Tech Industry Association Expands To Tri-County Region

Joe Russo

What started five years ago as an initiative to build a tech hub in the Palm Beaches has now become the driving force behind “all things tech” in the Tri-County region.

With support from major companies to startups, the newly unveiled “South Florida Tech” has experienced major growth and recognition in 2020, both geographically and by the ever-growing list of companies its mentors and supports.

“We are thrilled to have companies like Modernizing Medicine, Ultimate Software and REEF Technology based in South Florida,” South Florida Tech President & CEO Joe Russo said. “But we’re thinking about the entire ecosystem; companies from startups to mammoths to work together to create a domination of technology success stories from Palm Beach to Miami. If we’re on the international radar, who knows what kinds of forward-thinking technology founders will notice and consider making South Florida their home?”

Russo was recently appointed to the prestigious Technology Councils of North America and also serves on advisory boards or committees for Synapse, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, the School District of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University.

“We will work relentlessly to unite and build our South Florida Tech community,” Russo said.

South Florida Tech has assembled a highly dedicated team and an impressive A-list of active board members from Palm Beach to Miami.

This includes new board members like Ultimate Software CTO John Machado, Wyncode Academy co-founder Johanna Mikkola, City Furniture President Andrew Koening and Carrier CISO Nicole Darden Ford.

“I’m especially excited to have the insights of Pete Martinez, the former head of IBM South Florida, and Scott Adams, the co-founder of our region’s first tech initiative named Internet Coast,” Russo said.

Both have been named board members of South Florida Tech.

“We saw a real opportunity in working together in a collaborative effort to connect our business leaders, economic organizations, educators and elected officials in the Tri-County region on behalf of our mission and community,” South Florida Tech Chairman Michael Fowler said. “We all have the same goal — create a nationally recognized South Florida hub of innovation and creation.”

As part of this expansion, 1909 will become an independent nonprofit organization. Named for the founding year of Palm Beach County, 1909 was launched by Palm Beach Tech in 2018 to provide co-working, mentorship and accelerator programs based in the downtown West Palm Beach area.

“I’m proud of the success 1909 has achieved and look forward to seeing our next generation of entrepreneurs lifted up through the leadership of Chairman Nicholas Mohnacky and Executive Director Shana Ostrovitz,” Russo said.

South Florida Tech will be focusing predominantly on talent and education initiatives in the coming year and is welcoming anyone interested in joining the organization as a leader, member or volunteer to reach out to

South Florida Tech is located at 313 Datura St., Suite 200, in West Palm Beach. For more info., call (561) 425-8918 or visit