BioFlorida Latin America & Caribbean Life Sciences Conference in Miami, FL

The Inaugural BioFlorida Latin America & Caribbean Life Sciences Conference was held on March 27 and 28, 2014 in Miami. The purpose of the conference was to connect experts in life sciences from Florida (and other parts of the United States) with counterparts from Latin America and the Caribbean. The event, hosted at Florida International University and the Sofitel Miami Hotel, consisted of panels and speakers on current trends in the scientific and business sides of life sciences. The Beacon Council, as part of its activities in Life Sciences, was one of the sponsors and Lyndi Bowman, Director, Economic Development and Dr. Jaap Donath, Senior Vice President, Research & Strategic Planning were involved in the Conference Committee. Speakers included Florida’s Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Gray Swoope, Florida’s Secretary of Commerce, Jack Osterholt, Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Dr. Gabriela Gebrin Cezar, Senior Director & Head External R&D Innovation for Pfizer in Brazil, Miguel Angel Margain, Director General, Mexican Institute of Industrial Property and Jim Hogan, President, Medtronic Latin America, as well as many other experts from international research institutions, business and academia. Larry Williams, President & CEO of the Beacon Council introduced Gray Swoope and Jack Osterholt at the conference. Attendees came from the United States and Latin America, making it a unique conference for the life sciences in the Americas. The conference showed the continued growth of Miami-Dade County and Florida as a center for life sciences, especially with an emphasis on Latin America.

eMerge Americas Techweek in Miami, FL

Taking place from May 2-6, eMerge Americas Techweek attracted more than 6,000 attendees and more than 220 companies and 115 startups to the inaugural 5-day conference, which is scheduled to become an annual event to assist in strengthening Miami’s role as the “tech hub of the Americas.” The conference was organized by Manuel “Manny” Medina, Diane Sanchez and the rest of the Technology Foundation of the Americas’ team and was part of a larger effort led by local entrepreneurs, business and education leaders, and government officials to develop a creative and productive startup ecosystem.

The conference included a mayoral summit, smart city expo, startup village and launch competition, youth biz plan challenge, hackathon, hiring fair, and more than 60 panel discussions addressing topics related to finance, healthcare, education, media & entertainment, and sustainable cities. The event featured established tech companies and startups, colleges & universities showcasing their research projects. In addition, elementary and high school students presented their business plans and work in robotics. While the conference’s key focus was on businesses from Latin America and South Florida, there was official representation from Taiwan and Colombia. Colombia showcased nearly 30 different companies looking to export services related to technology, such as digital animation, mobile applications and other IT services. Taiwan also exhibited companies and new technology, including representatives from Tapei’s National Palace Museum which is using new and innovative technology to showcase exhibitions. Companies were also able to schedule appointments with other conference attendees to further business development and to locate potential partners through the conference’s online meeting application.

The Beacon Council participated in all aspects of the conference, from having a booth and participating on panels, to assisting various Fortune 100 companies in meeting with community leaders to attending ancillary events. Beacon Council staff members also held meetings with companies and startups to discuss how we can assist in their relocation or expansion plans in Miami-Dade County. Beacon Council President & CEO, Larry Williams, moderated a panel on Big Data & Analytics: The Ability to Change the Future with speakers Bernie Meyerson, Fellow & VP of Innovation at IBM and Emilio Diaz, Executive Vice President at INDRA.

The Beacon Council congratulates the eMerge Americas team and all of the leaders in the community that made this event a big success. We look forward to next year!

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in Orlando, FL

As a result of the One Community One Goal study, the Aviation Industry was adopted as one of seven industries targeted for growth in Miami-Dade County.  This industry is a major employer and acts as a facilitator to the area’s largest economic drivers.  In an effort to identify potential project/prospects and to gather industry intelligence, The Beacon Council will conduct an Economic Development mission to the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida October 21-23, 2014.

CeBIT 2014 Hannover, Germany

The Beacon Council’s Lyndi Bowman and Jaap Donath attended CeBIT, the world’s leading exhibition and trade fair in the information and communications technology industry from March 10 – 15 in Hannover, Germany. The five-day event attracted nearly 3,500 exhibitors from 70 different countries equating to more than 200,000 visitors. The most notable of the 1,000 speakers included British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Wikipedia Co-founder Jimmy Wales.

The fair’s main theme was “datability” how to handle, manage and use big data. The conference featured Code-n, a global start-up competition in which CeBIT chose 50 of the world’s best big data startups to showcase at the event. Announcements were made by Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winkerhorn, in which he declared that the company has already entered into an alliance with Google, stating that intelligent and driverless cars are “no longer restricted to the pages of science fiction.” Also, the UK announced that several of their universities are working on a 5G mobile-date network that would be 1,000 times faster than 4G with the ability to download a movie in less an a second.

Germany is one of the Beacon Council’s target markets for the attraction of foreign direct investment. The Beacon Council has participated in the CeBIT Tradeshow in the past; however, has not attended since 2004. Attending CeBIT is an opportunity to expand the reach into the German market as well as globally as exhibiting companies come from over 70 different countries. Prior to attending CeBIT this year, the Beacon Council reached out to exhibiting companies via CeBITs online platform to schedule meetings in order to market Miami-Dade County as a place to do business and to discuss the process in which to establish an office to serve both the North American and Latin American markets.


Germany Mission and MEDICA Dusseldorf, Germany

Germany has been one of the target markets for the Beacon Council for the attraction of foreign direct investment. Attending MEDICA in November of each year is an opportunity to expand the reach into the German market. Prior to attending MEDICA this year, the Beacon Council reached out to one of its Miami-based members, McGladrey, to develop a seminar at the Germany office to invite German companies to learn more about doing business in Miami-Dade County and how to establish an office for the North American and Latin American markets. This method has been applied in other target countries. In addition, German companies that are prospects, projects or recently completed projects were contact for a visit.

From November 20 through November 22, 2013, Jaap Donath, Senior Vice President, Research and Strategic Planning and Jennifer Hernandez, Director, Economic Development at The Beacon Council attended the MEDICA Tradeshow in Düsseldorf.

MEDICA is the world’s largest medical show and it is held every year in Düsseldorf. Life Science companies from throughout the world participate. More than 134,482 people from over 120 countries visited the show’s 4,571 exhibitors from around 60 countries.

Attending this show fits in the strategy to attract Life Sciences companies to Miami-Dade County. In addition to meeting with individual companies who already have indicated an interest in Miami-Dade County (these companies are already a project or prospect of The Beacon Council), attendance allows staff to reach out to a large number of companies during a short period of time.

Spain Madrid, Bilbao, Valladolid

In Madrid, The Beacon Council participated in a joint business program with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As part of the Joint Business Program, The Beacon Council delegation attended a Country Briefing conducted by the U.S. Commercial Service Office at the Occidental Miguel Angel Hotel as well as the Signing of the Sister Cities Agreement between the City of Miami and the City of Madrid. The Agreement was signed by City of Miami Mayor, the Honorable Tomas Regalado and the Hon. Ana Botella, Mayor of the Community of Madrid.

The Beacon Council held a number of one-on-one business meetings with active prospects and projects, among them an operator of Team Building Business Programs; an online International Business University; a large global financial company; two Information Technology companies; two engineering companies and an energy solutions corporation. Beacon Council representatives also visited a large Information Technology incubator/accelerator that is considering establishing a presence in Miami Dade for IT companies interested in reaching out to the Latin American markets. Their representative were invited to attend the eMerge Americas Congress in Miami in 2015. The Beacon Council also attended the Business Seminar organized by the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the INSEAD Business School and the Seminar on the EB-5 program organized by the City of Miami.

In Bilbao, The Beacon Council and Enterprise Florida partnered with SPRI, the Foreign Trade and Investment Agency of the Basque Region. On Thursday, June 26, the three organizations hosted a Business Seminar on “Miami-Dade County: Global Business Center of the Americas” showcasing our community’s business assets and international infrastructure. More than 40 companies from the Basque Region attended the presentation. Following the seminar, one-on-one business meetings were held and a Business Networking Reception and a guided visit offered by the Basque Region to the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

On Friday, June 17, in Valladolid, The Beacon Council and Enterprise Florida in partnership with the Junta de Castilla y Leon, hosted a Business Seminar on “Miami-Dade County: Global Business Center of the Americas” showcasing our community’s business assets and international infrastructure. More than 20 companies attended the Seminar. Following the presentation, one-on-one business appointments were held with companies interested in doing business in Miami-Dade County.

Republic of Korea Seoul & Busan

At the request of the Economic and International Trade Unit (EDIT) of the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources of Miami Dade County, the Beacon Council participated in a Branding Mission to the Republic of Korea during May 10-16, 2014. The Miami Dade Delegation consisted of the following persons: Miami Dade County Commissioner, Jose “Pepe” Diaz (District 12) who led the Mission; Desmond Alufohai/Miami Dade County International Trade Coordinator; Rolando Aedo/Senior Vice President Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; Eric Olafson/Manager Intergovernmental Affairs Cargo Department Port Miami; Joseph Napoli/Chief of Staff& Senior Policy Advisor Miami International Airport; Steven Karski, President of South Beach Wine LLC representing our area’s private sector and Mario Sacasa, Senior Vice President International Economic Development, The Miami Dade Beacon Council.