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Innovation Summit seeks to be ‘catalyzing moment’ for start-up ecosystem

Megan Holmes



In 2016, a study was conducted the the University of Tampa (funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation) to better understand the entrepreneurial community of Tampa Bay. The study, which resulted in several hundred pages of data collected from local entrepreneurs, industry and political leaders, and other community stakeholders, surveyed the current entrepreneurial ecosystem, and laid a groundwork for future improvement.

The study provided two major recommendations. First, create a collaborative vision and brand for Tampa Bay’s start-up ecosystem. Second, identify pain points and bottlenecks in the ecosystem and educate stakeholders accordingly.

The headline for this research? “Catalyzing moment sought for entrepreneurial community.” But how do we bring together a region’s start-up community fractured by distance, duplication of efforts, and lack of communication/collaboration? The 2018 Synapse Innovation Summit hopes to do just that, to become Tampa Bay’s very own catalyzing moment.

This Summit, which kicks off Wednesday and runs through Thursday, seeks to bring together all players in the start-up ecosystem, from innovators and entrepreneurs to corporations and community leaders, and even investors. Organizers seek to build collaboration and to change the entrepreneurial narrative for Tampa Bay and Florida as a whole.

Highlighted sectors will include defense technology, IoT (internet of things), blockchain, robotics, 3D printing, VR, AI, and much more.

The Summit will also feature more than 75 speakers including leaders in innovation from IBM’s Bernard Meyerson, Tampa Bay’s own innovator and developer Jeff Vinik, Henry Form Health System VP and Chief Innovation Officer, Mark Coticchia, and thought leaders from ConnectWise, Bionic Miracle, and Detroit’s Innovation Network.

The Summit takes place March 28-29, 2018 at the Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Dr. in Tampa. Register for the Synapse Innovation Summit at

About Synapse:
Synapse is a ground-breaking methodology that connects all personas within the innovation economy and enables users to make personalized progress in their given field, while promoting a level of needed and desired community engagement. Synapse aims to be an all-encompassing, interactive, and flexible methodology for building, facilitating, and exposing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Florida. For more information, visit

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