South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

Brightline is expanding into the Treasure Coast connecting to South Florida and Orlando regions

Read Time 5 Minutes

Brightline has been successfully and seamlessly connecting travelers between South and Central Florida and now has selected its next intercity passenger rail station in Stuart, Florida. 

Brightline currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Orlando. Brightline is recognized by Inc. 5000 Regionals as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the Southeast for 2023 and is noted as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel by Fast Company. Brightline offers a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. The company plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive.

Stuart is the located in Martin County which is part of Southeast Florida. It’s part of the Treasure Coast region which is located just north of Palm Beach County. The Treasure Coast region is comprised of three counties: Indian River County, St. Lucie County and Martin County.

“We’ve seen significant demand and support for a Brightline Station in the Treasure Coast which was evident during this process. It was a difficult decision and we’re grateful for everyone’s support and efforts to make this happen,” said Brian Kronberg, Brightline’s Senior Vice President of Development and Construction. “We couldn’t be more excited to make the City of Stuart our hub for Brightline along Florida’s Treasure Coast.”

The proposed Stuart station is conveniently located between the Miami and Orlando stations approximately 40 miles north of Brightline West Palm Beach, just 40 minutes by train, and the station is easily accessible from I-95, Florida’s Turnpike and the local roadway network. The station will be located in downtown Stuart at 500 S.E. Flagler Avenue on 2.35 acres situated opposite the Martin County Courthouse, bordered to the north by a lumber yard and to the south by a produce company.  Brightline Stuart guests will be within walking distance of the award-winning downtown and minutes from Stuart’s pristine beaches, oceanfront resorts, and internationally acclaimed “Treasure Coast” lifestyle. Groundbreaking is expected the first quarter of 2025 and the new station is expected to open in the second half of 2026.

“The addition of a Brightline station will transform Stuart into a hub of modern transportation, fostering connectivity, and economic prosperity,” said Chair Troy McDonald, Martin Metropolitan Planning Organization, and City of Stuart Commissioner.

The location was chosen after a review of five proposals from private and public land owners along the Brightline/Florida East Coast Railway corridor in Martin and St. Lucie counties. The decision to select Stuart was driven by a number of key factors, including the location and physical characteristics of the site and the ease with which the site will integrate into Brightline’s existing rail infrastructure network. Brightline also highlighted various dynamics of the local market and the site’s accessibility to key local attractions. Expanding into the Treasure Coast will make Brightline one of the most accessible forms of transportation in Florida, giving access to nearly half of the state’s residents and millions of visitors.

“Brightline believes in ‘Connecting People for Good’ and I think that’s a great thing to believe in,” said Martin County Chairman Harold Jenkins, District 3. “A Brightline station in Martin County will make it easier for folks to discover what makes our community unique. And, with a blend of cultures and backgrounds, this location has the potential to attract a good number of passengers. Together with Brightline, we look forward to connecting Martin County with other parts of this great state.”

At a public announcement on March 4th, Congressman Brian Mast (FL District 21), stated, “I congratulate the City of Stuart and Martin County on its successful bid to secure the new Brightline station and parking structure. This is proof that our community can work together and come to a solution if we use common sense. I look forward to the economic development the Treasure Coast stop will bring to our local businesses and the opportunities it will provide to the surrounding cities and the region.”

The announcement of the station site kicked off the process of memorializing a deal structure with Martin County and the City of Stuart. Following City and County approvals, Brightline and its partners will start the design and engineering of the station, parking structure and necessary rail infrastructure.

“The City of Stuart is thrilled to announce that Brightline has chosen Stuart for the next station in Florida’s expanding passenger rail network,” said City of Stuart Mayor Becky Brunner. “This marks a historic return to our roots and fulfills a vision held by Stuart for over 30 years, offering residents and visitors alike a first-class journey to Stuart, away from the congestion of highways. Stuart welcomes Brightline to our seaside town and looks forward to developing a partnership that defines the future of travel and transportation in Florida.”

Brightline surpassed 5 million rides after first launching operations in South Florida in 2018 connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. In 2022, Brightline opened stations in Boca Raton and Aventura. In September 2023, Brightline rolled out the yellow carpet to welcome long-haul travelers between South Florida and Orlando, celebrating true intercity rail. As the first guests entered its station in Orlando, Brightline put an exclamation point on the boldest private infrastructure project in the nation and the biggest development in American train travel in over 100 years. Today Brightline covers 235 miles between Miami and Orlando in under 3.5 hours.

“The presence of the Brightline station in downtown Stuart will undoubtedly benefit local businesses and create new job opportunities as people can now easily travel from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando to visit our city,” stated the City of Stuart’s Vice Mayor, Campbell Rich. “In addition, by creating access to this new, regional rail network, the station will help us reduce our over-reliance on cars and help lessen traffic congestion as we all begin to enjoy the availability of a modern and reliable public transportation system.” 

To learn more about Start, Florida, or the “Salfish Capital of The World,” visit www.cityofstuart.us

 

 

By Nikki Cabus

C3 Complete expands offices to Treasure Coast and Orlando markets

Read Time 3 Minutes

C3 Complete, a leader in innovative technology and communications solutions, proudly announces its expansion into the Treasure Coast and Greater Orlando areas.

Headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, C3 Complete, is an award winning provider of technology and communications services to small, medium and enterprise businesses globally. Its unique combination of cloud-based technologies and expert onsite and remote support substantially reduces both IT-related capital investments and ongoing management costs. C3’s approach increases stability, tightens security, enhances employee mobility, and ensures business continuity in the event of a disaster. CFOs benefit from C3’s fixed cost approach, while owners and CEOs benefit from the single point of contact for all of their telecommunications and technology needs.

Since the company’s start in 2009, C3 has had consistent growth opening mulitple offices and data centers around the state and across the U.S. The company’s most recent offices are located in Stuart and Orlando, Florida. C3 Complete now has offices in Delray Beach, Miami, Stuart and Orlando and data centers in Miami, Florida, Cleveland, Ohio and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Known as the “Sailfish Capital of The World,” Stuart is located in the quickly growing Treasure Coast region just north of South Florida. The Treasure Coasts consists of St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties.

The C3 office is located at Ocean One Stuart, 1 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34994 in the heart of the Treasure Coast, only steps away from the Martin County Courthouse and all the boutiques and restaurants in Historic Downtown Stuart. The recently proposed Brightline Stuart station, expected to open in 2026, will be located in downtown Stuart at 500 S.E. Flagler Avenue on 2.35 acres at 500 S.E. Flagler Avenue, which is situated opposite the Martin County Courthouse and just 2 minutes from the C3 Complete offices.

The most recent Orlando, Florida office is located at 242 Rangeline Rd, Longwood, FL 3275. This office will be staffed by several field service engineers, as well as sales and sales support personnel. In keeping with their “eat our own dogfood” philosophy, many of the technologies and solutions offered through C3 Complete will be available for demonstration to current and prospective clients and partners.

“As C3 Complete’s roster of clients has continued to grow, expanding into the Greater Orlando Market was an obvious progression for us,” commented Rick Mancinelli, CEO of C3 Complete.

“By strategically positioning both technical and sales personnel in-region, our goal is to demonstrate our commitment to providing the highest level of service to our clients in and around the area.”

One of C3’s core value propositions has always been their ability to provide rapid on-site service for managed clients at no additional charge. To learn more about C3, see their office and data center current and future locations, please visit https://c3-complete.com/about-c3-complete/offices/.

By Nikki Cabus

FIRST Robotics Competition South Florida Regional awards multiple teams with honors & on to World Championship

Read Time 7 Minutes

The FIRST® Robotics Competition South Florida Regional awarded several teams with honors that rewarded design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities.

Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of STEM, FIRST® Robotics Competition (ages 14-18) teams use sophisticated technology to build and program industrial-sized robots to play an action-packed, alliance-based game on a themed field. With professional mentors and sponsors, students learn engineering and problem-solving skills that they can apply to real-world situations today and in the future. Using Gracious Professionalism, each team creates a team identity, raises funds to meet its goals, and works to promote STEM in their community.

Attended by thousands of fans, families, educators and industry leaders, the regional competition was held at the Broward County Convention Center on March 1st & 2nd. Forty high school teams competed to earn a spot at the FIRST® Championship, to be held April 17-20 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

With the hope of winning one of the several coveted awards, high school students worked with professional mentors to design and build a robot over a six-week period that solved a problem using a Kit of Parts and a standard set of rules.

“Each team clearly demonstrated teamwork, professionalism, and strategic thinking in solving the competition’s challenges,” said Sandra Contreras, Regional Director, FIRST ®  South Florida.

“Students, school groups, community members, and professional team mentors filled the stands and helped to bring a level of fun and excitement to the competition. With the sustained support of the South Florida community, this robotics competition will continue to grow and inspire students to study math, science, and engineering.”

“It’s safe to say the South Florida Regional has been upgraded to the status of LEGENDARY because we had 5-game finals (normally 2)!”

Among the many highlights of the competition, the winners of the coveted ‘Impact Award’ were the SigmaC@ts from Dillard High School – Team 108 (cover photo). They have won the wonderful opportunity to go to the World Championshipin Houston, Texas, but now need the community’s help to them get the funds to travel.

The FIRST Impact Award (formerly the Chairman’s Award) is the most prestigious award at FIRST, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the mission of FIRST. It was created to keep the central focus of FIRST Robotics Competition on the ultimate goal of transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encouraging more of today’s youth to become science and technology leaders.

The SimgaC@T robotics team was founded in 1995 at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition. As the oldest consecutively running FRC team in Florida, the SigmaC@T Robotics Team has a rich history built on community, equity, and diversity.

CRESCENDOSM presented by Haas is part of the 2024 FIRST IN SHOWSM presented by Qualcomm season. In CRESCENDO, teams are encouraged to see all that is possible when combining their creative ideas and innovations with engineering and design. Through collaboration and communication, the FIRST robotics community around the world will celebrate the role that the arts play in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). Our skills make it possible to create art and experiences that bring us together, entertain us, and move us.

FIRST has a proven impact to significantly improve students’ attitudes towards math, science, and teamwork.

With approximately 40 registered teams from across the county and even some international team, 25 were from South Florida and the Treasure Coast ranging from Miami to Stuart and over to Naples, Florida, there was quite the competition to be had. Ashton Adler, South Florida Tech Hub’s Director of Talnt Engagement, stopped to take photos with some of the local teams including Miami Coral Park Senior High (pictured here) who took home the “Innovation in Control Award.”

Another one of those teams was, S.P.A.M. from Stuart, Florida, who were the Regional Winners (Championship Qualifying Award) and took home the “Quality Award.” The team was sponsored by Florida Power & Light (FPL), one of the competition’s largest supporters each year. This year is FPL’s 12th year as a sponsor and mentor organization.

Zach Dean, the team’s mechanical lead, credits team mentor Elizabeth “Lily” Pawlak for expanding his machine skills and teaching him how to use the power tools and industrial machinery it takes to build the robots. Twelve years ago, Pawlak was a machinist for S.P.A.M. too, participating in the same competitions her mentees are in now and crafting robot parts from scratch. Today, she’s an equipment reliability engineer supporting Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) nuclear fleet.

“I wanted to come back and be a mentor because I want to show them that it’s not just a fun thing to do in high school, that it really can be an opportunity for your future,” Pawlak said. “I’ve taught them basic skills like how to use a tape measure to more advanced skills like how to use a milla lathe and Computer Numerical Control machining.”

One of the main benefits of STEM education is helping students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which they can apply beyond the classroom. It also equips them to succeed in a rapidly changing world driven by technology and innovation.

Pawlak said robotics geared her toward engineering. It also helped her start a career at FPL. 

“I met a lot of incredible people back then, professionals who volunteered their time at these competitions, and I maintained those connections throughout college,” she said. “These connections really make a difference for the children involved. It shows them companies care, that companies are interested in them and that they have a future if they ever want to look forward to career opportunities with them.”

South Florida Tech Hub Board Member, CEO of eSilo, and FIRST judge, Cathy Miron, told Tech Hub, “I was reminded once again why I am passionate about supporting FIRST. This organization not only fosters a love for science, technology and engineering among young minds, but also cultivates essential skills like teamwork, leadership (what FIRST calls Gracious Professionalism), and problem-solving. My involvement with FIRST, which spans three years, has been a journey filled with inspiration and learning.”

Cathy continued reminiscing on this year’s competition, “This year, something that particularly stood out to me were the countless examples of cross-team mentorship that I heard and observed. These are teams who are competing against one another for an opportunity to go to the World Championships in April and represent their schools and communities, and yet I watched kids go out of their way to help their competitors by sharing tools and spare parts, or troubleshooting another team’s robot, or helping fix a bug in their code in between matches.”

“These kids exemplified what FIRST is all about: pushing boundaries, embracing challenges, and working collaboratively to achieve something truly remarkable. Their dedication and spirit were a true highlight of the weekend, and a reminder of the incredible impact FIRST has in shaping our next generation of innovators and leaders.”

Winners of the FIRST Robotics Competition 2024 South Florida Regional Awards include :

  • Regional FIRST Impact Award (Championship Qualifying Award) – 108 SigmaC@T Robotics Team – Dillard High School
  • Regional Engineering Inspiration Award (Championship Qualifying Award) – 3627 The Jungle Robotics – Pine View School
  • FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Award – 3390 Can O- ANATOLIAN EAGLEBOTS
  • FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Award – 5472 Derin A – The Wyld Stallyns
  • Regional Winners (Championship Qualifying Award) – 179 Children of the Swamp – Inlet Grove Community High School
  • Regional Winners (Championship Qualifying Award) – 180 S.P.A.M. – Martin County District High Schools
  • Regional Winners – 744 Shark Attack – Westminster Academy
  • Regional Finalists – 2383 Ninjineers – American Heritage
  • Regional Finalists – 5557 BB-R8ERS – Gulliver Preparatory School
  • Regional Finalists – 8817 Buccaneer Robotics – South Dade Senior High School
  • Woodie Flowers Finalist Award – 3627 Andrew Wormington – The Jungle Robotics
  • Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors – 5557 BB-R8ERS – Gulliver Preparatory School
  • Judges’ Award – 8861 – 06ANGORA – Ambassade de France en Turquie- Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle – Ankara
  • Rookie All Star Award – 9404 Forge – Family/Community
  • Rookie Inspiration Award – 9779 Gladiator Robotics – Hialeah Gardens Sr High School
  • Team Sustainability Award sponsored by Dow – 6317 Disruptive Innovation – West High School
  • Team Spirit Award – 6743 Tiger Engineering – Dunbar High School
  • Excellence in Engineering Award – 179 Children of the Swamp – Inlet Grove Community High School
  • Gracious Professionalism Award – 694 StuyPulse – Stuyvesant High School
  • Creativity Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation – 1744 Robo-Rays Robotics – Seacrest Country Day School
  • Quality Award – 180 S.P.A.M. – Martin County District High Schools
  • Innovation in Control Award – 59 RamTech – Miami Coral Park Sr High School
  • Autonomous Award – 4458 Infernobotix – Center Moriches High School
  • Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen – 1523 MARS (Mega Awesome Robotic Systems) – William T Dwyer High School & Palm Beach Gardens Community HS & Jupiter Community High School
  • Volunteer of the Year – Bill Landin – Lead Robot Inspector
  • Volunteer of the Year – Mark Hamilton – Alumni
  • Volunteer of the Year – Robert Cherinka – Judge

 

Learn more at www.firstinspires.org.

Brightline is expanding into the Treasure Coast connecting to South Florida and Orlando regions
C3 Complete expands offices to Treasure Coast and Orlando markets
FIRST Robotics Competition South Florida Regional awards multiple teams with honors & on to World Championship