This SF-turned-Miami innovator is helping to address the tech equity gap 

By Riley Kaminer

Hilmon Sorey sees major parallels between the state of #MiamiTech and the Bay Area tech ecosystem he experienced in the 90s.

“When I came to Miami a year and a half ago, what I saw here reminded me a lot of San Francisco when I first moved there, in 1997,” Sorey told Refresh Miami.

At that time, Sorey saw San Francisco as very welcoming and reasonably affordable. In those days, Sorey explained, these two factors helped to make the city the center of the tech universe.

“When my business partner and I were building our consulting practice, we weren’t doing it by Zoom,” he recalled. “I’d put on a backpack full of books and we’d go building to building, floor by floor, and be able to talk to every sales leader in every major company that you were reading about in the news.”

Sorey is an investor, advisor and multi-time founder who’s written the book (well, eight Amazon top-selling books) on sales. Today, Sorey believes that the 90s San Francisco dream is alive in Miami. The problem is that access to the new careers coming to Miami is still out of reach to many Miamians.

So Sorey was excited when he crossed paths with Ted Lucas, the Miami-born and bred founder of Slip-n-Slide Records.

Now Sorey and Lucas are building Tech Knowledge (aka TechNolij), a local workforce development and training initiative in collaboration with the Innovation Center at Florida Memorial University. FMU is also part of the Miami Tech Talent Coalition, a community-wide inititive aimed at skilling up local residents and creating career pathways in technology.

Tech Knowledge focuses on meeting the ever-evolving demands of the tech industry, with an emphasis on equipping students for SDR (Sales Development Representative) and BDR (Business Development Representative) roles. These foundational positions in B2B tech sales play a critical role in our local innovation ecosystem – with tens of thousands of remote and local sales jobs available for South Floridians. 

Upon successful completion of the program, 29 graduates have now mastered the essentials: the lexicon of tech startups, the structure of B2B Tech companies, and the latest sales strategies. This rigorous training is set against the backdrop of a national workforce comprising over 666,491 sales development representatives — a field historically skewed towards a white, middle-aged, male demographic. For this reason, equity is at the core of Tech Knowledge’s programming, which particularly aims to train and upskill people from a diverse range of backgrounds, including women and minorities.

With a commitment to match training with market demands, the program is poised to become a catalyst for change in tech equity and career accessibility. Major players are already taking note, according to Sorey: “We’re getting lots of outreach from other HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities] around the country. And we’ve had one very large, popular employer asking us to run programs like this to support their sales efforts nationwide.”

Interested in helping to propel Tech Knowledge’s mission? Let them know about the entry-level roles you’re looking to fill in sales and beyond. Sorey also urged members of our community to get in touch if they are looking to adapt this program or its curriculum to their in-house sales efforts.

Graduates of Tech Knowledge’s tech sales program at Florida Memorial University. Also shown is the program in action and, at the top of the post, Hilmon Sorey.

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Riley Kaminer