A Tech Cluster in the Works

Lots of tech news happening in these parts

Lots of tech news happening in these parts

Is a tech cluster forming in South Florida?
It sure seems that way according to new research by real estate firm CB Richard Ellis.

Four cities in the Sunshine State made the top 50 list of tech clusters in the most recent survey of technology activity nationwide.

Miami ranked 50th, Fort Lauderdale 48th, Orlando 47th and Tampa 36th in a report card issued by CBRE that includes a range of factors measuring office space, tech jobs, tech degrees and technology investment.

CBRE cited Miami as a particularly fast rising city based on the growth of its millennial population and the explosive buzz around the eMerge conference.

Just like South by Southwest put Austin on the global map, eMerge is creating a brand for Miami.

Closer to home, we are seeing efforts at local universities begin to gain traction.

Lynn University has developed a very close relationship with Apple, with regular site visits by key Lynn leaders to Apple’s plush campus in Cupertino. The relationship is developing new and innovative ways to deliver higher education and promises to make Lynn a global leader in the emerging field. Lynn will have a presence at eMerge to discuss its ambitious and exciting plans.

FAU is also ramping up its efforts with the launch of Tech Runway (full disclosure, I sit on the Tech Runway Advisory Board) and the success of the FAU Research Park which is growing companies including Dan Kane’s latest Modernizing Medicine.

Even the Internet Coast, which was quiet for a while, has re-emerged with a lot of activities and events.

In Delray, technology based firms are quietly setting up shop, attracted by the vibrancy of Atlantic Avenue.

Even off the avenue, we are witnessing some interesting office plays, including a beautiful space operated by Regus (a co-working firm) on Congress Avenue in the newly purchased Arbors building.

Downtown, the 55 Delray building is a virtual beehive or entrepreneurs and Atlantic Plaza boasts the presence of Domain Holdings and Bidtellect, companies founded by the super entrepreneur (and all around cool guy) John Ferber (fuller disclosure, I performed John and his lovely wife Jenna’s wedding ceremony at the Seagate Club a few years back).

Boca Raton has a rich tech heritage as the birthplace of the IBM PC.

Many of the former IBMers remained in the area. Former IBM Boca President Pete Martinez is one of those who stayed here. He’s got a new start-up called Game Changing Technologies that is worth keeping tabs on.

All of this is good news for our community as we diversify the economy beyond real estate, construction and tourism.



  1. John Tomaszewski says

    Funny, I was always told the IBM PC was developed in the IBM buildings on South Congress Avenue in Delray Beach. As the Fire Inspector assigned to those buildings at that time, I can state for a fact there were some very secret projects going on there. Entry in specific areas required them to cover certain materials that they didn’t want the inspector to see and they would assign one of their company fire prevention personnel to work with us. We had a good working relationship.

    Perhaps some former IBM’ers could comment.

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