May 30, 2015

Code for Miami invites you to #HackforChange on Saturday

 Code for Miami's #HackforChange event is coming Saturday, June 6, to The LAB Miami.

The event is set to coincide with National Day of Civic Hacking, a nationwide event aimed toward improving our communities and our governments.

The event will have data and hackathon challenges focusing on four core areas: Transportation, Disaster Preparation and Relief, Climate Change, and the Florida State Budget:

  • * National challenges including new data on climate change and the environment, local civil services, and much more.
  • * Our first-ever state challenge with civic hackers in cities throughout Florida to create visualizations and apps using Vendor Payment Data from CFO Jeff Atwater's office.
  • * Local challenges using county 311 and GIS open data, prioritizing data sets we would like to get opened in Miami, and drafting your ideas for an Open Data Policy.

Code for Miami  is expecting a group filled with writers, policy makers, developers, government folks, journalists and even Florida’s CFO Jeff Atwater. Coding isn’t required, you only need to want to make Miami better.

Learn more about the challenges at:

May 29, 2015

MDC hosting free Small Business Expo on Saturday; rsvp required

Miami Dade College’s School of Business will be hosting a Small Business Expo on Saturday, at the Wolfson Campus. Admission is free, but attendees must RSVP.

The Small Business Education Program’s Business Expo features a panel discussion at 11 a.m. on the challenges and opportunities associated with business ownership. Panelists include: Brian Brackeen, CEO, Kairos; Ray Casas, President, Wragg & Casas Public Relations; Monique Font Delacroix, CEO, The Empanada Lady; and facilitator Heradio Luces, CEO, Dualis Consulting Corp.

The event will also include presentations on building customer relationships, perfecting an elevator pitch and marketing about marketing, sales and customer service. A business-to-business expo will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., featuring 45 exhibitors from private industries, government and non-profit agencies.

The event takes plan from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at MDC Wolfson Campus, Chapman Conference Center, Room 3210, 300 N.E. Second Ave. Attendees must RSVP via email: or by calling 305-237-7103. For more information about the Small Business Education Program, visit:


May 26, 2015

Fishackathon returns to Venture Hive to find sustainable solutions for fishing industry

Fishackathon Miami

Venture Hive has partnered once again with the State Department to host the 2nd Annual Fishackathon, the world’s largest hackathon supporting our oceans.

The Fishackathon brings together technologists and coders over a weekend to create tools to address challenges in sustainable fishing around the world. There are 15 cities participating including London, Kuala Lumpur, Vancouver, New York City, Boston and Santiago.Chile.

Miami's Fishackathon 2015 kicks off on June 5th until June 7th and welcomes hackers, coders and enthusiasts to create solutions that can impact the health of our oceans.

More prizes will be confirmed soon but include a trip to the second annual Our Ocean's conference in Chile this fall and a trip and a chance to present at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. 

Click here to learn more and register.


StartupBus Florida invites Miami techies to Highway Hackathon



StartupBus produces the most intense startup competition in the world, where top talent compete as 'buspreneurs' to build the next generation of technology companies over the course of a 3-day roadtrip. 

This is StartupBus' 5th year embarking on their fast-paced highway hackathon, where 5 buses from different regions of the continent compete for startup glory.

Basically, you have 3 days and 700 miles to build something epic.  


StartupBus Florida leaves from Tampa on June 4th, and ends in Nashville, TN on June 8th.


We've coined the following terms for participants who are looking to push themselves to 70mph:

Hackers (Developers)
Hipsters (Designers)
Hustlers (Entrepreneurs, Biz Dev, Marketing)

Whether you're a hacker, developer or hustler, StartupBus is for anyone who's looking to network with top tech talent in North America, while building an awesome product along the way. 

Much like the Startup Weekend model, you enter the bus not knowing most of your fellow buspreneurs. Ideas are then pitched/selected, ice is broken, and before you know it, you're building something epic, and making lifelong friends along the way.


After 3 days of continuous building, StartupBus ends at Nashville's 36 | 86 Conference, where teams will pitch/demo their product to a panel of notable tech founders and VCs. (There is no bus ride back to Florida, however) 

Additional links and resources:

StartupBus Website:

May 24, 2015

Entrepreneurship Datebook: Events, workshops in South Florida

Tech eggBRAINFOOD: This month’s speaker is Peter Kellner, founder of Richmond Global, an investment fund company, and co-founder of Endeavor Global, a nonprofit that mentors and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, The LAB Miami. 400 NW 26th St., Miami. Fee applies. More info: (click on Events).

THE SHARING ECONOMY: Bora Hamamcioglu, CEO of Carhopper, discusses the opportunities and challenges with collaborative consumption, 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, The LAB Miami.

GOOGLE I/O EVENT: YellowPepper is hosting the livestream of the Google I/O event from 12:30 to about 8 p.m. (schedule may be revised by Google) Thursday and Friday, May 28-29, 380 NW 24th St., Miami.Sign up here.

STARTUP WEEKEND: A 54-hour event where developers, designers and business development folks come together to pitch an idea and launch a business, Friday through Sunday, May 29-31, Venture Hive, 1010 NE Second Ave., Miami. For more information and tickets:


Dozens of Miami technology leaders signed an open letter to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez calling for an open data policy. Instacart launched its grocery delivery service in Miami. Harvard is teaming up with the Idea Center and Launch Code to offer CS50x Miami course Registration ends May 29). Read these stories and more startup news and community views on the Starting Gate blog on

Nancy Dahlberg @ndahlberg

Read more here:


May 21, 2015

Exponential Organizations Workshop returning to Miami

ExO March 2015 group image

Miami-based Rokk3r Labs cobuilding platform announces the Exponential Organizations Workshop that will be hosted by award winning author, foounding executive director and current global ambassador of Singularity University, Salim Ismail.

The event will take place on Monday, June 1, 2015 from 9:30am-6:00pm at the Idea Center at Miami Dade College. The address is 315 Northeast 2nd Ave, Building 8, 5th Floor Miami, FL 33132.

Register for this exclusive event at

The rapid pace of technological change across all industries has been disrupting legacy organizations in recent years. Cisco’s CEO John Chambers believes that only 1 out of 3 major corporations will survive the next 25 years and as he said at last year’s CISCO Live conference, “We need to change.”

Since 2010, the business world has witnessed the emergence of a new type of company - the Exponential Organization - that has revolutionized how companies accelerate their growth and success by leveraging new organizational principles and exponential technologies.

The traits exponential organizations exhibit and how companies of all sizes can benefit from integrating these traits are the key elements of the Exponential Organizations Workshop, and the focal point of Ismail’s book, Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations are Ten Times Better, Faster and Cheaper Than Yours (And What To Do About It), which won the 2014 Frost and Sullivan Growth, Innovation and Leadership (GIL) Book of the Year award.

Participants at this one-day crash course will walk away with a clear understanding that if their organizations do not adopt the Exponential Organizations principles and frameworks, they might be left behind in this age of disruptive technology.

In addition to learning from and interacting with Ismail, the Exponential Organizations Workshop is an opportunity to network and share ideas with local business leaders across all industries. In March of this year, the first Exponential Organizations Workshop in Miami had over 200 people and 130 companies in attendance.

“Entrepreneurs and dreamers all over the world have the ideas, ingenuity and talent to enable exponential innovation,” says Rokk3r Labs CEO Nabyl Charania. “Salim Ismail’s Exponential Organizations Workshop in partnership with Rokk3r Labs exists to help entrepreneurs and business leaders understand how to harness exponential technologies and innovative organizational techniques to create ventures that change the world.”

-Submitted by Rokk3r Labs

The all-day workshop is regularly priced $995 but priced at  $695 through May 26.

May 16, 2015

"Imagine Miami” Conference Explored the Role of Technology in Accelerating Social Change

Catalyst Miami and Digital Grass Innovation & Technology (DGIT) convened 100 residents, service providers, and technologists to discuss and plan how technology can be utilized to drive social change in Miami 

On Friday, May 15, Catalyst Miami and Digital Grass Innovation & Technology (DGIT) hosted Imagine Miami: Tech & Community Edition at the Miami Dade College Idea Center in Miami. In an effort to bridge the gap between Miami’s vibrant tech scene and the greater community, this free Imagine Miami conference featured five panels of thought leaders sharing their insight and ideas on how to address concerns in our communities through civic engagement, innovation and technology.
Speakers included Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, III, T. Willard Fair of the Urban League, Maxeme Tuchman of Teach for America, and representatives from Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Launch Code, Collaborative Development Corporation, New Tropic, Awesome Foundation and more.

Oshun Marcella, moderator of the Health & Wellness for the TechSoul Panel, said, “For me today the experience was phenomenal. I had no idea what to expect at all. The information I got prior to my session was valuable—so valuable!—and allowing me to speak to the panelists and actually have some interaction for action… it felt like not just another whiteboard meeting. Also, the diversity of the audience here and the participation of the audience… made me think that they really want to see change.”

At the end of the day, participants shared their tech-centered solutions, which focused on history & tourism, health, conflict resolution, civic action and work ethic. Digital Grass and Catalyst Miami will work with the teams to ensure that the ideas are realized through collaboration with other local startups and community organizations. Selected community solutions will also compete for Awesome Foundation Micro-grants.

LaToya Stirrup, co-founder of Digital Grass and moderator of the History & Tourism: The Story of Miami panel, said, "This experience proved that through collaboration and inclusion, people from all backgrounds, ages and neighborhoods can work together to solve problems. Now the real work begins as we partner with Catalyst Miami and other organizations to turn these great ideas into viable solutions."

Participant Amir Youssef said the Imagine Miami event was “inspiring, informative, [and] it’s good to see a group of people get together to solve problems rather than just talking about it.”
Imagine Miami is a community effort to connect people, organizations, and businesses improve quality of life in Miami-Dade County. Through the Imagine Miami conferences, we connect people to ideas and tools for action, and build hope with true stories of people who are making a difference.
Catalyst Miami is a nonprofit organization aiming to build a just and equitable Miami where all residents are meaningfully engaged. Our programs and services empower families and strengthen our communities. Follow us @CatalystMiami.

Digital Grass Innovation & Technology (DGIT) seeks to transform, develop and promote diversity and inclusion by increasing the presence of diverse groups in entrepreneurial ventures, innovation and technology. Follow us @digigrass


May 08, 2015

Startup Weekend returning to Miami May 29-31; sign up now

By Paula Celestino
 Join us for Startup Weekend Diversity Miami taking place May 29, 30 and 31 at Venture Hive. 
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 participants that attend have 60 seconds to make a pitch, the pitches are whittled down to the top ideas, and then teams form around the ideas to come out with several developed companies or projects. Finally, the weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors.
Startup Weekend has held 1000+ events in 150+ countries around the world, and we are looking forward to making a big dent in Miami. With the help of local supporters, we are planning to leverage our global reach to impact our local community.
We have already secured some amazing sponsors and notorious startup community leaders as judges and mentors for Startup Weekend Diversity Miami such as Brian Brackeen, Kairos CEO; Nico Berardi, Managing Director AGP Miami; Adam Boalt, LiveAnswer CEO; Felecia Hatcher, Author, Chief Popsicle of Feverish Miami, Co-Founder of Code Fever Miami & Black Tech Week; and Linda Koritkoski, Director of Marketing for .CO, and among others.

This particular Startup Weekend is all about Diversity and breaking tech barriers for everyone in the community.  So many people feel their gender, age, ethnicity, background or technical ability is a barrier to get into the startup world and at Startup Weekend Diversity Miami and we want to change that. 

Startup Weekend is calling for Developers, Designers, and Business/Non-technical participants to come together share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups in a weekend! There will be prizes for the winners!

Register now for Startup Weekend Miami Diversity as space is limited. Here is the event link:

Want to learn more about it? Here is a cool video about SW: What Is Startup Weekend; this is a fun video that explains how SW works:; and I blogged  about my journey into Startup Weekend Diversity Miami here:

For those who are unfamiliar with the Startup Weekend organization, it is a global non-profit  that supports the development and expansion of entrepreneurship through events worldwide that educate aspiring entrepreneurs by immersing them in the process of moving an idea to market. Startup Weekend has built a network of more than 100,000 alumni, thousands of volunteer Organizers and more than 100 trained facilitators spanning more than 400 cities in more than 100 countries.  Google for Entrepreneurs, Amazon Web Services, .CO, and Coca-Cola. For more information visit
Come join us May 29-31! Buy tickets here.
Paula Celestino is one of the organizers of Startup Weekend Diversity Miami.

May 02, 2015

Meetup to kick off Small Business Week with social entrepreneurship discussion

Kicking off in Miami on Monday during National Small Business Week, Dell and Northside Media will be hosting a series of Small Business Innovation Meet-ups to explore the business and market needs faced by entrepreneurs and growing businesses today and how the right technologies can serve as a secret weapon for success and growth. 

Here is the event in Miami:

Monday, May 4 from 6:30-9:00pm, the Miami event will focus on the value of social entrepreneurship. Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, the CEO of the social-impact accelerator, Radical Partners, will be leading a panel discussion with Miami's forward-thinking entrepreneurs and thought leaders where they'll explore the role of technology in creating a sustainable, global community.

 Monday, May 4th, 6:30pm-9:00pm

342 NW 24th Street

RSVP here


6:30 - 7:00pm Grab a beer and mingle

7:00 - 8:00pm Lightning talks and panel

8:00 - 9:30pm Free beer and food


  • ·         Rebecca Fishman Lipsey | Founder & CEO of Radical Partners
  • ·         Michael Hall I Co-founder & CEO of Digital Grass
  • ·         Adele Bagley I Chief of Engagement for Miami-Dade County
  • ·         Stonly Baptiste I Co-founder of Urban.US
  • ·         Kane Sarhan I Co-founder of Enstitute
  • ·         Michelle Dow-Okomo I Founder & Chief Story-Teller ofSocial Swag

April 30, 2015

Upcoming Miami Finance Forum event to feature private equity discussion

The Miami Finance Forum is hosting its annual event focusing on private equity entitled, "Power Equity Investing: Deal Sourcing, the Abundance of Capital and the Right Exit Strategy in a Fluid Economy," from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 8, 2015 at the Riverside Hotel, 620 E. Las Olas Blvd.

    Part of its CEO Power Breakfast series, the event features a panel of private equity experts including Ari M. Zur, Partner at Brockway Moran & Partners; Eduardo Arguello, Direct Investments Vice President at Amzak Capital Management; Dan Lee, Managing Director at Convest Partners; Lee Monahan, Partner at Harren Equity; and Charles Fultz, managing director at Farlie Turner & Co. Jonathan Cole, an attorney at Locke Lord LLP, will moderate the discussion. 100 people are expected to attend.

    Admission is $65 for non-members and $25 for members. For more information or to register, visit