South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Adam Elitzur

HAPPY HOUR | 1st Event in Martin County! (sponsored by GMS)

🍺 FOOD SPONSORED BY: General Micro Systems
You’re invited to join Tech Hub for our #SoFloTechHappyHour!
We have been hosting them every month in different cities across the South Florida region from Miami to Palm Beach. We bring together tech professionals, innovators, founders and CEOs to enjoy a night of networking and connections with a goal of bettering our businesses and our overall community.
Don’t miss out on this first event in Martin County.
TOGETHER, we are #BuildingSoFlo!

– WHEN: Thursday, June 8th from 5:00 – 8:00 pm
– WHERE: Circa69 American Gastro Pub (NEW LOCATION!)
– WHO: technologists, innovators, founders, CEOs and business people
– WHAT: food, drinks, friends
– WHY: network, connect, and have fun!

Since its inception in 1979, General Micro Systems, Inc. (GMS) has been true to its mission statement: To become the world’s leading technology independent supplier of computing engines, while providing the best price/performance, quality and customer support, demanded by our current and our future customers. All GMS products are proudly designed and manufactured in the U.S.A.
*We still need a drink sponsor. Why not your company? *
The year was 1969 and innovation, style and pop culture were on the move. From landing on the moon to the Woodstock music festival, 1969 was a year to be celebrated. Located at the base of the Jensen Beach Causeway, Circa69 is more than the terms restaurant, bar or gastropub can express. Circa69 is our place and yours – a place to discover and experience the coming together of taste, culture and personality.

By Nikki Cabus

Fuel Venture Capital Announces The Launch of $300 Million Flagship Fund II

Read Time 3 Minutes

Fuel Venture Capital announced the launch of their $300 million Flagship Fund II bringing the Miami-based firm’s four funds to $700 Million. 

Fuel Venture Capital Flagship II, LP is built upon the success of Flagship Fund I following a refined investment thesis and well-defined proprietary model of Phased Investing.

Fuel Venture Capital is committed to propelling groundbreaking ideas into world-changing companies and democratizing access to the creative economy to shape the future of society. A core team leads the firm’s “founder focused, investor driven” approach with more than 80 years of combined experience in investment banking, wealth management, executive leadership, and entrepreneurship. The fund boasts a portfolio of 33 companies based around the globe across numerous sectors, bringing positive impact to virtually all corners of our modern economy.

Institutional investors will be able to participate in Fuel Venture Capital Flagship Fund II, which is aiming to raise $300 million and will target disruptive technology companies that transform how
businesses and consumers transact, consume, work and enjoy their life journey. The fund is primed to invest in seven warehouse companies, all previously backed by Fuel Venture Capital funds, which include Betr, RecargaPay, Soundtrack Your Brand, Curve, CookUnity, AEXLAB and Novopayment. Fuel will continue to find additional disruptive global, tech-driven companies to construct a portfolio across multiple geographic locations, sectors and financing stages.

“This fund will make it easier and more efficient than ever before to access the private markets,” said Maggie Vo, Managing General Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Fuel Venture Capital. “It’s our goal at Fuel VC to democratize the process of investing in private market transactions and this will make it possible.”

Fuel Venture Capital has been one of the most aggressive venture capital firms in Florida since launching in 2017. Fuel identifies innovative founders changing the world, propelling groundbreaking ideas into world-changing companies, and democratizing access to the creative economy to shape the future of society. The firm is a leading early-stage investor in technology and digital companies.  With a portfolio of over 33 companies in technology companies across a broad spectrum of areas including FinTech, Marketplace, Enterprise SaaS, Entertainment Tech, Food & Consumer Goods Tech, Sports Tech, Space Tech and more, Fuel is where institutional investors go to diversify their venture capital portfolio.

Its most recent success story is Terran Orbital, the aerospace, and defense company that is the global leader in small satellites. Terran Orbital was recently listed on the NYSE as $LLAP with a $1.8 billion valuation. Fuel’s most recent deployment made headlines with Jake Paul’s microbetting app Betr which raised a $50 million Series A. In addition, Fuel Venture Capital is a lead investor in Taxfyle, which closed its $20 Million Series B last year. Fuel Venture Capital also invested in cloud-based supply chain platform Tradeshift, smart city infrastructure platform Ubicquia, and construction technology company Eyrus, among others.

“We believe that our latest fund will be a game-changer in the private markets space, offering investors a new level of accessibility, liquidity and transparency,” said Jeff Ransdell, Founding Partner and Managing Director of Fuel Venture Capital. “The diversification of our fund is what sets us apart.”

To learn more about Fuel Venture Capital, visit

By Nikki Cabus

IBM to grant $5M to schools to boost cybersecurity & AI skills

Read Time 4 Minutes

In response to the growing threat of ransomware attacks against schools around the world, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it will provide in-kind grants valued at $5 million to help address cybersecurity resiliency in schools. The deadline to apply is June 23, 2023.

Since its creation in 2021, the IBM Education Security Preparedness Grants program has expanded globally, and this year will also include enhanced offerings from IBM SkillsBuild on topics including AI and cybersecurity.

Ransomware is unfolding faster than ever, with attackers managing to cut down the time required to deploy ransomware attacks from over two months to just under four days between 2019 and 2021, according to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023. In fact, the share of cybersecurity incidents observed in the education sector more than doubled in 2022 compared to the year prior, experiencing the largest increase year over year than any other industry.

“Time and time again attackers go after the education sector, yet many of these institutions remain constrained in their security resources,” said Andy Piazza, Global Head of Threat Intelligence, IBM Security X-Force. “To date, this program has helped more than 350,000 students across schools in the US and abroad, with IBM Service Corps helping them recover from ransomware attacks, strengthen their security posture against future attacks, and prevent further disruption.”

Applications for schools are now open globally. Grants valued at $500,000 each ($5 million in total) will be awarded to six school districts in the US with an additional four around the world. Volunteers, through IBM Service Corps, will use their professional skills to help schools establish programs to address cybersecurity resiliency. Hear more from Andy here.

Each selected school will receive:

  • incident response plans and ransomware playbooks,
  • programs to help address the need for updating operating systems,
  • strategic communication plans to use in response to cyber incidents, and
  • training and digital credentials through IBM SkillsBuild on topics including AI and cybersecurity, and additional benefits such as enhanced access to IBM mentors, teacher training and toolkits, and customized learning pathways.

“The global skills gap across cybersecurity and AI is a growing challenge that demands immediate attention,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM Chief Impact Officer. “To address this challenge, IBM awards Education Security Preparedness Grants to drive impact with schools worldwide. This year, we’re excited to expand the program to bring the benefits of IBM SkillsBuild training on topics like AI and cybersecurity for students and teachers.”

Robert Losinski, Manager of Information Security at Denver Public Schools, stated that “With IBM’s assistance, we improved our cybersecurity incident response plan and used it to better prepare us for handling incidents in the future.” He continued , “Attackers are targeting schools because many do not have mature security frameworks to effectively defend against ransomware and other cybercrime. Getting professional assistance in expanding your cybersecurity program will really help you identify the most critical areas to protect.”

Since its inception in 2021, IBM has received hundreds of applications for this award-winning program from school districts seeking to strengthen their security postures in response to the growing threats in the education space. Past recipients of the IBM Education Security Preparedness Grants have encouraged other schools to apply.

The 2022 and 2021 Grantees included:

  • Brevard Public Schools in Viera, FL
  • City of Dublin Educational Training Board in Ireland
  • Cupertino Union School District in Sunnyvale, CA
  • Denver Public Schools in Denver, CO
  • East China School District in East China, MI
  • Goffstown School District in Goffstown, NH
  • KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools in Atlanta, GA
  • Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in United Arab Emirates
  • Newburgh Enlarged City School District in Newburgh, NY
  • Newhall School District in Valencia, CA
  • Poughkeepsie City School District in Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Prince William Country Public Schools in Manassas, VA
  • Rossville Cons. School District in Rossville, IN
  • Sheldon Independent School District in Houston, TX

Awards were allocated based on cybersecurity needs, experiences, community resources, and potential risks.

K-12 public schools and educational institutions/organizations that are interested in applying for IBM’s education cybersecurity grant can apply via here:

For more information about IBM’s cybersecurity grants for schools, visit:

For more information about IBM Security X-Force’s services and capabilities, visit:

The 2023 grant cycle is now open. Apply by June 23, 2023 to receive one of ten available grants.

By Nikki Cabus

Getting to know Boca Raton-based ModMed’s new CTO Venkatesh Jayaraman

Read Time 5 Minutes

Boca Raton-based practice technology leader ModMed® appointed Venkatesh Jayaraman (VJ) as the company’s Chief Technology Officer.

Jayaraman leads the strategic direction and technical leadership for the product engineering organization, including cloud operations.

With over 25 years of technology and software development experience, Jayaraman brings an extensive record of success in technical leadership, cross-functional product development and software architecture. He has a proven record of building business agility using Lean-Agile practices while managing large-scale enterprise organizations across multiple geographies.

ModMed is transforming healthcare by placing doctors and patients at the center of care through an intelligent, specialty-specific cloud platform. With electronic health records (EHR) and practice management (PM) systems, and revenue cycle management (RCM) services, their all-in-one solution empowers specialty medical practices by providing clinical, financial, and operational software solutions. ModMed’s staff physicians help to develop products and services for allergy, dermatology, gastroenterology, OBGYN, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, pain management, plastic surgery, podiatry, and urology practices, as well as ambulatory surgery centers.

“VJ’s background and experience will deliver tremendous value to our organization, as he embodies ModMed’s cultural values around aligning passion with purpose,” said Daniel Cane, ModMed Cofounder and CEO. “We have welcomed him to our team as we work together to transform how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized to increase practice efficiency and improve patient outcomes.”

Jayaraman most recently served on the executive leadership team at Vertex Inc., where he led the cloud/SaaS transformation of the product engineering organization, including cloud operations using agile methodology, modern DevOps and site reliability engineering principles. Prior to Vertex, he was in various leadership roles at Citrix Systems and Motorola, where he built and scaled agility across a globally distributed engineering team to achieve software engineering excellence. He holds a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from India’s National Institute of Technology.



1. What are you looking forward to most in your new role with ModMed?
Using cutting edge technology to transform how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized to increase practice efficiency and improve patient outcomes. Really looking forward to the opportunity to create simple workflow solutions for complex problems with valuable, meaningful impact. ModMed’s product portfolio does align passion with purpose where we can impact the lives of practice providers and patients in a big way by creating excellent software that delights them.

2. What do you love most about the healthtech industry?
The healthcare industry has always been full of untapped opportunities for technology innovation and workflow optimizations. COVID just exposed some of these opportunities in many ways. Healthcare is unique with respect to regulatory and interoperability demands. Coupled with the fact that healthcare software is only expected to benefit from the overall growth in US healthcare spend makes it a very exciting ground for making a positive impact.

3. What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the healthtech industry?
Keep an open mind in terms of connecting their passion, skills, knowledge and experience for the various innovation opportunities that present using technologies like cloud, ML / AI, big data etc.

4. Any insight into what’s next for ModMed?
ModMed has had a phenomenal journey so far. From the initial momentum that we have gained, we are very well poised for creating our own flywheel effect to accelerate faster and faster, and gain even more momentum while building this organization for scale and growth. I am very excited by what’s to come and truly honored to be part of defining this journey.

5. From the 90s to now, what has been the biggest change you have seen in our local tech markets?
There have been quite a lot of changes in the local tech markets in the last 2-3 decades that have followed the industry trend largely. The tech industry itself has evolved from the PC computing, hardware & communications related innovations to more software based innovations with the advent of internet and cloud. Back in the 90s, we had quite a few tech companies like Siemens, IBM, Motorola etc. and they all have evolved with this changing landscape. With the advancements in cloud computing, even concepts as esoteric as Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence have become so accessible to the engineering community that they can be easily harnessed for the next generation of innovations. The core to this evolution is “business agility” and the companies that do that with the right talent and leadership thrive in the face of this changing landscape. Also, the promotion of STEM education in local schools and colleges has really propelled this pace of innovation and South Florida is on a path to excellence in making its mark in the tech industry.

6. All in on AI? What’s your thoughts on the future of generative AI in healthcare? 
Generative AI can be applied in various use cases to generate virtually any kind of content. The technology is becoming more accessible to users of all kinds thanks to cutting-edge generative AI interfaces like ChatGPT, Dall-E and Bard that can be tuned for different applications. With generative AI technology, doctors, hospitals, clinics and beyond may be able to streamline patient care and improve health outcomes with significant advantages like personalized healthcare for patients, predictive maintenance of medical devices and supporting administrative tasks to improve efficiency. Despite their promise, the new generative AI tools open a can of worms regarding accuracy, trustworthiness, bias, hallucination and plagiarism — ethical issues that likely will take years to sort out. None of the issues are particularly new to AI though. Just like any other technology, I am confident and cautiously optimistic that the generative AI would mature to bring the bigger benefits that we all aspire for.

7. No matter our role or level, we are always learning. What’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?
I am a big believer of being a continuous learner while pivoting and adapting to changing landscape of needs. The mantra should be to plan the work and work the plan but be flexible and realistic to adapt for best outcomes. One of the books that I have been reading of late is Limitless by Jim Kwik. In this book, he overturns the conventional ideas of intelligence, achievement and perceived limitations with a compelling and practical handbook for change. It is based on the concept of all of us having boundless capabilities and what we make of them has everything to do with mindset and application.

8. Outside of work, do you play any sports or have any hobbies? What do you do for fun?
Yes, I play tennis, volleyball, chess etc. whenever time permits. Also, I like to read different books and spend time with my family. Love to explore and  experience the world through various travels to create a wholesome life!

9. What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I used to play cricket early on in my career and I received a trophy from the cricketing legend Clive Lloyd for my performance in the finals of a tournament that was played in the Central Broward Cricket Stadium in Lauderhill. Another fun fact is that I had to find a way to overcome acrophobia (thanks to the constant nudge from my daughter) to do ziplining with my family in Costa Rica recently.


Learn more about ModMed’s leadership team here. 

By Adam Elitzur

18th annual SoFlo DevCon brings together developers, designers, tech professionals and educators

Read Time 7 Minutes

Just last month during #SoFloTechMonth, South Florida’s month-long celebration of all things tech and innovation across the region, South Florida Tech Hub hosted its 18th annual SoFlo DevCon once again bringing hundreds in attendance for the event.

Held at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, the location was a perfect place to bring together those from Miami, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin County and even a few from the west coast of the state. In attendance were software developers, designers, engineers, tech professionals and event school district teachers and college professors from across South Florida.

The event is the only fully regional tech education event FREE and open to the public with classes and sessions running all day long that are completely geared towards STEM and innovation. The event was free to attend, thanks to the support of community partners and sponsors such as this year’s Presenting Sponsor, Cognizant.

The day kicked off with breakfast (sponsored by FAU’s College of Engineering) and 8:30 AM sessions. The first 300 guests through the door were also given a free conference t-shirt (sponsored by Streann Media), and a pizza party lunch was provided for all attendees sponsored by CITY Furniture.

This year’s event featured a Leadership Track and Leadership Lunch in collaboration with Cognizant, CITY Furniture and SIM South Florida. Jeffrey Richman, Customer Relationship Manager and Kishore Dandu, Client Partner of Energy & Utilities at Cognizant addressed the audience as Presenting Sponsor. Kishore spoke about the importance of events such as SoFlo DevCon in the tech community and how proud they are to give back to a local organization helping build the local tech talent. With hundreds of thousands of employees across the globe, Cognizant employs many technical and sales people in the South Florida region. As tech in South Florida continues to blossom, they are happy to be a contributing part of the ecosystem.

Rebecca Bakels, Software Engineer and Tech Community Advocate at CITY Furniture, highlighted that CITY Furniture is more than just a furniture company. CITY Furniture employs hundreds of people in technology and is using all sorts of innovative tech such as AR, data science, and app development all in-house to ensure the best customer experience. CITY Furniture also gives back thousands of dollars towards local community programs and nonprofits each year.

Rebecca is a benefactor of local tech initiatives and the South Florida Tech Hub community. As she began her journey into tech in 2020, she connected with South Florida Tech Hub, completed Software Engineering course with Boca Code, became an intern at CITY Furniture and then was offered a full time role to continue with the company. Rebecca is now involved with many nonprofit organizations and initiatives in the tech space in the region.

Each year, the conference attracts almost 1000 attendees and over 100 speakers, sponsors and exhibitors. The event featured 6 time slots for workshops and 12 seperate tracks to choose from such as mobile/web development, professional development, entrepreneurship, AI/ML, blockchain & web3, UI/UX, and more. These tracks included a range of topics and workshops, including 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.

  • In the Web Development track, Todd Albert, Lead Instructor and Founder at Boca Code remarked, “This year, we added several code-along workshops to our lineup, including Next.JS and ChatGPT by Jonathan Sanchez, building a game in Unity with SoFlo DevCon’s youngest speaker, 19-year-old Idan Fischer, and my talk where we live-coded a mobile app in React-Native. Each year, the conference seems to be more energetic and attended by more people. It’s always a great place to expand our knowledge and our networks.”
  • In the AI/ML track, Founder of Indulgent Gifts and Thrivve Group, Roberta Barbosa, and US Managing Director of Exo Mindset, Bruno Savoca Albors, spoke. Barbosa presented the workshop Intro to Intelligent RPA. The workshop covered “the fundamentals of intelligent process automation and how it is helping businesses become more efficient and increase employee engagement. It also shared the RPA leaders in the industry, the tools available on the market, and the most common use cases.” Albors delivered a talk on the evolution of AI and ML, tracing its journey from early beginnings to the present day. He highlighted key milestones, including the emergence of machine learning as a subfield of AI, the rise of neural networks and deep learning, and the transformative impact of the digital age on AI and ML. Albors showcased modern applications across industries such as healthcare and finance and addressed ethical considerations and challenges, including bias and privacy. In conclusion, he provided a future outlook for AI and ML, emphasizing their significance in solving complex problems and shaping the future of technology.
  • In the Web Development track, Todd Albert, Lead Instructor and Founder at Boca Code remarked, “This year, we added several code-along workshops to our lineup, including Next.JS and ChatGPT by Jonathan Sanchez, building a game in Unity with SoFlo DevCon’s youngest speaker, 19-year-old Idan Fischer, and my talk where we live-coded a mobile app in React-Native. Each year, the conference seems to be more energetic and attended by more people. It’s always a great place to expand our knowledge and our networks.”
  • In the blockchain track, ApparelMagic CEO and cryptocurrency veteran Brandon Ginsberg, and Azure Migrate & Modernize Lead at Microsoft and Co-Founder of Nebulai, Renatto Garro were two of the presenters. Ginsberg spoke about recent developments in the Ethereum ecosystem, including The Merge, Shanghai updates, and ERC-4337. His talk highlighted the importance of these updates in enhancing Ethereum’s scalability, security, and efficiency, and their potential implications for decentralized applications and the broader cryptocurrency landscape. Garro led the workshop Unlock the Power of Decentralized Identities. “Decentralized Identities promise to change the way we use the Internet giving us more control, security, and the ability to monetize our data,” Garro stated. “We discussed about solutions from Microsoft like Entra and PolygonID, among others. It is truly inspiring what developers can start building with this technology.”
  • In the AR/VR track, Principal engineer at Microsoft for Mixed Reality, Denise Mendez, Head of Emerging Tech & Innovation Division at PeakActivity, Rob Petrosino, and Harshal Sanghvi, Doctoral Candidate at Florida Atlantic University and Research and Development Specialist at Advanced Research LLC, presented workshops. Mendez talked about the scale of the XR industry, its value in the South Florida economy, and well as how to get started building cross-platform XR experiences in Unity. Petrosino spoke about AI & its impact on 3D, AR & XR. “Generative AI has changed how most organizations and teams will approach visualizing information, floor plans and their standard operating procedures without additional technical teams.” Sanghvi discussed the impacts of AI & AR on Medical Interventions and Imaging as diagnosing and treatment methods.
  • In the Leadership track, Founder of B-Grade Media and Technology Advisor at Leafplanner, Q. Wade Billings led the session on “How to engineer a thriving engineering culture”. “In 2019, I had the opportunity to build an engineering culture from scratch, which is more complicated than it might sound,” Billings remarked. “To help my team and me in the effort, we designed a framework called the “Cultural Development Lifecycle (CDLC)” modeled after the well-known Software Development Lifecycle. This framework enabled us to conceive of, plan, develop, test, and measure our thriving engineering culture. My sincere hope and goal are that presenting the CDLC at SoFlo DevCon will inspire others to think about culture in a new and exciting light.”
  • In the Entrepreneurship track, was a session, “Practical Steps to Turn Your Idea Into a Revenue Generating Business”, Managing Partner at Argent Strategies and CSO of Doxci, Aaron Chavez, covered everything from ideation to product development to early-stage scaling activities. His talk emphasized the significance of proper solution validation, as well as a heavy focus on non-capital-intensive activities that are accessible to all founders. During his talk, he stressed the significance of South Florida’s idea-rich founder economy and the need for said founders to progress by taking practical and cost-effective steps to move their ventures forward.

One of the unique aspects of SoFlo DevCon is that it is open to anyone interested in the tech and innovation community in South Florida. Attendees did not need to be developers to participate in the conference. Designers, project managers, creatives, entrepreneurs, founders, and anyone connected to the tech industry were all welcome to attend.

Software engineer and game developer presented the workshop ‘Unleashing Your Creativity: Unity game development.’ “Participants learned how to create a game where the player collects coins while avoiding obstacles,” Fischer explained.

“We went through the process of making a game, from making game objects to making scripts to control our objects. Overall, speaking at SoFlo Devcon was an amazing experience, especially for my first time speaking anywhere and first time at SoFlo Devcon. Thank you to everyone who came!”

Idan was also voted the audience favorite receiving the Scott Katarincic Speaker Award, in remembrance of Scott who recently passed this year. He was a major part of planning past SoFlo DevCon events and working with all the speakers to ensure a successful event. It was only fitting that our youngest speaker ever at only 19 years old received the award and on his birthday, no less! The award was presented to Idan by Naomi Gayz, Scott’s girlfriend, and Annette Katarancic, Scott’s mother.

SoFlo DevCon 2023 was a huge success, bringing together the South Florida tech community and providing a platform for learning, networking, and collaboration. The day ended with an after-party happy hour and karaoke!

South Florida Tech Hub’s Dev Con 2023 was made possible because of its sponsors: Presenting Sponsor, Cognizant, T-shirts, Streann Media, City Furniture provided lunch and Telerik by Progress sponsored ASL interpretation. Thanks to the supporting sponsors, including Florida Atlantic University, OZ Digital Consulting, NRG Way, Boca Code, SIM, Algorand, Agile Infoways, Total Wine & More, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft TEALS Program, Code Magazine, FPL, Office Depot, Carrier, Modernizing Medicine, Florida Crystals, Social Mobile, Verizon, and Dedicated IT, for their contributions to the event.

See more photos here.

By Nikki Cabus

Crown Castle’s new Miami office is now open for business.

Read Time 3 Minutes

Last week, Crown Castle opened a beautiful new office located at One Park Square in Doral, FL.

One Park Square is a 231,500 square foot class A office building designed to accommodate today’s corporate client with features such as an onsite fitness center, conference center, car charging station and complimentary valet parking. It’s nestled next to CityPlace Doral, a master-planned, mixed-use development ​in Doral’s dynamic employment center putting you at the epicenter of the city with total connectivity and seamless walkability.

Over 150,000 employees commute to work every day to Doral. The city is home to Fortune 500 companies and government headquarters. Carnival, Univision, Brinks, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida are just a few of the companies who have made Doral their headquarters. The city has also been certified as a platinum level “Smart City” by World Council on City Data. The city offers services such as the Freebee which is a free door-to-door, on-demand transportation service with vehicles that are 100% electric and frequent connections to the Doral trolley.

According to the City’s website, “The City of Doral’s Smart City strategy is focused on the idea that the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can enhance the quality of services, transform city operations and infrastructure, engage citizens and accelerate innovation. The City of Doral adopted the Smart City approach since the Strategic Planning Session of June 2015 to enhance accessibility, sustainability, livability, and transparency.”

The City was featured in an Crown Castle video highlighting their partnership and Smart City successes with reliable high-speed data network. These kinds of events encourage job creation and entrepreneurship, since encouraging new technologies the City is investing in opportunities, in a marketplace of innovation and ideas.

The new Doral Crown Castle office is actually a renovation. The company has been working with and within the City for quite some time. The office just needed a little face lift which the team certainly got.

“It was very fulfilling to see the smiles on the faces of our teammates as they walked into their new space,’ wrote Rick Perkins, Regional Vice President, Implementation & Operations – South, in a recent social media post.

“Upgrade is an understatement!” he replied in a comment. “It’s been a long journey which was worth the wait.”

Over the last decade technology has completely changed our world and how we interact in it. From having a smart phone in our hand at all times to a smart watch on your wrist. Emerging technologies such as 5G and smart city tech promises one thing – more jobs. Crown Castle’s towners, small cells and fiber help keep everything running and connected.

Crown Castle has nearly 100 offices across the country and thirteen of those in Florida. The locations span from West Palm Beach to Tampa and Orlando. The Miami location houses much of the technology staff and the company has been actively hiring. From Project Managers to Fiber Engineers to Agile Coaches, Crown Castle has on-site and hybrid opportunities.

With more than 40,000 towers, approximately 85,000 route miles of fiber and approximately 120,000 small cells on air or under contract, Crown Castle is the nation’s leading provider of communications infrastructure. The company is in a unique position to support continued innovation and help manage all private and cloud-based network architectures and next gen networks like 5G.

By Nikki Cabus

Renowned Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine invests in Boca Raton-based restaurant tech company

Read Time 3 Minutes

GRUBBRR, the industry-leading provider of self-ordering technologies that are revolutionizing the way commerce is transacted globally, announced today a new partnership and investment with celebrity chef, restaurateur, and TV host Robert Irvine. Together, they will tackle challenges plaguing the restaurant industry, including labor shortages and rising food costs, and help restaurant owners navigate the future of the industry.

Robert Irvine is a world-class chef, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is best known for saving failing restaurants on his hit show, Restaurant: Impossible and for his commitment giving back to our nation’s defenders through the Robert Irvine Foundation.

The new partnership will combine GRUBBRR’s cutting-edge self-ordering technology and Robert Irvine’s expertise in the restaurant space to create an unparalleled solution for restaurants. The self-ordering solutions will provide customers with an efficient and convenient ordering experience, while improving general restaurant operations.

The residual effects of COVID-19 have continued to wreak havoc on the restaurant industry as owners navigate inflated food prices and staff shortages. To combat these obstacles, restaurants are turning to technology to increase operational efficiencies and save money.

“I am thrilled to be partnering with GRUBBRR to bring their solution to restaurants to help improve operational efficiencies and overall performance,” said Irvine.

“The industry has been struggling to recover from the pandemic, and for many restaurants, there is a dire need for transformation and innovation. This partnership will help us turn restaurants around, making the seemingly impossible recovery – possible.”

Headquartered in Boca Raton, GRUBBRR is a global self-ordering solutions and POS systems provider at the forefront of self-ordering technologies. GRUBBRR’s award-winning eco-system, including kiosks, mobile ordering, POS, online ordering, KDS, contactless smart lockers and more, are proven to help businesses maximize revenue, decrease labor costs, and increase operational efficiency while improving the consumer experience. GRUBBRR’s solutions are adaptable and beneficial to a multitude of businesses, and power both enterprise-level and small and medium businesses across verticals such as quick-service restaurants, fast casual restaurants, stadiums, movie theaters, casinos, micro-markets, retail, and more.

Bhavin Asher is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of GRUBBRR®. He founded GRUBBRR with the mission of changing the way commerce is transacted by automating both the consumer and business experience through artificial intelligence and machine learning.

He joined forces with Sam Zietz, CEO of GRUBBRR in November 2018. Under Sam’s leadership, GRUBBRR has been the recipient of multiple awards and accolades for its self-ordering kiosks and contactless ordering solutions.

“We are proud to be working with Robert Irvine to revolutionize the restaurant industry,” said Sam Zietz, CEO of GRUBBRR.

“Robert’s expertise and his commitment to the industry and innovation makes him the perfect partner for GRUBBRR as we continue to raise awareness of the benefits of self-ordering technology for restaurant owners and customers alike.”

For more information about the partnership between GRUBBRR and Robert Irvine, or to learn more about GRUBBRR’s self-ordering technology, please visit


By Nikki Cabus

Did you know? History & Future of Tech in South Florida started in Boca Raton.

Read Time 10 Minutes

From Miami Beach to Palm Beach, South Florida is becoming one of the best-known tech hub’s across the country. 

Many cities throughout the state of Florida — now the fastest-growing state in the nation — have been announced as up-and-coming tech hubs. South Florida Tech Hub recently celebrated the birth of the tech scene in South Florida and our region’s continued innovation at the “History & Future of Tech in South Florida” event held at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus. 

Guests at the event enjoyed a blast from the past as we explored the era of IBM’s first PC, the ground-breaking research being done, and the thousands of patents and inventions still driving technology today. We heard from some of the original OGs of South Florida tech and former IBM employees – where they went, what they built, and where they are now.


South Florida holds a major piece of tech history right in the heart of Boca Raton. Designed by iconic architect Marcel Breuer, the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, or “BRIC,” was IBM’s North American Research and Development facility in the 1960s.

BRIC is home to the invention of the first personal computer. IBM’s own PC (IBM 5150) was introduced in August 1981, only a year after corporate executives gave the go-ahead to Bill Lowe, the lab director in the company’s Boca Raton facilities. He set up a task force that developed the proposal for the first IBM PC.

As home to the invention of their first personal computer, one might argue that the future of tech in South Florida began here!

The office park has been significantly upgraded since Crocker Partners acquired the property in 2018.What began as an outpost for IBM’s R&D and became the birthplace of the PC is now a state-of-the-art office park that is a magnet for forward thinkers in technology and life sciences. There is a growing roster of entrepreneurs, visionaries and global enterprises who have chosen BRIC as their stomping grounds.

Today, at 1.7 million square feet, BRIC is the largest single-office facility in the state of Florida. BRiC consists of three interconnected facilities located on 123-acres of beautifully maintained land with a lake situated in the center of the property, offering supreme office views and walking paths. CP Group, formerly known as Crocker Partners, has a massive vision of building off its innovative past and evolving the campus into the premier technology and life sciences hub in the Southeast.

Among the future featured amenities, there will be a Science Technology Engineering Art and Technology (STEAM) lab and coworking space, presentation hall that seats up to 1,000 to host science and technology trade shows, TedX events, coding camps and community events, a wellness center, including on-site salon, medical center and massage therapy and so much more. The renovations and construction have already begun. 

Oh, and BRIC is also home to the longest hallway in America coming in at 907 feet. For comparison, the Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall, the Gateway Arch is 630 feet and the Golden Gate Bridge stands at 746 feet in height.



The event started with a special keynote by Dr. Dave Bradley, or “Dr. Dave,” one of the twelve engineers who worked on the original IBM PC. He is famously known for developing the computer’s ROM BIOS code and for implementing the “Control-Alt-Delete” key combination used to reboot the computer. In his speech, he shared insights on early IBM marketing, the release of the first personal computer, working with Bill Gates, and other significant inventions.

Although internationally know for being the inventor of CTRL-ALT-DELETE, he doesn’t think this is his biggest contribution to to computing history. He’s proud that he created something became so popular, but knows that this is minimal to some of the other development work having been done in IBMs early days.

Bradley described the time that he helped with a sales pitch to the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, aiming to convince them to use personal computers as part of their instruction. They showed a demo program allowing the user to pick a song, which is then played on the two-and-a-quarter-inch speaker. However, there were 30 people in the room. They came up with the idea to plug in a guitar amplifier into the cassette cord. Then, no matter what song the user chooses, The Stars and Stripes Forever is played. They made the sale.

During testing of the IBM PC, Bradley frequently had to power the computer off, wait a few seconds, and turn it back on. As a result, he decided to make a shortcut: CTRL + ALT + DELETE. This was never supposed to be used in production, but then the publications team found out about it. They were trying to tell people how to start up a program, and they found the answer with the keyboard shortcut. It took Bradley five minutes to create and has since become an essential element of the user experience and even a “cultural icon”.

After the success of the IBM PC, thousands of IBM employees started working on the PS/2 family of products in Boca Raton. They took up so much office space, and even expanded into the Boca Raton mall where a department store went out of business. Bradley remarked that IBM filled all of Boca Raton in order to get the PC developed.




The evening’s agenda featured two panel discussions focused on the history and future of South Florida’s tech ecosystem and featured some of the trailblazers of modern technology.

The goal of the event was to educate the community about South Florida’s history in tech and innovation, honor some of the former IBMers who made huge strides back in the 80s, 90s and 2000s allowing the rest of the tech community to flourish today, and showcase what many of these technology leaders are doing currently.

Many people have no idea the original IBM PC was even born in South Florida, the fact that the company has thousands of patents that a huge percentage of current tech companies use, or that these tech professionals didn’t just stop innovating after they left IBM.

IBM patents range from the ATM to e-commerce, speech recognition technology, two-nanometer chips, the UPC bar code, Lasik laser eye surgery technology, screen rotation technology, “siesta” or sleep mode on the computer screen (Pete Martinez), quantum computing and so much more!

Now, the future of IBM is cloud, AI and quantum computing.



PANEL: History of Tech

The history of technology panel discussion was moderated by Pete Martinez, former IBM executive and founder of Sivotec and RaiseLink. Panelists included Chris Fleck, a former IBM executive and Vice President and Tech Fellow at Citrix, Maria Hernandez, a former Chief Innovation Officer-LATAM at IBM and CEO of InnoGuia, and Nick Savage, a former Senior NLS Developer at IBM, entrepreneur, and Digital Inclusion Director at CPSF. Each speaker transformed from working at IBM to executive roles or founding their own companies.

Each former IBM employee shared stories of their experiences at IBM, the culture around innovation they created, and some of the forward-thinking projects they were a part of at the time.

  • Hernandez was a developer on IBM’s airline reservation system in 1985, which, believe it or not, is still in use as a main system today. She also served as the technical assistant to the senior vice president of research. Her job was to help take research projects to the market faster. Hernandez helped train the voice control in cars’ natural language processing algorithm. She worked with Modernizing Medicine to introduce IBM Watson and AI to the healthcare industry.
  • Savage was a Senior Systems Engineer & Product Manager helping to develop the disk operating system (DOS) and modernize the keyboard into a software app. Savage remarked that he knew he was at the forefront of something great. He helped design SQL (Structured Query Language), and all the products building off of the operating system. Savage was in biweekly meetings with Bill Gates, Steven Ballmer, and Paul Allen. Savage was asked to escort the IBM Personal Computer AT to its announcement in New York. The AT computers took up three first-class seats.
  • Fleck was a Business Unit Executive at IBM, working on mainframe manufacturing. Fleck turned a lot of IBM technology into commercial offerings, such as IBM branded robots and industrial computers.
  • Martinez described his department in IBM working long hours on the original PCs and being given special permission from IBM to break the rules, to not conform to the old standard of five years of product development and three years of testing. They became a favorite of the company, which came with respect, but also responsibility. Failure was not an option. Martinez used the RISC chip (reduced instruction set computing), which was very fast, allowing a PC to act like a supercomputer. He and his team worked with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to do the age progression of children who had been missing for years. This process would take around two weeks for a skilled agent to do manually, but the IBM team reduced this to about an hour. This led to an increase from a 46% to a 78% recovery rate in a year.

PANEL: Future of Tech

The future of technology panel was moderated by Nikki Cabus, CEO of South Florida Tech Hub. Panelists included Pete Martinez (above) , Vanessa Michelini, a former Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technologist at IBM and Senior Director of Engineering at Natera, Mark Smith, a former VP and Senior Partner at IBM and President of OZ Digital Consulting, and Ania Rodriguez, a former UX Consultant at IBM and CEO of JourneyTrack.

Panelists discussed the biggest contributions of South Florida’s tech industry, the largest enterprises, the coolest startups, and companies that made an impact in the industry.

  • After working at IBM, Martinez decided to dedicate his next stage in life to improving the human condition, primarily in health and education. He created a number of companies, primarily in the AI space, starting with biotech and genomics. Martinez also co-founded a fintech company called RaiseLink, which uses a matching engine to link investors with startup opportunities, supported by AI technology.
  • Michelini worked on applying speech recognition technology to the industry at IBM before moving on to the genomics space. She worked on a project called Watson Genomics, which focused on using artificial intelligence and data analytics to interpret genomics in clinical oncology. Michelini fell in love with the mission of helping people through the combination of biology and technology. She joined Natera, a company dedicated to using genomics to interpret oncology, prenatal care, and organ transplants, after leaving IBM.
  • Rodriguez started at IBM in 2000, where she worked on building user experience and front-end interfaces, which she excelled at, particularly in accounts that were struggling with their technology. She also mentioned being part of a program for top ten women at IBM, which allowed her to meet many influential people. Rodriguez started her own consulting firm, which ended up being one of South Florida’s top women-led businesses. Rodriguez’s firm works with Fortune 500 companies to help optimize their digital transformations by focusing on the strategy behind it, rather than the design. Rodriguez also shared her recent successful venture into SaaS (Software as a service) product creation. However, she has had some difficulties with fundraising, particularly as a woman in the industry.
  • Smith worked in the management consulting group at IBM and focused on digital transformation, using artificial intelligence. He also worked on commercializing Watson’s natural language processing capabilities to help clients digitize unstructured data in the insurance industry. The main struggle was to attain trust in the data and algorithm. Now with OZ Digital Consulting (the food sponsor of the evening!), Smith works with startups to help them leverage emerging technologies and solve business gaps. Smith believes that startups are often at the forefront of innovation and offer valuable insights on how to use emerging technologies.

For almost 30 years, IBM led the United States in producing patents and in its pinnacle year filing over 10,000 US patent applications just that year. That’s more than any other tech company including companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft. These patents generate around $3 billion per year. They do not need to build products anymore, instead, they license them. Therefore, IBM technology is used extensively behind the scenes.

That all changed in 2022 – the first time since 1993 that IBM didn’t claim the top spot on the list of companies with the most U.S. patents. That was completely intentional though. IBM decided that they no longer aimed to be the leader in patent creation, but in innovations in hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. IBM has been opening collaborating with competitors in an effort to further innovation. IBM has re-focused.


The Boca Raton Historical Society Martinez made a patent called siesta mode, which turns off the monitor when it is not used for a period of time. exhibited a working original IBM personal computer at the event which was a treat for our younger attendees who probably hadn’t seen one in real life. It sure captured some of their attention.


Brian Callanan from Callanan Financial Advisors opened with a sponsor message telling his story of “1995’s spring break capitol of the world” in Ft. Lauderdale as a college student to relocating back to South Florida years later during a time when the internet and technology industry was rapidly evolving, with companies like Microsoft, Craigslist,, Amazon, and eBay emerging as major players. Only 12 million people, or 3% of Americans, had logged onto the World Wide Web at that time.

Callanan initially sold telephone systems, voicemail, and data networks before getting involved in the technology community. He was introduced to an organization by a direct competitor and began attending meetings with a small group of like-minded individuals to stay on top of the latest developments. As the group grew in size and influence, Callanan became increasingly involved in regional technology initiatives, eventually serving as president of the South Florida Telecom Forum which was later acquired by SFTA and then by South Florida Tech Hub.

Callanan shared some insights on the current market trends for platform acquisitions. Private equity firms are the main financiers in this space and are actively seeking businesses in the tech and skilled labor sectors. Callanan emphasized the importance of having scalable, bankable profits and transferable value for companies to be considered exit-ready. He also mentioned the importance of effective communication among professionals to avoid costly mistakes. In addition, Callanan encouraged a regional approach to promoting South Florida’s tech ecosystem applauding the work of South Florida Tech Hug, highlighting the potential benefits for all businesses in the area.

The event was a great success, and attendees had the opportunity to learn about the journey of South Florida’s tech industry, its pioneers, and its future. Thank you to our sponsors and partners: Callanan Financial Advisors, OZ Digital Consulting, Boca Raton Innovation Campus, The Boca Raton Historical Society, Dr. Dave and all our panelists.

See event photos here. 📸

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This article was written in collaboration between South Florida Tech Hub and Tech Hub volunteer, Adam Elitzur. To read his full article, click here.

By Nikki Cabus

Remi Robotic Navigation System cleared by FDA for use with 2D Fluoroscopy-Based Imaging

Read Time 3 Minutes
Accelus announced that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a 510(k) clearance to Accelus for its Remi® Robotic Navigation System for use with GE OEC 9900 C-Arm fluoroscopic imaging systems.As a privately held medical technology company, Accelus is focused on accelerating the adoption of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) as the standard of care in spine. The company does this by enabling technology with broad accessibility to previously underserved markets. Established in 2021 through the combination of Integrity Implants and Fusion Robotics, the company is focused on providing its proprietary Adaptive Geometry™ technology with pragmatic and economical navigation and robotic solutions with broad clinical use in spine surgery.

The Remi Robotic Navigation System is a robotic targeting and navigation platform that assists surgeons with robotic-assisted pedicle screw placement in the lumbar spine. The Remi 2D system utilizes a near-field optical tracking camera to track spinal instruments relative to an anatomical model based on a 3D imaging scan or 2D fluoroscopic images of the patient. Remi was previously cleared by the FDA in February 2021 for use with the Medtronic O-arm 3D imaging system, and in October 2022 for use with the GE OEC 3D, Ziehm Vision RFD 3D, and Stryker Airo TruCT imaging systems.

The adoption of robotic and navigated technology for spine surgery has been significantly challenged by the high capital cost of incumbent systems plus the expensive 3D imaging systems that are required for their use. In addition, previous systems require a large operating room (OR) footprint, steep learning curves, procedural workflow disruptions, and increased setup, teardown and procedural time.

Some of the major benefits are:

  • Quick & Compact Robot: The robot arm and targeting module facilitates fast, semi-automatic positioning to increase efficiency and surgeon control. Lightweight without compromising rigidity or accuracy.
  • Lightfield Nearfield Camera: The camera position minimizes line of sight constraints. The wide-angle camera enables close positioning while tracking instruments with a broader range than conventional systems.
  • Clinical Optimization: Constructed around spine surgery workflows. System intelligence anticipates next actions to enhance ease-of-use.

“Most hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are already utilizing C-arm X-ray fluoroscopy in their surgeries, which means they do not need additional imaging technology to utilize the Remi Robotic Navigation System, thanks to Remi’s most current FDA clearance,” said Accelus Chief Executive Officer, Chris Walsh. “This allows Remi to be used in smaller hospitals and ASCs and for Accelus to continue to meet the needs of spine surgeons in ways that our competitors have not been able to do.”

The Remi Robotic Navigation System was designed to eliminate these barriers at a fraction of the cost of incumbent systems, now with the ability to utilize it with both 2D and 3D imaging technology. Other significant improvements include:

  • a surgeon-centric, simplified workflow designed to reduce the learning curve and negate the need for an additional resource in the OR to run the system,
  • a small, portable footprint that allows the system to be used in multiple rooms and for multiple procedures in a given day,
  • procedural efficiency with reduced setup and teardown times, and
  • minimized line-of-sight constraints due to its lightweight, nearfield camera.

Optimized for daily use, the system has a small 30″ x 30″ footprint, integrated cleaning and storage, and price that is a fraction of the cost today’s commonly used spine robotic systems.

“Remi was developed with the knowledge that robotic navigation systems need to be practical, reproducible and cost-effective in order to appeal to a broad range of spine surgeons and facilities,” said Dr. Kevin Foley, Chairman of the Semmes Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute and Chief Robotics Officer of Accelus. “Remi not only provides equivalent accuracy to legacy spinal robotic systems, but it also addresses the significant limitations associated with those systems, even more so now that it is cleared for use with 2D imaging.”

Initial surgeries with the Remi 2D are expected to begin in July with a full commercial launch of the system anticipated in late Q3 2023.

For more info on Accelus, please visit:


By Nikki Cabus

Innovation leader Leigh-Ann Buchanan steps down as leader of aīre ventures – What’s next?

Read Time 4 Minutes

After seven years, Leigh-Ann Buchanan, is stepping down as President of aīre ventures.

Leigh-Ann has been a staple leader in the tech and innovation ecosystem in South Florida known for her passion and work building a more inclusive and equitable ecosystem. As the founding executive of aīre ventures, a venture studio focused on scaling tech and innovation solutions addressing systemic gaps in access, opportunity and racial equity, Leigh-Ann lead strategic efforts around innovation for the social impact.

As part of the aīre ventures portfolio, Leigh-Ann was able to launch multiple projects portfolio companies including Tech Equity Miami, Opportunity Connect, Talent Scout, Passport, REDI Scorecard, Capital Days, Venture Café and more. Under her leadership, the portfolio ventures collectively served more than 55,000 innovators, 85 local small business entrepreneurs of color, and over 750 students from underrepresented backgrounds over 4000 hours of entrepreneurial support in collaboration with over 1000 organizations and partners. Leigh-Ann has raised over $5.5 million in equity free capital to fund the projects and helped syndicate over $55 million in philanthropic capital for digital equity initiatives. Impressively, these efforts served a diverse demographic of over 70% people of color and 49% women.

Leigh-Ann did share that although she is stepping down that she will continue to support the organization as a strategic advisor and overall equity-driven efforts that leverage tech, innovation and social investment to transform communities.

In a social media post, Leigh-Ann wrote, “I’m delighted to pass the baton to Paulina (Nina) Cousiño Parada who has served as Managing Director since late 2022. Nina brings a wealth of experience in both the public and nonprofit sector to her new role and has been an aīre ventures team member since 2019. I am confident that aīre ventures will continue to thrive in the capable hands of Nina, our dynamic team, and dedicated board.”

Paulina has been the Strategy and Impact Manager leading the development and implementation of an impact and evaluation strategy across aīre ventures. She has experience working in the public sector in Chile, and the nonprofit sector in Boston, where she worked for The Social Innovation Forum, an organization dedicated to accelerating and building the capacity of nonprofits in the Boston area. She has worked in an array of roles throughout her career including strategic planning, impact and program evaluation, and fundraising and development. After graduating in 2018 with an MBA in Public and Nonprofit Management from Boston University, Paulina moved to Miami where she now resides.

Leigh-Ann, a former commercial litigation and white collar defense lawyer loves strategy. After finding her way into tech in 2016, she has continued to use her love of strategy as an ecosystem builder and voice for the underrepresented population in South Florida. She has been very successful in hiring great professionals to lead the aīre ventures portfolio companies continually aiming to foster a “culture of excellence by prioritizing people, purposeful work, and excellence in impact.”


What’s next for Leigh-Ann?

Leigh-Ann has has accepted the role as President of the newly formed Miami-Dade Innovation Authority Inc. (Innovation Authority).

During her recent State of the County Address, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced county grant funding for the newly formed nonprofit which was created to support equitable, sustainable economic growth driven in partnership between private and public sector innovation.

The Innovation Authority was established with seed funding commitments of $3 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, $3 million from Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, and $3 million from Miami-Dade County to provide grants to innovative companies working to solve pressing community challenges in climate, health, housing, transit, and more.

“With pilot programs and an openness to creative solutions, we are flipping the way government does business by inviting businesses to pilot their innovations with us,” said County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

Working hand in hand with private sector funders to support best-in-class startups, the organization will leverage private investment dollars to maximize their impact –applying seed funding from the County to identify and solve local problems, and creating a path for successful entrepreneurs to scale and access private funding.

The Innovation Authority has three focus areas:

  • Challenge Grants: to issue and oversee challenge grants designed to test and validate technology,
  • Pipeline Support: to work in collaboration with local academic institutions to help scaling companies find talent and build a strong corporate culture based out of Miami-Dade
  • Tech Ecosystem Enhancement: to continue the rapid growth of the tech sector and to cement Miami-Dade as a world-class location for innovation.

The Innovation Authority’s Board of Directors has appointed Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, Esq., as President to lead the launch of the organization and support its strategic vision to scale solutions for people most affected by critical challenges, improve economic and social outcomes, and make Miami-Dade a world class capital for high growth companies.

Congratulations, Leigh-Ann!!

By Nikki Cabus

OZ is Advancing Diversity and Opportunity in Tech for Hispanics

Read Time 3 Minutes

OZ, a South Florida-based digital consulting firm, announced its Chief Solutions Officer Emmanuel “Manny” Ramos has joined the Hispanic Technology Executive Council’s Board of Directors. 

HITEC is a premier global leadership organization which seeks to “create a more inclusive and diverse technology workforce.” Their mission is “to empower Hispanic technology professionals to accelerate leadership capacity through access to a network of business leaders and decision-makers at the highest levels of the global economy.”

The HITEC Foundation is dedicated to investing in the next generation of Hispanic technology professionals through scholarships, mentorship and career opportunities.  The Foundation and partners help young, bright students get the education they need to achieve their dreams. Since 2017, the Foundation’s scholarship program has awarded 163 scholarships totaling $815,000. Scholars also have access to mentorship through HITEC.

Corporate partners include companies such as Capital One, IBM, Dell Technologies, Microsoft and many other national and international brands. These organizations are committed to equity and inclusion by investing in the professional development of their current diverse talent while accessing the HITEC network and providing opportunities to the familia at large.

“I’m honored by the invitation to join the Hispanic Technology Executive Council and look forward to learning from and lifting up the next generation of Hispanic tech leaders,” Ramos says. “As Hispanic professionals, we have come so far, yet the potential is there to do so much more. It’s a transformational moment—and we should not let it pass us by.”

Born and raised in Puerto Rico where his family still resides, Ramos had the opportunity to move to the U.S. for college. Ramos took time to master the English language as he attended UMass, or the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Ramos stated, “I have been blessed with acceptance and opportunities in the US.”

When asked what he hopes to accomplish, Ramos told South Florida Tech Hub that he’s “interested in connecting with fellow Hispanic technology executives and most importantly pay it forward with the younger generation.”

Ramos is also a member of the Forbes Technology Council and an accomplished senior executive with more than 30 years of experience leading business operations, P&Ls, and professional services in a diverse range of industries. He is a Startup Mentor at the Tampa Bay Wave incubator, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and Certified Agile Leader.

As Chief Solutions Officer at OZ, he leads the Global Digital Technology Consulting practices providing thought leadership to clients, strategic direction for our practices, manages relationships with technology vendors, and partners with other departments at OZ to drive sales, recruiting, consulting, and operational efficiencies. He is responsible for the overall execution of business and technology consulting across a breadth of expertise areas including digital technology strategy & innovation, intelligent workflow automation, data analytics, AI, SAAS, and DevOps.

“Here at OZ, embracing next-gen innovation and fostering transformative collaboration are a part and parcel of our core values,” OZ Chief Executive Officer Amjad Shamim says.

“Manny embodies those values as a leader in our company every single day. I know he will be an amazing resource for the Hispanic Technology Executive Council as it does the important work of expanding opportunity and nurturing rising talent. I’m excited to see the results.”

OZ is a global digital technology consultancy and software delivery & development partner founded to enable business acceleration by leveraging modern technologies I.e., Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence, Micro Services, Cloud, RPA & Intelligent Automation, Web 2.0/3.0, Azure, AWS, and many more.  To learn more about OZ, visit

By Riley Kaminer

Here’s to another 13 years of healthtech innovation for Modernizing Medicine

Read Time 3 Minutes

The US healthcare sector is rife with inefficiencies – from uneven care to overworked medical professionals to outdated digital systems. In a country that spends almost 20% of our GDP on healthcare, there remains a large opportunity to create better outcomes for patients and better working environments for providers.

For the last 13 years, Boca Raton-based Modernizing Medicine, now known as “ModMed.” has worked tirelessly to improve the tech tools that keep us healthy. They have developed a wide range of specialty-specific electronic health record (EHR) systems and solutions, practice management platforms, revenue cycle management software, and more.

And in an interview with South Florida Tech Hub, co-founder and CEO Daniel Cane said that this is just the beginning for the 3,400-person company.

“You can expect to see more growth, including coverage of more specialties throughout the US – and we will certainly become international,” Cane said of his plans for the company’s next 13 years. 

As for what accomplishment he is most proud of in Modernizing Medicine’s history thus far, Cane said that it was “creating an incredible culture and environment for all our team members.” Building a strong company culture creates lots of work and is a top down effort at ModMed, with Cane still personally meeting every new member of the team.

So is Cane ready for his next venture? Not quite yet. The entrepreneur, who previously co-founded EdTech giant Blackboard, said that he is still laser focused on tackling some of the many issues still plaguing the healthcare industry. “I’ve got a lot more work cut out for me, fixing healthcare and making sure that ModMed is incredibly successful.”

Of course, ModMed has already reached a level of success that most companies will never see. It has 3,400 employees around the world – 700 of whom are based in Modernizing Medicine’s headquarters at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, IBM’s former R&D facility.

So what advice would Cane give to budding entrepreneurs?

“100% of big companies you see today started off as a small company, so remember to dream big.” Cane also admitted that he has had more failed companies than successful ones, and that is normal. “If you’re going to fail, fail fast. You can learn a lot from those failures.” He noted that while someone might be born an innovator, entrepreneurship – building, running, and scaling businesses – requires a specific set of skills that can be taught.

As ModMed has grown over the last 13 years, so has South Florida’s tech ecosystem, noted Cane. But he urged us to recall that South Florida has had a long tradition of innovation, not least of which includes IBM’s storied past in Boca.

“South Florida is on the map as a strong entrepreneurial hub,” he asserted. This is despite any turbulence caused, for example, by the decline of crypto.

“Our biggest challenge is our geography,” said Cane, noting that South Florida is very long but not very wide, and lacks a main downtown area. “South Florida Tech Hub is essential for bringing all of our amazing companies together.”


By Nikki Cabus

Silicon Valley’s LeverX relocates HQ to South Florida and expands internationally

Read Time 4 Minutes

Global system integrator LeverX announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters to South Florida. The company believes that by moving from California to Florida it enables them to better meet the needs of customers and collaborate with our partners in the U.S. and globally as they continue to expand internationally.

“Miami’s tech space is growing at a rapid pace, with companies such as LeverX choosing South Florida as the next logical step for their business,” said Laura DiBella, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Florida was ranked #1 for new tech business establishments in 2021 by CompTIA, and we only expect to see more growth occur in the years to come. With our tremendous quality of life, skilled workforce, and business-friendly environment, Florida is primed to support the flourishing tech industry.”

Apart from a thriving tech and business culture, LeverX will benefit from Miami’s location. Thanks to global accessibility, Miami International Airport is now one of the busiest airports in the world, making the city a convenient place for business operations and meetings. Miami’s convenient central location will allow LeverX to increase the effectiveness of communications with customers across multiple countries and time zones and streamline operations between its offices across North America, Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

LeverX was founded in Silicon Valley in 2003 and has since become a global system integrator that provides SAP implementation services and custom software development to companies of all sizes. The company supports clients in North America, Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East with over 1600 employees in 14 offices across 10 countries. LeverX Group unites two teams: LeverX and Emerline. Some of the primary industries they work with are automotive, metals and mining, retail, fintech and healthcare.

A Cushman & Wakefield representative told South Florida Tech Hub that the new LeverX headquarters is located at 333 S. E. 2nd Avenue, Suite 2000, Miami in the prestigious Wells Fargo Center in a Regus Group executive suite. This building has become one of Miami’s preeminent business addresses and stands 47-stories tall in the heart of Downtown Miami, making it the fifth tallest building in Florida. This fabulous fabulous tower building comes with terrific views across the city and Biscayne Bay.

“Miami is a natural fit for a global tech leader like LeverX,” said James Kohnstamm, EVP, Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the County’s official economic development organization. “One of the fastest growing innovation hubs in the country, Miami is a diverse community that is entrepreneurial at its core and is invested in the success of companies that choose to call it home. Boasting local, national and international talent with strong SAP expertise, we look forward to having LeverX engage with our thriving tech cluster and contribute to its continued growth.”

Recent explosion in business and technology has made Miami and surrounding South Florida an increasingly desirable place to live, work, and travel. With an intention to offering innovative, cutting-edge digital solutions, LeverX presence is excited to be a part of Florida’s growing tech hub and Miami’s growing business and tech scene.

“Miami-Dade is a connected and global gateway, teeming with stories of talent, innovation, and drive. As we build a Miami-Dade that is workforce, idea, and future-ready – we’re excited to welcome tech leaders like LeverX, so that together, we can author the next chapter of tech in America,” – said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

LeverX’s Co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Dr. Victor Lozinski, commented on the decision to choose Miami as the new location for the company’s headquarters stating that “After exploring possible locations, we have selected Miami, Florida, as the new site for our LeverX Global Headquarters. Its welcoming environment and popular attractions make Miami an appealing setting to host corporate events and customer meetings. Our new home will enable us to better meet the needs of our customers and collaborate with our partners, both in the U.S. and around the world. We are excited to become part of Miami’s growing tech community and look forward to the next chapter in the company’s history,” said Dr. Victor Lozinski.

The LeverX office in Mountain View, California will continue working with clients  on the West Coast, while offering cutting-edge technologies and building innovative solutions for startups and established companies. For more information, please visit

By Nikki Cabus

What Does 2023 Have in Store? A Review of New Technology Trends.

Read Time 4 Minutes

As January draws to a close, most of us have settled back into our daily routines. While 2022 was a year of transition, we believe 2023 will usher in new opportunities — and new challenges. Rick Mancinelli, Founder & CEO of C3 Complete, gives us a look into what 2023 might look like.

Rick Mancinelli is the CEO of C3 Complete, a technology consultancy he founded in 2009. He has nearly 30 years of experience in all phases of information technology management, including software development, network architecture, and corporate IT management.

Rick gives us insight into:

  • The Future of Work
  • The Future of Security
  • The Future of Cloud Services
  • The Future of Mobility
  • The Future of Computing
  • The Future of the Economy

The Future of Work

The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedented transition for the global workforce. Work-from-home technologies such as web and video conferencing, virtual desktops, zero trust network access, and Hosted PBX solutions grew rapidly both in use and functionality. In 2022, with the Covid-19 virus better understood, workers began to take their first steps back into the office environment.

As 2023 begins, we believe this will be the year that determines the very future of how we work. While the technologies mentioned above are surely here to stay, it will be those that learn to truly capitalize on their potential that will ultimately have the greatest success. The question for you is, how can your organization leverage these technologies to achieve your goals?

This is an especially important question when placed against the backdrop of exactly how employees will work in the future. Are employees working from home for good, headed back to work full-time, or going hybrid? Will there be a mass callback to the office? Most importantly, how do forward-thinking organizations secure, support, and manage the new extended office environment?

The Future of Security

A lot has changed in the security arena, as well. As emerging threats become more sophisticated, so too are the tools used to keep you safe. The traditional VPN has given way to ZTNA; SD-WAN is fast becoming SASE. Cybercriminals are leveraging AI (artificial intelligence) to construct and deploy new and never-before-seen malware, while leading security vendors leverage the same AI to defend against them.

Even Uncle Sam is paying attention to Information Security now. Recent changes to Federal Trade Commission policy pose major ramifications for any business that fails to safeguard consumer information. Even if you run Mary Lou’s flower shop down the street, you can be fined — maybe enough to put you out of business. With a maximum fine of $11,000 per day per occurrence of non-compliance, and up to $43,000 per day per consent violation, the risk is very real. Can your business afford to be exposed to this level of risk? Do you have the right security strategy in place to minimize these new threats?

For these reasons — as well as a litany of additional security threats — the trend of double-digit growth in cybersecurity spending will likely continue. In fact, it’s not unusual for us to see customers budgeting twice as much on security services in 2023 as they did in 2022. This is particularly true as remote work continues to entrench as the new normal, and cloud-based services continue their massive year-over-year growth.

The Future of Cloud Services

Despite the growth of Cloud, we’re seeing some pullback from the big public Cloud services. While “Big Cloud” is still growing hand over fist, some customers are exploring the many benefits of alternative cloud services. Other customers, driven by regulatory requirements, performance issues, and as a mechanism to control Cloud Sprawl, have begun to explore data repatriation: moving data back to on-premise or collocation-based systems.

Enter the new “Multi-Cloud” paradigm, where the question is no longer to Cloud or not to Cloud, but rather which type of Cloud(s) is right for your organization? Public? Private? Hybrid? Big Cloud? Alternative Cloud? Moreover, is your technology partner equipped to have this conversation and provide the guidance you need?


To read Rick’s insights into The Future of Mobility, Computing, and the Economy, click here.

By Nikki Cabus

CITY Furniture announces equity stake in Palm Beach County-based PeakActivity

Read Time 3 Minutes

Broward-based CITY Furniture, a family-owned American furniture and mattress retailer, fine upholstery manufacturer, and one of America’s Top 20 furniture retailers, announced it has recently taken an equity stake in PeakActivity, a digital acceleration and technology services company based in Palm Beach county that enables progress for businesses at every point of their digital journey through modernization, optimization, innovation, and engineering services.

As long-time partners, CITY’s equity stake, which represents a minority position, is a win-win for both parties. For CITY, this investment solidifies their position as a pioneer in Home Tech, integrating technology into everything they do. PeakActivity will use this investment to accelerate their overall growth and fund further innovation in the home furnishings category.

With shared goals and shared financial outcomes, the partnership between the companies will be strengthened to a level they have not had previously and is a testament to the quality of the work they have done together over the past five years.

“CITY is working hard to build a world class organization that is best in class in technology. The future of the home industry and all industries hinge on technology and innovation,” said Andrew Koenig, CEO of CITY. “Our partnership with PeakActivity is more important now than it has ever been. We are convinced that taking a position in PeakActivity will accelerate our technological advantages in the market and result in a better customer and associate experience overall.”

CITY Furniture operates over twenty-two showrooms from Miami through Vero Beach, and in Southwest and Central Florida, as well as fourteen Ashley Home Store showrooms as the brand’s Southeast and Southwest Florida licensee. The company is one of the country’s top furniture retailers and continuing to grow.

As technology becomes more and more fundamental to everyday business and everyday living, CITY looks to embrace it and actively learn about the opportunities that tech provides businesses. CITY looks to be a driving force in taking the home furnishing world from “old school” to “industry cool” by investing in their long-time tech partner, PeakActivity.

As part of its investment, CITY looks forward to their ability to share knowledge, ideas, and strategies, while leveraging both companies skilled tech teams to work on some of the best home projects in the industry. Given their long-standing client-agency relationship, the companies are already working on several projects together in the areas of ecommerce, AR Design, CITY Moves, and more, that will continue to grow and expand as their relationship advances in the months and years to come.

“CITY has been one of our longest standing and best clients, driving us to innovate, to think, and work both faster and better,” said Manish B. Hirapara, CEO of PeakActivity.

“With this investment, our relationship becomes even more significant and is unlike that of any other client relationship we have. I expect that we continue to grow together and thrive together in the future. We are stronger than we’ve ever been before now as true partners.”

PeakActivity is a digital strategy and implementation company, partnering with businesses to accelerate their growth through eCommerce, Digital Marketing, and Technology solutions. By leveraging its unique methodology of Dream, Deliver, Elevate, PeakActivity simultaneously focuses on short-term wins with a constant eye towards longer-term innovation and business growth.

This relationship with PeakActivity just further reinforces CITY’s long-time commitment to being tech forward for both their internal stakeholders and external stakeholders. For CITY, seamless technology integration is just as important to a customer looking to furnish their living room in Miami, as it is to a warehouse worker in Orlando and a corporate employee in Tampa. Over the years, the company has enjoyed significant success building out their own tech department, making all of areas of the company better, faster, easier, and safer, while building out teams for e-commerce, data analytics and cybersecurity.

With tech at the forefront of CITY’s business strategy from the start, this relationship is an investment in the success of CITY’s tech-focused future and a step towards achieving their long-term goals.

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CITY Furniture announces equity stake in Palm Beach County-based PeakActivity