Innovation in business takes center stage at Florida’s Synapse Summit

The Synapse Summit in Tampa, Florida brought together entrepreneurs, corporations, investors, academics, and non-profits to advance innovative solutions driving business in the state. WorkingNation participated in two panels and a roundtable discussion at the event.

You may not know this, but Florida is much more than a place for “hurricanes, alligators, and tourism.” Innovation lives here. That’s the motto behind the mission of Synapse, a non-profit aimed at exposing and nurturing the state as a hub of innovation.

Florida has garnered an impressive reputation when it comes to attracting businesses. With nearly 1,000 people moving to the Sunshine State every day — 162 to Tampa Bay — Florida has consistently been ranked as one of the most popular areas for growth. This time last year, economists at the Economic Outlook Summit forecasted the state to reach a $1 trillion economy by the end of 2018.

“If Florida were a country, it would rank 16th in the world,” according to the state’s chamber of commerce.

“There are so many amazing things that are happening just right around the corner from here, that happen just down the street that seems hidden, and we want to bring those into the limelight,” Brian Kornfeld, president of Synapse, said in a recent interview.

One of the ways Synapse does this is by bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals to propel innovation at its annual Summit held at Amalie Arena. Last year’s inaugural event boasted 2,000 attendees. This year, the Summit more than doubled that with 5,000 attendees and 300+ speakers including keynote speaker Larry Quinlan, Deloitte’s Global Chief Information Officer; Sara Margulis, Founder and CEO of Honeyfund; and Vincent Jackson, Co-founder of CTV Capital and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver.

WorkingNation was proud to be a part of the event by participating in discussions on two panels as well as a VIP roundtable.

On Wednesday, Jan. 23, WorkingNation Executive Producer and Senior Business Correspondent Ramona Schindelheim moderated the panel discussion, “Talent Lives Here: The Question of Talent for the Next Generation Workforce.” The group discussed solutions their companies are implementing to address the talent gap in Florida’s workforce, and the importance of creating public-private partnerships to ensure there is a continuous pipeline of skilled workers. (Discussion begins around the 38:00 mark in the video below.)

Panelists included Vincent Jackson, CEO CTV Capital and former NFL Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Kent Paro, Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management, Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, and US Navy SEAL Captain, Retired (Ret.); Moez Limayem, Dean, USF Muma College of Business; Saif Ishoof, Vice President – Engagement Senior Fellow at Florida International University; Lillian Roberts, Co-Founder & CEO Xendoo; and Deb Williams, Vice President Human Resources Shared Services, Florida Blue and GuideWell.

Synapse Summit – Day 1 – Afternoon Session: Talent Lives Here

Synapse Florida was live.

On Thursday, WorkingNation Executive Producer of Digital and Content Partners Theresa Collington led a VIP roundtable discussion and participated in the panel “Fake News, Fact or AI? How Technology is Impacting Today’s Media.”

WorkingNation continues to immerse itself in discussions on the future of work and solutions to skills and talent gaps in the workforce. Our next town hall discussion with The Wharton School on Feb. 26 in Philadelphia will tackle the skills gap issue in Data Analytics. You can find out more here.

For more information on Synapse and to connect to their digital platform that links innovators with the resources they need to accelerate success, click here.

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