1 Smart Cities & Hurricane Relief Hackathon coming to Boca this weekend

Help make a city smarter, compete for a $2,500 grand prize and support hurricane relief at the same time!

The 4th Annual Palm Beach Tech Hackathon is being hosted by Office Depot at its Boca Raton headquarters on October 4th through 6th, 2019. Florida Power & Light and the City of Boca Raton are also presenting sponsors of this 24-hour overnight challenge, with a “Smart Cities & Hurricane Relief” theme.

“This is our big chance as a tech community to help our neighbors, our cities, and those in need,” said Joe Russo, Palm Beach Tech’s CEO.

Teams will consist of engineers, designers, developers and entrepreneurs, with successful teams having a mix of these areas of expertise and winners walking away with a combination of cash and in ­kind prizes.  The prize pool has also more than doubled this year, with $4,000 in prizes and a $2,500 grand prize to the winning team.

Last year’s Hackathon attracted over 100 corporate executives, industry professionals, and talented university students. Friday night will be a kickoff, with teams starting on Saturday morning, and an expert panel of judges deciding the winners on Sunday morning.

Top tech organizations such as Levatas, Modernizing Medicine, Amazon Web Services, Atos, and many more will be in attendance, in addition to students from local colleges and universities such as Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern, and the University of Miami.

Find out more and buy tickets: www.palmbeachtech.org/hackathon.

 2 Marcelo Claure charged with fixing WeWork

Bloomberg reported this week that SoftBank Group Corp. plans to tap its executive Marcelo Claure to take a hands-on role to help turn around WeWork. The development comes after investors forced WeWork CEO Adam Neumann to step down., and two co-CEOs were named. Claure reportedly will help them identify revenue and cost-saving opportunities.

Masayoshi Son, the head of SoftBank, WeWork’s largest investor, has asked Claure, the former chief executive officer of Sprint Corp., founder of Miami’s Brightstar, and co-owner of Miami’s new professional soccer franchise, to oversee the cleanup of the office-rental company, sources told Bloomberg. No specifics were given about his exact role.

Claure is also overseeing SoftBank’s $5 billion Latin America Fund that is being directed from a fast-growing Miami hub office that is advertising scores of job openings. Claure is chief operating officer of SoftBank Group, CEO of its international operations and a member of its board. Locally, SoftBank is a big investor in REEF Technology.

WeWork recently filed to withdraw its IPO and halted all new lease agreements to stem losses. Miami is one of its largest markets beyond the big tech hubs.

READ MORE ON REFRESH: SoftBank’s impact already being felt in Miami – in $$$ and jobs 

3 Call for student entries for global entrepreneurship contest

The South Florida chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization is calling for local entries in the first round of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), a competition in which college students from more 50 countries vie for a top prize worth more than $40,000 in cash and services to help launch and build their business.

Entries are due on October 31 for the South Florida qualifying competition to be held at Miami-Dade College’s Idea Center, on November 13.

The local winner will then move on to regional and national competitions, with the grand prize awarded at the global final and celebration in Cape Town, South Africa in April 2020. The total value of all prizes, gifts and services for all student competitors at the EO GSEA Global Finals is nearly $500,000.

After an initial review of entries, local finalists will be chosen to pitch their business plans at the Idea Center to the panel of judges and top South Florida business owners. To be eligible for GSEA, entrants must be: an undergraduate student currently enrolled at a recognized university or college; the owner/controlling shareholder of the business and principally responsible for its operation.  The company must be structured ‘for-profit’ and have generated $500 or received $1,000 in investments by the time of application, and have been in business for at least six consecutive months. 

Additional eligibility requirements, entry forms and other details can be found at www.gsea.org.

4 FAU offers state’s 1st master’s in AI

Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is launching the state’s first Master of Science with Major in AI (MSAI), administered by its Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This degree will prepare students for careers in various education, government and industry positions that require AI skills, the university said.

FAU’s MSAI program provides both thesis and non-thesis options and requires a minimum of 30 credits. Offered on FAU’s main campus in Boca Raton, the program includes a strong curriculum that consists of AI theory, methods and technologies, combined with major subfields of vision, data analytics and algorithms, knowledge management and reasoning, machine learning, and applications.

The program’s graduate-level coursework will enable its graduates to enter Florida’s workforce with the capabilities needed to fill emerging needs. Students also will have laboratory training and access to state-of-the-art facilities, including FAU’s recently launched Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Laboratory, which is Florida’s first NSF-funded laboratory that serves as a training platform to support graduate student teaching and research, the university said.

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Nancy Dahlberg

I am a writer, editor and a leader with extensive media experience and a passion for journalism and serving the community. Most of my career has been spent with the Miami Herald in business news, and my expertise is writing about entrepreneurs. I'm also good at research and project planning. I enjoy running community-focused projects and utilizing social media. Contact me at ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com
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