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Exclusive: Janet Echelman to keynote FIBA Innovation Fusion

Margie Manning



Janet Echelman

The creator of Bending Arc, the aerial sculpture at the St. Pete Pier, will be keynote speaker at the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator’s upcoming Innovation Fusion.

Janet Echelman, a world renowned artist innovator, will set the tone for the Sept. 23 event, which will focus on the intersection of art and technology. The event, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., will be online.

It’s the fourth Innovation Fusion, one of the signature events for FIBA, a Tampa-based business development and community engagement project that provides a soft landing for Israeli tech companies that are ready to expand into the U.S. market.

This year’s event also will include an update on how tech eco-systems in both Florida and Israel are thriving despite the pandemic, and spotlight an Israeli company that recently launched a hyperbaric clinic in The Villages. 

The St. Pete Pier work is the most recent by Echelman, whose permanent commissions have transformed urban environments worldwide. She has been named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.” Her TED talk “Taking Imagination Seriously” has been translated into 35 languages with more than one million views. Oprah Winfrey ranked Echelman’s work No. 1 on her List of 50 Things That Make You Say Wow!

Historically, FIBA’s Innovation Fusion has been held in person, with sold-out crowds, at the Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center in Tampa. Previous keynote speakers included Jeff Vinik and leadership from unicorn Israeli companies Wix, Waze and Replay.

This year, Innovation Fusion is free, although there is a suggested donation of $25 to support FIBA. Local participants can watch the event at home while enjoying dinner for two provided by the Epicurean Hotel when they donate $180. To register, click here.


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