Palm Beach Tech AssociationPalm Beach Tech Association

By Joe Russo

Palm Beach Tech Hires 1, Promotes 2 Staff Members

The Palm Beach Tech Association announced its hiring of Tyler Tornaben (Community Manager), and the promotions of Stephanie Buzano (Communications Manager) and Kellie Ames (Community Coordinator).

“I’m proud that we’ve assembled such a talented and passionate team, dedicated to our mission of building the Palm Beaches into a Tech Hub,” said Palm Beach Tech’s Executive Director Joe Russo.

This staff team will oversee the day-to-day operations of Palm Beach Tech, including all of its programs and initiatives.

“Our Board is laser focused on building a strong, sustainable organization to fulfill our mission and this team will take us there,” said Palm Beach Tech Board Co-Chair Cam Collins


Tyler Tornaben | Community Manager

Tyler is a native South Floridian, formerly of the international coworking company Impact Hub, and now Palm Beach Tech‘s new Community Manager! She oversees PBT’s following programs:

She has a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths College of London and researched Microfinance and Reverse Innovation at the Yunus Social Business Center in Florence, Italy.

When she’s not with Palm Beach Tech, Tyler dedicates herself to her own startup; Snapgood. For fun, she enjoys cooking, traveling, Italian neorealism, going to the beach and researching puppies to adopt.

 

Stephanie Buzano | Communications Manager

Stephanie has risen from Hackathon participant, Web Development Intern, to her recent full time promotion as Communications Manager! She oversees PBT’s following programs:

  • Palm Beach Tech Website
  • Email Communications
  • Member Services

Stephanie holds a BS in International Business from Florida International University. She has spent the past year learning how to code on Free Code Camp, with her ultimate goal of being a front end developer.

When not working, Stephanie watches Manchester United games, goes to yoga, and plans her next travel destination.

 

Kellie Ames | Community Coordinator

Kellie joined Palm Beach Tech as a Digital Media Intern and now serves as Community Coordinator! She oversees PBT’s following programs:

Kellie earned her BS in Business Administration from the University of Miami. For the past year, Kellie has also developed her own eCommerce company Mantra Active, an e-boutique, bringing you the trendiest, newest designers in activewear and athleisure wear.

In her free time, Kellie spends time with puppy Kade, traveling with her husband Scott, exercising, and boating.

By Joe Russo

Pitch Competition to feature 8 Local Startups

Palm Beach Tech is proud to announce the eight (8) Palm Beach Startups to participate in the Inaugural Palm Beach Tech Pitch Competition!

The 7 preselected startups come from throughout Palm Beach County, from Jupiter to Boca Raton. The companies include mobile apps, augmented reality (AR), internet of things (IOT), and online platforms. The founders themselves are experienced, diverse, and skilled in a variety of disciplines.

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov 15 @ 6:00pm

WHERE: West Palm Beach Lake Pavilion

 

PRESENTING STARTUPS:

1ST PLACE PRIZES:

All prizes are services based, wth applied values by the offering companies

By Stephanie Buzano

Announcing the Palm Beach Tech Pitch Competition | $10k in Prizes

Palm Beach Tech hosting Startup Pitch Competition on November 15th

Join us on November 15th for an evening of live, venture judged pitch competition of 5 minute demos from emerging startups here in the Palm Beaches!

Apply to Pitch —> Click Here

PITCH | Palm Beach Tech is currently looking for up to eight (8) startups to pitch for $10,000 in services! Companies must be early stage and headquartered in Palm Beach County.

ATTEND | The Pitch Competition is free and open to everyone, especially entrepreneurs looking to raise funding, network with their peers, and anyone interested in expanding or opening a business.

SUPPORT | This event is part of Entrepreneur Week Palm Beach, a seven day showcase featuring cutting-edge technologies, disruptive startups and leading innovators across the Palm Beaches!

1st Place Prizes:

Pitch Competition will be held November 15th at 6 pm!

     

By Joe Russo

Palm Beach Tech Appoints New Leadership

Palm Beach Tech Appoints New Leadership

Cam Collins & David Bates to Co-Chair 2017-2018 Board of Directors

West Palm Beach, Fla. – The Palm Beach Tech Association has announced its new Board of Directors for its 2017-2018 organizational year, led by Co-Chairs Cam Collins & David Bates.

“Co-Chairing the Palm Beach Tech Association has special meaning for me as I grew up in West Palm Beach,” said Cam Collins, President of DockMaster Software, Inc. “When I graduated from the University of Florida, it was difficult to find technology positions here. Today, that’s changed considerably, with more opportunities and professionals interested in calling the Palm Beaches their home.”

“Palm Beach Tech has achieved more in the last two years then anyone could’ve imagined, and I’m proud to say we have quite a lot in store for this year,” said David Bates, Chair of the Technology and Entrepreneurial Practice Group at Gunster.

Bates is also a former Board Member of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, BioFlorida, South Florida Tech Alliance, and the former Chair of both the Gold Coast Venture Capital Association and Enterprise Development Corporation.

“Going into our third year, I’m proud to say we’ve assembled an unparalleled team of leaders to guide Palm Beach Tech to new heights,” said Executive Director Joe Russo.

Founded in July 2015, the Palm Beach Tech Association now has 127 Corporate Members representing $100’s on Million in economic impact to Palm Beach County. They also founded the Palm Beach Tech Space, a 3,500 square foot coworking space in downtown West Palm Beach, thanks to a generous grant by the James S. & John L. Knight Foundation.

The Palm Beach Tech Association will host its next Meetup, a joint event with the Broward-based South Florida Technology Alliance, on July 25, 2017 at FAU Tech Runway with AT&T Florida President Joe York.

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DROPBOX: (Link Here) Logos, Headshots, and Stock Photos.

The Palm Beach Tech Association is a non-profit membership association established in 2015, building the Palm Beaches into a Tech Hub. Members include MyTaskit, Levatas, Florida Power & Light, Achieve, ScriptSender, and Dedicated IT. For more, visit www.PalmBeachTech.org

By Joe Russo

Celebrating Palm Beach Tech’s 2nd Birthday!

In 2012 I was first inspired by the idea of building a tech community; In 2013 Startup Weekend began my journey; on July 7th of 2015 Palm Beach Tech was officially founded; and today we celebrate our 2nd Birthday!

My story was simple… I wanted to build the Palm Beaches into a tech hub. At the time, we weren’t focused on the technology, startup, nor entrepreneurial capacities of Palm Beach County. Today, that’s different thanks to our efforts and the commitment of our community.

In the early days, it was me on a laptop at Subculture Coffee meeting with board members, startup founders, and technology executives. And I put a lot of miles on my Hyundai too.

In two years since, we’ve accomplished so much together:

Association: Today we count 2671 People & 127 Companies as members, with many beyond that involved in our programs.

Coworking: Developed a 3,500 square foot coworking space, thanks to the generous $150,000 in grants from the Knight Foundation, City of West Palm Beach, and Achieve.

Meetup: Had 1,787 attend 22 Meetups, with keynotes from PayPal, Uber, Magic Leap, TEDx, & 500 Startups, among many others.

Web Monday: Partnered with the oldest tech event in the Palm Beaches, working with Aaron Wormus (aguyonclematis) to bring monthly workshops downtown.

Mentor Day: Launched in 2017, our newest event has already matched 47 founders with 12 mentors once a month.

Team: With Brian Dapelo, Stephanie Buzano, and the best interns in the world, our awesome team has grown exponentially, while expanding our impact to the community.

 

We started with a crazy idea encapsulated into a 6 page plan researched with caffeine, and written by an eternal idealist. And Palm Beach Tech would be no where without you, our community!

So Happy 2nd Birthday all you crazy, brilliant, amazing people – and thanks for helping my dreams come true! I sure hope I’ve helped you along the way.

In Service,

-Joe

By Vanessa Calas

Mentor Day: Providing Benefits to Local Entrepreneurs

Palm Beach Tech strives to create a welcoming and collaborative environment for tech industry startups and freelancers throughout the Palm Beach area. Our members enjoy a wide variety of benefits from coworking spaces to special networking events.

We are particularly proud to offer our members access to Mentor Day, bringing together local entrepreneurs and industry professionals on the first Friday of every month. Our mentors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including business planning, software development, growth strategy, branding, legal, and more.

To see a full list of our mentors and learn how to apply to Mentor Day, visit our site.

Make Connections

Mentor Day is an excellent way to network with successful professionals. Many of our community members have benefited from connections made through our program. John Calloway, founder of Halo Technologies, a local 3D printing company, started by working with some of our mentors.

Dan Condro worked closely with mentor Robert Wells, CEO of Allocable, on his way to building Blyz, a high-quality laundry service. Wells guided Condro in making local connections and meeting potential investors.

Sometimes the real key to success is meeting the right people along the way, and Mentor Day facilitates these connections.

 

Business Planning Guidance

A successful business is more than just a good idea. Visionaries who dream of founding their own organizations must first learn how to structure those organizations for success. That means developing a business model that sells and learning the nuts & bolts of business management.  

Wells and Clay Williams, CEO of Achieve Agency, have both worked closely with members of our community on business planning, leadership, and developing effective growth strategies. Clay advised Dan Condro on planning his business, and provided him feedback on his investor pitch deck. Wells worked with John Calloway on his company structure and even guided him in pivoting his company’s business model for a more ideal focus. Even Eddie Garcia,  Founder & CEO of Vivid Arts, credits Mentor Day with providing valuable feedback on bringing his app to market.

 

Financials and Legal

Dan Condro had what he described as a “very insightful meeting about fundraising” with Robert Wells. As we mentioned above, Robert guided Dan in identifying and appealing to investors as well as identifying other funding opportunities. Eddie of Vivid Arts also found the financial and legal advice offered through Mentor Day helpful after working with Matt Kissner, Associate Attorney with Broad & Cassel, on protecting is company and developing equity packages for employees.

With legal and financial professionals available, Mentor Day provides a well-rounded approach to analyzing and improving new businesses.

 

Building Your Business

What do John Calloway, Dan Condro, and Eddie Garcia all have in common? For one thing, they have businesses that work. What’s more, those businesses have seen success in part thanks to the resources provided by Mentor Day.

By Kellie Ames

Spring 2017 Interns: Thanks For The Memories

“The expert in anything was once a beginner…”

As the season begins to change (well, maybe not here in South Florida), so do our interns. Each semester we welcome new bright-eyed, bushy-tailed college students eager to learn about work life before they’re forced out into the real world after graduation.

This Spring we welcomed 4 interns learning all things tech, including programming, digital marketing, graphic design, and more. While we’d like to pride ourselves in having a fun, collaborative, and laid-back work environment, we’ll let our interns share their experience at Palm Beach Tech…


“It was a great learning experience. I enjoyed being around people who actually wanted to help others succeed and went above and beyond to create connections for me through community events. I recommend this internship to anyone as it’s a great way to network and meet local companies that are looking for young talent. ”

Monica Rojas, Member Development Intern | Next stop? Sales Intern @ HotelPlanner.com

 

 

“In my time at Palm Beach Tech, not only did I have a great experience, but I met amazing people and learned a lot about giving back to the community. Joe [Russo] and Brian [Dapelo] provide a great work atmosphere and truly help us nurture our potential through this program.”

Oscar Juarez, Operations Intern | Next Stop? Pursuing a Masters in International Management

 

 

“Palm Beach Tech is a fantastic organization that allowed me to develop and use my skills in a laid back and relaxed atmosphere geared to enhance my talents. Joe [Russo] and Brian [Dapelo] are a joy to work with, and they have worked hard to plug their interns, like me, into job opportunities around West Palm Beach. ”

— David Barjuca, Graphic Design Intern | Next stop? Graphic Design Intern @ Achieve Agency

 

 

“Palm Beach Tech Space is great because of its collaborative environment. They participate in and host a ton of events that have provided an opportunity to network and meet people who will help my career flourish. Joe [Russo] and Brian [Dapelo] are very laid-back and easy to work with. They are extremely knowledgeable in the tech industry and are able to translate that knowledge into projects that allow me to learn and grow. There is always music playing, snacks available, and now, apparently, beer on tap!”

Kellie Ames, Digital Marketing Intern | Next stop? Founder @ Mantra Activewear

 

Interested in a Palm Beach Tech internship?

By Kellie Ames

Palm Beach Tech Launching Volunteer Initiative

Serve With Us! Volunteering Looks Good On You

Studies show that giving back is essential to your happiness, and volunteering is a great way to help out your community. It’s a priceless gift to serve, and here are a few ways you can volunteer your technology skills and time:

  • Teach Computer Coding
  • Host a Workshop or Class
  • Present in a Classroom
  • Become an Adjunct Professor
  • Serve on an educational Advisory Board

We have a huge shortage of IT talent in the US, so we started Coder Dojo Palm Beach to train up the next generation of coders,” said George Whitaker, VP of Technology at Hello Labs“Hopefully, by the time they are 15, we can hire them to crank out some quality code,” he joked.

 

But it’s not just our next generation and local schools we must support, it’s our talent that’s right here within our local university’s like PBA, Lynn, FAU, and PBSC.

“It’s important that you not only make money, but make a difference. You need to be happy with your job,” said DedicatedIT‘s Adam Steinoff to Florida Atlantic University’s Management Information Systems (MIS) students in a class led by Jonathan Sweet. “It’s important to stay connected with the best and brightest coming out of college, to let them know there is opportunity here.”

Our very own Brian DapeloPalm Beach Tech Space‘s Community Manager, has gone further in becoming an adjunct at Palm Beach Atlantic University, teaching students in entrepreneurship and building businesses.

 

Moving beyond that, there’s a need to speak at Meetups, organize events, and simply serve our community.

“I volunteer because I want to be a part of something bigger than myself,” said Jeremy Lawson of Cosmic Strawberry who leads both the Palm Beach JavaScript Meetup & Palm Beach Tech Hackathon.  “I love the tech industry and the community I live in. Why not be a part of making it that much better?”

Looking to volunteer locally or need tech volunteers?

By Stephanie Buzano

Calling All Makers!

The South Florida Science Center & Palm Beach Tech Association are hosting 2nd Annual Palm Beach Mini MakerFaire on May 13th, 2017!

WHAT IS MAKER FAIRE?

Maker Faire showcases the amazing work of all kinds from all ages of makers—anyone who is embracing the do-it-yourself (or do-it-together) spirit and wants to share their accomplishments with an appreciative audience.

CALL FOR MAKERS!

You’re invited to come show your projects and live demos at this event. Makers sharing or demoing will be able to exhibit for FREE, while commercial makers selling goods will be charged a $35 tax deductible donation. We’re looking for:

  • Performers
  • Teachers
  • Club Leaders
  • Artists
  • Inventors

*This is both an indoor and outdoor event

MAKERS APPLY HERE!

By Kellie Ames

Palm Beach Tech launches new Resume Distributor

Need a tech job? Get your resume in front of employers with one click!

Palm Beach Tech was established to help build our community and share connections together! We developed the resume distributor in house, allowing anyone to upload resumes directly to tech company executives across the Palm Beaches.

“Palm Beach Tech has helped us hire both staff and interns in the past year, and this makes it even easier for us and our candidates,” said John Studdard, COO at Achieve.

  • For Job Seekers: It’s Free! So send your resume off today and let us know if you hear back.
  • For Educators: Pass the link along to your students to find internships and maybe their first job!
  • For Employers: Join the Palm Beach Tech Association and we’ll add you to the list!


“This tool allows us to match talent with opportunity like never before,” said Joe Russo, Executive Director of Palm Beach Tech. “Our members benefit from having unlimited access to our tech community.”

The resume distributor allows candidates to apply to hundreds of companies with the click of a button. All Palm Beach Tech Association members receive the resumes, review skills and qualifications, and connect with candidates. It’s that easy!

“We employ literally hundreds of technology professionals, but we’re always looking for our next hire,” said Michael Fowler, Vice President of Information Management at NextEra Energy Resources and PBT’s Education Committee Chair.

The project was completed with the help and guidance of many, including:

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DROPBOX: (Link Here) Association Logo, Space Logo, Headshots, and Stock Photos.

The Palm Beach Tech Association is a non-profit membership association established in July, 2015 uniting and building the technology industry throughout Palm Beach County. Members include MyTaskit, Levatas, Florida Power & Light, and Achieve. For more, visit www.PalmBeachTech.org

By Joe Russo

Introducing the Palm Beach Tech Team

As Palm Beach Tech continues to thrive, especially with the addition of the Palm Beach Tech Space & #MadeInPBC program, we need to grow our team as well. Today, we’re proud to announce the addition of Brian Dapelo & Dana Fletcher to our ranks.

 

COMMUNITY MANAGER:
Brian Dapelo is Palm Beach Tech’s new Community Manager, overseeing the Palm Beach Tech Space and MadeInPBC Program.
Brian brings a substantial amount of operational, strategy, and business development experience to the organization. He began his career in the Financial sector in roles including Financial Advisory, Trading, and Portfolio Management before starting his own investment advisory firm.
He later began a career in Management Consulting at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in New York City, where he specialized in solving the most complex strategy and operations issues for major multinational corporations. Inevitably Brian began to feel called back to entrepreneurship and decided to become an Independent Management Consultant to help small to medium sized businesses take their ideas to market, streamline operations, and reach growth goals.
Brian received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and his International MBA from Instituto de Empresa (IE) Business School in Madrid, Spain. He enjoys outdoor and ocean-specific activities, including surfing, fishing, hunting, and marksmanship. He also enjoys discussing geopolitics and beating people at chess on a regular basis.

 

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR:
Dana Fletcher is Palm Beach Tech’s new Communications Coordinator, overseeing the organization’s communications and events, including the Palm Beach Tech Meetup.
She’ll be using her experience in event management and online campaigns to strengthen our community relations, manage our social media communications and coordinate our monthly events.
Dana recently returned from living in England after graduating from the University of Leeds with her MA in Human Resource Management and the University of Florida before that. She enjoys traveling and describes herself as an avid passport stamp collector.


FALL 2016 INTERNS:
Wyatt Olsen joined us from the Finance Program at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He helped develop our MadeInPBC program while organizing budgets and finances for the organization.


After Rich Andrews earned his Master’s from Florida Atlantic University, he put his talents to work for Palm Beach Tech. His team also placed 2nd in the Palm Beach Tech Hackathon, developing an application for the South Florida Science Center.
He was crucial at developing the Palm Beach Tech Space and many of our recent initiatives, chipping in anyway, at anytime.






Darryl Jean joined us from the Computer Science program at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He worked on upgrading the Palm Beach Tech website with a new member portfolio and map plugin pivotal to showcasing our members and industry.






Paul Clements developed the Global Entrepreneur Week website and maintained websites for both Palm Beach Tech and The KTCHN. He’s a graduate of the Palm Beach Code School and Florida Atlantic University.






By Rich Andrews

Announcing the Winners of the 1st Palm Beach Tech Hackathon

The 1st annual Palm Beach Tech Hackathon kicked off Friday, November 4th at the Palm Beach Tech Space with over 30 attendees, plenty of beer, and an unveiling of projects supporting the South Florida Science Center and the Loxahatchee River Center.  

A “hacker” is often defined and portrayed in the media as “a person who secretly gets access to a computer system in order to get information and cause damage.” But few know that hackers can also be skilled programmers and problem solvers.

The Palm Beach Tech Hackathon had plenty of problem solving going on, as attendees formed teams and gathered at the South Florida Science Center Saturday morning  to begin hacking away at four topics to benefit both of these local non-profits:

  • Create a self-guided tour for the Loxahatchee River Center
  • Create a way to capture guest feedback for the South Florida Science Center
  • Create a way to track the results of the River Center’s 2017 Jr Angler Fishing Tournament
  • Create your own idea to benefit both organizations

On Sunday all coding and hacking stopped at noon, while hackers, guest and patrons gathered to see the final project presentations and hear the winners decided on by an elite team of judges:

  • Brian Dunnam, Executive Vice President Technology @ Levatas
  • Cecil Phillip, Senior .NET Developer
  • Jonathan LeBlanc, Head of Global Developer Advocacy @ PayPal.

In the end, it was a close call, but 3 projects came out on top:

1st Place: Rick Blalock

Created an application featuring a virtual tour and customer feedback system for the River Center & Science Center utilizing IBM Watson. View Project

2nd Place: Rich Andrews, Rishi Gohil, and Divyang Purohit 

This team of FAU graduate students & graduates created an interactive Facebook chat bot using ChatFuel for the Science Center. View Project

3rd Place: Melanie Kafka, Denis Zabavchik, Tedley Meralus, and Ed Janeczek

These “Wordpress Weekend Warriors” created a website and full blown iPhone application to help easily manage the River Center’s 2017 Junior Angler Tournament.

A special thanks goes to the Palm Beach Tech Hackathon Committee:

And a huge thanks to our sponsors:

By Joe Russo

Palm Beach Tech Hackathon Coming to South Florida Science Center

PALM BEACH TECH HACKATHON COMING TO SOUTH FLORIDA SCIENCE CENTER

PayPal, Microsoft, and Levatas will judge 3-day completion benefiting local non-profits

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla –The Palm Beach Tech Association and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium have joined forces to host one of the first hackathons in Palm Beach County to be held November 4 through 6 in West Palm Beach.

The Palm Beach Tech Hackathon will provide a peek behind the scenes of our everyday mobile applications, allowing visitors to experience the process of coding rather than just the product.

Participants in this two-day competition will form teams, vet ideas, create a project, then present their work to an expert panel of judges. It also aims to be an educational opportunity for all ages, with young aspiring programmers welcome to visit the event to observe and learn.

Teams will consist of engineers, designers, developers and entrepreneurs with winning teams walking away with a combination of cash and in-kind prizes. High schoolers can even apply for a Junior Hackathon, a similar competition which will be open to 12 select students.

“Hidden behind the apps so many of us rely upon on a daily basis,” said Lew Crampton, CEO for the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium,“are the lines of code that allow the program to function flawlessly. Dive deeper, and you’ll discover that Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and other apps are all made up of a special language – the language of computers. For those with a passion to pursue it, the ability to “talk” with our devices can be a hobby and sometimes even a career.”

The Hackathon will benefit the non-profit Loxahatchee River Center in Jupiter, FL, with potential projectspresented at the kickoff reception Friday, November4, 2016.The spontaneity of the projects, as well as the time limit, creates a sense of urgency andcollaborative environment conducive for great hacking, where intelligent minds with shared interests come together.

The Hackathon judging panel will be made up of three technology industry veterans – Daniel Bruce, Executive Director of Technology at Levatas;Ray Bango, Lead Developer Advocate at Microsoft; and Jonathan LeBlanc, Head of Global Developer Advocacy at PayPal. The Hackathon is also sponsored by Cosmic Strawberry, Arrow Consulting & Design, Levatas, Florida Power & Light,Duffy’s, and MyTaskit.

“The Palm Beaches are ripe for a technology boom, and with that, many talented technologists who can serve our community through their talents,” said Joe Russo, Executive Director of the Palm Beach Tech Association. “We’re honored to work with the Science Center to do our part – helping non-profits help their communities.”

“We’re delighted to partner with Palm Beach Tech to inspire a new generation of coders by providing them with a fun challenge. By witnessing first-hand the amount of teamwork, passion and intelligence that goes into the apps and technology we use every day, visitors will leave sharing the appreciation for coding, and we might even discover a future techie among our visitors.”

Kicking off on Friday at 5:00pm, The Palm Beach Tech Hackathon will run through Sunday at 5:00 PM. Registration is $10 per participant and is now open online at http://hackathon.palmbeachtech.org/. Tickets include registration, T-shirt and a Hackathon “swag bag.”

Regular Science Center guests are welcome to observethe competition and learn more about computercoding with on-site educators and local vendors. The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is located at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach and is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission to the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is $16.95 for adults, $12.95 for children ages 3 to 12 and $14.95 for seniors aged 60 and older. Science Center members and children under 3 are free. Planetarium shows are not included in general admission pricing.

For more information about Hackathon, or other Science Center programming, please call 561-832-1988 or visit www.sfsciencecenter.org. Like the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @SFScienceCenter.

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ABOUT THE SOUTH FLORIDA SCIENCE CENTER AND AQUARIUM:

The mission of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is to “open every mind to science.” Named the 2014 Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches’ Nonprofit of the Year, the Science Center features more than 50 hands-on educational exhibits, a 10,000 gallon fresh and salt water aquarium- featuring both local and exotic marine life, a digital planetarium, conservation research station, Florida exhibit hall, Pre-K focused “Discovery Center” and an interactive Everglades exhibit. In an effort to continue to meet the informal science education needs of the community, the Science Center will soon open an 18-hole mini-golf course, the “Conservation Course,” and more than 25 interactive exhibits in the Science Center’s “backyard.”

ABOUT PALM BEACH TECH ASSOCIATION:

The Palm Beach Tech Association is a non-profit 501(c)6 membership association uniting and building the innovation, entrepreneurial, and technology industries throughout Palm Beach County.As a countywide trade association, Palm Beach Tech promotes industry growth by working with business groups, educational institutions, and government entities to support the goals of member companies. The core focus is fixed on producing long-term economic impact by attracting new business, supporting startups, and building the talent pool.

By Ryan Morgan

Tips for Leading a Fast Growing Tech Company

Oftentimes when meeting with young entrepreneurs, start-up enthusiasts, and college students I get asked about building a thriving technology company. In this blog entry, I’ll discuss some things we’ve learned along our journey thus far.

Arrow Consulting & Design has been growing rapidly since it was founded in 2005. Raul Rodila and I started from humble beginnings with a goal and it has been an incredible journey. Along the way we’ve learned a lot, built some amazing applications, adapted to changes in technology, and have grown the company to over 100 employees.

Arrow Consulting & Design Quick Stats:

·       Founded: October 21st, 2005

·       Founder: Ryan Morgan

·       HQ Location: West Palm Beach

·       Employees: 100+

·       Average % Growth per Year: 40%

·       Services: User Experience, Web Application Development, Website Development

Oftentimes when meeting with young entrepreneurs, start-up enthusiasts, and college students I get asked about building a thriving technology company. In this blog entry, I’ll discuss some things we’ve learned along our journey so far.

Experiences Encountered in Managing a Fast Growing Company

As a leader of a growing company in a fast-paced environment, there’s never enough time. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. One of the things I learned over the years was the benefit of learning from others, specifically learning from mentors.

Mentors Provide Valuable Insight 

As there is a limited amount of time in a day there is only so much one can do. When I started meeting with mentors I quickly figured out that their experiences and generously shared wisdom provided great counsel and insight. The ability to learn from the experiences of others is beneficial as it saves time, provides different and seasoned perspectives, and helps me become a well-rounded leader. I’ve found that some meetings over coffee with a mentor are more effective than hiring a team of consultants.Takeaway: Find experienced mentors and soak in their wisdom

Read Often

Another way to learn from experiences and wisdom of others is to read, listen to audio books, and listen to podcasts. During airplane rides, on business trips, while I run, in my car, and any time between I consume books, blogs, and podcasts of business leaders and well-respected authors.

For example, I often listen to Andy Stanley’s podcast. He provides great insight and perspective on leadership. One of his insights that stuck with me was the notion of drawing out an organizational chart and working towards replacing yourself in all the roles you’re involved with.

During certain phases of an organization’s growth, the leaders will wear many hats. It’s just the nature of the beast. Though, to continue growing one can’t wear all those hats forever and needs to hire people to replace them in those roles. This is a valuable lesson learned and we are undergoing this process at Arrow today.

Takeaway: Read often and apply lessons learned to your respective organizations

People, Processes, & Staffing

Continuing with the “read often” suggestion, another example is a book I recently read, “Scaling Up Excellence.” This book was packed with insights and information. One section of the book talked about picking the right people, but it wasn’t just about the right people. It spoke to the notion of picking the right people for the right moment of growth in the company.We recently hired a CEO at Arrow. Our company just turned 10 and we were and are growing at a rapid pace. In order to take the company to the next level of growth, it was the right time to bring in a seasoned business executive. Not only did we get the right person for the role, but we got the right person at the right time.

The book, “E-Myth,” dove into understanding the complexities of having different staffing levels. In the younger stages of an organization, there’s not as much structure present and the organization is flat. As organizations grow more structure comes into play, hierarchies are created, and processes are put into place. The author conveyed how having the correct process in place could better help to accommodate the correct staffing levels.

At Arrow, we’ve put in an organizational hierarchy to help define and articulate roles. Along with this structure and defined roles are processes that are in place to aid in the flow of communication, information, and employee growth.

Takeaway 1: Hire the right people for the right moment of growth for your organization

Takeaway 2: Having processes in place can assist with ensuring you’re staffed well

Importance of Sales & Marketing

Over the years we’ve built the business up through our personal networks, relationships, and references. It has been a great journey, but to continue growth marketing and sales become of increasing importance.The book “Zero to One” was a great read that reinforced the importance of sales and marketing. Oftentimes we as technologists think we are going to build something awesome and it will automatically go viral. As you’d imagine this is rarely the case. What’s the greatest tool in the world if people don’t know about it? Oftentimes what looks like a product or tools going viral is the result of months of planning and marketing that lead to people becoming fans. Viral products usually don’t happen by accident. To thrive we have to consider the work and skills necessary to take a product to market, promote it, cultivate relationships, and close a sale. The “if you build it they will come” mentality doesn’t always hold true.

Takeaway: No matter what product you’re building or service you’re providing never underestimate the importance of sales & marketing

Learning Never Stops

It’s only appropriate to summarize and close out this blog post with acknowledging that running an organization is a constant real-world education in progress. We’re always striving to be better, more efficient, and to grow.  Keep in mind that even with the best intentions and efforts we don’t always get it right, but we always learn, grow, and adapt. If you’re running an organization, the learning never stops and that’s part of the fun!

By Joe Russo

Palm Beach Code School Hosting Free Workshops

The Palm Beach Code School is hosting an hour-long introduction course to HTML & CSS, two of the most common languages used by web developers.

WHEN: Monday, July 25th @ 6:00pm

WHERE: Palm Beach Tech Space

They also offer 8-week and 16 week programs providing training for a career in Web Development, with their next classes starting in August.

This free coding workshop is presented by the Palm Beach Tech Association!

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