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Silicon Valley icon will headline eMerge Americas

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc. and chief scientist of Primary Data, speaks during the TechIgnite conference in Burlingame, California, U.S., on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc. and chief scientist of Primary Data, speaks during the TechIgnite conference in Burlingame, California, U.S., on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Bloomberg

One of the world’s most well-known computer geeks will be a keynote speaker at eMerge Americas.

Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and brought the Apple I and Apple II to market, will headline the homegrown technology conference that is returning for itsO fourth year in June. The Silicon Valley pioneer in the personal computing revolution, known as “Woz,” will talk about the founding of Apple, innovation and entrepreneurship, said Xavier Gonzalez, CEO of eMerge Americas.

Among many accolades, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Reagan in 1985. In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for designing the first personal computer and then redirecting his passion for mathematics and electronics toward inspring grade school students. In 2014, he was awarded the Hoover Medal and was inducted into the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame. Wozniak, who authored a best-selling autobiography in 2006, currently serves as chief scientist at Primary Data, and is a philanthropist and sometimes tech investor. He last spoke in Miami in 2012 at the Continuity Forum.

Joining Wozniak as speakers include a trio of executives with strong South Florida ties: Marcelo Claure, CEO of Sprint, Gustavo Cisneros, chairman of Cisneros Group, and Cisneros group CEO Adriana Cisneros, Gonzalez said. “Having world-class speakers and technology leaders such as Wozniak, Claure, and Cisneros at eMerge Americas 2017 only adds to the legacy of having thought-provoking content on the eMerge stage year after year,” said Gonzalez, in the announcement.

Gustavo and Adriana Cisneros will talk about the transition of their family media conglomerate from Gustavo to Adriana while embracing and navigating a tremendous time of technological transformation in the industry, Gonzalez said. Claure founded Miami’s Brightstar and grew it into a multi-billion company before taking the helm of the publicly traded Sprint in 2014. He has also been involved in efforts to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami.

Other speakers announced include Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom; Blanca Treviño, CEO of Softtek; and U.S. Ambassador Henry Crumpton, founder of Crumpton Group and a former CIA spy. More speakers will be announced in coming weeks.

The conference will be June 12-13 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and will include a Startup Showcase, a WIT (Women, Innovation and Technology) Summit featuring top female entrepreneurs, eGov, a gathering of public and private sector leaders, and an active expo floor. Last year’s conference, featuring Tony Hawk, Colin Powell, Ray Kurzweil and Monica Lewinsky, attracted about 13,000 attendees.

Registration for eMerge Americas 2017 is open at emergeamericas.com.

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