Behind the curtain of the 2023 Synapse Summit
The Synapse Summit, a marquee summit that attracts thousands of innovators under one roof, will return to Tampa in February.
Synapse Florida, the non-profit organization connecting Florida’s innovators, announced the next summit will take place Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa.
For the sixth consecutive year, the summit will draw high-profile keynotes and feature thought-leadership, workshops and exhibitors representing 350 Florida companies.
Traditionally, the event spanned over multiple days; however, in February, it will be held on a single day.
“When we returned to an in-person event after the pandemic and hosted it for one day, we saw this giant ball of energy – it was indescribable. We not only want to replicate that energy we saw, but we want to build on it,” said Brian Kornfeld, CEO and co-founder of Synapse.
Kornfeld said he expects the summit to attract over 6,000 attendees this year.
“Synapse is that one place in the entire state where you can see the innovation in Florida. This event helps validate people’s decision to move their company and/or family to Florida. It truly can result in a life-altering experience for people who come to this event and see the diversity of talent here and opportunity to celebrate, discover and engage with innovators,” Lauren Prager, Synapse’s chief strategy officer, said about the everlasting impact.
The first keynote speaker announced is Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution, who is also the founder and partner of Revolution Growth and was a co-founder of AOL.
In 2019, Case led the Rise of the Rest Road Trip to five Florida cities to shine a spotlight on our entrepreneurial communities, investing at least $500,000 in local startups through pitch competitions and visiting with local business leaders and innovators. He also recently released a book, The Rise of the Rest: How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New
At last year’s summit, Cathy Hackl, founder and chief metaverse officer at Journey, was the featured keynote speaker.
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Prager said Synapse will announce its full speaker lineup over the next few months.
Every year, there are multiple panels hosted throughout the arena’s halls. Prager said they are currently working with the community to highlight the different subject matters trending in the innovation space as blockchain, web3, cybersecurity, space tourism, and health and wellness.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve experienced so much growth and maturity in our early-stage market, and we are excited to see that next wave,” Kornfeld said.
The summit will also act as the anchor of Tampa Bay Innovation Week, when Tampa Bay organizations host events spotlighting innovation. In 2022, over 35 events took place. Those interested in hosting events during the week can find more information here.
During the event, the Synapse Innovation Awards will also be awarded by a statewide panel of judges, who will select the most innovative companies in key categories. Previous award categories included cleantech, defensetech, cybersecurity, entertainment and hospitality, community impact, emerging tech and healthtech.
For the first time, a new innovation award will be presented, acknowledging an individual for their efforts on contributing to the community’s evolving tech scene.