The Lab Miami Launches Republic Bikes Program With Bike.Hack.Make.Drank

If you thought 3-D printers just made plastic guns, check your prejudices at the door. This Saturday, The LAB Miami is hosting a all day event that fuses computer programing, body conscious cycling, a penchant for 3D printing, and craft beer.

Sounds like a tech bro's wet dream right? Well, it is.

Based out of a converted garage space in Wynwood, The LAB Miami is an open creative space where programmers, developers, and designers can come to tinker with the freshest ideas out of the tech world. Now, they're launching a Republic Bikes program to hep LAB members get around town.

"Our members are from all over South Florida -- as far north as West Palm Beach and far south Homestead -- so it's really important that our members can easily navigate the neighborhood without having to hop in a car each time," explains LAB co-founder Danny Lafuente. "For that alone, it really made sense to add a bike share for members."

And they're not kicking things off quietly. Saturday's Bike.Hack.Make.Drank event asks participants to do, well, just that. First, participants will bike to LAB for the event; next, they'll create a "hack," inventing either software or physical bike accessories that make getting around town on two wheels easier. They'll then work with representatives in Miami's DIY community to bring those ideas to fruition.

And then, to celebrate, they'll draaaank. Craft beer, specifically.

"This isn't our first hackathon, we've done a bunch of these," says Lafuente. "This time we're partnering with Republic Bikes, and MIAMade to put on something a little different .... These events sometimes last up to 24 hours, [but] we're challenging them to come up with something in just eight."

Tech developers will be able to use the foundation of Republic Bikes' existing app to "[build] on top of the available functionalities," Lafuente says, "things like tracking who used it the most (amount of times, distance traveled) to create monthly health competitions or maybe another functionality like an automatic post or tweet to Facebook so users can encourage others in their personal network to bike instead of drive."

If mobile app development doesn't tickle your tech fancy, developers will also have a chance to work with a 3-D printer. "For those that are more familiar with 3D printing programing language, they can work on designing new features of the bikes. For example maybe they could work on a basket that will sit on top," said Lafuente.

For those Miami tech fanatics who can't wait to dip their beaks into the nation's collective zeal for all things digital, Saturday's Bike.Hack.Make.Drank event will assuage their cybernetic fervor. For Lafuente it's just one small step in turning Miami from the town that took down Justin Bieber into an East Coast Mountain View.

"At this point Miami has all the pieces it needs to become a big tech hub," he says. "All it takes is time to let things develop organically."

Bike.Hack.Make.Drank takes place this Saturday, June 14, starting at 9 a.m. and running through the end of Art Walk at 9 p.m. Visit thelabmiami.com.

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