For the past two years, Alfonso Martinez has been making waffles in Wynwood. The young entrepreneur is the cofounder of LiveNinja, a Miami-based tech startup that has created a cutting-edge messaging app, and he isn't cooking just for his family or friends.
Instead, he's doing it to bring together the South Florida tech and business startup scene at a weekly event he's organized and dubbed "Waffle Wednesday."
During the weekly events, like-minded techies can nosh on waffles ranging from lemon meringue (finished with a hand-torched lemon meringue topping) to cheddar jalapeño tater-tot waffles to Nutella, each served with a handmade Nutella drizzle (the classic favorite).
Last month, the weekly breakfast meet-up expanded to Broward County, where it's locally organized at the Mad Studios office in Fort Lauderdale.
"We had dreamed about expanding to other venues for a while, but the timing didn’t feel right, and we hadn’t found the right group to entrust with the mission," says Martinez. "But the Mad Studios group gets it. They understand what we’re trying to do and see our mission."
Waffle Wednesday invites guests to enjoy the tasty waffle creations and specialty homemade cafecitos during a 60-minute mix and mingle breakfast followed by a 20-minute presentation by local startups and tech businesses.
These presentations include insights from successful CEOs, updates on the local tech and startup scenes, advice on how to get funded as a startup, advice on growth hacking, and more. Previous presentations include speakers from notable South Florida-based startups including WeWork, BossPass, Digital Citizen, YachtLife, and Hacks/Hackers, among other notable South Florida-based startups.
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If you can't make the morning meet-up, the Waffle Wednesday team also hosts a Waffles After Work event in Wynwood the first Wednesday of each month.
"We are grateful to have the opportunity to share the magic of Waffle Wednesday with the people of Broward County," said Chris Stegner, partner of Mad Dev, a division of Mad Studios. "LiveNinja has created such a unique and exciting event that has transformed the Wynwood tech community. We can’t wait to see how it helps perpetuate the tech and startup scene in Broward, as well."
Waffle Wednesday is a free event and takes place at 9 a.m. every Wednesday in both Wynwood and Fort Lauderdale. The next Broward County Waffle Wednesday will take place on Wednesday, August 17, at the Mad Studios office located at 101 NE Third Ave. #1920 in Fort Lauderdale.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.