Current Events Tampa Bay Uncategorized

What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneur/nerd scene (Week of Monday, July 2, 2018)

Monday, July 2

Tuesday, July 3

Wednesday, July 4

Note: Certain event sites like like to automatically schedule events, often without the organizers being aware of it. Before you attend any events on the 4th of July, check with the organizers first!

Thursday, July 5

Friday, July 6

Saturday, July 7

Sunday, July 8

Current Events Tampa Bay Uncategorized

Notes from Lakshmi Shenoy’s presentation on the upcoming Tampa Bay Innovation Hub

Photo by Allie Felix. Click to see the source.

Last December, Tampa Bay Lightning owner and philanthropist Jeff Vinik hired Lakshmi Shenoy, VP Strategy and Business at the Chicago innovation hub 1871 to start a similar innovation hub here in Tampa Bay. Last night, Shenoy spoke to a packed room at a gathering organized by Tampa’s Indo-US Chamber of Commerce about the upcoming Tampa Bay Innovation Hub, which will be to Tampa Bay what 1871 is to Chicago.

I took notes and photos during her presentation, which I’ve shared below.


  • I was VP of Strategy and Business Development at 1871, an innovation hub located in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart
  • The notion of an innovation hub is less than 10 years old
  • 1871 has been described as “world class”. Why?
    • It’s 140,000 square feet of space whose purpose us to bring together stakeholders and startups to help grow local technology entrepreneurship
    • A place for 500 startups, 7 venture capitalist teams, several participating universities, and a stage that holds 1,000 public events a year
  • It’s a central gathering point for technology and entrepreneurship
  • I loved working with founders and teams at 1871
  • The impact of startups is my personal force forward

The move to Tampa

  • I was hired to start an innovation hub in Tampa Bay last year, and moved here in February
  • To get familiar with the area, I needed to leverage the knowledge of locals, and conducted over 200 interviews with them
  • The locals were open and friendly
  • From these interviews, I formed my strategy and concluded that Tampa Bay faces three key challenges:
    1. Access to talent and capital
    2. Density
      • Tampa is spread out geographically
      • Such a spread-out place could benefit from place making
      • We need a landing zone that could act as a gathering place and that makes it easy for newcomers to find other people in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneurial scene
    3. Branding
      • Startup talent doesn’t think of the Tampa Bay area as a place to set up their startup
      • We need to make a team effort to promote Tampa Bay
      • Use the hashtag #MakeItTampaBay

The Tampa Bay Innovation Hub

  • “Tampa Bay Innovation Hub” is the legal name; the name that the place will go by is under wraps and will be announced soon
  • We’re seeking talent who want to help us and want to be woven into community
  • It’s a physical space whose purpose is to make Tampa Bay a startup place, similar to Station F in Paris
  • It has 3 conceptual pieces:
    1. Practical: It gives you a place where you know where to go to find the Tampa Bay tech scene
    2. Emotional: It provides a community of people who understand the entrepreneur’s experiences and challenges
    3. Perception: It provides an image of activity, visual density, and an abundance of opportunity, and no one person or group up can do that
  • It’s an ESO: an entrepreneurial support organization

The target and partners

  • We’re targeting 3 key groups:
    1. Founders and startup teams at the core
    2. Invested supporters
    3. Tampa Bay’s tech/entrepreneurial community and beyond, acting as positive stewards

  • It’s about creating a big tent that’s open to everyone who wants to be part of creating the conditions for startup success
  • My KPIs are people
  • We must:
    • Have the density to retain people
    • Develop anyone who wants to engage
    • Future-proof people
    • Create exposure and access to new tech

Coming soon

  •  The brand of the hub exists: it’s just under wraps
  • We’re attracting local and international partners — that’s right: international partners!
  • We want to announce space with wow factor
  • Startup signups will start soon

  • This is a very special time for the Tampa Bay community
  • When I came here last fall, I noticed an energy and optimism here
  • I’m happy that I get to be part of this region’s story

Tampa iOS Meetup returns September 25, 2018

There WON’T be a Tampa iOS Meetup this coming Tuesday, June 26 — and there won’t be one in July or August either. Tampa iOS Meetup will return on Tuesday, September 25.

Things have become quite busy at work, and as a result, I have work and family events that take place at the same time as the usual Tampa iOS Meetup times for the next few months.

It may have looked like there were supposed to be meetups in June, July, or August, but that’s because likes to get ahead of itself. Once you start holding meetups at regular intervals (like Tampa iOS Meetup normally does, on the last Tuesday of the month), tries to help by automatically scheduling meetups on those dates into the foreseeable future. Sorry for any confusion that this may have caused.

I’ll still be around! If you have any questions, or want to talk about iOS, programming, or life in general, you can always reach me at

See you on Tuesday, September 25!

Current Events Tampa Bay Uncategorized

What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneur/nerd scene (Week of Monday, June 25, 2018)

Every week, I compile a list of events for developers, technologists, tech entrepreneurs, and nerds in and around the Tampa Bay area. We’ve got a lot of events going on this week, and here they are!

Monday, June 25

Tuesday, June 26

Wednesday, June 27

Thursday, June 28

Friday, June 29

Saturday, June 30

Sunday, July 1


This diagram reminds me of how many programmers comment their code

Current Events Tampa Bay Uncategorized

What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneur/nerd scene (Week of Monday, June 18, 2018)

Every week, I compile a list of events for developers, technologists, tech entrepreneurs, and nerds in and around the Tampa Bay area. We’ve got a lot of events going on this week, and here they are!

Monday, June 18

Tuesday, June 19

Wednesday, June 20

Thursday, June 21

Friday, June 22

Saturday, June 23

Sunday, June 24


Anitra Pavka and Joey deVilla’s “Building Augmented Reality Experiences” presentation @ Tampa Bay UX / Front-End Design meetup, 2018-06-14

Last night, Anitra and I enjoyed delivering our presentation on building user experiences for mobile augmented reality apps to the combined Tampa Bay User Experience and Front-End Design meetups at Bank of the Ozarks’ Innovation Lab in St. Pete.

Photo by Beth Galambos.

Augmented reality is still relatively new territory for most mobile app developers and designers. Until recently, if you wanted to build AR apps for smartphones and tablets, you were faced with the task of doing a lot of programming in order to “roll your own” capabilities, including:

  • Overlaying virtual images over camera images and displaying both on the screen
  • Detecting changes to the device’s location and orientation in real-world space
  • Re-orienting virtual images and drawing new ones in response to changes in the device’s location and orientation
  • Detecting and responding to objects in the real world as seen by the device’s camera and other sensors

This has changed in the past year, with the introduction of built-in augmented reality frameworks by Apple into iOS (ARKit) and Google into Android (ARCore). With these, you don’t have to be an expert low-level programmer to built AR apps; even if you can build basic web or mobile applications, building AR apps is now something within your reach.

Photo by Joey deVilla.

Augmented reality is also relatively new territory for users. Desktop and laptop computers have had the processing power to do AR for many years, but in order to be truly useful, AR needs the kind of portability that comes with tablets, smartphones, and wearable devices. For the longest time, these portable devices lacked the power to do usable AR.

The past year has seen the introduction of the A11 “Bionic” processor in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 processor in the Samsung Galaxy S9. We now have flagship smartphones and tablets with processing power that rivals the processor in the current MacBook Pro. These devices are now powerful enough to deliver practical AR experiences.

Photo by Beth Galambos.

With augmented reality now within easy reach of developers and users, it’s time for UX specialists and front-end designers to start thinking about building AR experiences. AR interactions are quite different from those for desktop applications, and expand upon plain mobile applications.

It’s AR’s early days. Think of AR today as being at the same point as…

  • Personal computers in the mid- to late 1980s
  • The GUI, multimedia, and CD-ROMs in the early 1990s
  • The internet and web in the mid- to late 1990s
  • Web 2.0 in the early 2000s
  • Mobile apps in the late 2000s and early 2010s

If you take the leap, you can make a splash.

The presentation

AR’s a big topic, and we had a big presentation — 99 slides! We had a lot of ground to cover, as you can see from the SlideShare above.

For those of you who want to download your own copy of our slides, here they are in a couple of formats:

Apple Keynote (131MB)

PDF (101MB)

The presenters

In case you don’t know who we are, here’s a quick summary…

Anitra Pavka

  • Technical Product Manager at Malwarebytes, working on the consumer anti-malware product used by almost 15 million people.
  • Contributing author to O’Reilly’s book, HTML5 Cookbook.
  • Technical editor for O’Reilly’s book, Universal Design for Web Applications.
  • Three-time speaker on accessibility and usability issues at SXSW Interactive.
  • Previous Tampa Bay UX Meetup speaker about Apple TV UX. | @APavka | LinkedIn


Joey deVilla

  • Lead Product Manager at Sourcetoad, overseeing the design and implementation of mobile applications.
  • Contributing author at the mobile developer tutorial site
  • ARKit session and tutorial presenter at RWDevCon 2018.
  • Technical editor for the book ARKit by Tutorials.
  • Tampa iOS Meetup organizer.
  • Former Microsoft dev evangelist; tried to make Windows Phone 7 happen. | @AccordionGuy | LinkedIn

Learn to build your own ARKit apps!

If you’d like to try your hand at building AR apps for iOS, take a look at the tutorial session that I gave at RWDevCon 2018 in April. In it, I walk the audience through building two of the apps that we demoed last night:

  • Happy AR Painter, which lets you “paint” augmented reality shapes in real-world space.
  • Raykea, a scaled-down version of the IKEA Place app.

Not only does this page contain the video of the entire tutorial session, it also has links to the starter and final projects for both these apps. All you need is Xcode (available for free from Apple) and an AR-ready iDevice (iPhone 6S or later).

If you’d like to get even further into AR development for iOS, there’s no better book than ARKit by Tutorials, which not only teaches you all sorts of things about ARKit, but shows you how to build 5 AR apps:

  • Tabletop Poker Dice
  • Immersive Sci-Fi Portal
  • 3D Face Masking
  • Location-Based Content
  • Monster Truck Sim

I was part of the technical editing team for the book, and I can say with certainty that it’s a fantastic resource for the AR developer.