Ignite FTL at the Collide Factory Brings Worldwide Conference to Fort Lauderdale
Setting the stage. In the background, a 40-foot mural-covered container, which will become a recording studio.
It was nine o'clock on a Thursday night in Fort Lauderdale, where the railroad tracks cross Sistrunk Boulevard and warehouses sit dark and empty, surrounded by chain-link fences, at the north end of FAT Village. But one of the warehouses was filled with light, garage doors open to passing freight trains, with a food cart cooking up tacos by the tracks. Plaid-shirted hipsters chatted up suit-wearing government workers. This was the first night of Ignite FTL at the Collide Factory.
Creative types in Fort Lauderdale like to talk about the problem of "silos" -- the idea that, while there's a small world of like-minded artists, entrepreneurs and thinkers in this town, many of them are isolated from each other, standing alone instead of intermingling.
The partners in charge of the Collide Factory intend to change that.
They took over a large warehouse and turned it into a multi-disciplinary collaborative space. Right now it's open every day to creative and business folks who are interested in a place to work or connect. As its first official event, the Factory hosted the Ignite conference, a worldwide multi-day event that allows people to give short presentations about what they do and how they think.
Each presentation was limited to 20 slides, shown for 15 seconds each, for a five-minute speech. Most of the presenters talked about their own business experiences, and many of the speeches were suffused with an awareness that Fort Lauderdale isn't (yet?) known for being a creative hub.
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