Palm Beach Tech AssociationPalm Beach Tech Association

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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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?

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Palm Beach Tech Appoints New Leadership
Celebrating Palm Beach Tech’s 2nd Birthday!
Mentor Day: Providing Benefits to Local Entrepreneurs
Spring 2017 Interns: Thanks For The Memories
Palm Beach Tech Launching Volunteer Initiative