In its third year, the sold-out eMerge Americas tech conference gathered approximately 13.000 innovators which left Manny Medina, an eMerge organizer, the difficult choice to preemptively close registration.  Every year, the event has garnered significantly more attention, surpassing last years’ attendance by more than 30%.   It’s great to see eMerge emerging in South Florida.

“Miami has always been the financial capital of Latin America, but it has never been the technology capital of Latin America,” Medina said.

“Now, it’s starting to look like it could be both.” He pointed to a Miami Herald feature on the rise of financial technology companies based in the South Florida, including companies like NovoPayment, specifically targeted at supporting financial transactions with Latin American banks. Healthcare and cyber security are two other hot sectors for the region.

President and CEO of Pompano Beach-based CaneWireless Wayne Phang also commented:

“This is a great platform, where young entrepreneurs and startups can really showcase their products and meet with a lot of other startups and network,”

According to Beacon Council, Miami is among the Top 5 interconnected cities in the US and from 2012-2016 it had a 32% increase in tech jobs compared to the 21% nationally.

Keynotes speakers were as diverse as Miami population. eMerge had personalities such as Monica Lewinsky, Armando Perez Aka Pitbull, General Collin Powell talking about important subjects like cyber-bullying,  tech, politics, etc.

Beyond the great speakers and panel discussions, like the one for Women, Innovation & Technology (WIT), eMerge was all about networking. The organization hosted multiples events where startups, companies, universities and investors collided to expand their business opportunities.

Winners at eMerge Startups competition:

eMerge Hackathon:  Team Two Brothers and an Oscar, for a financial literacy app for kids

University track: Tinker.build, FIU, a platform for novices to build tech hardware

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Early Stage track: Cetus Labs, creates software to streamline port terminal operations

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Later Stage track: Mediconecta, a telemedicine provider for Latin America

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eMerge Americas 2017 is already scheduled for June 12-13. If you wish to participate go to emergeamericas.org/ and you will find more information.