South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

TEDx Talks are returning to Delray Beach after a 10-year hiatus

Read Time 4 Minutes

With TEDx events popping up all around South Florida, the oh-so-popular event is making a comeback in Delray Beach!

In a world filled with sound bites and paparazzi-snapped photos, there are still storytellers determined to create media with meaning. From feature films to citizen journalism, their work is worth spreading. On November 4th, we will hear from some of those storytellers.

After a 10-year hiatus, Natalia Romero, Ph.D., physicist, educator and a TEDx organizer,  is bringing back TEDx Delray Beach to the very heart and soul of the city’s cultural center: Old School Square.

“We aim to provide a diverse platform to present and discuss relevant topics, innovative ideas, trends and issues which currently affect our local and global community, as well as to bring light to hidden talent and local heroes.” said Dr. Romero.

Old School Square, located in the heart of downtown Delray Beach, is a National Historic Site where beautifully restored early 20th century school buildings serve the greater Delray Beach community and South Florida with visual performing arts, entertainment and enrichments programs. The award-winning, nationally recognized arts center combines historic preservation and the arts.

Serving as this year’s TEDx Delray Beach historic venue, The Fieldhouse which was once called the Vintage Gymnasium (c. 1925) hosts series of music, comedy, poetry, art and more throughout the year.

Seemingly frozen in time, the heavy wood beams still bear the markings of students who dared to climb up to scrawl their names in chalk. While the Fieldhouse is no longer used for sporting events, the original backboards remain in place and former locker rooms converted to beautifully appointed restrooms.

Delray Beach has been rapidly growing and evolving over the past decade. Now, at the verge of a global technology revolution, machine learning, large language models, and artificial intelligence are gaining a broad spectrum of applications. We are experiencing a paradigm shift – and so, the 2023 TEDx Delray Beach theme is “The Ripple Effect.”

Unlike the domino effect which only serves one direction, the ripple effect multiplies in all directions like ripples across water when an object is dropped into it. A ripple effect occurs as a progressive after shock. An initial disturbance to a system propagates to an increasingly larger portion of the system such as in society creating a “new normal” spreading from one individual to the next and into communities broadening its impact and adoption.

Coming from very diverse backgrounds and perspectives, we will hear from though leaders on a variety of topics that currently affects our local and global community. From sustainability, urban planning, astrophysics, history through storytelling, creative AI, and blockchain technology, this event promises to be a night filled with innovation, creativity, and ideas worth spreading.

“The impact community can have is like a pebble dropped in a pond, creating ripples that reach far beyond our initial actions,” said Meggie Soliman, one of this year’s TEDx Delray Beach speakers. “Together, we have the power to inspire, uplift, and transform the world.”

As a Blockchain Advocate, Director of Strategic Innovations at DSS, South Florida Tech Hub HealthTech & Life Sciences Peer Group Chair, and active South Florida Tech Hub member, Meggie is very involved in her local community and the South Florida tech ecosystem. She told Tech Hub that she is most excited about “the opportunity to share and collaborate with the community on an idea worth sharing.”

In addition to captivating speakers, TEDx Delray Beach 2023 will also feature our artistic community by inviting world-renowned artists such as the third-place World Tango
Champions and inaugurating the TEDxDelrayBeach short Film/Animation competition.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Ata Sarajedini – Astrophysics Expert and Former Dean of Science @ Florida Atlantic University

  • Daniel Bolojan – FAU Professor and Director @ Creative AI Lab

  • Edward Stitson – Curator & Educator @ Spady Cultural Heritage Museum

  • Gabriela Mendez – NSU Professor and Educational Leader & Palm Beach School District

  • John Renne – FAU Professor and Director @ Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions

  • Meggie Soliman – Blockchain Advocate and Director of Strategic Innovations @ DSS

  • Sabrina Victoria – Social Entrepreneur and Activist and Executive Director @ Human Better 365

  • Vannesa Ruck – Motorcycle Racer and Rally Driver

  • Zach Escanlante – Data Scientist @ LinkedIn

TEDx is a grassroots initiative, created in the spirit of TED’s overall mission to research and discover “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx brings the spirit of TED to local communities around the globe through TEDx events. According to, the TED organization, which stands for Technology Education and Design, hosts more than 3,000 TEDx events annually. These events are organized by passionate individuals who seek to uncover new ideas and to share the latest research in their local areas that spark conversations in their communities. TEDx events include live speakers and recorded TED Talks, and are organized independently under a free license granted by TED. These events are not controlled by TED, but event organizers agree to abide by our format, and are offered guidelines for curation, speaker coaching, event organizing and more. They learn from us and from each other. More than 3000 events are now held annually.

Since 1984, Ted Talks have created podcasts and videos by expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity. TEDx encourages communities to come together in a platform that showcases local thinkers and innovators. Some of the TEDx videos may be chosen to become regular Ted Talks.

For more informationon TEDx Delray Beach, visit

By Riley Kaminer

Spotlight on Our HealthTech & Life Sciences Committee

Read Time 3 Minutes

From a Miami startup that uses blockchain technology to more efficiently administer Covid tests to a Juno Beach-based healthcare software enterprise that is helping hospitals save precious time doing triage, it’s clear that our region is growing into a healthtech hub.

Tech Hub South Florida has established its HealthTech & Life Sciences Committee in order to accelerate this innovation in the healthtech space. Its mission is to empower, educate, and collaborate with the health professionals, entrepreneurs, and business leaders who ensure the health and wellbeing of South Floridians. The committee aims to accomplish this goal by supporting the South Florida healthcare ecosystem’s ability to leverage current and emerging technologies and services.

Meggie Soliman is Chair of the Committee and Director of Strategic Innovations, Applications at DSS. She said that healthcare and life sciences “can no longer be viewed as separate from technology.” From a healthcare perspective, technology enables clinicians to put patients at the center of everything they do. In order to have this patient-centered care, in Soliman’s estimation, “you need access to relevant data that allows us to analyze and make better decisions for that patient.”

From a life sciences perspective, Soliman acknowledged that “technology is allowing us to make booming discoveries because now we have the tools available that we did not have years ago.”

To take full advantage of this boom, Soliman advocates for a multidisciplinary approach. “You either find technologists or healthcare subject matter experts, but it is difficult to find individuals who have the background with both, so my hope is to expand that pool and keep our local talent.”

Pete Martinez, former IBM executive-turned-entrepreneur and Vice Chair of the Committee, echoes Soliman’s excitement: “Technology will be the great catalyst for the transformation to bring healthcare into the 21st Century, on par with all the major industries that thrive on innovation.”

He is particularly bullish on Artificial Intelligence to spur innovation in the healthcare and life sciences space. “AI holds the greatest promise for such understanding as pattern recognition, Machine Learning, multi-disciplinary data integration. Predictive and personalized modeling will become the norm as they have become in most major industries.”

For Martinez, the key to success in South Florida’s healthtech space will be to connect local entrepreneurs with our region’s major investors. “We are fortunate to have plenty of innovators and high net worth [individuals]. Bringing them together will create exponential and sustainable growth.” 

Soliman and Martinez both have their sights set on tangible impacts that they are looking to make through the Committee’s efforts.

First, they both agree that creating awareness around South Florida as a top destination for healthcare and life sciences is a major priority. 

“Brand development, consistent and visionary messaging, and providing tangible proof points of our capabilities and success is fundamental to the engagement by our community and those that are looking to become part of it,” said Martinez. He also said that it is important to have a common vision and agree upon “strategies [that] will optimize our efforts while creating much bigger impact.”

The Chair and Vice Chair also put an emphasis on talent. Soliman said that “it is essential that we educate our communities and future talent on what the capabilities of healthcare tech are.” She hopes to do that by “getting more students involved in healthcare technology early.”

Finally, Soliman highlighted that local impact is crucial. “Bringing healthcare & life science organizations together will allow for collaboration among our communities and impact the local culture,” she said. “We can be the next Silicon Valley but with a taste of paradise living.”

The Tech Hub team would like to thank our most involved committee members to date such as Modernizing Medicine, HealthSnap, New World Angels, Better Living Technologies,  The Venture Mentoring Team, Jupiter Medical Center, HealthDRUM, HIMSS South Florida, Gravity IT Resources, Palm Beach County’s Business Development Board, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Miami-Dade Beacon Council and Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce. We appreciate your efforts in helping build South Florida’s HealthTech and Life Sciences Ecosystem.” 

If you would like to learn more about Tech Hub South Florida’s Healthcare & Life Sciences Committee, please get in touch.

TEDx Talks are returning to Delray Beach after a 10-year hiatus
Spotlight on Our HealthTech & Life Sciences Committee