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The Sunshine Economy

The Sunshine Economy Part Five: Technology


South Florida may be known for its sun and sand, but software? There is a burgeoning effort to grow, encourage and attract the technology industry to South Florida.

Silicon Beach

Local entrepreneur advocates have been very active building the necessary infrastructure to support local start-ups. What else is needed? Can Miami really become “Silicon Beach?”

Future of Technology

Former Terremark CEO Manny Medina has challenged the local technology community to do what’s necessary to build the local industry. He has spearheaded the effort by announcing an “Emerge Americas” technology conference for May 2014, backed by his Technology Foundation of the Americas. Medina tells us his goal is to attract the global headquarters of a major technology firm to South Florida.

Start-Ups in South Florida

Incubators, accelerators and co-working locations are cropping up across the region. These are efforts to encourage, inspire and assist budding entrepreneurs with their ideas.

Reporter Karen Burkett takes us along for a day in the life of an incubator at Florida Atlantic University.

RELATED: A Tour Of FAU's Technology Incubator In Boca Raton

We also speak with Matt Haggman of the Knight Foundation, which has teamed with the non-profit Endeavor Group about their $2 million effort to stoke South Florida's start-up scene.

Healthcare technology is one of the hottest areas for local entrepreneurs. We go to the University of Miami's Launch Pad to meet the head of Cohealo, which is applying the same business model used by ZipCar to expensive hospital equipment.

Two and a half years ago, Cohealo was the brainchild of Mark Slaughter. Now Slaughter employs more than a dozen people and has attracted millions of dollars from investors for the Boca Raton-based start-up.

Albert Santalo knows the lure of Silicon Valley for a South Florida healthcare tech firm. But he decided to keep his CareCloud tech firm based in Miami. He tells us why.

.CO Internet has also made its home here. The domain registry aims to rival the more familiar .COM Internet domain.  We hear from the team why they think Florida's tech workforce is coming on strong.


Tom Hudson is WLRN's Senior Economics Editor and Special Correspondent.