By Megan Tierney
Inspiring is the first word that comes to mind while attending New Tech Community's 4 year anniversary party. The room was packed with the group's founders, community supporters, entrepreneurs, business professionals, musicians and an eclectic group of people all with a shared interest. What began as an idea by Mark Laymon to bring South Florida tech professionals together, led to discussions among Ryan Teixeira, Keith B. Darrell, Patrick Barbanes and Craig Agranoff. Shortly after, Elesha Aflalo was invited to join the founding group thus establishing their team. New Tech Community held its first official event, The Welcome, at the office building of Vois in Boca Raton. The Welcome successfully brought 38 people to the meeting, a hopeful group of tech industry professionals excited for a place to mingle and share ideas. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from "The Welcome" made it clear that New Tech Community was here to stay.
Though the group, which now meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month at Caffeine Spaces, has not always had a smooth course, its core members and community support have rallied together and fought to keep it going. As of today, the group has held a total of 48 events: Reverse Investor Pitch Night, SEO, Monetizing Mobile Applications, 10 Key Elements of a Startup, Driving Traffic, Lean Startup and Creating a Mastermind to name a few. The events are always educational but it's also about bringing people together. The after party gatherings have turned out to be just as productive and thought provoking as the main event.
New Tech has morphed into a life of its own; one of the most special aspects of the group is that it is member driven. The group's founders encourage member feedback and input which dictate the direction and subject matter of the meetings. New Tech Community has continued to grow and its appeal to people both inside and outside the tech community can be attributed to the group's warmth, intelligence and sense of inclusion one feels from the moment they step into the room.
As we all sat around reminiscing about the early days of New Tech Community, Margaret Meads words came to mind, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
It's amazing what started out as just an idea, has turned into so much more than a monthly meeting but fostered connections, ideas for businesses, companies being funded, jobs created and lasting friendships.
As with all successful groups in South Florida, it's you, the ones out there going for it, not afraid to connect, put your ideas out and run with them which help to make South Florida an incredible community and one of the most wonderful places to live. It's positive for all us that we have a group of people here to support us as we embark on our endeavors and an encouraging place for startups to turn their ideas into reality.
To learn more about New Tech Community and its events join the Facebook group at http://fb.com/groups/newtechcommunity
Megan Tierney is an entrepreneur who is involved in tech and real estate and is currently in the process of writing a book. She lives in Miami and California.