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Power Forward Tech For Our Community Event

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On Sunday July 31st, Exceed Network partnered with Power Forward and The Flatiron School to hold the first ever Tech For Our Community event at the home of Celia and Ikey Sutton. Over 180 attendees heard from leading community members in the fields of business and technology including: Jack D. Hidary of Samba Energy and Google X Labs, Jojo Hedaya of Unroll.Me, Haim Dabah of HDS Capital, and special guest speaker Avi Flombaum, co-founder of the acclaimed Flatiron School, one of the top coding academies in the world.

The event attracted attendees of all ages who were interested in further understanding how technology and business intersect and how a knowledge of coding and computer programming could change their businesses and their lives. Jack Hidary introduced the event. An early internet success, Hidary launched the IT information portal EarthWeb in the nineties followed by Vista Research, an independent financial research company. Both companies were acquired and he now serves as chairman of Samba Energy, a clean energy software company and holds the position of thought leader at Google X Labs. He was a powerful choice as the introduction speaker as his decades of experience and knowledge in the tech field helped kick off the high level and interesting discussion. He spoke of the importance of educating our youth in technology and more specifically in coding. He stressed that no matter what stage your business is in, it must implement cutting edge technologies to stay ahead of the curve. As a valued asset at Google X Labs, he is at the fore of modern technology and computer coding and offered advice to anyone wishing to pursue a similar path.

Throughout the day, the importance of technology in business, specifically computer programming and coding, was touched upon. Avi Flombaum, co-founder of The Flatiron School, explained that there is a large gap in the supply and demand of coders and that the technology industry is hungry to place coders in businesses around the world. “There is 95% job placement for people who complete our program and entry level positions pay anywhere between $70,000 and $90,000” said Flombaum. His message hit home for many of the younger audience members who were interested in going into coding. Flombaum addressed the seasoned business owners in the crowd by admitting that even a cursory understanding of coding was elemental in running a company and that being able to understand how a platform or business operates on a programming level is an important key to success.

This sentiment was echoed by JoJo Hedaya, founder of Unroll.me, a plugin which allows you to simply unsubscribe from the myriad subscription emails in your inbox. Unroll.me has been touted as one of the biggest advances in email in decades and was acquired by the powerful shopping aggregation platform Slice in 2014. While JoJo was not a coder when he founded the business, he spoke about how he went back to school for programming to better understand his product as well as understand how to find and keep the best programmers for his growing business. “While I myself am not an expert coder, having a basic knowledge of code has increased my abilities significantly to understand and explain my business” said Hedaya. He also voiced his avid support of coding both for young people and established businesses of all kinds.

The panel was well balanced by powerhouse businessman Haim Dabah. With over thirty years of experience in retail, fashion, brand building and marketing, Dabah acknowledged that in the past, his businesses did not rely as heavily on technology as they do today. He agreed with the importance of understanding and using advanced business technologies and has decided to devote his time and energy to founding Kidbox, a children’s clothing delivery service that has taken the children’s clothing sector by storm. Using the Birchbox model, Kidbox delivers brand name children’s clothing to your door. Customers can keep what they want and send back the rest. The model has proven successful with other products, and using his deep connections in the clothing industry, Dabah knows he can make Kidbox a hit.

He also acknowledged the importance of technology in his new, online business. “The success of the business is highly dependent upon our ability to develop the technology that understands what millions of individual customers want” said Dabah. He went on to explain that this no easy task, requiring heavy investment in quality programmers and the need to understand exactly how the technology works. After decades of success in business, including selling companies and bringing companies public, Dabah has decided to roll up his sleeves to work with and invest in the technology sector, which he believes holds the most potential moving forward. He expressed his excitement to the crowd about the future of business and technology and told the younger audience members that a technical background will go a long way no matter what business they wished to pursue and that they should start learning how to program and code as early as possible.

The day was replete with expert business advice and it was made clear time and again that learning how to program and code at a young age was an extremely valuable asset. The audience was made aware of free coding resources such as Code Academy as well as beginner and advanced coding classes at The Flatiron School. Exceed Network was on hand to explain how their entrepreneur and business resources were available to those interested in the startup world and that anyone could visit their offices located at WeWork Dumbo for a meet and greet. Power Forward handed out an extensive guide to help prospective entrepreneurs and coders navigate the worlds of business and technology and offered their services to anyone interested in pursuing these areas.

A follow up event will be taking place on November 16th in which anyone interested in programming or coding can meet with Exceed Network and The Flatiron School at WeWork Dumbo. For updates of this event please email info@exceednetwork.org

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