South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

First ever Ignite Florida launch to Global Entrepreneurship Week in South Florida

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With the end of November comes the close of National Entrepreneurship Month. From Global Entrepreneurship Week to Small Business Saturday, startups and entrepreneurs were celebrated all month long both statewide, national and around the globe.

South Florida Tech Hub and Synapse Florida were nominated the statewide organizers for Global Entrepreneurship Week or “GEW” 2022 in Florida. The first ever Ignite Florida Startup Summit, presented by South Florida Tech Hub, helped launch Global Entrepreneurship Week in the state. From a statewide calendar, social media posts about activities each day during the week, and organizations from all across the state getting involved in activities in their cities, GEW Florida was a huge success.

Ignite Florida was hosted in collaboration with the Boca Raton Innovation Campus (BRIC), RaiseLink, and sponsored by 35 Mules, an Florida Power & Light innovation incubator. The 2-day event was held on Friday and Saturday, November 11th and 12th just prior to GEW held November 14th – 20th, 2022.



The event was launched on Veteran’s Day, November 11th, and featured speakers, founders, and judges who were all veterans including keynote speaker, Rhys Williams, retired Detachment Commander in U.S. Army Special Forces, Steve Edwards, former Army Specialist in the 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army, and John Riley III, former Desert Shield/Desert Storm Infantry Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.

The City of Boca Raton is the birthplace of the personal computer, many patents still being used today, and home to many of South Florida’s major companies and growing startups. Recently re-elected Mayor Scott Singer of the City of Boca Raton helped open the event during welcome remarks alongside the Olympic Heights Community High School’s JROTC Color Guard led by Master Sergeant Wayne Byron with The Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, and an official proclamation presented to Nikki Cabus, South Florida Tech Hub’s CEO.

In addition to proclaiming, November 11th & 12th, 2022 as the launch to GEW Florida 2022 right here in South Florida at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, the document and Mayor Singer recognized “the contributions of city and regional ecosystem partners including South Florida Tech Hub, Research Park of Florida Atlantic University, FAU Tech Runway and Florida SBDC at FAU, all providing programs that support job creation, education, innovation, and economic growth in our community.”

Throughout the first day, guests heard from speakers about entrepreneurship, the importance of supporting our veterans as they integrate back into the local community, start businesses and look for work, and veteran-owned startup pitches. Dr. Marlon Atherton, Founder and CEO of ATEAM Solution Services won the Friday night veteran-owned pitch contest.

“As a veteran, supporting our military veterans is very important to me. I was recently a judge in the IGNITE Veteran Pitch contest, it hammered home how important it is to support veteran-owned companies, especially veteran-owned start-ups,” said John Riley III, VP of Gov’t Services at Orion Innovations and USMC Veteran.

“For many veterans just getting out of the service, the transition to civilian life can be very challenging and even more when they are trying to start their own businesses. For them to have access to mentors and groups like South Florida Tech Hub that can align them with potential opportunities and investors will be of great benefit to many new veteran entrepreneurs in the future.”



The second day kicked off with coffee and breakfast for all and a keynote by the event’s presenting sponsor, Danielle Mousseau, Manager of Economic Development at 35 Mules. The day’s agenda included panels, guest speakers, an workshop on startup law, and pitches from all sorts of tech startups from healthcare to web3.

Startup exhibitors showcased their tech to all attendees. From Big Motion Studios in the metaverse to Chargefon, a power bank rental service, and Fitness At Your Door, an app bringing healthand fitness right to your living room on demand.

Panel topics included Trends in Florida’s Investment Landscape ( sponsored by Tahl Milburn), Avoiding Common IP Mistakes for Startups (sponsored by Greenberg Traurig), The People Asset (sponsored by Focus GTS), South Florida Entrepreneur Journeys (sponsored by Semantix), and the Value of Accelerators & Incubators which featured accelerator program leaders from 35 Mules, 1909, Broward Colllege’s BECx Program, and the Eglavator (sponsored by Egla Corp.)

Almost twenty startup founders who applied through the newly launched RaiseLink platform, pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. RaiseLink Founder, Boca Raton IBM tech historian and local celebrity, Pete Martinez and and RaiseLink’s CEO, Chris Houghtlaing, facilitated the picthes. Local Boca Code students built the application used for judging and it was quite impressive to see the numbers totaled in real time!

Those startups were:

Roomaters Modern Trials Everwood (a Desafío Ambiente Chile brand)
Rosi Giving Boca Code Show Agents
Fearless Mind Pet HealthCare Innovations™ 2nd Vault
EpiPaws Beach Box ARC LLC.
Synchronix Owwll EVQLV
Coping Card Inc. Mind+
Big Motion Studio Walky

In the end, Chris Ochner, Co-Founder of Modern Trials and Dr. Marlon Atherton, Founder and CEO of ATEAM Solution Services (from Friday’s pitches) both took home almost $20k in services to support their startups. Those services included everything from a South Florida Tech Hub annual membership to consulting services with IP lawyer, Howard Gitten from Lewis Brisbois to pitch review and practice with Nate Vasel from Las Olas Venture Capital and more!!

This year was a kickoff to something great, but stay tuned for GEW 2023 which kicks off November 13th, 2023!

By Riley Kaminer

800+ developers gather in Davie for SoFlo DevCon 2022

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On April 16th, South Florida Tech Hub hosted the 17th annual edition of one of the largest conferences for software developers, designers, engineers and tech professionals across the region. SoFlo Dev Con 2022 saw upwards of 1,000 attendees and more than 100 speakers descend upon Nova Southeastern University’s Carl DeSantis building in Davie.

Topics and workshops included Machine Learning, AI, VR/AR/MR, IoT, .NET, DevOps, MVC Framework, JavaScript, JQuery, SQL Server, Business Intelligence, Software Testing, Xamarin/Mobile Development, Azure/Cloud, Business/Career Development, and more. There were 17 tracks including web3, blockchain, AI, cloud, web development, leadership, and investment.

Thanks to Tech Hub’s community partners and sponsors, the event was completely free to attend.

The presenting sponsor for the event was Schonfeld, a preeminent global investment management firm. Recent Miami transplant Yael Mayfield, Head of Front Office at Schonfeld and co-head of the Miami office, gave SoFlo DevCon’s keynote presentation (video), discussing how to build a high frequency trading system. Mayfield provided a high-level overview of what HFTs are and how to go about building an HFT system. She explained the various trade offs of different operating system architectures for HFTs.

Schonfeld also offered a session moderated by tech recruiter Jordan DiCambio discussing fintech trends, including cloud computing, low latency trading systems, and real-time data. On the panel was an all-star lineup from Schonfeld: Rusty Conover (Head of Cloud Data Platform), Wes Maness (Architect on our Quantitative Trading Platform), and Drashti Trivedi (Senior Software Engineer on our reference data team).

“The event was great,” Radhika Arora, Schonfeld’s Head of Enterprise Technology Talent Acquisition, told South Florida Tech Hub. “There was such a variety of attendees, including vendors, agencies, lateral candidates, campus candidates and more.”

Arora explained that Schonfeld got involved in the event for two main reasons. First, to help develop a strong development community in South Florida. Second, to help attract and engage some of the best talent in South Florida – with the view for the firm’s Miami office to be a true HQ2. Schonfeld is looking for employees across a wide range of verticals: from cybersecurity to software engineering to QA. Learn more and apply by visiting their careers website.

Miami-based Streann Media, a video and audio platform to distribute, engage, and monetize content, was the t-shirt and streaming partner. Co-founder Gio Punzo presented on the topic, “The Future of Streaming is Interactive, NFT, Crypto,” highlighting the top trends for content creators and providers. 

During the talk, Punzo showcased the company’s newest innovation, Live2.Social, which is a multi-camera streaming app. “It’s time to say bye to Zoom and welcome Live2.Social created by Streann,” Punzo told South Florida Tech Hub.

Punzo relished the opportunity to share Streann’s story with the South Florida tech industry at SoFlo DevCon. He explained that, having raised funds from top VC firms and angel syndicates, he is passionate about giving back to SMBs. “Everyone, every SMB, needs to create more content – and our technologies can help. Let us show you how. Let us help the community grow with new innovative tech made in South Florida.”

Overall, Punzo called the event “spectacular,” highlighting the many tracks and high-quality speakers. “There was great energy. South Florida is booming and you can feel it. At the conference, I met people that moved to Miami from New York, and they said they moved because SoFlo is where it’s at!”

To finish off a full slate of tech talks, decentralized blockchain Algorand who also gave a talk during one of the tracks, sponsored a fun happy hour with food and drink in NSU’s Flight Deck with indoor gaming area and outdoor bar and seating – an excellent networking opportunity for all participants. 

To view more photos from the event, click here.

TOGETHER, we are #BuildingSoFlo!

By Nikki Cabus

CEO Update | Releasing Our 2021 Annual Report

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Happy Monday,

On behalf of our Board of Directors, I’m so excited to share our 2021 Annual Report!

This year presented unique challenges like we could have never imagined. We had to pivot our entire organization as a result of the global pandemic. Our events, our board, our team – everything became virtual. And we excelled at building online communities, growing our presence on social media platforms like Linkedin and Slack.

These challenges that held many back, also helped us grow, and today we are more prepared than ever to lead our industry in growing South Florida into a Tech Hub we deserve. Which is exactly why our name has changed from Palm Beach Tech into the newly branded Tech Hub South Florida.

We also made two big investments into the future of how we focus on Tech Talent:

After almost 6 years of dedication, we’re more excited than ever to keep Building South Florida into a Tech Hub! #BuildingSoFlo


In Service,

Joseph R. Russo
President & CEO, Tech Hub South Florida

By Rebecca Bakels

Stronger Together | South Florida’s United Future as a Tech Hub

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This past week, Palm Beach Tech announced its rebrand and new name of Tech Hub South Florida as it convened for the first Community Coffee of 2021. The discussion brought together some major local voices to speak on South Florida’s booming tech hotspot and how we can maximize on the national attention and desperate need for tech talent within the region. 


The conversation began with a short history lesson from Mayor Singer of Boca Raton, acknowledging Boca Raton as the home of IBM (and birthplace of the personal computer) from the 1960s to 90s. “The spirit of tech and innovation remains.” At this, multiple former IBM employees popped into the chat, proving that our tech roots are here to stay

Once the location of IBM, now sits the 1.7 million square foot Boca Raton Innovation Campus (also know as BRiC) which houses companies such as Modernizing Medicine with almost 1,000 employees.


But with this national attention, there is some concern rising among our local tech community: what will be done to ensure that local resources and talent will be prioritized? Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade took this question acknowledging the important role played by existing code schools and apprenticeship programs but she went on to say “we need to do even more, we need to double down.” The importation of talent is not a bad thing per se, but should not serve as a substitute for cultivating local talent. We have the opportunity to expand access to affordable housing and public transportation, vital resources for our budding young professionals to stay local and succeed.


Housing and transit are only part of the issue facing South Florida; major gaps still exist in our public education system and Computer Science courses need to become the norm in local schools. Broward County’s Vice Mayor Udine said “inclusivity is key; there’s major untapped potential” within our black and brown communities and often overlooked differently-abled students. Not only do we need to expand current CS programs within the standard educational track but we need to ensure the most in-demand skills are being taught. This includes soft skills, such as professional email correspondence, direct interactions with associates, and effective networking.



David Coddington, Co-Chair of Tech Gateway, jumped in on this discussion with the importance of early exposure; it started with “‘certainly we have to be in the universities . . . no, we actually need to be in the middle schools.’” It’s crucial to expose students to these fields while their minds are still developing. Success starts with the knowledge that the opportunities are out there and TechGateway is working to expand their ‘TechGateway Day’ to more middle and high schools in the coming year to foster just that.


Above all else, unity will help South Florida live up to our potential; “we’re stronger together” was a repeated sentiment. Mr. Coddington pointed out that you can’t speak about Broward without mentioning Palm Beach or Miami; we’re an intertwined region, often thought of to non-Floridians as simply ‘Miami’. That sentiment may give locals a laugh, but we can capitalize on this name recognition to boost our visibility as a strong contender for the next booming tech hub. 


Together, we are #BuildingSoFlo!

By Nikki Cabus

CEO Update | Why we’re now Tech Hub South Florida

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To our South Florida Tech Community,

Thank you so much for supporting our launch as Tech Hub South Florida!

It’s been my honor to lead this amazing organization since our inception in July 2015; first as Palm Beach Tech and now as Tech Hub South Florida. We had often got the question of “Why just Palm Beach?” And now ironically “Why did you rebrand?”

Simply put, we’re doubling down on leading our South Florida Tech Industry!


So why did we rebrand?

In 2019, I penned an op-ed in the Sun Sentinel entitled: South Florida tech businesses need to join forces to compete globally

“Unless we can band together in one holistic regional effort, and tackle our challenges together as one, we will continue to lose pace globally. But work together today, and we can bring more jobs, talent, and opportunity for our next generation tomorrow.”

Our Board of Directors has looked since then to expand our resources and support to all of South Florida. As our membership expanded, as did our responsibility to tackle larger issues like that of our tech industry workforce.

The need for a consistent stream of high-quality tech talent is not a county issue, it is a regional issue and must be addressed as such. This will continue to be Tech Hub South Florida’s top priority as we serve our committed members, our growing industry, and our diverse community.

But this is one of so many issues to tackle in the coming years.


How’d we do it?

Thanks to our friends at 2TON Creative, which generationally succeeded our originally branding team, we got to work on reimagining our name, identity, and position in our tech community.

In our first meetings building the organization and to this day, our mission has always resonated: Build South Florida Into a Tech Hub

Our Team and Board loved it! The more we shared the idea of expanding regionally, the countless conversations with regional leaders, tech companies, and partners supported the belief in this idea.


We are #SouthFloridaTech

In my first sentence, I referred to our organization as ‘amazing’ – this is in no part a description on a nonprofit association, but a reflection on the passionate people who take part in our mission every single day. We are building a big tent, with everyone welcome at the table.

So to our Board, Peer Group Leaders, Community Leaders, Team and every person reading this – thank you for being amazing! I’m confident that we can Build South Florida into a Tech Hub, together.

We are Tech Hub South Florida, and we’re here to lead #BuildingSoFlo


In Service,

Joseph R. Russo
President & CEO, Tech Hub South Florida

First ever Ignite Florida launch to Global Entrepreneurship Week in South Florida
800+ developers gather in Davie for SoFlo DevCon 2022
CEO Update | Releasing Our 2021 Annual Report
Stronger Together | South Florida’s United Future as a Tech Hub
CEO Update | Why we’re now Tech Hub South Florida