5 things to know in #MiamiTech: Big plans for Miami Hack Week, 2020’s best-read stories and more


Miami Hack Week launches Hack@Campus

Miami Hack Week will be back for version 2 Jan. 23-30 with big plans for 2022. Organizers of Miami Hack Week, including Ja‘dan Johnson and Backend Capital’s Lucy Guo and Dave Fontenot, report that the event is already bigger than 2021, with more than twice the number of Hacker Houses signed up. They are expecting over 1,000 hackers, up from about 500 participating last year.

A new addition this year is Hack@Campus, a track specifically designed to encourage Miami-Dade County students to join. In addition to admission to all MHW events, students who are accepted will also have access to special workshops and tech talks and will be provided with a $200 stipend. Apply here:  https://www.miamihackweek.com/students.

“We have been working tirelessly to ensure MHW reflects our ambitions for the community,” Johnson said. “This includes Hack@Campus and providing students with a stipend to ensure they can participate, offering travel grants to help with associated costs for attendees from historically underrepresented groups, and building relationships with organizations that have been doing this work.”

More details about both Hack@Campus and the travel grants for visiting techies are in this Twitter thread:


Best-read Refresh stories of 2021

This is the holiday edition of 5 things to know, so … drum roll please … here were Refresh Miami’s top read stories of 2021, in a year when readership was up more than 3X over 2020. We were honored to bring you 460 stories (and counting!) this year, chronicling our amazing year in #MiamiTech. Thank you for reading Refresh Miami.

1. Ana Paula Gonzalez to head SoftBank’s Miami Initiative

2. Where the jobs are: A closer look at Blackstone’s Miami hiring plans 

3. More ‘rocket fuel’: Microsoft to open regional hub in Miami, leases 50,000 sf in 830 Brickell

4. Q&A with REEF Technology’s Ari Ojalvo: Challenging the conventional path

5. SoftBank committed to invest $100M in Miami startups. It’s now at $250M – and counting  

6. To grow Miami’s tech talent, Knight invests $15.3M in FIU, UM, Baptist

7. Global hiring and payments startup Ontop raises $20M from Tiger Global, SoftBank

8. It’s #MiamiTechWeek and you’re invited!

9. Miami startup Lula raises $18M Series A round led by Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures  

10. OnChain Studios raises $7.5M seed round led by a16z to develop Cryptoys NFT platform

11. Small business-focused challenger bank Novo lands $40.7M Series A round

12. To scale ‘the power of human connection,’ Papa raises $150M Series D. And we have a new unicorn

13. ‘Sleep really hasn’t changed much since the Romans,’ but Miami HQ’ed Eight Sleep is changing that

14. Miami-born cybersecurity startup ByteChek lands $3M seed round

15. The Miami Movement is real – just look at the news of the past six months

And ICYMI, here’s a throwback to December 2020: Auston Bunsen’s take on 2020 and what he saw ahead for 2021 was so prescient! Read about how he saw it all coming here.  


Bit5ive plans to hire 300 in South Florida

Bit5ive, creator of custom cryptocurrency data mining centers, plans to hire 300 full-time employees, including electrical engineers and technitions,  as part of its South Florida expansion, the South Florida Business Journal reported.  Founded in 2015 and currently in Medley, Bit5ive plans to expand to a production facility it is building in Hialeah Gardens.

“With our specialized group of technicians, we manage and operate our clients’ facilities to assure that their operations are running as efficiently as possible. We have been involved in managing several large scale operations not only in the USA but also abroad,” said CEO Robert Collazo, in VoyageMIA. “This company was created with the purpose of support and hosting of mining equipment for individual hobbyists, investors, and large financial institutions.”


Moishe Mana buys more property for downtown tech development

Moishe Mana, with a grand plan to transform his downtown Miami properties into a tech hub called Mana Common, has purchased three more buildings to his holdings, paying $25.4 million for them.

The buildings, which total 50,197 square feet, add to Mana’s portfolio of more than 60 properties spanning over 1.3 million square feet in and near downtown’s Flagler District, The Real Deal reported. Mana has begun renovations  at the 13-story Nikola Tesla Innovation Hub at 155 South Miami Avenue and at the Flagler Studios at 145 East Flagler, which will be a fashion hub.


Brightline breaks ground in Boca Raton station

Brightline has started construction on its train station, or more specifically the parking garage that will be used by the train station. The station complex, including the garage, is projected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022, the South Florida Business Journal reported. It will be built on 1.8 acres of land owned by the city of Boca Raton at 1501 Spanish River Blvd. Brightline currently runs between three stations located in the downtown areas of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.  In South Florida a train station west of Aventura Mall is also expected to be completed by the end of 2022.. Train service to Orlando  is currently on track to launch in early 2023.

Happy New Year, #MiamiTech!

Nancy Dahlberg