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Embarc Collective to host global financial tech leaders

Margie Manning



Embarc Collective is a 32,000-square-foot facility to bring together startups, venture capitalists, academic resources, and startup-focused partners.

The organizer of a February conference on banking, financial technology and payments said the event will shine a spotlight on Tampa-St. Pete.

“I want to bring a lot of attention to Tampa Bay,” said Bruce Burke, founder of The Mandalay Group. “I want this area to be a shining star on the map and to see Tampa Bay get the recognition it deserves.”

The Mandalay Group has partnered with BlockSpaces, a blockchain-focused venture studio in Tampa, to present the conference, dubbed #Pay Tampa Bay. It’s scheduled for Feb. 20 at Embarc Collective, the Jeff Vinik-backed initiative in downtown Tampa to elevate the startup community.

Related story: Startup Report: Embarc Collective

Burke, who previously organized a series of social mobile payments conferences, formed a new company to build out the #Pay brand about a year ago. The first #Pay event was a two-day conference in Las Vegas in August. That conference featured more than 50 thought leaders from across the global fintech industry, Burke said.

He described the one-day Tampa gathering as a “pop-up event” that came about after making connections with Gabe Higgins, co-founder of BlockSpaces, and Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of Embarc. “They said  to me, ‘If you can attract national speakers and an international audience, like you did in Las Vegas, this would be a big boon for Tampa Bay,'” Burke said.

The agenda is still being developed, but one speaker he expects to bring to Tampa is Jeremy Berger, a University of South Florida graduate who is cofounder and chief operating officer of Arival Bank, a venture-backed digital banking startup. Berger was recently named to Forbes list of 30 under 30.

More details are here.


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