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Synapse aims to inspire, empower entrepreneurs at November conference

Margie Manning

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Synapse Summit 2019

Synapse Florida will focus on entrepreneurship during a four-day virtual statewide gathering in November.

The free event, Synapse Converge, will take place Monday, Nov. 16 through Thursday, Nov. 19, during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Synapse is the co-coordinator for GEW Florida.

“Entrepreneurs are the visionaries, leaders and risk takers who are sustaining our economy through this uncertain time. This program will provide community and tools for entrepreneurs at different stages of the journey,” said Lauren Prager, vice president of community engagement at Synapse. “For those who have been scaling and growing, we’ll tell their stories, learn their best practices and connect them with the resources they’ve said will help them continue to grow. Entrepreneurs need partnerships like valuable corporate connections, and creative thinking about new opportunities for expansion and preparing for the unexpected. There’s also a huge community looking to start a new entrepreneurial journey but need access to the information, tools and resources across Florida that can help them get started.”

It’s the third Converge event this year for Synapse Florida, a Tampa-based nonprofit focused on enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state. The organization held a two-day in-person summit in January. After the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Synapse pivoted to virtual events with its three-day Synapse Converge in June.


Related: Synapse Converge opens with advice for investors, founders in a COVID-19 world


Prior gatherings have put a heavy emphasis on technology companies. The upcoming Synapse Converge has a broader focus, Prager said.

Lauren Prager

“Synapse Converge is for entrepreneurs – newbies and seasoned leaders.  It is for all Floridians from anywhere across the state.  It is for people of all backgrounds, industries, passions and interests,” she said. “Entrepreneurs are innovators; they see an opportunity for improvement and take action. More often than not, it is not specific to technology, though maybe tech-enabled. Innovators could be artists, lawyers, marketers, chefs, gamers, engineers, bankers. Sometimes we just need the sparks of inspiration to help us realize just how innovative we are.”

There will be two simultaneous programming tracks. The entrepreneur leadership track will include interviews with successful entrepreneurs, tools to help late-stage companies, and opportunities for investors. The startup toolkit track will feature 12 distinct sessions taught by Florida academics and business leaders covering the entrepreneurial journey.

Attendance is free thanks to Truist (NYSE: TFC), the bank created in the merger of BB&T and SunTrust, Synapse said in a news release.

“Equitable access to tools and resources is vital to economic growth. Synapse did not want cost to be a barrier for anyone to benefit from this community, especially in this challenging and uncertain economic climate,” Prager said. She declined to disclose the dollar value of the bank’s support, but added, “Truist’s commitment to providing tools to minority and female leaders to build businesses and their interest in supporting workforce development opportunities are aligned with the goals of our non-profit.”

Speakers for Synapse Converge are expected to be announced at the end of September, Prager said.

For more details and to register to attend, click here.

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