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Embarc Collective’s ’23 Impact Report tracks startup success

Madison DeVore



Lakshmi Shenoy is CEO of Tampa-based Embarc Collective. Photo provided.

According to its 2023 Impact Report, Embarc Collective helps Florida-focused startup talent create bold and thriving companies by delivering assistance tailored to the company’s journey.

As a “startup for startups,” the company served more than 200 startups with its bespoke model of support and welcomed over 20,000 people to over 300 events regarding innovation, technology and entrepreneurship to the downtown Tampa facility in 2023, said CEO Lakshmi Shenoy.

“Startups are the number one net new job creator in the United States,” Shenoy said.

Embarc Collective’s membership helped create more than 800 tech or tech-enabled jobs in Florida, said Shenoy. The company was named a top startup support program in North America by UBI Global, an organization that conducts thorough research to determine its rankings.

It is rare for a program to be recognized so early in its tenure, said Shenoy.

The 2023 Impact Report contains a letter from Shenoy and information on entrepreneur wellness, technology and collaboration spaces and more. In addition to this aspect of the report, Shenoy would like for people to understand that venture funding is often idealized as the key success metric for startups, which leads to overlooking the difficulty of the daily grind startups go through to achieve product-market fit, win with customers, build efficient teams and manage cash flow.

“Startup building is an endurance sport. Each day an entrepreneur has to withstand the frequent ups and downs of building a business to survive the next day,” she said.

Of the original 25 member companies of Embarc Collective, 24 are still in business or have been acquired, Shenoy said. 

“These startups defied the odds of all survivability trends.”

As listed in the 2023 Impact Report, the company offers technological collaboration spaces, such as the EX3 Strategy and Ideation Lab. Sponsored by EX3, this lab supports leaders from areas in technology, finance, healthcare, manufacturing and education through immersion in learning sessions, keynotes and workshops. 

Regardless of the industry, use of extended reality – or virtual reality -can be a useful tool to create a productive work environment, while helping teams see new possibilities for their businesses, said Shenoy.

“Through our partnership with EX3 labs, individuals interested in understanding how extended reality can impact their industry can come together with other learners in Tampa Bay.”

While Embarc Collective offers tech-based collaborative work spaces, administrators understand the potential burnout that can come with the hustle and bustle of business. 

Build Without Burnout, a program sponsored by Florida Blue, provides group and individual coaching for entrepreneurs navigating mental health, helping remove the stigma around it, said Shenoy.

In 2023, workshops on wellness and leadership were offered for members, including giving and receiving feedback, co-founder relationships, stress management and burnout prevention techniques.

Embarc Collective also has the Glaring Gap Summit, a host partnership with ReliaQuest, which is an annual event for women in investing. 

“We know there is a glaring difference between the amount of venture capital going to companies led by men versus companies led by women,” Shenoy pointed out. “Just 14% of venture capital goes to teams with at least one woman founder.” 

 “We also have data to show that more women investors lead to more investments in women entrepreneurs,” an insight that led to the creation of the Glaring Gap Summit, she explained.

On March 6, the company will host another event – its inaugural Builders Series, which is sponsored by Hillsborough County EDi2 and designed to bring together entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors, students and community members who are interested in learning how to build expandable, thriving companies, said Shenoy.

Shellye Archambeau, former CEO of Silicon Valley-based MetricStream and one of the first black female CEOs in the tech industry, will be sharing her professional journey at the event. Archambeau has a track record of accomplishments in building brands and high-performing teams, said Shenoy. 

Archambeau now serves on boards of Verizon, Roper Technologies and Okta, as well as being a nationally-recognized author of the New York Times bestselling book, Unapologetically Ambitious.

Embarc Collective will continue to host events in business and investing; a full calendar list can be found here.


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