More than 5,000 people are expected to attend Synapse Summit 2019. <span class='image-credits'>Amber Sigman</span>

Synapse Summit 2019 expects record crowd of 5,000 in Tampa

Thousands of innovation-minded individuals will converge on Amalie Arena Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 23 and 24, for the 2019 Synapse Summit, and organizers say it’s on track to be the largest tech event the Tampa Bay Area has ever seen.

“Last year, people thought we were crazy for hosting a conference at a hockey arena,” says Brian Kornfeld, President and co-Founder of Synapse, a nonprofit created to accelerate innovation in Florida. “This year, people can't wait to see what we are adding.”

The summit, themed “Innovation Lives Here,” caps off Synapse Innovation Week, which began Monday. More than 5,000 Attendees listen to speakers at the 2018 Synapse Innovation Summit.attendees are expected, up from 3,300 last year. The event will also host 300-plus speakers, 325 exhibitors, and will feature 80 breakout sessions on topics ranging from big data to fundraising to cybersecurity.

“We are so excited to show off all the great innovation in the area to a diverse audience of ages, stages in business, geographic location, and interests,” Kornfeld says. “I see Synapse Summit growing into a flagship innovation event for the United States.”

Highlights of the two-day event include:
  • Virtual reality demo experiences featuring Magic Leap One, a product developed by Magic Leap, a Fort Lauderdale-based spatial computing company.
  • A gaming hub where attendees can play new games created by Florida’s hottest gamers.
  • Presentation of Synapse Challenges, crowdsourcing solutions for organizations to solve real-world problems and create new opportunities.
  • Accredited investor sessions.
  • Panel discussions led by entrepreneurs, educators, and investors.
  • Pitch Madness, an NCAA tournament-style competition at which eight qualifying startups will go head-to-head to win investment capital.
  • Programming for military veterans looking to transition into civilian careers.
  • Keynote speakers including Omar Khan, Chief Product Officer of Magic Leap; Jeff Vinik, Partner of Strategic Property Partners and Chairman and Governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning; Larry Quinlan, Deloitte’s Global Chief Information Officer; Sara Margulis, CEO and founder of Honeyfund; Matt Kopko, Director of Public Policy at Bird; Carrol Chang, General Manager at Uber; and Brian Murphy, CEO of ReliaQuest.
“This is not just a conference. This is a movement,” says Kornfeld. “This is all about connecting the innovators and those within the innovation community across Florida.”

A limited number of tickets are still available, though Kornfeld encourages those interested in attending to purchase as soon as possible. To register and to learn more about the event, visit the Synapse Summit website by clicking here.

Read more articles by Jaymi Butler.

Jaymi Butler is a writer and editor who enjoys telling the stories of growth and innovation in the Tampa Bay Area, which she has called home since 2003. A former reporter for the Savannah Morning News, The State, and The Tampa Tribune, she has covered a variety of topics ranging from business to features to public health -- and she even got to sit in on an American Idol audition just feet away from Simon Cowell!
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