A Podcast Featuring Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, and Artists
A Podcast Featuring Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, and Artists

Joe Russo Building the Palm Beaches Into a Tech Hub

Palm Beach Tech is a multi-faceted nonprofit organization that is working to build the Palm Beaches into a tech hub. They do that through events and programs, most of which are hosted at the Palm Beach Tech SPACE, a 3,500-square foot open area with five offices and a conference room, located in downtown West Palm Beach. The SPACE attracts entrepreneurs and start-ups, and host monthly events for members and others in the broader entrepreneurial community in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Agents of Innovation host Francisco Gonzalez sits down with Joe Russo (left), founder of Palm Beach Tech.

Co-working spaces are on the rise across the country. “We take some of the best ideas out there, we augment them, we evolve them, we renovate them to what works in the Palm Beaches,” said Palm Beach Tech founder, Joe Russo, who started the organization in July 2015.

On any given day, Russo told us we could see any variety of people involved in any level of entrepreneurship. “You see founders, you see business people, you see smart innovative technologists, and you see the people around them: the developers, the designers, the creatives.”

Many co-working spaces are profit-making centers, but Palm Beach Tech is a nonprofit that is here to assist entrepreneurs keep their costs low and have more resources available for their ventures, while also having a shared workplace where they can meet and collaborate with other entrepreneurs.

Palm Beach Tech is sponsored by many organizations, including the Knight Foundation, the City of West Palm Beach, and the Achieve Agency, among others. Members (there are currently 60 or so) also contribute monthly dues that help keep the operation running.

“Nobody gets to a point of success as an entrepreneur unless they have people around them that they can lean on and in return can lean on them,” said Russo.  “I think we would all want to work with other good people, as opposed to ourselves alone in a room somewhere that nobody else can even find us. That’s why people go to coffee shops on the weekends. That’s why people go out to be around others to share your life, share your professional experiences with others.”

A workshop in the Palm Beach Tech SPACE.

The events they host are purposeful: from workshops that bring people together to work on a technical skill, like JavaScript, or simply a social and professional gathering to hear successful entrepreneurs tell their stories.

As the President — Joe has his hands full, multi-tasking. In addition to keeping the lights on and the coffee pot full, he develops strategic initiatives, including talent development, membership development, attending venture capital conferences, and works with other community partners who are trying to make the Palm Beaches a tech hub.

Russo encourages other entrepreneurs or those interested in learning what’s going on in the entrepreneurial tech space in Palm Beach County, to come by and check them out. “We are always interested in talk technology and talk about the cool things going on in Palm Beach County, said Russo. “We are better impacting our community every day.”

For more information on becoming involved or learning more about Palm Beach Tech, you can visit their website at: palmbeachtech.org. Also, be sure to tune into Episode 35 of the Agents of Innovation podcast to listen to the full interview with Palm Beach Tech founder Joe Russo, which you can find on iTunesStitcher, or Soundcloud. Then, be sure to leave comments below or on the Agents of Innovation Facebook or Twitter pages. And follow the posts on Instagram!