The Tech Takeover
The South Florida tri-county has been actively pursuing the opportunity of becoming a major tech hub to the Americas, and additional support just keeps coming. A great deal of logic stands behind this attempt, location being a main factor. Many companies, such as Microsoft, Corp., already have Latin American corporate offices located in Fort Lauderdale and Miami which compliment the rise in interest as the tech focal point changes from hardware to software.
The recent increase of tech events in South Florida will have a big influence on the success of this pursuit. It was very fortunate that SIME, a renowned European digital and technology conference, chose the Sunshine State to make its debut in the United States. The first SIME MIA took place this past week in Miami Beach.
Partnered with Miami’s media, art and Internet event coordinators at MIA Collective this conference truly took off. Planners brilliantly overlapped it with the annual and ever-popular Art Basel so that there wasn’t a dull street corner in the city. “Basel meets brains” one techie tweeted about the coinciding events.
“This really is a tri-county effort. Miami is just a brand…” said entrepreneur and former owner of Terremark, Manny Medina. “Whether you are in Palm Beach Gardens, Sunrise or Miami, it’s all the same thing.” The Cuba-born Medina sold his South Florida-based tech company for $1.4 billion to Verizon in 2011. Now, he and his tech team are currently organizing a mega-conference set for May 2014 called eMerge Americas and it is gaining a remarkable amount of acknowledgment.
The happenings aren’t just in Dade County; the 16th Annual Emerging Business Technologies Showcase (ETBS) took place in Deerfield Beach last month. Dean Hovey graced Broward with his presence and offered his insight at the “South Florida’s Got Talent” event. Hovey was a Silicon Valley pioneer, and is widely known for early investments in Apple and his invention of the computer mouse.
Hovey is presently the CEO of Digifit, an iPhone or Android app that uses advanced sensor technology to monitor your cardio and heart rate. He did an interview with the South Florida Business Journal and said he sees opportunity for a tech hub and urged Florida to “develop a strong network for the critical players and support” only after considering the one-of-a-kind resources the area has to offer.
The newly formed Uptown Fort Lauderdale Focus group consists of public and private sector individuals from companies like Citrix, Nipro Diagnostics and the Sanford Brown Institute, along with The City of Fort Lauderdale and the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization to name only a few. The group is preparing a specific 50-year physical vision plan for the transformation of Uptown, the area near I-95 and Cypress Creek Road, from its present workplace-based and car dependent development into a walkable, transit-ready urban neighborhood of offices, residences, retail, hospitality, civic buildings and parks. The area boasts that it is the largest employment hub in Broward County and also includes the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Foreign Trade Zone 241, and a Tri-Rail passenger rail stop in the heart of it all.
With all of this momentum of tech-talk the outcome can only lead to good things for South Florida. The tri-county should see a major boost in the economy among many other positive aspects come the New Year.
Photo courtesy of siliconrepublic.com.