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By Nikki Cabus

U.S. Air Force Awards Contract to Social Mobile to Build Next Generation 5G Mobile Solution

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Social Mobile  has been selected by AFWERX for a SBIR Phase II contract focused on a 5G mobile solution to investigate its potential to fill capability gaps in the Department of the Air Force (DAF). Through the contract, Social Mobile will collaborate with the DAF to design and deliver a handheld and chest-mountable device that leverages Android Enterprise and is built to military-grade specifications.

AFWERX , a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts and harnessing the power of ingenuity of internal talent, by expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force.

“Building on the success of the previous contract, we look forward to working side-by-side with the Department of the Air Force to develop a mobile solution that meets the needs of their operations today as well as in the future,” said Robert Morcos, Founder and CEO.

“Our solution will be lighter and more durable than their current device, offer more hands-free capabilities, all while taking full advantage of Android Enterprise with respect to security, features, and updates.”

Founded in 2011, Social Mobile is a Google Mobile Services (GMS) partner, leveraging the Android operating system to design, engineer, and manufacture turnkey, mobility-as-a-service deployments that enable enterprise organizations to utilize smart solutions that support an array of business-critical operations. An OEM, managed service provider, and consultancy, Social Mobile is uniquely positioned to serve as a domestic design partner to US clients, controlling all aspects of the development supply-chain, and ensuring the utmost in security and availability.

On August 9th, 2022, President Biden signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act. The Act will boost American semiconductor research, development, and production with $280 billion in subsidies and tax credits, ensuring U.S. leadership in the technology that forms the foundation of everything from automobiles to household appliances to defense systems.

However, the Act fails to address the entire downstream process of electronics design, development, and manufacturing. There are hundreds of additional components used in the production of each device (batteries, sensors, etc.) and these are largely produced overseas. Social Mobile believes that here is minimal benefit if we produce semiconductors domestically only to ship them back overseas to assemble. Social Mobile is advocating for more local production and assembly of mobile devices in the U.S.

The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through a faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business and losing bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution. The DAF began offering ‘The Open Topic’ SBIR/STTR program in 2018 which expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded and now in August 2022, Social Mobile will start its journey to create and provide innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.

This month, Social Mobile announced the hire of Jai Kishan Rao as Chief Engineering Officer and addition of Douglas Smith to the Advisory Council. Both Jai and Douglas are key to this strategy; Jai from a product design and development perspective and Douglas from a policy/government relations perspective.

Douglas Smith  is a dynamic leader who brings more than 25 years of experience managing government and private sector organizations that have excelled in advocacy, coalition building, new business development, communications, public policy, and corporate social responsibility efforts in the U.S. and around the world.

“Doug is an exciting addition to our board,” said Social Mobile CEO and Founder, Robert Morcos. “As we delve deeper into government sector initiatives, his experience in both the private and public sectors will prove invaluable.”

Previously, Smith was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President and General Manager for a leading international public relations and new media firm where he managed the Washington, DC office and was the primary client engagement manager for some of the firm’s most iconic Fortune 100 clients.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Robert and the entire leadership team,” said Douglas Smith. “Social Mobile is well on its way to becoming a leader in the enterprise mobility space, and my goal is to leverage my experience in finance, communications, and federal government to help take the company to the next level.”

By Nikki Cabus

New to the county and Ingram Micro already awarded the ‘Key’ to Miami-Dade

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Last week, Ingram Micro was awarded the ‘key’ to Miami-Dade County for their commitment to the expansion of their Ingram Micro Cloud office in South Florida and rapid hiring of incredible tech talent.

At Ingram Micro Cloud helps resellers and partners transform their business so they get up and running with Cloud in minutes, with little to no investment, deliver bundled services, up-sell and cross sell and manage their infrastructure most efficiently. Ingram Micro Cloud offers security, business apps, cloud services, communication/collaboration and infrastructure solutions to help clients monetize and manage the entire lifecycle of cloud services, infrastructure, and IoT subscriptions, so they can simplify digital transformation with confidence, speed and agility.

Ingram Micro is proud and honored to receive this award,” stated Greg Onoprijenko, Director of Cloud Sales, U.S. Miami is a hidden gem for tech talent in the US, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide amazing career opportunities to these skilled and ambitious business professionals.”

He proudly continued, “Furthermore, a key reason we chose Miami for business expansion was because of its diverse multiculturalism, which nicely reflects Ingram Micro’s values and aspirations.”

Greg is a recent South Florida transplant himself.

In April of 2016, Greg began his role as Director of Cloud, Canada with Ingram Micro, where he led all aspects of the cloud business for the organization in the Canadian market, including sales and marketing, vendor management, and strategy. In 2021, Greg joined CloudBlue, Ingram Micro’s cloud platform division, as its Director of Sales for North America. Onoprijenko has become an expert in the MSP/IT and cloud space.

In an interview just earlier this month, Onoprijenko shared that due to the increased demand in cloud services, Ingram Micro Cloud has experience significant growth and he is betting on South Florida. He believes this region is a best kept secret – that’s not so secret anymore.

Having just opened their Miami office in Q4 of 2021, the Ingram Micro Cloud office of South Florida has already surpassed 100+ employees and has no plans to slow down any time soon.

To learn more about Ingram Micro Cloud, visit https://ingrammicrocloud.com/

By Nikki Cabus

Space Florida and Florida Venture Forum Award $100,000 to Early Stage Companies

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Space Florida and the Florida Venture Forum, Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, are pleased to announce the award winners at the 2022 Florida Early Stage Capital Conference in Tampa will receive a total of $100,000. The Early Stage Capital Conference is “where capital and innovation meet!”

This event marks the 15th year the Florida Venture Forum has hosted the Florida Early Stage Capital Conference. The 19 presenting companies including 8 from southeast Florida were selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants by a committee of active Florida venture capital investors. The companies eligible to win originated from one of several industries including aerospace, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, cybersecurity, and others.

A total of 19 companies presented this year and 3 of the 5 winners were from South Florida!

Grand Prize Winner ($40,000) – Miami (Miami-Dade County)

EVQLV leverages advances in computation to revolutionize the design and development of therapeutic antibodies. We work with partners at the discovery stage to accelerate the speed of antibody discovery. For those collaborators who have preclinical, clinical, or commercial assets, we support the optimization of antibody candidates, develop assets that expand IP protection, and design next generation and innovative immunotherapies. All of our work is performed at accelerated speeds and scale only feasible by leveraging computational tools that learn from massive and diverse datasets.

 

2nd Place Winner ($30,000) –  Daytona Beach (Volusia County)

Novineer, Inc. is a design hub where novel engineering design meets 3D printing. The company plans to bring a 3D printing design and simulation software to market that will streamline the process of designing, modeling and fabricating parts

 

 

 

3rd Place Winner ($20,000) – Juno Beach (Palm Beach County)

Revterra Corporation is developing a modular kinetic battery designed to mitigate demand charges and infrastructure upgrade requirements in applications such as high-power electric vehicle charging and larger grid-scale applications. They are a 35 Mules (powered by FPL) innovation hub startup.

 

 

Additionally, OverTheShoulder and Pet HealthCare Innovations were the recipients of the 13th annual 2022 Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, attracting the “best of the best” in collegiate competitors from 11 of Florida’s leading innovation-focused colleges and universities.  They were an FAU Tech Runway startup. They will receive $5,000.

“This year’s applicants exemplify the ingenuity and forward-thinking that is essential to success in the today’s business climate. The ingenuity of this year’s winners is a testament to the innovative and entrepreneurial culture we have fostered here in Florida,” said Space Florida president and CEO Frank DiBello. “Together with the Florida Venture Forum we are proud to support these businesses as they continue to push boundaries and bring new technologies and solutions to market.”

Space Florida provided the Accelerating Innovation prize money totaling $100,000. The goal of the Early Stage Capital Conference is to provide Florida entrepreneurs and innovators an opportunity to engage with potential investors. Space Florida supported capital accelerators have attracted more than $640 million in funding and investments for the participating companies. Seven colleges and universities were chosen to participate in this year’s Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition.

Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, helping fast-growth companies connect with sources of capital from across the country.

“Congratulations to EVQLV, Novineer, Inc., Revterra Corporation and to all the winners and participants at the 2022 Early Stage Capital Conference,” said Kevin Burgoyne, president and CEO of the Florida Venture Forum. “We are extremely grateful to our partners at Space Florida for their support and commitment to the Forum, and to Florida’s innovation ecosystem. Cash awards like this one, plus the venture capital Forum members invest in startups, are like rocket fuel for the companies powering Florida’s future.”

The Forum provides programs and programming statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting major annual conferences like the Florida Venture Capital Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, the Early Stage Capital Conference, and industry-focused events including aerospace and healthcare.

For more info on the Florida Early Stage Capital Conference, visit flventure.org/2022-early-stage-capital-conference/

By Nikki Cabus

Largest Volunteer-Led Data Science Conference in Miami

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PyData, an International Data Science Community, is Bringing Together Global Data Science Experts and Practitioners for Immersive One-Day Event.

The largest community-driven data science conference in Miami will be taking place on September 22nd, 2022, and is organized and staffed entirely by volunteers. The one-day event by PyData Miami, an international data science community with over 200 chapters, is spearheaded by NumFOCUS, a global non-profit organization that promotes open practices in research, data, and scientific computing.

PyData provides a forum for the international community of users and developers of data analysis tools to share ideas and learn from each other. The global PyData network promotes discussion of best practices, new approaches, and emerging technologies for data management, processing, analytics, and visualization. PyData communities approach data science using many languages, including (but not limited to) Python, Julia, and R.

Taking place at Ampersand Studios, PyData Miami will bring together international experts and enthusiasts to connect, share ideas and learn from each other. Programming will cater to newcomers and all levels of users and developers of data analysis tools.

The event is expected to attract 150 delegates and will feature local and international speakers. The schedule is jam-packed with PyData tutorials and talks that will bring attendees the latest project features along with cutting-edge use cases. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network and interact with some of the top experts in data science.

PyData Miami will help to educate attendees on:

  • Cutting-edge use cases, project features, and their practical applications in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Reinforcement Learning and Natural Language Processing

  • Data engineering, Machine Learning Operations (MLOps), and end-to-end Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps)

  • Ethics and responsibility in AI and how to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace

“Our data science community really wants to connect, hear brilliant talks and network, so we wanted to create an inspiring and accessible event where everyone feels they belong,” said Teodor Georgiev, data scientist, Gistia Healthcare and PyData Miami co-chair and meetup co-organizer.

“Our group of passionate enthusiasts in South Florida has continued to grow over the last six years since we started building our foundation here and Miami is the perfect place to have our conference. We can’t wait to get back together in person to learn from each other, solve problems and grow an even stronger open-source community.”

The conference boasts an action-packed schedule including the following talks:

  • “Responsible AI at Scale” presented by Noelle Silver Russell, Executive, IBM Consulting AI and Analytics, Founder of AI Leadership Institute

  • “Speed up your Machine Learning Applications with Lightning AI” by William Falcon, AI researcher and founder and CEO of Lightning AI

  • “Finding new drugs with AI and Reinforcement Learning” Aleksandra Kalisz, Senior Research Scientist, Exscientia, Oxford, U.K.

  • “Data Visualization: Reasons, Not Rules” by Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism, School of Communication, University of Miami

  • “Lessons in Diversity and Leadership: Driving Positive Change”: Panel discussion led by Brittany Fox, owner and co-founder of Focus Global Talent Solutions.

“I love that the community asked for this conference and I’ve so enjoyed working with such a passionate group of volunteers who are making the event happen. We wanted to be a part of bringing exceptional people together, to share ideas, learn and make the South Florida data science community even stronger,” said Brittany Fox, Co-Founder & COO of Focus Global Talent Solutions and speaker at PyData Miami.

The registration fee is $180 and all proceeds will go to NumFOCUS, who envision an inclusive scientific and research community that utilizes actively supported open source software to make impactful discoveries for a better world.

PyData Miami is proud to be part of Miami Machine Learning Week from September 20th – 23rd, which offers immersive industry talks, meetups, panels and much more.  

By Nikki Cabus

Verizon Learning celebrates 10 years, $1B in contributions, and now 50 new schools

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This week, Verizon is celebrating 10 years of its award-winning education initiative focused on addressing barriers to digital inclusion for students and teachers: Verizon Innovative Learning.  Since 2012, the program has worked with nonprofit partners and committed $1 billion in market value to support digital equity, reaching over 1.5 million students in some of the most vulnerable populations across the country

Verizon Innovative Learning provides free technology, internet access and emerging technology-infused learning programs to students in under-resourced communities enabling students to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to build an innovative workforce of the future.

In 2021, Verizon launched Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, a next-gen online education portal that provides free access to immersive XR educational experiences to all educators, including K-12 teachers, nationwide. A key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement, Verizon Innovative Learning is helping to drive the company’s commitment to provide 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030.

To mark a decade of dedication to the education community, and to honor the resilience of teachers at the end of another challenging school year, Verizon is proud to support the first-ever TIME Innovative Teachers Project. Chosen by a team of editors at TIME, the list profiles 10 teachers who are changing the landscape of education in America through innovation.

The 10 finalists of the TIME Innovative Teachers Project have helped students with disabilities get placed in STEM careers, made unaccompanied minor immigrants feel welcome in the U.S., connected students around the world on video chat, planted micro-forests to teach ways to fight climate change, and designed video game lessons to teach anti-racism. And they have all demonstrated leadership in their schools and teaching communities.

“We understood early on that closing the digital skills gap in the U.S. must start in under-resourced schools. Verizon Innovative Learning is a strategy to help solve this issue. Our mission has never wavered and now, 10 years later, we are proud to have reached over 1.5M students. This is an important milestone, yet our work is far from over,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Verizon. “We will continue expanding and evolving this initiative to ensure that deserving students have the tech tools and resources to become the next generation of innovators.”

The initiative’s signature program, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools, in partnership with long-time nonprofit partner Digital Promise, equips students and teachers at select Title I schools across the country with free technology devices, internet access and innovative STEM learning programs. The program also provides schools with extensive teacher training focused on technology integration into the learning experience, support and the opportunity to engage in powerful teaching and learning strategies that leverage technology.

Just this week, Digital Promise and Verizon announced that 50 new Title 1 middle and high schools from 11 districts across the country will join the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program in the fall including schools in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. 

The continued partnership between Digital Promise and Verizon for the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program equips students and teachers at select schools with free technology devices and internet access. In addition, all Verizon Innovative Learning Schools receive access to professional learning and opportunities to collaborate with a national network of innovative, technology-driven school leaders and educators.

 

“Access to technology and the internet continues to be vitally important for students and families as we work to close the digital divide,” said Jean-Claude Brizard, president and CEO of Digital Promise. “We are proud to continue our partnership with Verizon to support schools and provide devices and access to the students who need it the most.”

The new cohort brings the program’s reach to 561 schools in 94 school districts across 37 states and Washington D.C., with 100 percent of eligible middle schools in 35 districts participating in the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program. Title I schools with a 65 percent or higher free and reduced-price lunch population are eligible for the program; however, schools in this cohort of Verizon Innovative Learning Schools are at an average of 88 percent.

Of the additional 50 selected Title 1 middle and high schools nationwide to free technology, internet access, and professional development through the Verizon Innovative Learning program, 34 will receive mobile devices (either an iPad or Chromebook) with up to a four-year 30GB 4G LTE Verizon data plan for every student and teacher. 16 schools with existing one-to-one device programs for students in place will receive hotspots with two-year 30GB 4G LTE Verizon data plans for students who lack reliable internet access at home.

Sixteen of these schools are Broward County Public Schools (12) and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (4).

  • Broward County Public Schools (Florida): Annabel C. Perry PreK-8*; Apollo Middle School^; Bair Middle School*; Driftwood Middle School*; Forest Glen Middle School*; Lauderdale Lakes Middle School^; Millennium 6-12 Collegiate Academy*; Parkway Middle School*; Plantation Middle School^; Pompano Beach Middle School^; Silver Lakes Middle School^; William Dandy Middle School^
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools* (Florida): Citrus Grove Middle School; Hialeah Middle School; Homestead Middle School; John F. Kennedy Middle School
*Schools will receive mobile devices with data plans for every student and teacher.
^Schools will receive hotspots with data plans for students who lack reliable home internet access.

 

For more information, visit verizon.digitalpromise.org

 

U.S. Air Force Awards Contract to Social Mobile to Build Next Generation 5G Mobile Solution
New to the county and Ingram Micro already awarded the ‘Key’ to Miami-Dade
Space Florida and Florida Venture Forum Award $100,000 to Early Stage Companies
Largest Volunteer-Led Data Science Conference in Miami
Verizon Learning celebrates 10 years, $1B in contributions, and now 50 new schools