Black Tech Week 2018 Where Techies Educators and Others In Miami Reconnect

Black Tech Week 2018 Where Techies Educators and Others In Miami Reconnect

Black Tech Week was a blur for me

This year Black Tech Week was a blur for me, again. lol The reason being is, my startup has moved away from: a napkin, different startup programs and now to an actual working MVP with real clients. Thus, preventing me from attending conferences as I did while still figuring out the tech landscape. I had the pleasure of being part of Black Tech Weeks 2018 VC in residence program for a week, 2nd time for me! Blessed! Balancing my small business called and my start up, Shngli App this program really jump started some growth ideas for me.

Peace and happiness while in FinTech

The conference brought me peace and happiness because based on a few moves, I was unsure where I stood in the Financial Tech landscape. Yes, from the image above you can see that I am once again a solo founder at the moment and it is not fun, especially when it comes around conference time. However I was able to meet a lot of new entrepreneurs and other successful entrepreneurs who reminded me that the journey is not over. If you’re looking to join my startup team, give me a ring at

Miami and south Florida’s Poppin Tech Scene

Miami and south Florida’s poppin tech scene encourages many entrepreneurial activities (hyperlink to breakdown of activities) at the moment. One thing I can say that Black Tech week does right is the feeling of having a family reunion with a bunch of strangers in a city where most people think about the beaches and parties. If you are looking at adventuring in Miami, check out this guide.

The contacts I made during that week included entrepreneurs from:

  • Atlanta
  • Texas
  • New York City
  • More

Who knows what will come out of these relationships but what I do know is, to be successful as a black entrepreneur unless I work with more entrepreneurs who understand my strengths and weaknesses.

Three takeaways from Black Tech Week 2018

  1. Research who will be in attendance at the conference such as:
    • Other startups that may fit your business model
    • Potential customers
  2. Don’t attend workshops that are your strengths.
    • Learn about something new that could enhance your startup
  3. Don’t just pass out business cards!
    • Have a coffee/smoothie/etc
    • Learn more than surface level information, this could truly expand your startup!

Until next time, build your best startup and remember it really does take a Tribe to grow your brand!

Want to learn about starting your own startup? Go to:

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Sempo Cities logo in purple and grey over a outline of skyscrapers

Networking Event Spotlight – SEMPO Cities: South Florida: Digital Marketing Titans Meet Networking Event Spotlight – SEMPO Cities: South Florida: Digital Marketing Titans Meet was a great learning experience for internet marketing professionals in attendance. Hosted at the quiet but beautiful Lynn University campus which surprisingly has more of a Northeast feel then a South […]

#documentary #thegreyarea

#documentary #thegreyarea


South Florida has recently been named the “new silicon valley” and a “tech-hub”. However, during the week of April 7-12, 2015 Jacksonville, Florida was the host of the world’s largest crowdfunding festival.

The One Spark festival launched in 2011 by Elton Rivas, Dennis Eusebio, and Varick Rosete. This is a non-profit organization, which has transformed the Jacksonville area from a college town to a creative and innovative hub for five days. This festival not only changed the perception for residents but entrepreneurs from all over Florida, the United States and abroad from the conversations I had with attendees.

During the festivals five days, 555 entrepreneurs, technology innovators, and music artists this year were vying for a piece of $350,000 in awards.

Jacksonville is the largest city by population in the state of Florida. This provides an environment and foot traffic that is beneficial for all of the creators (entrepreneurs, technology innovator, and music artists) who were presenting during that week.

The festival featured titans of business such as Jack Welch who spoke at the Speaker Summit, which is held on the inaugural day of the festival.

Finding a creator to vote for or contribute funds to was a simple and easy process for an attendee whose interest was sparked when using the mobile One Spark Application. Their app gave a voter the ability to keep on schedule to know when a particular event of interest was beginning and ending. A prefilled map feature of the app benefited everyone who dislikes wandering 20 blocks finding the village food area, which included numerous vendors from around Jacksonville.

My time was spent discovering different and unique entrepreneurs and technology innovators who had uncommon propositions for attendees.

Home Scand, is a Jacksonville based company that provides 3D controlled walkthroughs to real estate clients in under 24hours. To show off their products capabilities, the company used a 360 view of Perdue’s Jacksonville office. Royce Munn CFO provided some great details for potential clients. The service takes about 2hrs on average for a 3000sq ft. home.

ExpenseBite, another innovative software company enables the hospitality industry to utilize their product to track procurement information, monitoring and reporting for an efficient back office. The company already has established clients from Atlanta, Georgia to Jacksonville. When asked about coming down to Miami, Patrick Michaud COO informed me that it is in their in the near future plans.

The military inspired innovators also represented as well. The start-up Lubotics featured a legged robot that was capable of going up and down three to four steps at The Carling luxury apartments lobby area in downtown Jacksonville. Luther Palmer, Phd a professor at the University of South Florida was a crowd pleaser with the creepy legged crawler. He informed me that his company has been in operation for six months. Their objectives during the festival were to receive funding to produce a legged robot capable of being used by the military with increased functionality.

Next year, be sure to add this festival to your calendar as an entrepreneur, technology innovator, music artist, contributor, or attendee. The coverage of the festival will surely continue to grow. Jacksonville being a quick one-hour flight and a 5-hour day-trip by car from Miami only makes this a win-win for whoever is going.

Jean-Desir Fils is a serial entrepreneur and is currently working on starting his next venture. Stay connected with him and learn more. subscribe to his blog. Follow on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Photo credits: @dennishophoto