June 25, 2015

Conference seeks to bridge technology gap between Caribbean, Miami

By Molly Duffy

Entrepreneurs and businesspeople from Caribbean and African nations encouraged each other to drive the technological change their countries need at Miami Caribbean Code’s first Regional Tech Summit on Thursday in the Design District.

“Technology is just a thing that should be there to help us solve social problems, solve market problems, solve market demand needs,” said Natalie Cofield, president and CEO of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, during her keynote speech. She urged attendees to invest in their home countries and then “go home and do business.”

“If we don’t believe in our community enough to go back in and create a solution for them,” she said, “we’ll be upset that somebody else came and did.”

Billions of dollars travel from the U.S. to the Caribbean and Africa, Cofield said. “So why can’t it flow on distribution channels that are created by the very people who are putting billions into the system?”

The conference was designed to highlight the need for technology advances in the Caribbean, said Eveline Pierre, co-founder of Miami Caribbean Code, dedicated to bridging the technological gap between the Caribbean and Miami. About 75 attended.

Technology can address a myriad of problems — including government accountability, access to education, energy security and public health access — facing both South Florida and the Caribbean, said Brian Fonseca, director of operations for the Applied Research Center at Florida International University.

“The Caribbean has suffered for a long time from constant brain drain. Intellectuals leave the Caribbean and move into markets that have better quality of life. And that’s just sad because we lose this intellectual power that we should be sustaining in our own communities,” Fonseca said.

Panelists throughout the day discussed technology’s influence on education, social impact, connectivity and economies. Addressing the problems in these areas begins with more access to technologies, panelists said.

“We have not spoken about new technology that does not exist in the world,” said Nehama Bikovsky, president of Maritime Consulting Enterprise. “However, when we go to the Caribbean, oftentimes we see that this not-amazing-anymore technology is still not there.”

As some technology reaches Cuba, Jason Ibarra, chapter director of Startup Grind Miami, cautioned attendees to “be a little cynical” about the rate of progress there. Despite growing Internet access, costs are still relatively astronomical, he said.

“I spend personally about 1 percent of my income on broadband Internet,” Ibarra said. “If [Cuban citizens] spent 1 percent on broadband Internet, they would have 10 minutes a month.”

Jack Dorsey joins SBA talk about payment technology

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Payment technology may not be a topic that would draw a small-business crowd -- except when the speaker is Square CEO (and interim Twitter CEO) Jack Dorsey.

Dorsey, co-founder of one of the world's leading payment technology companies,  joined U.S. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet in a free public event Thursday morning held at the  FIU College of Architecture + The Arts Miami Beach Urban Studios and sponsored by Rokk3r Labs. The objective: to get out the word about major changes in payment security coming Oct. 1 and how small businesses can prepare. 

"Sixty-eight percent of small business have been hacked, they have been victims of cyber security fraud," said Contreras-Sweet. "Effective Oct. 1, the credit card companies say you need the chip reader because they are changing the security. We want to get the word out."

Dorsey demonstrated the present technology and why hacks have been relatively easy and explained what is involved in making the switch.

The bottom line, he told small businesses: Now, if you run a fraudulent card, banks absorb the costs. Starting in October, if someone pays with a fraudulent chip card, and you’re not set up with the new authenticated payment devices (whether it is Square's or one of its competitors) after Oct. 1, "you will be on the hook for fraudulent transactions. The banks won't have your back."

"Technology doesn't have to be complicated, it doesn't have to be inaccessible, it should be something that just works" he continued. "Our industry hasn't moved fast enough in pushing this so we are working with the SBA to make sure first and foremost sellers know this is coming and there are a string of solutions to address this, Square is just one. ...  The important thing is bringing more security, more safety to transactions." 

Dorsey grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and co-founded Square with Jim McKelvey, now a Miami resident and founder of the LaunchCode apprenticeship program. Dorsey also shared some stories about growing up with entrepreneurship -- his father started a pizza restaurant and his mother later ran a coffee store.

What he's learned: "Entrepreneurs are not necessarily born with these skills, they have a do whatever it takes attitude to learn what they need to get to the next step and then there is a new challenge. I never had dreams of being a CEO, I had dreams of getting the world communicating in a very free and empowering way."

As for founding Square in 2009 in San Francisco, Dorsey said he hated the cumbersome credit card system and said he saw how it could destroy families. You have to ask the questions, why is it this way and then go after the answers, he said. "Our purpose at Square is to make commerce easy."

The co-founder of two of the most well-known tech companies in the world also told the mostly small-business audience: “The choice to stay small is just as admirable as the choice to go global.”

Dorsey said he is particularly proud of a couple of stats about Square and the companies Square serves: Fifty-six 56 percent of the small businesses who use Square are owned and run by women, and 75 percent of Square’s employees report to three women in the executive ranks.

Contreras-Sweet, a former banker, shared some information about SBA programs and products,  including the new LINC on sba.gov that eliminates the need to fill out dozens of loan applications. When you enter answers to 20 questions online, banks will get back to you within 48 hours with what they can offer, she said.  

Near the end of the program, Contreras-Sweet and Dorsey brought up four local small businesses to briefly share their stories: Panther Coffee, LuLu's Ice Cream, Sugar Yummy Mama and Wynwood Warehouse Project.

 

Smallbizpanel

Sorry, no talk about retaking the reins at Twitter or if/when Square may go public.

 Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg

 

June 20, 2015

Beyond selfies: Social Media Day South Florida returning June 28

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Did you know Miami is No. 3 in the world for selfies? Alex de Carvalho shared this Magic City claim to fame and other facts, figures and advice about social media -- in which a third of the world is now participating in -- at a recent talk he gave to the Miami Herald Media Company earlier this week.

Want more about the present and future of social media and how better to use it in your business? You’ll  have to go to Social Media Day South Florida on Sunday, June 28, with a full afternoon of talks planned, ending with a sunset cocktail hour. The event takes place from noon to 9 p.m. at the Hyatt Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale.

Here’s more about the event from de Carvalho’s press release:

Popularized by Mashable, Social Media Day is an international celebration of digital media that attracts thousands to events around the world. Social Media Day South Florida was one of the first of these global meet-ups to take a conference-style approach. Attendees will learn from expert speakers on digital media trends, discover career opportunities and network with the region’s brightest digital media minds. 

Noted as one of the top Social Media Day events, the South Florida gathering is celebrating its fifth year.  “There is a groundswell of digital media activity and expertise in South Florida. This is not just a celebration of social media in South Florida; it is a valuable opportunity for learning, networking and recruitment,” said de Carvalho, Knight Innovator in Residence at FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communication and President of Social Media Club South Florida.

This year’s keynote address will be provided by Adam Boalt, CEO of LiveAnswer. Based out of Pipeline Brickell, LiveAnswer is one of South Florida’s fastest growing startups and a shining example of the region’s prowess in digital innovation.  While Boalt will be discussing the future of the digital media landscape, his company LiveAnswer also sees Social Media Day South Florida as a valuable opportunity for talent recruitment. “As South Florida grows its identity as a home for experts in social and digital technology and trends, Social Media Day South Florida is a platform to share our individual expertise while building our collective knowledge base,” said Boalt.

 For instance, LiveAnswer has partnered with Enrique Iglesias’ Atlantico Rum to develop a VIP experience centered on talent recruitment. Those who apply to become LiveAnswer’s newest “Marketing Rockstar” will gain two access passes to the Atlantico Rum VIP Suite during Social Media Day.

Other topics include branding (personal and company), SEO trends, tweeting responsibly, building a blogging network and getting the most from the various platforms. Presentations and panel discussion topics can be viewed here: www.smdaysf.com/agenda.

Social Media Day South Florida is co-organized by local social media leaders and influencers Blanca Stella Mejia and Karl Nybergh. The event is being sponsored by LiveAnswer, Lift Digital Media and Ford en Español.

Those looking to join the online conversation can do so here:

Twitter: @SMDAYSFL

Instagram: @SMDAYSFL 

Facebook: SMDAYSFL

For more information on Social Media Day South Florida and tickets, which cost $33 in advance or $48 at the door, visit www.smdaysf.com.

 

June 07, 2015

Miami joins global event focused on government innovation

 

By Ezequiel Williams

 This year Miami will join the Global GovJam, a global workshop focused on making government more innovative and user-friendly, for the first time. On June 10 - 11 Miami GovJam participants will join people in 37 other cities around the world in a global event aimed at teaching and practicing innovation techniques to government workers and people passionate about civic life.

The GovJam movement started in Canberra, Australia in 2012 with a group of 80 people. In the months that followed the same people were inspired to scope or launch over a dozen innovative public projects as a result of the event. In 2013 innovation consultants Markus Hormess and Adam Lawrence of WorkPlayExperience took the event global, bringing close to 30 cities on board. The Global GovJam is now a growing, volunteer-run event aimed at bringing together people around the world to learn innovative problem-solving skills and techniques aimed at making government services more responsive and user-friendly.

In the past two years the the GovJam has attracted several senior civil servants, city mayors, the head of the UK’s Cabinet Office Policy Lab, and the Australian Federal Minister (assisting) for industry, innovation and tertiary education. The Australian government has since used the event format for training and policy development. The 2013 Paris GovJam took place in the office of the Prime Minister of France.

The Miami GovJam offers local government workers and other professionals the opportunity to learn and practice design thinking techniques applicable to government in a hands-on, project-driven workshop. Participants, also known as GovJammers, will work in small teams around a common design theme for the purpose of conceiving, designing, and prototyping a new public service that is responsive and user-friendly. Jammers will publish short videos of their prototypes on the Global GovJam website under a Creative Commons license to widely share their projects.

Design thinking is a method of creative problem solving that focuses on creating innovative solutions that are user-friendly, efficient, and responsive to people’s real needs. This approach has gained significant traction in the private, public, and education sectors in the last decade. The government in the United Kingdom routinely uses design thinking for problem-solving, and Australia's Taxation Office, their equivalent to the IRS, has successfully employed design thinking to maker their services more accessible and user-friendly for its constituents. Several U.S. Federal Government agencies have begun to incorporate design thinking in their work in the past five years, including the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, FEMA, and Veterans Affairs.

Far from being a novelty, organizations that are serious about employing design thinking at the core of their operations show substantial positive results. The Design Management Institute, with funding from Microsoft, is tracking the performance of U.S. companies that employ design thinking at the core of their business strategy. Results show that companies like Apple, Target, IBM, Coca-Cola and other design-centric companies have outperformed the S&P 500 by as much as 219% in the last 10 years.   

Employing design thinking practices in local government in Miami could yield tangible results in terms of cost reduction, increased customer satisfaction and revenues. The Miami GovJam will offer Miamians a chance to get connected with a global community, learn design thinking tools and methods, build their creative confidence, network with colleagues from other governments and agencies, and sharpen their ability to innovate and make a measurable difference in the public sector.  

The Miami GovJam volunteer hosts are Siggi Bachmann, Creative Director of the New World Symphony, Vassoula Vassiliou, branding consultant and President of the AIGA, and Ezequiel Williams, co-founder and Chief Insights Officer of Contexto, a service design and innovation consultancy.

The Miami GovJam starts at 8:00 AM on June 10th at the Wynwood Warehouse Project. To learn more about or register for the event, visit www.miamigovjam.com or follow it on Twitter @MiamiJams #GGovJam.

Ezequiel Williams is an entrepreneur, business designer, and co-founder of Contexto. You can connect with him on Twitter @ContextoTweets.

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L.A. GovJammers testing prototypes with citizens on the street. Photo courtesy of Global GovJam

 

Talking tech with Singularity's Salim Ismail

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By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

If you think technology is moving fast now, strap in.

In a daylong event, Salim Ismail, global ambassador and the founding executive director of Silicon Valley’s famed Singularity University, presented scores of mind-blowing examples of technology moving at exponential speeds to the workshop participants, who included entrepreneurs, investors, consultants and corporate executives.

The sometime scary, often inspiring information-packed workshop was held last week at Miami Dade College’s Idea Center and supported by Rokk3r Labs and the Knight Foundation.

Reading DNA is one of the fastest-moving technologies, Ismail said. What cost $2.7 billion to sequence the first human genome 13 years ago now costs about $1,000. In 2020, it will cost pennies. Think of the possibilities and implications, he said. “The Chinese just announced they are now changing and reprogramming embryos inside the mother. ... All the bio-ethics folks are freaking out right now.”

Energy? The price of solar is dropping like a stone, and at this pace, solar energy will be abundant and free in 23 years, Ismail said. Again the possibilities: The poorest countries in the world are also the sunniest.

Another near-necessity of life that will be abundant and free? By the end of the decade we will have free Internet globally, he predicts. We are heading to the age of infinite computing and infinite storage — all for free.

Or take the driverless car. The sensors on that car cost $300,000 a car six years ago, $75,000 two years later and $1,000 today. Google’s car has already driven a million miles without an accident — what human can say that?

And while many experts think it will take 15 to 20 years for the driverless car to be readily available, Singularity believes it will take three to five. “Someday soon we will look back and say, ‘Why did we ever let humans drive?’ ”

Bottom line, said Ismail: “In the history of the world, we have never seen so many technologies moving so fast. It is the best time in the history of the world to be an entrepreneur ... and the biggest marketplace in the history of humanity is being created in this five-year period.”

So how do startups become fast-moving, fast-growing exponential organizations? And if you own a big company, can you become an exponential organization?

The short answer is yes, but for the hows, well, Ismail has written the book on that one — Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, Cheaper Than Yours (and What to Do About It).

Ismail outlines 10 qualities that exponential organizations possess, and he says a company doesn’t need all 10 — four will suffice. Some of them are encouraging experimentation, or the Lean Startup method, leveraging the community and crowd, such as testing product ideas on Kickstarter like Sony does, employing algorithms and using big data (and that doesn’t mean employing a data scientist; use Kaggle’s platform with 300,000 of them), valuing autonomy (more on that below) and leveraging social technologies, such as what a Chinese phone maker does by allowing users to vote on the features.

Nabyl Charania is a believer. “Soon the power of 7 billion connected people will reshape the world as we know it,” said Charania, who is CEO of Rokk3r Labs, a co-building organization based in Miami Beach. Not only is his company practicing the ExO principles, but every company Rokk3r brings in to co-build will strive to be an ExO company, he said.

Ismail, who has given this workshop twice this year in South Florida, also talked about companies that are turning corporate structures upside-down, such as Valve, with no CEO, no hierarchy and no meetings, to Zappos, which is moving to that model. Haier, the Chinese refrigerator maker with 80,000 workers, overhauled the structure into 2,000 autonomous teams, and since then has tripled market cap — twice, Ismail said.

Although most people in the room said they didn’t believe big companies could change radically, a way to begin is to let innovation happen at the edges of the organization. Create cells of your best change-agents, and give them autonomy — there’s that word again — to innovate. Also, tap into the power of your analytics and partner with disruptive startups in your industry, he advised.

Last week, Ismail appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box for a segment on the Fortune 500 ranked by their Exponential Quotient. In case you are wondering, the top 10 would be: Google (by a significant margin), Amazon, Apple, IBM, Verizon, Disney, General Electric, Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle. There you have it.

Tech executive and investor Robert Goldberg also spoke at the workshop. Among many business successes, Goldberg took Zynga from 30 people to 3,000 people and did 40 acquisitions in 10 quarters, an M&A success rate that has never been seen in the corporate world, said Ismail.

“We’re now in an age of hyper-hyper growth,” said Goldberg. To get your company off the linear growth curve and into hyper-growth, it starts with establishing where you want to be in a future of exponential growth, and then setting goals in smaller steps, perhaps three-year increments, to get there. What will you also need?

“The 5 percent rule, the other 95 percent just doesn’t matter,” said Goldberg. “Question what you do every day. ... It’s ruthless prioritization. Deciding what you don’t do is more important than what you do do.”

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg.

Entrepreneurship Datebook: Events, workshops in South Florida

Tech eggMIAMI GOVJAM: This event is part of a worldwide design-thinking event focused on making government more innovative and user-friendly. There will be another 37 cities participating in this live event Wednesday-Thursday at Wynwood Warehouse Project, 450 NW 27th St. Miami. Tickets: www.miamigovjam.com.

WHY MIAMI?: The Beacon Council’s New Leaders Taskforce presents a conversation with Jorge Pérez and a panel discussion on “Why Miami?”, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, The Epic, downtown Miami. Tickets: http://beaconcouncil.com/news-events/events.

FUNDINGPOST: Hear a panel of investors at FundingPost event, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., June 17, Venture Hive, 1010 NE Second Ave., Miami. More info and tickets: www.fundingpost.com (click on events).

STARTUP GRIND: The monthly interview series features Adam Smith, partner of Medina Capital, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., June 17, The LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th St., Miami. Tickets: www.startupgrind.com/miami.

STARTING GATE: IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Last week, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area ranked No. 2 in the U.S. for startup activity, just behind Austin and ahead of San Jose. Also last week, Magic Leap announced it will be building a manufacturing facility in Florida and opening its platform to developers.

There has also been a flurry of events: Read event recaps of an Exponential Organizations workshop, Startup Weekend, Wyncode’s Pitch Night and #HackforChange, as well as keep up with new startup news on the Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business.

Nancy Dahlberg @ndahlberg

June 05, 2015

FundingPost event to offer investor views, networking

What does it take to win over an investor? FundingPost's Angel and VC Conference, which is returning to Miami on Wednesday, June 17,  at Venture Hive, may offer some insights. 

At the event, a panel of NYC, Silicon Valley and Florida angels will focus on pitching to early-stage investors, and what it really takes to get them to write you a check. The investors will be discussing the things that are most important to them when they are considering an investment, the best and worst things an entrepreneur can do to get their attention during a pitch, and, of course, the best ways to reach these and other Investors. There will be plenty of time for networking with the investor panelists during the breaks and networking party. 

Register Here 

Investor Speakers so far:
Zalmi Duchman, Angel & CEO of The Fresh Diet (FL)
David Koehn, Sand Hill Angels (CA)
David B. Schottenstein, Angel Investor (FL)
Shridar Chityala, Vedas Group (NYC)
Christopher Gimbertn Star Mountain Capital (NYC)
Welcome Address: Spencer Lyon, FundingPost
Additional Investors TBA 

WHEN:
 Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
COST: $55 
WHERE: Venture Hive, 1010 NE 2nd Ave Miami, FL 33132

-Information submitted by FundingPost

Cinco de Wyncode: 250+ people pack LAB to celebrate new coders

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By Juha Mikkola

Many are saying that 2015 is the year of coding (and for the foreseeable future), and it's fast becoming one of the most important and desirable skills here in South Florida.  

This trend was reinforced at Wyncode’s Pitch Day V last night, or as we called it, Cinco de Wyncode.  The vibrancy and enthusiasm of the Miami tech community never ceases to amaze.  More than 250 people packed into The LAB Miami ready to be wowed by the ideas from the 20 students who participated in Wyncode’s fifth cohort. 

Once again, we saw firsthand the real appetite that exists out there for product and service development, as well as the many interesting ideas and agile creation coming out of the coding community.

Wyncode’s students dedicated nine weeks completely immersed in learning how to code for JavaScript, CSS, Ruby on Rails, HTML5 and more. All of the hours and hard work pays off on Pitch Day, where they present their full stack applications created in groups during the final two weeks.  Pitch Day also gives the students an opportunity to show off skills equally important to coding, their business acumen. The presentations demonstrated that Pitch Days are a direct route to new entrepreneurial thinking and that businesses would be remiss to ignore the opportunities present in these events in a time of digital disruption.

Each student group project is built from the ground up and focused on solving real-life problems across a variety of industries.  Presentations from the seven groups were nothing short of impressive.  The projects included Booksie, Therapy on Demand, Squad-Up, CoffeeBreak, FoodNag, Outnix and Muzaik. Each project was closely judged by Felecia Hatcher, Co-Founder of Code Fever and Black Tech Week, Andrej Kostresevic, CEO of Nomads, Chris Alper, Manager of PDIS Training and Employee Development at Ultimate Software, and Ivan Rapin-Smith, Director at Watsco Ventures. 

Among those checking out the new crop development talent were executives from CarHopper, ClassWallet, EarlyShares and HBO as well as investors, executives and other leaders from Miami’s tech community.

And the winner is…

After much deliberation from the judges, the winning team was a group of three guys who created an application that helps you find what sporting events are on TV at your local bar, called Outnix (pictured below).  The creators Alexis Diaz, Griffin Markay and Sean Consentino received $1000 in cash.  “We came to Wyncode to learn and have fun and we absolutely had a ton of fun,” says Markay. “We loved Pitch Day and everything they set up, we loved the challenges, and getting our teeth sunk into a real life problem, and I guess winning was a bonus.  Even if we didn’t win we’d have still walked away with a great experience.”

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The Outnix team also revealed that they had already raised $50,000 ahead of Pitch Day to help bring their app to market.

Although Pitch Day V has concluded, Wyncode never stops. Our next Miami cohort starts June 15th and we will be celebrating the first Pitch Day Fort Lauderdale on June 18th. 

Juha Mikkola is co-founder of Wyncode.

June 03, 2015

View from the inside: Startup Weekend Diversity Miami

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The winning Breakin' Bread team are (left to right) Monica Delgado, Juan Murillo, Miguel Hidalgo, Francisco Tamayo, Adriana Castro, Daniela Hernandez. On the far right is Joshua Gaviria-Bradshaw, expansion lead for WeWork.
 

By Francisco Tamayo

"What did you do this weekend?" is a question I hear from friends, co-workers and family members every Monday. This week, my answer was different - "I started a company with complete strangers in 54 hours.”

The adventure started Friday night alongside 59 other wide-eyed participants at a sold out Startup Weekend Diversity Miami, a Google for Entrepreneurs global event series, which gives aspiring entrepreneurs a chance to launch their own business in a weekend. It was hosted at Venture Hive.

Many South Floridians feel their gender, age, ethnicity, background or technical ability is a hurdle to entering the startup world, and I can confirm that perception was changed at with over 15 countries represented, multiple ethnicities, 5 different languages spoken, ages ranging from 18 to 60, an even split amongst genders and all types of backgrounds and abilities present.

Startup Weekend's hashtag #SWMiami was trending on Twitter when the event began with 60 second pitches for startup ideas thanks to the amount of social media activity happening inside Venture Hive. Teams were formed and the process kicked off.

My team of six -- Monica Delgado, Juan Murillo, Miguel Hidalgo, Adriana Castro, Daniela Hernandez plus me -- was determined to launch our startup Breakin' Bread, a social platform that allows people to instantly join unique, communal dining experiences. By Friday night's end, we had delegated responsibilities and began the 54-hour journey.

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LiveAnswer’s Founder and CEO Adam Boalt (above)  sat down with us Saturday and immediately noticed roadblocks he had previously experienced in his entrepreneurial career. He took the time to carefully guide us through the process to show where Breakin' Bread could be improved and what actions to take in order to band together and impress the Sunday night judges.

By the time we presented Breakin' Bread Sunday night to a capacity crowd at Venture Hive, the judging panel of Nicolai Bezsonoff (COO and CO-Founder .CO INTERNET), Brian Brackeen (Kairos CEO), Johanna Mikkola (Wyncode Academy Co-Founder) and Roberto Interiano (STS Capital Partners) believed in us enough to vote our startup 1st place. As a matter of fact, I spoke with Roberto after winning and was fortunate enough to receive his priceless advice.

After a mentally and emotionally draining 54 hours, the bonding continued at Adam Boalt’s home where he hosted us with Miami Dolphins DJ Supersede, a red carpet, a photo booth, a bounce castle and drone lessons. I met a lot of contacts at the party ranging from venture capitalists and web designers to software engineers and attorneys specializing in startups.

Startup Weekend Diversity could have never been possible without UP Global facilitator Lee Ngo, the Community Leader for Startup Weekend Pittsburgh, and Miami Lead organizer Paula Celestino (COO, Crea7ive Interactive Advertising) along with Pia Celestino, Gaby Castelao, Ryan Amsel and Anas Benadel.

Without a doubt, the event changed me personally. Professionally, the Breakin' Bread team's main focus is to preserve the bonds we made and work hard together to properly develop our MVP for release later this summer.

We are looking forward to Breakin' Bread with you soon, Miami.

Francisco Tamayo is a team member of Breakin' Bread.

 

Startup Weekend: And the winners were ...

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Startup Weekend is a non-profit, community-building event that brings together entrepreneurs of different backgrounds, including software developers, marketers, designers and startup enthusiasts. They gather to to pitch ideas, form teams and start companies in just 54 hours. The weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors.

The sold-out Startup Weekend Diversity Miami, organized by Paula Celestino and her team, took place last weekend at Venture Hive. Seven teams made it to the end and presented five minute pitches in front of judges with a couple of minutes of Q&A. And the winners were ...

 

People's Choice winner (pictured below): PaySlay, an app aiming to slash medical bill costs through incentivizing policy holders to use gym memberships, weight-loss programs and various alternative medicine treatments. 

PaySlay

 

3rd Place (pictured below) went to Team Model Book, an app to connect models  with modeling opportunities with trade shows and events.

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2nd Place went to HandyCab (pictured below), a way to ease the task of finding cabs and other transportation equipped for the disabled.

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And the winner was Breakin' Bread, an app to bring people together at shared tables for communal dining experiences. Never eat alone again!

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Congratulations! Please see the next post -- a guest post from the winning team.