Paul Graham, take note. South Florida has plenty of nerds and a growing startup community.
In 2006, the Y Combinator co-founder wrote this in an essay about building startup communities: “I think you only need two kinds of people to create a technology hub: rich people and nerds. … Observation bears this out … Few startups happen in Miami, for example, because although it’s full of rich people, it has few nerds. It’s not the kind of place nerds like.”
If that were true then, it certainly isn’t now.
We have plenty of them, as evidenced by the turnout or 200 or so at this weekend’s AT&T Mobile App Hackathon. Just look at the picture in the previous post, Mr. Graham. In his 2006 essay, the famous Silicon Valley VC went on to talk about what most attracts the creative class to a city: Good universities and a vibrant downtown that offers personality and a sense of community — in short, all things that Miami and South Florida have made great strides in in the last couple of years.
But I digress. The spirit of Miami’s growing tech community was celebrated this weekend in the largest turnout ever for a hackathon, which also went international. It also became a visual reminder how far the tech community has come. You can read more about the event in the Miami Herald story by Kristofer Rios here. And see a new video of the action, provided by Geeky Beach, here.
But with no further ado, here are the winners of the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon, held this weekend at the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park:
Best Hackathon Overall App
1st Place: Social Ball Handling by Unboxed Labs: Alina Balean, Jason Clary, Raul F. Hernandez, Ricardo Vasquez, Leo Correa and Jesse Domack. Prizes: $500 in gift cards for the team; one year of the “Small” service from Github for each member; one year of co-working space at RightSpace2Meet.
2nd Place: Crystalize by Justin Kent, Alejandra Santamaria and Serdar Karatekin. Prizes: $300 in gift cards for the team; one year of the “Micro” service from Github for each team member; six months of co-working space at RightSpace2Meet.
3rd Place: Schedu.ly by Stonly Baptiste and Ken Beauvais. Prizes: $200 in gift cards for the team; six months of “Micro” service from Github for each team member.
Best use of Sphero SDK: Game Developers Guild by Lazaro Herrera, Frank Hernandez and Rene Alfonso. Prize: $500 cash, plus $500 additional if the app is launched to iTunes or Android store.
Most Valuable App to ESENEM, presented by the AVCC and Tres Mares: Case Blurb by Josef Diago and David Small. Prizes: $1,000 cash and 3 months of co-working space at The LAB Miami.
Most Innovative App: Mobile Emergency Dispatch System (MEDS) by Ernie Hsiung, Richard Wagener, Alex Rocha and Mathew Herman. Prize: $1,000.
Congratulations to the winners!
The free AT&T Mobile App Hackathon was a collaborative effort brought together by AT&T, ESENEM, CVOX, GeekyBeach, Florida International University’s Americas Venture Capital Conference (AVCC), Wexford Science & Technology, The LAB Miami and The Knight Foundation. Read more about the hackathon in The Miami Herald article here, about #HackLatam here and in other recent posts on this blog as well as on the Startropica blog here.
No rest for the weary. This Friday, Lean Startup Machine Miami rolls into town. So far, the company has trained entrepreneurs in 50 cities around the globe, said Jefrey Bulla of Silicon Valley, head organizer of the event. Unlike hackathons or startup weekends, there is no coding involved, explained Andrej Kostresevic, one of the local organzers. Instead, the 3-day workshop Aug. 17-19 is focused on validating business ideas using Lean Startup and Customer Development methodologies. Participants get out of the building to talk to potential customers about their concepts. Each workshop is limited to 50 people and tickets are $299. It is will be at The Launch Pad (downtown), 50 NE 9th St., Miami. More information can be found at http://leanstartupmachine.com/events/miami/
Follow Nancy on Twitter @ndahlberg