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Back-to-back tech events coming in August

Posted on July 27, 2012

Published by The Miami Herald

Forget about sleeping in. Two back-to-back weekend-long events for tech entrepreneurs and developers are coming to Miami next month.

The free AT&T Mobile App Hackathon, coming Aug. 10-12 , is the place to build apps, compete for prizes, network and scout for teammates to work on new or current projects.

It all begins at 6 p.m. Friday night , where attendees will do so “developer dating” at a networker, hear some speakers, then form teams and come up with app ideas. All day Saturday and through Sunday afternoon, the teams work on their apps and senior leaders and developers from the South Florida tech community and AT&T will be onhand to help throughout the day, said Milana Kuznetsova, CEO of Esenem and one of the key organizers of the hackathon.

Sunday at 4 p.m. the teams begin giving 3-minute pitches for their products, and at least $3,500 in prizes will be awarded in several categories, Kuznetsova said.

The venue for the event will be the University of Miami Life Sciences and Technology Park, 1951 NW 7th Ave., Miami . Expected attendance is about 150; nearly 100 people have signed up so far.

“This will be the largest event of its kind in the Miami history and is organized in a fashion to promote and enable creativity, team building and leadership,” Kuznetsova said.  “Collaboration is key — just as we have collaborated with a number of local movers and shakers to glue this event together and as the attendees will collaborate with local talent to build out products, we hope the community’s response will be one of a collaborative effort to encourage and support a local startup environment.”

More information can be found at http://mobileappmiami.eventbrite.com and on #backinhack.

The following week, Aug. 17-19, Lean Startup Machine Miami is coming to town for the first time. So far, the company has trained entrepreneurs in 50 cities around the globe.

Unlike hackathons or startup weekends, this event is focused on teaching and having attendees experience the “Lean Startup” process, as popularized by Eric Ries and his book, Lean Startup, explained Jefrey Bulla, head organizer of the event. “Our goal is to make better entrepreneurs — faster and more efficient. Our intensive three-day workshop is focus on validating business ideas using Lean Startup and Customer Development methodologies,” Bulla said. Event participation is limited to 50 people.

Tickets for Lean Startup Machine are advertised at a “super early-bird” promotional rate of $99. It is still working on firming up a venue and adding mentors, but more information can be found at http://leanstartupmachine.com/events/miami/ 

Update: Here’s a short video provided by CVOX Group on why to go to a hackathon, filmed during the Refresh Miami event. One of the entrepreneurs interviewed in the video, Juan Bermudez of Nightpro.co, came up with a nightclub-related app during Hack Day Miami last fall. In the months after the hackathon, he kept working on nightclub-related solutions and came up with software to help nightclubs and promoters manage their businesses. His company demonstrated the product at the Refresh event. He told me he plans to attend the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon as well.