Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Silicone Bitch: It's All About Entrepreneurship and Education

News and notes about the South Florida social media and blogging scene, with a little tech thrown in for good measure. And maybe some other random events, too.

marcos menendez momaresTech burlesque? Marcos Menendez, founder of Momares.


The Startup Forum held "Are You Serious?" February 10 at Miami Dade College. This educational event, based on similar events at New York's Hatchery, featured local startup companies who pitched their ideas in five minutes or less to expert investors from New York and South Florida. Miami's inaugural Hatchery had us sitting on the edge of our seats, wondering who would win the most points.

Silicone Bitch favorite CloudShopper presented but it was Momares who won with his text messaging service and on-stage charisma. (Momares stands for "Mobile Marketing for the Rest of Us" and gives businesses the technology to reach customers via mobile.)

One of Startup Forum's goals for 2011 is to connect promising startups with investors in New York and Miami. The next pitch event is March 31. Any startup is welcome to apply for a pitch -- it can even be offline and unrelated to tech. Visit The Startup Forum for more information.


SXSW Interactive
, the world's biggest gathering of social media types held every March in Austin, was representing last month at Social Media Club South Florida by throwing a party in lovely Overtown among the crackheads. "Bar" as the venue is called, is so low profile, even the bathroom door handles don't work. But that didn't matter, because the crowd was buzzing with South Florida's tried and true twitterati and some new folks as well. The purpose of this "town hall" was to help locals attending the Austin schmooze fest with tips on how to manage the gargantuan convention.

Hashable, a new web and mobile product that lets you keep track of who you're meeting and introducing, was in the house as well. The app will have its official launch at SXSW. I predict Hashable will be helpful when you get home with a stack of business cards and wonder who the hell was who in the first place. No more scratching your head to remember who you had breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks with. (Silicone Bitch is wondering if the tag #sex will be popular, too.)


Just as I posted about not being a social media guru in the last column, a last-minute opportunity came up to present on the subject of Facebook at the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce business empowerment series entitled "Social Media Success." My co-presenter, Blanca Stella Mejía and I spoke to an audience of 70 on setting up Facebook pages for business, utilizing several local organizations and companies as successful models -- PALO! and Miamism, to name a few.

While Blanca spoke mostly about technique, I focused more on the intangibles of social interaction and it was completely un-guruish, I assure you, though we did share our best practices and hands-on skills with the eager audience of newbies. The other two speakers, who addressed social media in general and Twitter, were Bill Grunau of Circle of One Marketing and Marvin DeJean.

You can view the full presentation below:

The Business Empowerment Series hosted by the chamber, which encompasses a variety of topics, took place at Jungle Island's convention rooms. At only $15 for non-members and $10 for members, the half-day of lectures, Q & A and networking included continental breakfast and lunch.


Wordcamp Miami
is taking place March 5 at the University of Miami. In its third year, the sold-out event features a beginner, marketing and design as well as a developer track. Yours truly will open the beginner track with a lecture on blogging basics; there are 19 other speakers covering everything from SEO, monetizing blogs to plugins and more. If you missed Wordcamp this year, keep your eyes peeled for the next edition. At $30, it's a bargain for a day chock-full of information and education, plus networking.


TEDx MIAMI makes its second round in the Magic City with a live broadcast from the main TED conference in California starting at 5 PM today in the Design District. Yes, somewhere in the land of fluff, the flower of knowledge and ideas will bloom and no one will talk about The Real Housewives of Miami, so help me God. You know that sorta smart and rich guy, Bill Gates? Well, he'll be broadcasting on screen promptly at 5:15 PM. Other speakers will prevail until 10 PM. The thirst for knowledge will be quenched and a cash bar will also be available to soothe the thirst for adult beverages. Sakaya Kitchen's food truck, Dim Ssam a go go, will be on the premises selling food. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP for headcount at Eventbrite.


Ladies, don't forget this excellent one-day series of inspiring lectures, Q & A and networking takes place next week on March 10. Silicone Bitch highly recommends. Get your early bird ticket at $25 -- only a limited number available. See you there! RSVP at Eventbrite.

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