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By Nikki Cabus

TEDxBocaRaton announces this year’s lineup of IMPACT speakers

Read Time 5 Minutes

The highly anticipated annual event, TEDxBocaRaton announced the impressive line-up of speakers who will address this year’s theme: IMPACT.

The speakers are making an impact in the lives of others and creating ripple effects that can help to influence the world in positive ways for generations to come. These thought-leaders make up a new era of change-makers in fields such as mental health, technology, entrepreneurship, wellness, mindset, and more. The event will bring a variety of ideas and experiences that are sure to impress.

TED events began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged and today it spans a multitude of worldwide communities and initiatives exploring everything from science and business to education, arts and global issues. Aside from the hundreds of TED Talks curated from annual conferences and published on, they produce original podcasts, short video series, animated TED-Ed lessons and TV programs that are translated into more than 100 languages and distributed via partnerships around the world.

TED is on a mission to discover and spread ideas that spark imagination, embrace possibility and catalyze impact. Our organization is devoted to curiosity, reason, wonder and the pursuit of knowledge — without an agenda. We welcome people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world and engagement with others, and we invite everyone to engage with ideas and activate them in your community.

Under the TED brand, each year, more than 3,000 independently run TEDx events bring people together to share ideas and bridge divides in communities on every continent. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, May 20th from 3:00 to 6:00 PM at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus.

“The Boca Raton Innovation Campus (BRiC) is a valued partner to TEDxBocaRaton and a wonderful place to host our event this year,” said Erik Mintz, TEDxBocaRaton organizer. “BRiC is the former IBM campus and birthplace of the PC, so as a former IBM-er I am forever connected to this property. It’s inspiring to see the 1.7 million square foot facility still thriving so many years later as a business innovation and research hub –– housing companies and organizations across a range of industries from technology, healthcare to finance to cybersecurity.”

Erik Mintz and Cindy Metzler, TEDxBocaRaton organizers are taking their knowledge, network, and passion to spearhead a high-caliber series of speakers sure to make TEDxBocaRaton an acclaimed experience once again. The independently produced event, operated under a license from TED, presents a program of discussions, demonstrations, and performances by leading thinkers, innovators, artists, philosophers, and entertainers from diverse fields such as technology, the arts, education and more.

This year’s speakers include:

• Steve Edwards is an Army veteran and the founder of Premier Virtual, an innovative technology company helping businesses host successful virtual hiring events, meetings and career fairs. Steve is also a dedicated husband a father to two boys that are 5 and 8. Family first is his motto and everything he does at work is to better his family life.

Michelle Cordeiro Grant is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and podcast host. She spent much of her career at household names in retail including Victoria’s Secret. In 2016, Michelle founded LIVELY, and in just three years, grew the brand’s community to 165,000+ members, expanded their footprint across the country, launched a retail partnership with Target, and closed a $105M acquisition. Michelle founded GORGIE, in 2022, a wellness energy drink disrupting the status quo.

Natasha Graziano is best known as the #1 female motivational speaker under 40 as seen in Forbes Magazine, Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author, host of a TOP 10 Podcast show on Apple and rated one of the top 10 keynote speakers alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah. Natasha loves helping people unlock their full human potential and become superstars.

Joy McAdams career started at NBC television 23 years ago. It was this first job, that grew her love for video communication. She was drawn to the healthcare industry and saw its need for growth in marketing. Social media became a key part of communication. Joy is a leader in this field. She is a LinkedIn Influencer with a community of over 250,000 followers that reaches 2 million viewers monthly.

• Marc Nudelberg is a coach, author and entrepreneur. He leverages his experiences as a Division 1 football coach and President of On the Ball to help individuals and their team to adopt the 1% better mindset. Marc delivers energy, passion and competitive drive while focusing on the details and developing processes that produce results. Marc is a dedicated husband and father to two boys.

Dr. Margaret Rutherford is a clinical psychologist with 30 of experience. She’s also an author and podcaster. Her book, Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism That Masks Your Depression, has impacted thousands in the US and internationally with translations from Korea to Italy, Turkey to Germany. Her podcast, SelfWork, has been rated one of the best podcasts for mental health.

Sean Shea is the founder and CEO of ViB, a B2B software company that uses a proprietary community-based model to provide high-quality leads for technology companies. Today, ViB stands strong with a community of over 10 million IT decision-makers. ViB has generated hundreds of thousands of new opportunities for clients, with revenues doubling year over year since 2019. As an avid philanthropist, Shea leads the ViB team to partner with organizations making an impact.

“We are thrilled to showcase the best and the brightest entrepreneurs and thought-leaders in South Florida at TEDxBocaRaton,” said Cindy Metzler, TEDxBocaRaton Organizer. “Among seven speakers this year, we are beyond excited to have two local tech founders: Steve Edwards, founder and CEO of Premier Virtual online recruiting platform and Sean Shea, founder and CEO of Virtual Intelligence Briefing (ViB), a B2B lead generation technology company.”

Steve Edwards shared his sentiments with South Florida Tech Hub stating, “TEDx has been a dream of mine for a long time.  Finally getting on this stage shows that hard work, preparation and believing in yourself can make your dreams come true.”

Want to attend TEDxBocaRaton 2023? Tickets are $60, but the first 25 South Florida Tech Hub community members can get 35% off using ‘Techhub.’

Register Today!

By Riley Kaminer

Tech Hub South Florida hosts region’s top Tech Leaders at Summer BBQ

Read Time 3 Minutes

Last week, Tech Hub South Florida hosted a barbecue for members of its Startup Founders and CxO peer groups. This event provided a laid-back environment for founders and executives to connect, network, and celebrate the start of summer.

The event was held at the new Delray Beach headquarters of Premier Virtual, which recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony. The startup, which has developed a platform for holding large-scale virtual event and career fairs, has experienced exponential growth as in-person events became replaced by digital alternatives.

Nikki Cabus, Tech Hub South Florida’s Interim CEO, said that “these kinds of informal events are so important because people ultimately work with people they like. It’s that simple.” 

She continued, “It removes the transactional business card exchange that seldomly yields any genuine connection. Once you have a chance to connect over beer and BBQ, have a conversation about baseball and family, you really get to know somebody. This is where friendships are made, business opportunities arise, and referrals stem from.”

Tech Hub South Florida’s peer groups offer an opportunity for members to meet, learn from, and share best practices with each other. Benefits include regular meetings, exclusive member communications, and access to unique speakers and networking opportunities.

The Startup Founders Peer Group brings together our region’s most ambitious entrepreneurs leading companies with fewer than 10 employees. Its chair, Mike Maniscalco, is the founder of Better Living Technologies, which develops products to help patients manage their type 1 diabetes. Gaida Zirkelback, Co-Founder & CEO of carbon accounting platform SustainaBase is the peer group’s co-chair. As the South Florida tech ecosystem grows, this Peer Group will continue to act as a resource for founders looking to scale in this dynamic region.

CxO Peer Group members include top executives of tech companies with more than 10 employees that are headquartered in South Florida. Manish Hirapara, CEO of Boynton Beach-based digital strategy firm PeakActivity, is Chair of the peer group. He sits alongside Co-Chair Amit Rastogi, physician and CEO at Jupiter Medical Center. Tech Hub South Florida believes that it is crucial to have more established tech firms supporting younger companies that are pushing the boundaries of innovation in South Florida.

Tech Hub South Florida would like to thank Think Consulting and their President Tony Gruebl, which sponsored the event. 

Gruebel said that Tech Hub South Florida “curated an amazing event with a great turnout of founders and C-Level Executives from the area.” He continued, “The relaxed atmosphere created the perfect space to connect, network, and have some fun. We are looking forward to the next event.”

Ed Mullin, Vice President & CIO at Think, said that he especially enjoyed Premier Virtual’s diverse contributions to the night’s success: “Steve Edwards CEO of Premier Virtual cooks an awesome brisket! It was also nice to see Premier Virtual’s brand new offices and meet their inspired staff. They have quite the story to tell.”

Think is a national technology and operations advisory practice that provides on-the-ground transformation and consulting, led by executives, adapted for the mid-market. The team aligns company culture to business mission and goals, leading to positive and sustainable change and meaningful results. Think is engaged in a variety of sectors including EdTech, financial services, and publishing.

Tech Hub would also like to thank Premier Virtual and Co-Founders, Steve Edwards and Gary Chambers for hosting this event in their beautiful new space.

Might you be interested in joining a Tech Hub South Florida peer group? If so, please get in touch via our website.

By Riley Kaminer

Member Spotlight | Steve Edwards & Premier Virtual

Read Time 3 Minutes

Business: Digital platform for virtual events like job fairs and trade shows

Launched: 2018

HQ: Delray Beach

Full-time employees: 19


In early 2020, no one was really ready for a global pandemic. The one exception just might be Steve Edwards, Founder and CEO of Delray Beach-based startup Premier Virtual.

Edwards had worked in the job fair industry for the better part of a decade, “living on the road” and traveling as far north as North Carolina and as far west as Texas. He started running virtual events in 2018, and decided to build and license out a platform to help others run virtual job fairs too.

In 2019, when Edwards launched Premier Virtual’s first platform, he did not have a very receptive audience. “People laughed at me,” said Edwards of his early days. “People told me that I would never have clients.”

Enter the pandemic. “We went from small – just me, my business partner, and an administrative assistant – to international almost overnight,” recalled Edwards. Premier Virtual hosted 1,500 events on their platform from April to December 2020. 

Now, the startup has hosted over 200,000 candidates across more than 2,000 virtual events. They have a diverse set of clients including the US Army, who has run their national recruiting event through Premier Virtual’s platform, as well as colleges like the University of Arizona and a host of private corporations. All in all, 25,000 organizations have participated in job fairs run on Premier Virtual’s platform.

The startup is leveraging this growth to continue improving on its core product. Edwards told Tech Hub South Florida that Premier Virtual will launch its 2.0 platform later this year. “Our goal is to make it one of the most user-friendly platforms out there.”

Edwards explained how Premier Virtual’s platform both aims to replicate and improve upon the in-person job fair experience. Jobseekers can easily learn about participating companies and share a video resume. Through Premier Virtual’s “my journey” feature, candidates can keep track of the companies they have seen. They can also customize their resume for each company, which is crucial to stand apart in an increasingly competitive job market.

The platform offers a suite of tools to make it easier for organizers to set up fairs, and more attractive for companies to join them. This includes live reporting, which gives these parties an easily-digestible and constantly-updating dashboard with figures about what is happening on the platform.

Premier Virtual’s success is also a success of the South Florida tech ecosystem. Edwards took part in 1909’s accelerator program, which he credits with helping him learn the ropes of leading a startup. Equally, he noted that the Premier Virtual team actively participates in Tech Hub South Florida events: “there’s always something going on – from peer groups to coffee chats. I feel like Tech Hub is creating a really good community, so we try to give back.”

Ultimately, Edwards said that Premier Virtual’s MO is simple: “We connect people.” After a year of social distancing, perhaps there is no more important pursuit in the business world than forging strong digital connections. For that, Premier Virtual is happy to help.

By Nikki Cabus

This Just In | Steve Edwards and Premier Virtual

Read Time 3 Minutes

From Local Startup Founder to Nationwide Connector

Last week, Palm Beach Tech member and local startup, Premier Virtual, signed a contract with CareerSource Florida who enables the local entities to provide needed job placement services across the state.

“Providing a virtual career fair platform to the CareerSource Florida network statewide eliminates geographical barriers and enables better accessibility to events for both career seekers and employers,” writes Andrew Collins, COO of CareerSource Florida. “Additionally, a single platform used by all local workforce development boards provides the opportunity for statewide outreach and hiring events.”

U.S. Army Veteran and small town Wisconsin guy, Steve Edwards, is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Premier Virtual. He moved to South Florida where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University. After getting into sales and running a successful job fair company for over seven years, Steve noticed changes in hiring practices within large organizations. 

In 2018, Palm Beach Tech’s VP of Development, Nikki Cabus, met Steve at a local event where Steve discussed his ideas and plans for Premier Virtual, a virtual career fair platform. In November 2019, she was a guest judge for a 1909 Pitch Competition which included Steve where he was in the pitch competition because he took part in 1909’s, Startup Spark program, a mini accelerator hosted in Boynton Beach. 1909’s Executive Director Shana Ostrovtiz, also connected him to mentors through the program that have helped him refine his pitch deck and connected him to Kevin Cox at FAU for the Veterans Program. He also won the Veteran’s Expo Pitch Competition.

His company was just starting to get off the ground. He was a great presenter, truly believed in his service, and understood his market, but there were still lots of questions from the audience about whether people really were ready to move virtual. He was one of the 6 finalists to make it to the final pitch competition.

“My biggest obstacles were getting people to believe that virtual career fairs could work. I had a lot of people tell me I was wasting my time and money on building the software,” said Steve. He was one of the 6 finalists to make it to the final pitch competition. 

Then COVID hit.  

Over the past year, Steve put his blood, sweat, and tears into building a virtual platform that unknowingly then would save many unemployed professionals from these current uncertain times during the pandemic. Today, Premier Virtual is actively one of the fastest growing startups within our South Florida Tech Association. 

His wife and two young boys is what encourages Steve to get up early and work hard. Building a virtual world that connects the right candidates and companies is what drives him to get the job done. 

From Tech Associations to Workforce/CareerSource Organizations to Colleges and individual companies, Steve has landed gigs with organizations throughout the country including Workforce Texas, Baltimore Public School District, Kentucky Dept. of Education, Maryland Dept. of Labor/Veteran Program and Maryland National Guard and more.

He was also accepted into FAU Tech Runway’s Venture Class 8. Rhys L. Williams, Managing Director of FAU Tech Runway, says that he is “confident that this Venture Class will leave its mark as South Florida’s next generation of global entrepreneurs.” We tend to agree. 

Bravo Steve Edwards!


TEDxBocaRaton announces this year’s lineup of IMPACT speakers
Tech Hub South Florida hosts region’s top Tech Leaders at Summer BBQ
Member Spotlight | Steve Edwards & Premier Virtual
This Just In | Steve Edwards and Premier Virtual