Miami Soul – your ultimate source for places to go, people to see, and things to do in the black social scene. Check out this week’s weekend guide from Miami Soul. For a list of weekly reoccurring events, check out miami.com/miami-soul.
From co-working spaces and incubators in Wynwood and Downtown to a burgeoning ecosystem of startups and entrepreneurs, Miami is quickly becoming the next technology and startup scene, and all eyes are on us. There’s a huge movement growing in Miami to accelerate startups, drive tech education, and ultimately retain top talent. However, diversity in tech is a challenge across the board, and Code Fever intends to address that heads on with the inaugural Black Tech Week being held from February 23 – 28 during Black History Month at Miami Dade College North Campus.
Presented by Miami-based Code Fever, an organization committed to teaching minority youth how to code, create technologies, and become entrepreneurs, Black Tech Week was inspired out of the vision to change the narrative surrounding the Black community and replace it with innovation, creativity, and technology. The founders, Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson, anticipate that Black Tech Week will accelerate Miami as the U.S. gateway to the Caribbean and the entire African diaspora much like the city has become a gateway to Latin America.
The week-long series of events convenes Black tech innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors from around the globe for innovative programming that celebrates innovators of color, tech innovation, and diversity. From sessions like “Tapping into Africa with Tech” to country-inspired sessions like Startup Jamaica, Startup Haiti, and Startup Havana to a pitch competition for sustainability entrepreneurs, attendees will have multiple opportunities to connect and network with global entrepreneurs and investors.
Some heavy hitters in the tech and startup scene are participating, including:
- Chinedu Echeruo – noted developer who founded and sold his company, HopStop, to Apple for $1 billion
- Eric Osiakwan – Angel Africa advisor, TED fellow, and investor
- Brian Brackeen – Founder of Miami-based facial recognition software, Kairos, with $1.2 million secured in funding and recognized as one of the Wall Street Journal’s top startup of 2013
- Ingrid Riley – Founder, KingstonBeta and Startup Weekend Jamaica
- Stonly Baptiste – Founder of Miami-based Urban.us
- Pandwe Gibson – Founder, EcoTech Visions, a Miami-based incubator supporting green businesses
- Jon Gosier – Founder of Appfrica, Apps4Africa, and co-founder of big data company, MetaLayer. Also named by CNN as one of 10 African Tech Voices to Follow on Twitter, one of the 25 most influential African-Americans in Technology by Business Insider, one of three Innovators of the Year by Black Enterprise Magazine, and one of The New Faces of Black Leadership by TIME Magazine.
Black Tech Week is not just for Black attendees and is open to the entire community and those who have an interest in growing Miami’s entrepreneurial economy. Additional details about Black Tech Week, including the schedule of events, confirmed speakers and participants, and registration information can be found at www.blacktechweek.com.