eMerge Americas executive director Xavier Gonzalez, during an interview with EFE in Miami, United States on May 23, 2017. EFE/Pablo Ramon
eMerge Americas executive director Xavier Gonzalez, during an interview with EFE in Miami, United States on May 23, 2017. EFE/Pablo Ramon

How to transform Miami into a "tech hub" connecting US and Latin America.



The eMerge Americas forum, which this year will feature speakers such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, is aiming to make Miami the meeting place for Latin American entrepreneurs and US investors, executive director Xavier Gonzalez told EFE.

The fourth edition of eMerge will be held in Miami Beach starting on June 12 and this year organizers expect to exceed the 13,000 people who attended the 2016 forum.

The forum seeks to gather together all those involved in the tech company environment and wants to establish Miami as the tech capital for the Americas.

Organizers have focused every year on connecting companies and organizations from Latin America to bring them to eMerge Americas so that, among other things, they can learn about the possibilities for setting themselves up in Miami, Gonzalez said in an interview.

During the two-day event, the Miami Beach Convention Center will be the venue where key figures in the tech world will host teaching seminars, including Wozniak, whom Gonzalez called one of the sector's most important leaders.

Having been recognized with assorted awards in the past, including the Hoover Medal bestowed on engineers for careers devoted to the service of humanity, on the first day of the forum Wozniak will talk about his ideas, including how technology will change the future of human beings, as well as tips for businessmen seeking to expand their companies, Gonzalez said.

 Immediately after Wozniak, Sprint president and CEO Marcelo Claure will take the podium and later participate in the round of conferences, where Uri Levine, the co-founder of the Waze app will also take part.

Also to be involved in the activities at the forum will be Gustavo and Adriana Cisneros, with the Cisneros Group, singer Pitbull and journalist Andres Oppenheimer, who will all publicly offer their thoughts to the participants expected to come to Miami Beach from some 60 nations.

The forum has also scheduled the Women, Innovation and Technology summit, where Shiza Shahid, the co-founder of the Malala Foundation along with Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai will take part.

Entrepreneurs are one of the main foci of the forum and so organizers have scheduled an event called the "Startup Showcase," where 125 small firms and businessmen will seek to attract investors and win one of the available cash prizes totaling up to $175,000.

The forum also includes the "Launchpad," where sector innovators will be able to publicize their ideas and products, along with a job fair where more than a dozen companies will be looking for workers.

Founded in 2014 by Cuban-American entrepreneur Manny Mendina, eMerge Americas was started to fill a gap in Miami and help transform it into a "tech hub" targeting Latin America.

Miami is the ideal spot for linking the countries of Latin America with the US and Europe, said Gonzalez, adding that over the past few years the forum has established itself as the perfect platform for investors interested in the tech market.

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