Miami Tech & Startup News

Magic Leap announces initiative with local academic organizations to develop our tech talent pipeline

Magic Leap announces initiative with local academic organizations to develop our tech talent pipeline

Plantation-based enterprise augmented reality company Magic Leap today announced a strategic initiative with Florida Atlantic University and three non-profit organizations in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

This initiative, which has already begun and will run for the foreseeable future, will provide young South Floridians with educational opportunities by leveraging Magic Leap’s AR platform and expertise. On top of FAU, the three other participating organizations are Miami EdTech, ReGenerate Tech, and the Crockett Foundation. 

In an interview with Refresh Miami, Magic Leap VP of Strategic Partnerships Diego Berta explained that the goal is to cultivate the next generation of innovators.

“Tech in South Florida has blown up in the last three years, and that’s been amazing. But we will need the right talent to be able to work for these companies and develop the products and solutions that they’ll need. If we have a shortage of intellectual capital, the growth of our local tech scene is very limited.”

Berta, who also sits on the board of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, underscored that Magic Leap cannot build this talent pipeline by itself, but can still make an important contribution. “We are world experts in augmented reality, but we’re not world experts at teaching kids in their early teens coding,” noted Berta. “We strongly believe that through this initiative, we will be able to catalyze each other’s efforts.”

Miami EdTech, a computer science education nonprofit, plans to use Magic Leap’s tech to introduce its K-12 students to spatial computing concepts for real-life applications.  “Our goal is to empower our teachers and students to be creators in the Web 3.0 Economy and support pathways for the workforce in this evolving tech ecosystem. We’re targeting schools with historically excluded populations and incorporating social entrepreneurship components into the curriculum,” said Carlos Vazquez, Miami EdTech’s founder and CEO.

The Crockett Foundation, which offers after-school coding programs for middle school students, will integrate Magic Leap’s platform to create an experiential learning environment for its Broward County students.

Broward-based ReGenerate Tech plans to use Magic Leap’s tech to expand AR learning opportunities locally. Randall Deich, the Director of Talent Attraction and Education at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and ReGenerate Tech’s founder and Chief Networking Officer, explained their plans for the initiative in a statement.

“ReGenerate Tech is forging new leadership opportunities for students in its career pathways program with Magic Leap’s support,” said Deich. “Our students are learning critical skills and concepts that will be instrumental to the development of the metaverse and other emerging technologies of the future.”

At the core of this initiative is further developing South Florida’s talent pipeline, which has been a critical point of uncertainty for tech firms moving to the area. Going forward, the company plans to continue to provide access to its platform to create more spatial computing education opportunities in the local ecosystem.

“At Magic Leap, we deeply believe in using our technology to effect positive change –starting with our home base in South Florida,” Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson said in a statement. “Our work with FAU, Miami EdTech, ReGenerate Tech and the Crockett Foundation is critical to the future of our community, particularly as we look to inspire, educate and nurture upcoming generations of technologists in a rapidly growing spatial computing industry.”

Economic development through technology has been a key theme coming out of Broward County throughout the recent tech boom. This year, the Levan Center – a public-private partnership between Nova Southeastern University and Broward County – opened its doors as a self-proclaimed economic and education development engine. The county’s leadership, including Mayor Michael Udine, has been outspokenly pro-tech. And there are a host of innovators working to develop the local tech scene.

Through this particular initiative, Magic Leap hopes to increase economic opportunity for South Florida students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds.

“This is not a one-and-done,” said Berta. “This is the beginning of us curating partners in the local ecosystem.”

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Riley Kaminer