July 14, 2024 1:53 PM
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Ten Years of eMerge-ing Technology

by Ray Smith, Exhibit City News


A Miami native and cofounder of eMerge Americas, Melissa Medina became a guiding force in transforming South Florida into a technology hub over the last 10 years, helping to bring in 10,000 jobs and generate $2.6 billion economic impact.

In 2014, she launched eMerge Americas Conference + Expo, the nation’s premier tech event focusing on technological growth and innovations. More than 20,000 people from 50 countries attended this year’s conference, held April 18-19 at Miami Beach Convention Center, along with 4,000 unique participating organizations.

Medical technology took center stage when eMerge Americas unveiled the Healthtech Innovation Hub, a partnership with Jackson Health System and University of Miami Health System. It serves as a connection point for healthcare providers seeking the latest tech solutions.

The partnership offers an important perspective on the future of healthcare and the role technology plays, Medina says.

“Every year we work on identifying emerging technology trends and a few takeaways this year and themes we saw are AI, quantum technology and the intersection of technology and healthcare,” the president and CEO of eMerge Americas says in an interview from Miami.

The healthcare industry is exploding like a cosmic fireball with technological advancements in surgical procedures, pharmaceutical research and development, telemedicine, physical therapy apps, and patient engagement through artificial intelligence.

“We’re seeing AI in patient solutions, companies that are building AI systems for patient records, companies using AI for wearable medical tech devices, like measuring vital signs,” Medina adds. “Also, AI in radiology… it’s much quicker to read an X-ray, or any sample of internal tests. I think the uses for AI are endless.”

Patient experience is at the center of the Healthtech Innovation Hub, which is broken down into seven core segments: at-home wellness, outpatient ambulatory care, pharmacy, lab and diagnostic imaging, acute care, hospital at home, and inpatient and outpatient rehabs.


An independent study by Washington Economics Group finds that eMerge Americas has contributed $2.6 billion in economic impact from its technology conference and other events. In addition to the annual conference, eMerge Americas organizes and hosts 35 to 40 year-round executive summits, startup accelerator program, pitch competition, community events, interactive classes and webinars.

eMerge Americas tracks venture capital activity, and while financial technology, or FinTech, has gobbled up the biggest piece of the pie over the years, medical technology is hot on its heels, Medina notes.

Industries showing triple-digit increases in venture capital from the previous year were healthcare, AI, cybersecurity, climate tech, transportation, and food and beverage. It’s showing up in Miami.

“The growth of the tech sector in general is truly undeniable. It’s palpable,” Medina expounds. “Entrepreneurial activity continues to grow in our state. There are founders here starting companies right now, and it primes the pump, if you will.”

Other conference highlights:

  • AI + Quantum Village, supported by Strangeworks, showcased dozens of AI solution providers, ranging from startups to cutting-edge global organizations.
  • eGov Dual Use + Defense Tech Track, securing future commitments from 2024 sponsors and support from local, state and federal agencies.
  • EVQLV, a biotech startup focused on personalized medicine, won the 2024 eMerge Startup Showcase and $520,000 investment prize.

The 2025 eMerge Americas Conference + Expo is scheduled for March 27-28 at Miami Beach Convention Center.


This story originally appeared in the Q3 2024 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 86. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_q3_2024.

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