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As eMerge Americas opens, Greater Miami Chamber honors tech leaders

Miami Chamber - Award Picture (1)

Top leaders in South Florida were honored Friday, as The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce officially kicked off eMerge Americas Techweek at its Technology Leaders of the Year Awards Ceremony at Jungle Island. More than 400 people attended the 8th annual event.

The 2014 winners:

Technology Organization of the Year: Refresh Miami, South Florida’s largest tech-entrepreneurship organization

Technology Project of the Year: Early Learning Coalition, the largest provider of early learning education in Florida

Technology With International Impact: Motionpoint, with a platform that translates and localizes client websites and drives traffic to those sites.

Technology Entrepreneur of the Year: Ricardo Villadiego of Easy Solutions, who started the company in Bogota to confront the constantly evolving threat landscape of the Internet.

Technology Executive of the Year: Albert Santalo of CareCloud, a serial entrepreneur focused on eliminating inefficiency in the healthcare industry.

Bioscience Company of the Year: Biotest Pharmaceuticals, which employs 850 people and has invested more than $50 million to expand and modernize its manufacturing facility.  

Technology Company of the Year: ClearCi, which helps companies compete better by making competitive intelligence more accessible.

The keynote address was given by Leonel Fernandez, former president of the Dominican Republic. He talked about a variety of programs he started in the DR to broaden the country’s economic base  by attracting and nurturing technology companies – and bridging the digital divide. Among the many projects is an innovation village in the capital, and a host of innovative programs that sprouted from that, and a series of rural outposts around the country to provide tech services, resources and training. And he showed metrics providing the initiatives are working. 

Sanket Akerkar, vice president of developer and platform evangelism for Microsoft, announced that Miami was selected as the site for the first Microsoft Innovation Center in the U.S. It will be opening in Venture Hive in June.