|Sharing Our Story
|TechFarms and Mine Survival Inc (MSI) have been featured in 850 – The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida. Mid-September 850 Business Magazine published a special issue that highlights innovation and technology in our community. Our founder, Steve Millaway, did an interview with 850 Business Magazine to discuss TechFarms story (pg.30). He recognized a problematic pattern in the community – entrepreneurs and engineers left the area to bring their innovative ideas come to life. He saw a void of collaborative spaces equipped to nurture those great ideas whether they needed the equipment or funding. Steve mentioned Mine Survival Inc (MSI) and its sister company ATOR Labs in our article as they are an important part of our story. MSI and ATOR Labs also have their own article in the special edition of 850’s Business Magazine (pg. 34). They shared how their business idea was founded and where their journey has led them today. To read both of these articles and learn more about the innovation happening in our community please click here.
|Tomorrow’s Food Today
|Food. Need we say more? Everyone loves it, no one can survive without it. Food is the heart of culture, whether the scale is a country or just a small house party. Now, automation. We may need to say more for this one. It’s a technology that has quietly grown exponentially to make certain tasks and even careers obsolete. For example, switchboard operators connected two calls manually by inserting a pair of phone plugs into the appropriate jacks. When food and automation are added together, what do you get? Automated restaurants. This concept may seem like something far in the future, but there are partially, and fully automated restaurants open today! Pazzi – located in Paris, France – officially opened their doors in July 2021 after a successful pilot opening in 2019. They self-proclaimed to be “the world’s first fully automated restaurant” in a press release on July 5th, 2021. Pazzi’s robot can serve 80 fresh, customizable pizzas per hour. The founders want to erase the negative connotation of “fast food” to “fast-good-food” as Pazzi prioritizes both speed and quality.
|Photo Credit: L’Express
|Automated restaurants have also made their way to the United States. According to Restaurant Technology News, “the world’s first fully autonomous restaurant” also opened in September 2022 in San Francisco, California. Similar to Pazzi, Mezli aims to serve fast, healthy, and high-quality food. Mezli’s menu consists of Mediterranean bowls that are “created by a Michelin-star chef, served by a robot.”
|Photo Credit: Eater San Francisco
|No matter who is the first automated restaurant – fully or partially – it’s definitely a wave of innovation in an industry that is rich with history and culture. It’s intriguing to see the technology and food go through another phase of evolution.
|Ethereum Merge Is Not What You May Think
|By Dr. Stephen Dunnivant
|Photo Credit: bitpay.com
|Cryptocurrency investors have taken some hard hits this year. We’ve watched the industry leading Bitcoin lose as much as 70% of its value from an all-time high. Global attention from influencers like Elon Musk and Bill Gates have chimed in with their support or detraction from the various crypto platforms. Despite recent upheavals, most feel that crypto is still here to stay, offering more stability than many third-world national currencies. I recently visited the country of Panama, one of several nations now “accepting” crypto for everything from private transactions to taxes. If you lived in Venezuela, Zimbabwe, the Seychelles, or even Brazil, you’d likely have a different perspective on “volatility” and depreciation of currency, making crypto still look like a solid option. These crypto currencies rely upon a massive community of computers globally connected to verify transactions under what they call “proof of work” as part of a “blockchain” technology. To get this level of integrity, so many computers must be used that the energy consumption has been estimated to equal that consumed by all the refrigerators in the United States (and various other comparisons). Ethereum is considered the “little brother or sister” to Bitcoin. As news of their planned shift in the Ethereum Blockchain technology got out, their faithful followers and investors got a bit uncomfortable. Ethereum called this change to their system “the merge.” No, they’re not merging with another company or collapsing their currency into another one. “The merge” refers to their effort to reduce energy consumption and become more environmentally sustainable. We should all applaud Ethereum’s effort to conserve energy. By changing their entire system they project to reduce their carbon footprint by 99%. Whether you consider climate instability or Global Warming a result of human activity, the vast amount of energy used today remains connected to non-renewable fossil fuel resources. While electric vehicles represent a move in the right direction to many, most are plugged into a power footprint where coal still accounts for at least a third of power generation. This effort by Ethereum represents a stewardship of our natural resources that deserves our collective recognition. Like Yvon Chouinard the founder of Patagonia and his recent giving of his $1.2 billion dollar company to fight climate change, Ethereum has literally “put its money where its mouth is.” Sadly, Bitcoin is unlikely to follow.
|Investing in the Future
|TechFarms’ understands the importance of investing in engineering and technology for the future. We made it our mission to help diversify the economy in Northwest Florida by growing private tech companies. As you can imagine, we aren’t the only ones to feel this way! Others are taking their own actions to cultivate engineering and technology their own ways. Last month, Alabama opened the “only high school in America focused on integrating cyber technology and engineering into the academic disciplines.”
|Photo Credit: AL.com
|Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering (ASCTE) – located in Huntsville – opened on Sept 23rd, 2022 with a collective of 254 students from 61 Alabama cities and towns. Free boarding is available to students, but they are also able to commute to the 26-acre campus.
|Photo Credit: Alabama Digital News
|ASCTE also strives for a diverse student profile by reducing barriers for admissions. This includes free tuition for all students. According to an article from AL.com, “[thirty-eight] percent [of the student population] are female and 38 percent are minority students.” The school’s President Matthew Massey stated in the same article, “[our] mission is to ensure that all of our students achieve high levels of [learning,] and it doesn’t matter their background or where they come from.”
|TechFarms September Update
|When we last spoke of our building construction in June and July, SBDC had moved into their space and our Conference Room opened. We are excited to share with you that our employee offices are mostly built and, more importantly, we’ve moved in! If you haven’t visited our space within the last two weeks, you wouldn’t recognize it anymore. We have located our dedicated desks upstairs in our newly carpeted area and plan to add more desks. You may also recognize we have built more SoundPods. In case you missed it, we mentioned our SoundPods in the March Edition. These Pods are available to lease! if you’re interested, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Downstairs we have coworking seating, kitchen, conference room, and another SoundPod available for our members for meetings.
|Our space isn’t at the final stage yet; we still have several projects in mind. However, we are excited to share with you this milestone we’ve accomplished this month. Please feel free to drop by for a tour to see the progress in person.
|ITEN WIRED Summit When: Wednesday, October 5th – Friday, October 7th Where: Hilton Pensacola Beach
|Photo Credit: ITENWIRED.com
|ITEN WIRED Summit promotes innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, and network (ITEN). According to the events website, its “the Southeast’s premier cybersecurity and IT conference by IT Gulf Coast to connect, collaborate and build community with industry leaders, entrepreneurs, students & educators.” Kelly Reeser, Co-Founder and Managing Director of TechFarms Capital, will be participating in the Summit with Debbie Gordon, Founder and CEO of Cloud Range. They will be speaking at the event FIRESIDE: Tech Startups & Venture Capital: How to know if outside capital is right for you on Friday, October 7th at 10AM.
|2022 Northwest Florida Economic Summit When: Monday, October 17th 9AM to Tuesday, October 18th 4PM Where: Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center
|Photo Credit: eventbright.com
|Founder Steve Millaway will be a part of a panel at the 2022 Northwest Florida Economic Summit. This event is a premier economic development forum with a special focus on new contracts and grants for small businesses from Tallahassee to Pensacola. 850 Business Magazine will be showcasing their special edition we were featured in.