5 things to know in #MiamiTech: A downtown digital art takeover, a huge hiring fair, record tech job commitments & more


 NFTs get a conference all their own – and digital art will take over downtown

If you can’t get enough NFTs at NFT BZL, you can experience digital art in the wild all week at the Flagler Street Art Festival during Miami Art Week. A first for Miami Art Week, Mana Public Arts and Urban Impact Lab are putting on the Flagler Street Art Festival, with world-class muralists, digital art installations, outdoor lounge spaces and daily programming.

During the festival, you can visit the “The Monolith”, a 24-foot-tall NFT art exhibition space produced by ArtRepublic and featuring 100 artists’ works curated by SuperRare, as part of the event illuMia. There will also be a digital NFT art gallery illuminating the facades of Flagler’s historic buildings, curated by YM&U and ArtRepublic with special artworks by Slime Sunday and Nate Mohler, and 15 new murals by world-class artists in the Flagler Street District, as part of the Miami Mural Festival. The Flagler Street Art Festival is free: More info here.

Meanwhile, 68 speakers are on agenda for the one-day NFT BZ, designed to bring ideas and innovation together and it’s not just for those already in the NFT know, Mana Tech’s Michelle Abbs says (Hear more from her on the Miami Tech Pod. Leading NFT platforms and Metaverse partners participating include AEXLab, The Sandbox, VaynerNFT, OneOf, Polygon, Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX), Algorand, NFT Now and Nifty Gateway.  More info on NFT BZL here.

Miami Art Week Locals’ Tip: If you haven’t yet experienced infamous Miami gridlock, you will during Art Week. Plan ahead, triple the time you think it will take to get to a location by car or rideshare, and take advantage of public transit and your own two feet if you can.


Huge tech hiring fair planned for Dec. 2

There’s a lot more than art at Miami Tech Week, oops, we meant Miami Art Week. Case in point: #MiamiTech companies will be showcasing 1,050 tech jobs at the Venture Miami Tech Hiring Fair on Thursday, Dec. 2, at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus.

At least 28 companies, including Blockchain.com, Papa, EveryMundo, Schonfeld, SmartHop, REEF, Blackstone, Slalom, Kaseya, Zumper, OKCoin, OpenStore, Marco, Barry’s, Trend, Amazon,  Swag up, Tesys Networks, Lumu, Heico, Magic Leap and  Traba wil be there.

The job fair is being by Venture Miami, along with Miami-Dade County, Miami Dade College, Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, the University of Miami, the Miami Downtown Development Authority and the Talent Development Network.

The fair runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is free. Job seekers should come ready for on-site interviews and on-the-spot hiring. Uber is providing $15 credits for your ride to and cfrom the fair with the promo code VENTUREMIAMI. More information on the hiring fair is here.


 Beacon Council reports record number of tech job commitments

At its Annual Meeting this week, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council reported that it has secured 4,989 new job commitments from 32 companies over the past 12 months, a record for the economic developent agency.  Half of them are in the health tech, financial tech, crypto automotive tech, logistics tech and IT sectors. The companies that received incentives for their relocations or expansions have three years to create the jobs.

 “While 2021 continued to challenge even the best businesses, we at The Beacon Council helped Greater Miami capitalize on the unique opportunities the slowdown presented. We helped lure a record number of domestic and international business expansions and relocations, expanding our presence in targeted industries, such as fintech and cryptocurrency, investment and banking, healthtech, aviation, distribution and logistics, startups and innovation,” said Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, calling the news “transformational for our region.” The 32 companies also represent $229 million in new capital investments.

The jobs carry an average salary of $120,000, about twice the average annual wage for jobs in Miami-Dade County and a record high. Including the indirect jobs created , the Beacon Council calculates the economic impact at nearly $1 billion. The Beacon Council also reported that since 2012, tech jobs in Miami-Dade County grew 88% from 8,328 to 15,678 in 2021. View the annual report here.

Last month, the Miami DDA announced that 11 tech firms relocating or expanding to the City of Miami have committed to create more than 1,069 jobs in the next three years.


eMerge Americas and Synapse Florida partner for larger impact

eMerge Americas and the Tampa-based Synapse Florida announced a strategic partnership to “deepen the connections between Florida’s dynamic innovation communities.” The partnership will create new opportunities to share best practices and connections that will strengthen Florida-based innovation and as well as create opportunities to showcase successes. 

 The groups are coordinating a year-round calendar of innovation events across the state, including  the Synapse Summit (Feb 17, 2022, in Tampa), the global eMerge Americas conference in Miami Beach (April 18-19, 2022), and Synapse Orlando (Oct. 2022). “We are honored to partner with Synapse and take a statewide approach to innovation ecosystem building,” said Felice Gorordo, CEO of eMerge Americas.  “Together, eMerge Americas and Synapse aim to transform Florida into the Startup State.”

Instrumental in creating this partnership is Marc Blumenthal, co-founder and board member of Synapse, part of Florida Funders and a board member of eMerge Americas.  “Our organizations have collaborated since the beginning, supporting each other in various ways. Formalizing the partnership was an obvious next step to align the impact and vision of these two formidable organizations to tell Florida’s story that, as we say at Synapse, ‘innovation lives here’.”


Aire ventures receives $165K grant to further mission

aīre ventures
received a $165,500 grant from Verizon to bridge systemic gaps in college access for youth from underserved South Florida communities. aīre ventures will use the Verizon grant to support the pilot of Access Online. Access Online, developed by Nyah Project, provides on-demand, college admissions skills and strategy coaching. The platform leverages vetted content that has resulted in a 100% college acceptance rate and over $11 million in scholarships for South Florida students from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to aire ventures.

“The systemic barriers that persist in educational equity are compounded for BIPOC students from low income backgrounds. Verizon’s investment in Access Online demonstrates an intentional effort to address pronounced inequities in the college admissions process, which are a root cause of this problem,”   said Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, President of aīre ventures.  Read more here.


Editor’s note: With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I just wanted to thank you, dear readers, for supporting Refresh. Thank you for carving out time in your day to read and share our stories — and thank you as well to all my Twitter editors too! We couldn’t do what we do without you. We’re excited for the year ahead. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Nancy Dahlberg