New effort to put Palm Beach County tech industry on the map

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – When you think of a technology hub, Palm beach County is probably not top of mind. A local group is hoping to change that.

The group is called Palm Beach Technology Association or Palm Beach Tech and it’s an organization off all the technology companies in Palm Beach County coming together to build Palm Beach into the next technology hub in America. On Monday it officially launched to put Palm Beach County on the map.

“Often times we don’t think of Palm Beach County as a place for technology,” said Palm Beach Tech Executive Director Joe Russo. “We think of it as a place for golf, a place to retire to, a place to live and enjoy life.”

But hidden away in garages, home offices and unassuming office space is a local technology force to be reckoned with.

“We have a lot of really great people here, doing things that change the way we live on a daily basis,” says Russo. App developers, website builders, interactive game creators and other digital natives are already calling Palm Beach County home including branding, marketing and technology firm Levatas' Co-founder and CEO Chris Nielsen.

"It's no secret we live in paradise," said Nielsen. "Now to have such a fun young company here, with young professionals in our technology focus, it's really an exciting time," he added.

While you may not have heard of Levatas, you may heard of one of their local clients. "We recently created a mobile application for Duffy's Sports Grill," Nielsen explained. "This helps their customers have an easier time accessing their loyalty points."

Startup co-founder Melanie Lajeunesse is another example of innovation born locally. Her website designed help people remember their friend's and family's food preferences, allergies and intolerances launches next week.

"I think that Palm Beach Tech will bring to light a new sense of community," Lajeunesse said. "I think that more people will start to see people like me and younger people come to the forefront."

And for those behind Palm Beach Tech, the sky is the limit.

"Hopefully one day we can make the next Facebook or Apple right here in our backyard," added Russo.

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