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Hacks are Whack?!

Posted on July 25, 2012

Written by Ray Ruga (@RayRuga)

“The tenants we attract expect the highest level of technology and security and a hackathon by definition does not support this perception,” –Unnamed Miami Property Manager.

Can Miami develop a fledgling tech community when individuals with the tools to help make it happen have such a misinformed perception as the property manager quoted above?!When we set out to look for a venue for the upcoming AT&T Mobile App Hackathon, one of the requirements was for the venue to have a 50Mbps internet connection. While we found a ton of places that could host up to 200 hackers, none had the required internet capability.  Local Miami Herald reporter Nancy Dahlberg (@ndahlberg) recently posed the question, “Can Miami become a tech entrepreneurship hub for LatAm?” How can this city possibly begin to become this hub for technology when our infrastructure is so lacking?

The only building we knew for sure that had the capability responded with the quote above – what, did they think we were going to do…host a bunch of cyber-criminals breaking into government databases? Luckily, with the help of the Knight Foundation, the UM Life Sciences & Technology Park stepped up and have provided their state-of-the-art facility for our event, but it got me thinking….is this all we’ve got? There has to be more locations in Miami that meet the requirements of a hi-tech events for a large number of attendees. Obviously we need to create more awareness about these tech events to the general public and start building a meaningful community.

Don’t you agree? Do you have a similar story to share, or do you know of any locations we should consider? We want to hear from you!