Miami Tech Month kicks off with Miami NFT Week, featuring speakers like Timbaland, and drawing thousands of enthusiasts

By Krysten Brenlla

This is no April Fools joke – Miami Tech Month has officially kicked off, and what better way to celebrate than with Miami NFT Week, a 3-day conference and festival at the heart of Wynwood?

Thousands of NFT enthusiasts showed up to Mana Wynwood Convention Center from March 31 – April 2 to learn from 250+ speakers on the future of music, fashion, gaming, real estate, sports, travel, technology, government, and more. In addition, participants enjoyed a full-blown NFT exhibit area, giveaways, networking with content creators and entrepreneurs IRL, and enjoyed after parties throughout the 305.

Speakers included leaders and executives from startups and technology companies in the Miami Tech ecosystem, as well as artists and creators, like Timbaland.

The full lineup of founders, artists, and creators at Miami NFT Week encompassed the mission of its founders, Gianni D’Alerta, Ted Lucas and Erik LaPaglia: community, diversity, and the future of web3. 

From the world of fashion, music, entertainment, and social impact, all of the speakers onstage emphasized that web3, and the future of web3, lies in its creators – and that’s us.

“Digital fashion allows us to unlock things that real-world fashion design does not.”

Megan Kaspar, a technology investor, co-founder, and managing director of FirstLight, emphasized that being able to design digital fashion pieces really allows designers to create pieces that aren’t possible in the “real fashion design world.”

She highlighted this by showcasing her pivotal cover on Haute Magazine, which shows her wearing an iconic v-neck hunter green dress – a dress that was created completely using artificial intelligence.

“When I tell people I was wearing SKIMS in that photoshoot, they don’t believe me,” Kaspar said. “With digital fashion, we can have flying colors, textures, and shapes that aren’t possible in the real-world,” she continued.

Although the future of the fashion industry looks bright in web3 and the metaverse, the biggest challenge Kaspar sees is adaptation.

“Most people don’t have crypto wallets, and it’s very difficult to onboard people to wallets now,” Kaspar continued. “But when we look at the beginning of email, social media, and the internet, most people didn’t understand it – now, it’s our world.”

Kaspar wrapped up by discussing the future of brands, marketing, and artificial intelligence, and emphasized that companies and fashion designers now have an opportunity to use digital fashion to collect post-purchasing data that can completely transform their brands.

“I think artificial intelligence will be extremely important when it comes to generating new, amazing designs,” Kaspar said. “Behavior will shift in the next decade, and I think the online platforms we know today will integrate with digital fashion in real-time online.”

Web3 and its impact on society: “It’s important for us to understand the power of inclusivity in Web3”

Another key point throughout Miami NFT Week was web3 and its impact on society – especially the impact web3 has on minority communities.

Jotaka Eaddy, the founder and CEO of Full Circle Strategies, LLC, dubbed the “Olivia Pope of Silicon Valley,” emphasized that although technology has the ability to be a “great convener to move us forward,” she said it is “imperative for each of us to think about how we’re using technology to advance society forward.”

“We have to be very intentional about the impact of technology on society; it has to be intertwined in every single decision that we’re making, and how we’re shaping our companies and the policies that drive those companies,” Eaddy said. “We have the opportunity now to ensure that we have everyone at the table, and that we all get there together, with nobody left behind.”

She continued to emphasize that, although there are dangers in technology, such as the spreading of misinformation or disinformation online, the global power of web3 is allowing us to use the power of community to break barriers and change our current world for the better.

“If we utilize technology to bring us forward and to push margins – that’s the real power of technology and NFTs,” Eaddy concluded. “When we’re intentional in the future and clear that we’re doing this for the purpose of moving society forward, we can create powerful change in the world.”

Timbaland on music and entertainment in web3: “The new wave for the future”

Timbaland’s presence filled the room at Mana Wynwood – literally. The Grammy-winning producer, who was just ranked by Billboard as No. 3 on a list of the 50 greatest producers in the 21st century, boasts top-selling hits featuring artists like Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Nelly, Missy Elliott, and others.

His success IRL led him to dive into the world of web3 with BEATCLUB, a blockchain-backed, all-in-one solution for music creators to grow and meet their goals through mentorship, creator tools, opportunities, and community.

He joined us at Miami NFT Week to discuss his work in the space, and what web3 means for the future of the entertainment industry and young talent looking to make it.

“The technology of web3 really allows you to be as free as you can be, allowing you to set your own way of how you want to see your career going,” Timbaland said. “That’s why I love this space, because it really allows you to create in your own way without governance from anybody – it’s the new wave for the future.”

Timbaland went on to discuss how this new technology and the web3 community is the ‘biggest wave coming’ for talent and creators in the entertainment industry. To Timbaland, web3 is allowing creators to be their authentic self, while interacting with a community of people who support them.

“The thing about web3 is you can determine your own success – it’s up to you,” Timbaland continued. “You’re not competing with nobody, it’s just yourself, and the only thing you have to prove is to the people that love what you do. That’s the success.”

Miami NFT Week concludes Sunday with scheduled talks including The New Web3 Art World, Aping into LatAm, Exploring Real Estate opportunities, keynote Dan Fleyshman and more.


Photos by Krysten Brenlla
Krysten Brenlla