3 Reasons Miami will be “Silicon Beach”

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I think Miami is destined to be the next “Silicon Beach”.  Yes, that’s right the next Silicon Valley is right here in the warm and beautiful Miami, FL.  South Florida’s multicultural offering and proximity to the Caribbean and Latin America creates a unique position for the city to be a domestic and international tech hub.

Last week, my company CONCIERGEpad had the privilege to participate in the emerge Americas conference as a showcase startup (see picture of our booth).  It was a great experience indeed but what really impressed me was the tech movement and community right here in Miami.  In fact, a new study shows that South Florida is No. 1  in U.S. in startup activity.  You can read the article that was written in the Miami Herald here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article151189417.html  It’s incredible that I have been in the tech business now for 14 years and I was not privy to all the resources and tech talent in my own backyard.  Below are 3 reasons why there has been such a trans-formative movement in what I will call the: “The Miami Tech Scene”.

1) Venture HIVE (http://venturehive.com)

Man! This place is really cool and oozes entrepreneurship.  When you enter the venue you can appreciate the great working environment and culture that exists (See pics below).  The layout of the place includes spacious working areas and conference rooms throughout.  The venue also has a Microsoft Innovation Center, which is really inspiring and to learn that Microsoft has their brand attached to this place is impressive.  The founder of Venture HIVE has a passion for entrepreneurship and it really permeates through the entire building.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a special bootcamp they administered and it was again a great experience.  What I am really proud about was the amount of entrepreneurs I met that are doing really good things in Miami.  There is a lot of talent within the city and it’s awesome to see how many good companies are flourishing and executing on well thought out business models, etc.

 

2) emerge Americas Conference (http://emergeamericas.com)

This is a really nice conference that bridges the gap between domestic and international business.  Although the conference is only once a year, it’s a conference that everyone who is in “tech” and lives in Miami should attend.  The keynote lineup this year was top notch and some of the speakers included: Steve Wozniak, Pitbull, Suze Orman and Alex Rodriguez.  All great entrepreneurs and some of them again right out of South Florida.

3) Refresh Miami (http://refreshmiami.com)

I believe Refresh Miami is the longest on-going tech meetup in Miami.  This is a community that meets a couple times a month and the organizers always do a good job with choosing tech topics to talk about and incorporating speakers who are experts in their domain.  I have been to a couple of meetups and I highly recommend it. What I really enjoy is when the speakers share their personal experiences about their trials and tribulations in business.  I find this to be very helpful and the networking aspect of attending an event like this is always fun.

Co-working Space trend is a “good signal”

Something that I think is very telling about the future of the Miami tech scene is that a lot of co-working spaces are opening all around the city.  Co-working companies like WeWork, Buro, Building.co, TamboWorks and some others seem like they have presence now in different parts of town, which is fueling tech innovation and progress.  Also, company giants like Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter all have offices down here not only to take advantage of the local talent but also again because of  the proximity to the Caribbean and Latin American markets.

Final thoughts

These 3 resources I wrote about above are really making a difference in the Miami community and everyone who is in the tech space should really take advantage and foster these groups to help propel the tech movement further.  If anyone has any other resources, venues, conferences or groups that are here in Miami that I did not mention please let me know.  I look forward to continuing my journey as an entrepreneur and being a part of the Silicon Beach community!

 

The ONE tool that has transformed my fitness!

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In July of 2016, I started to experience severe back pain.   Today, I still have chronic back pain and it’s slowly (and I mean slowly) getting better due to the fact that I started to exercise again.  Having said this, there is one important tool that I have been using that has really transformed my fitness experience.  This tool is the fitbit charge 2.  I love all things tech and I can’t believe it took me this long to discover this fitness watch.  It’s a game changer for me and it has really changed the way I look at my fitness and overall health on a day-to-day basis.  Below are the 6 features I love about the watch:

  1. It’s cheaper than the Apple Watch – For only $129.95 (plus tax) you can get yourself one and it has a lot of the same functionality.  The mobile app is specifically designed for fitness and I like that the fitbit just tries to perfect this one particular area.
  2. It tracks your steps, floors, miles and active minutes – This simple concept is a great motivator for me.  You can set your step goal (mine is 10,000 per day) and it’s really interesting to monitor how your doing throughout the day.  Also, the watch tracks how many floors you’ve climbed, miles you’ve traveled, calories you’ve burned and total active minutes. (See screenshot 1)
  3. It records your sleep – I really love this feature.  Sleep is really important to me and with 3 kids I need all the quality sleep I can get.  I am really impressed with how the watch knows when you’ve had restless sleep and/or quality sleep. (See screenshot 2)
  4. It displays your exercise goals for the week – You can set how many times you would like to workout for a given week.  When you exercise on a specific day you can drill down on a specific exercise routine performed and determine how many minutes, calories, average beats per minutes and fat burn you’ve recorded. (See screenshot 3)
  5. It monitors your heart rate – You can analyze your heart rate at any time of the day and you can also learn what your resting heart rate is as it compares to the general population.  If you are very competitive this is a great feature to see where your at compared to the likes of marathon runners, etc.
  6. It can remind you to be active every hour – This is another gem for me because I work in front of a computer all day.  Therefore, the watch can remind you to get up and move around every hour to ensure you meet your daily step goal.

To be honest, there are many other features that the fitbit is equipped with.  The 6 features above are the ones I use and pay attention to on a daily basis.  As a tech enthusiast what I am most impressed with is how it collects all my data and organizes it in a very user friendly-easy to understand manner.  This is data intelligence for your fitness.  Understanding this data is very useful in my opinion and this watch is very addicting.  I highly recommend the fitbit charge 2, as it has really helped me understand and appreciate my fitness and health in an easy and practical way.