Could Miami be the Silicon Valley of the East? If the inaugural eMerge Americas conference has its way, that'll be the course on which our fair city is headed, and why not? Miami is having a moment, but it will take the combined efforts of our community as a whole to harness that national interest into vibrant and multi-faceted cultural leadership.
In the past, artistic and brilliant minds grown in Miami have seen the city as a jumping-off point for greener pastures (NYC, LA, etc.), but why leave a place with such perfect weather? This weekend, the eMerge Ameicas conference brings more than 100 speakers and leaders from the technological frontier to our own backyard for a week-long series of engagements, expos, summits - even parties - as a means to inspire and awaken a budding technological movement.
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If you're a dreamer with your sights on start-up success, a developer with ideas about apps and games, or just a tech geek looking to get some questions answered and shake hands, this event is the jackpot. Hear featured speakers representing Amazon, IBM, Mashable, and more as they give invaluable insight. Participate in a Hackathon at the to-be-unveiled Miami Innovation Center. Have your tech questions answered by leaders in the finance, media, healthcare, education, and municipal worlds. You can even compete against your peers for a chance to win your part of $150,000 in cash toward your innovative ideas.
And because this is Miami, the tech gets sexy with after parties, a fashion tech runway show, food truck face offs, musical performances. Cultist homeboy and sometime-contributor Pepe Billete is even getting in on the fun, hosting the official kick-off celebration Saturday on Lincoln Road.
This is our chance to come out and show support for our own evolving identity. If we make big waves now, we can show the country and the world the potential our city has to be a leader in not just cultural but technological innovation. We're up for the task, and let's be real, no one can hope to do it like us.
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The eMerge Americas Conference kicks off Saturday and runs through Tuesday, May 6. Tickets cost $55 to $1,350 and registration is now open via emergeamericas.org/register. Call 1-844-emerge1 or visit emergeamericas.org.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.