beach, said that she “couldn’t even imagine getting [her] start somewhere else.” She continued, “I was taught skills that no college class could ever prepare me for, all the while continuing my passion of spreading STEM education throughout the county. I always felt like my ideas were heard and my questions were answered. I never felt like ‘just an intern.’ I always felt like a valued part of the team.”

Tech Hub provided a door-opening opportunity for Madison: “It was through Tech Hub that I was able to build my network. Every event was a way to meet new people who in some shape of form were involved in tech. I was able to ask my questions and really get a feel for companies, just to see where I might fit in best. When I knew I wanted to be at Nextera, I was overwhelmed with support.”

“With such a young and vibrant staff and being connected to so many wonderful partner organizations and companies in our region, it’s only natural that we would be a great launchpad for career growth,” says Tech Hub’s Interim CEO, Nikki Cabus. “While we will greatly miss them, we thank them for their amazing work at Tech Hub and wish them all the best in the future!”

By Nikki Cabus

Palm Beach Tech announces Inaugural Intern Program

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The Palm Beach Tech Association is proud to announce our Inaugural Summer Intern Program, connecting 50 students to paid technology internships throughout South Florida.

The intern program announcement also includes the release of the Palm Beach Tech Internship Manual, designed to help companies build their own successful & sustainable internal programs. Click Here to Download Manual

Students will be recruited from throughout Florida and placed at member tech companies. After a weeklong bootcamp, interns will be integrated into our tech community through communications, community events, volunteer opportunities, and mentorship throughout their paid summer internship with.

Special thanks to Cathy Miron & Natasha Menon for their leadership in designing this program.


Community Effort

Palm Beach Tech’s Education Committee sought to develop resources around internship programs to better bridge the divide from classroom to workspace. Led by Michael Fowler (FPL) & Kevin Burch (Office Depot), this was the committee’s top 2018 priority.

Designed through September’s Internship Forum, the program includes input from Tech Executives, Education Partners, Corporate Members & Interns, who identified best practices and features to include. Click Here to Download Report

Special thanks to the Washington Technology Industry Association for their assistance in this process.


Week Long Bootcamp

The cornerstone of the Intern Program is a weeklong intern bootcamp to be held at Lynn University on May 13th through May 17th.

This bootcamp will be led by software manager and code school educator Jermey Lawson, and feature guest speakers from companies, universities, and organizations throughout South Florida. The goal is provide both hard and soft skill education, coupled with team based business learning, to first time interns before they even set foot in their positions.

Special thanks to Barbara Cambia & Lynn University for their leadership in this program and hosting the bootcamp.


How to Apply (Companies)

All Palm Beach Tech Members are eligible to submit requests for summer interns. Click Here

Depending on membership tiers, companies are either reserved slots for summer interns or would have to sponsor to recruit interns through the program. Specific fields being sought are:

  • Cyber Security
  • Graphic Design
  • Data Analytics / Data Science
  • Software Development
  • Project Management
  • Quality Assurance (QA)
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Information Technology (Help Desk)


How to Apply (Students)

All students are invited to apply for internships, with applications provided to member companies. Click Here

Companies must hire students for paid internships, which will then count as acceptance for one of the fifty (50) intern positions facilitated through our program. Additional requirements include:

  • Students at least 18 years old
  • Those Good Academic Standing (2.5+ GPA)
  • Non traditional students & career changers
  • Extern Candidates from local Schools
  • All interns must be hired by a company to participate

By Nikki Cabus

Building a Palm Beach Tech Intern Program

Read Time 2 Minutes

Building a Palm Beach Tech Intern Program

Recap on the 2018 Palm Beach Tech Association Intern Forum

On September 28, 2018, the education committee of Palm Beach Tech Association held the Internship Forum, alongside four South Florida Universities; Lynn University, Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Palm Beach State College.

Led by Michael Fowler (FP&L), Cathy Miron (eSilo) & Barbara Cambia (Lynn University), the effort included over 50 executives and educators from throughout South Florida.

Palm Beach Tech Intern Forum

The overarching theme of this forum was to bring together executives, educators, interns, and everyone in between to focus on three major goals; building academic partnerships, identifying the intern program best practices, and developing a Palm Beach Tech Intern Program.

Click Here to Read our Followup Report

Through two breakout sessions, participants were able to come to several conclusions on the definition of success regarding intern programs. Most notable of all, participants found that interns were most successful when they learned both hard and soft skills prior to their careers.

A major piece of discussion was the proposal to begin a Palm Beach Tech Intern program serving at least 50 students and 15 companies.

Palm Beach Tech Intern Program

Palm Beach Tech is researching the launch of an intern program in Summer 2019.

We plan to work with higher education institutions throughout Florida to connect students with companies seeking interns who meet the following criteria:

  • Are a Palm Beach Tech Member
  • Provide Paid Internship(s)
  • Have Physical Presence in South Florida

The program areas we’re researching include mentorship programs, cross-training, and team-building, but will most certainly include:

  • Week-long Intern Bootcamp | Five full days of instruction on coding languages, project management, entrepreneurship, and soft skills.
  • Development Events | After work events with accomplished executives and professionals allowing rare opportunities to learn from those who’ve been there.

This program would incapsulate access to local talent and potential hires to prospective employers. We’re also working with tech council partners throughout the country to further develop this concept.

More information will be released in January 2019, and we hope that our effort to build a community of impassioned technologists will continue to build an educational pipeline for tech jobs throughout South Florida.

If you’re interested in being apart or learning more, click here to email us

Tech Hub South Florida as a career launchpad
Palm Beach Tech announces Inaugural Intern Program
Building a Palm Beach Tech Intern Program