Tech, innovation conference eMerge Americas will grow Miami’s talent pool and attract new economic opportunities with $1.5 million from Knight Foundation

Press Release

December 16, 2014

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Premier global conference returns to South Florida for its second year

MIAMI — Dec. 16, 2014 — eMerge Americas, the multi-day South Florida conference that connects entrepreneurs, business leaders and tech innovators from around the world, will receive $1.5 million in new support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Organized and led by the Technology Foundation of the Americas, the event aims to establish Miami as the technology hub for Latin America; it will take place in early May 2015.

The first eMerge Americas conference, hosted in May 2014, attracted 6,000 participants, 400 participating companies, over 150 high-level speakers, and 115 startups from Miami and across the globe. More than 60 percent of the inaugural year’s attendees came from outside Florida, with 31 countries and 28 U.S. states represented at the event. Among the speakers were: Peter Diamandis, founder of the XPRIZE Foundation and Zero Gravity Corp.; and Bernie Meyerson, vice president of innovation at IBM; as well as local entrepreneurs including Andres Moreno, founder of Open English; Juan Diego Calle founder of .CO; and Daniel Cane, CEO and co-founder of Modernizing Medicine.

The 2015 conference will build on this success by bringing leading technology companies to South Florida to engage in discussions, networking activities and hands-on workshops. Expert speakers, including Deepak Chopra, physician and best-selling author, and Jim McKelvey, co-founder of mobile payment company Square, will inspire attendees and share insights into the latest innovations disrupting industries and changing the way people around the world live, work and play.

The conference will also feature a Government Innovation Summit including government officials from throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Startup companies will have the chance to showcase their ideas in front of leading investors and potential customers through the eMerge Startup Showcase, while developers will come up with new solutions at an eMerge Hackathon.  Additionally, a hiring fair will help connect top talent with more than 50 leading companies.

“eMerge Americas had an incredible first year, but this is just the beginning of what we will be a transformative experience for Miami. We are committed to establishing South Florida as a key hub in the global tech community,” said Manuel D. Medina, the key organizer behind the event.

“The first eMerge Americas conference drew a tremendous following, showcasing its assets as a center for high-impact entrepreneurship and innovation across the Americas and beyond,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “Using these successes as a springboard, the conference is primed once again to create new opportunities for economic growth and talent attraction within our community, while making Miami more of a place where ideas are built.” 

eMerge Americas is led by Manuel D. Medina, managing partner of Medina Capital, and founder and former chairman of the board and CEO of Terremark Worldwide, which Verizon acquired in 2011. Medina launched eMerge Americas to establish Miami as the technology hub of the Americas. 

Support for eMerge Americas forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding opportunity. Over the past two years Knight has made more than 90 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida. 

Please visit eMerge Americas for more information.

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About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, please visit KnightFoundation.org.

About eMerge Americas

eMerge Americas serves as the preeminent innovative thought exchange helping transform Miami into the technological hub of the Americas. By connecting global industry leaders and investors with the Americas’ top business executives, IT decision-makers, and innovative entrepreneurs, new partnerships that will spur visionary innovation and technological advancements in the Americas for the betterment of business and society are being forged. Summits focused on health care, entertainment and media, finance, cities, and education address the most pressing issues of today and provide solutions and resources to continue the rapid advances of the 21st century. eMerge Americas Founding Partners are the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami-Dade County, Greenberg Traurig, P.A., and Medina Capital. For more information about eMerge Americas, please visit www.emergeamericas.org.

CONTACTS:

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, [email protected]

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