Following up on the success of the 2018 summit, the Synapse Innovation Summit will return to Tampa in 2019. The summit will be held Jan. 23 and 24 at Amalie Arena.
In 2018, the summit attracted upwards of 250 exhibitors and 3,200 attendees. In 2019, more than 350 exhibitors and 5,000 attendees are expected from many industries, including robotics and STEM, medical innovations, blockchain, entertainment and Internet of Things.
Synapse has invited community members to nominate speakers at www.synapsefl.com, beginning on Aug. 1. Exhibitor and sponsorship purchases will also begin Aug. 1.
Marc Blumenthal, Synapse founder and partner, said in a statement, “In 2019, we look to take the summit to the next level and truly showcase all the exciting innovations stemming not just from Tampa Bay but the entire state of Florida. Stay tuned for more announcements.”
In 2018, Synapse attracted captains of industry such as Kasra Moshkani, Southeast General Manager of Uber Technologies; Bernard Meyerson, IBM chief innovation officer; and Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Mayors Bob Buckhorn and Rick Kriseman also attended last year.
Brian Kornfeld, co-founder of Synapse, said, “Innovation lives here…In this region, we know there are so many awesome things that are happening, and we want to make sure that the world gets to know about them.”
The Innovation Summit further raises Tampa Bay’s profile as a burgeoning tech hub.
“We truly believe Tampa Bay can be the world’s next great community for innovation, when we see other communities that are building and growing. We have so many great natural resources here, we have such great talent, we have so many great innovators,” Kornfeld said.
The Synapse Innovation Summit is designed to bring innovators from across the region to one place.
“It’s about bringing it all together, and starting to get all the people in one place, to get that windfall of money, talent and innovation all under one roof,” Kornfeld continued. “[That’s how] the magic truly can happen; that’s what’s going to help Tampa Bay and make it a world-class innovation ecosystem.”
Kornfeld is not alone in his vision for Tampa Bay’s entrepreneurial future.
As Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik said at the 2018 event, “The entrepreneurial ecosystem is ours for the taking. There is no leader in Florida in terms of this ecosystem. Arguably, Atlanta has some strength, and Raleigh-Durham, but I have no doubt that if we put our minds to it, together, in five to 10 years from now we will be the leader in Florida, if not the leader in the Southeast, in terms of startup activity.”
The summit also contributes to the tech sector’s culture of collaboration. According to the statement, “The Synapse Innovation Summit connects the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida, creating opportunities for meaningful connections and collaborations.”