The ever-elusive “techie” is not easily found amongst the beaches and swamps of South Florida. The question was how to attract the most rare of professionals to compete for $10,000 in a 24-hour hackathon in Miami?
The South Florida Tech Community is an impervious one. In order to find a group of quality Florida hackers, coders, developers, and designers you have to find their natural habitats like local Meetup.com groups, Twitter, blogs and social media sites to generate a buzz about the opportunity to build an app in 24-hours for the chance to pitch it to a room full of investors, media and judges.
Tech talent looks for credibility, challenges and funding opportunities, which prompted the approach implemented to promote HackDay Miami. The first objective was to build alliances and engage the most influential local Technorati to forge alliances to promote HackDay Miami. Communicating with these tech voices we were able to identify a common goal: To showcase the great tech talent in South Florida in an effort to promote Miami as a tech hub to the Americas. This highly segmented niche community was the key to draw the attention of the media, investor community and talent needed to produce apps that had viable business futures.
Changing the negative image of a hacker proved to be a challenge with media unfamiliar with the tech industry, but this informative process ultimately became an effort that worked towards our common community goal. The participation of local government officials, the investor community and positive coverage of HackDay Miami in the Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, and NBC worked as an indirect educator for the citizens of South Florida for the tech community.