| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Tampa : Innovation + Job News

638 Tampa Articles | Page: | Show All

Tampa startup aims to soundproof your sleep with noise-, light-blocking curtains

The sound of silence.

That’s what Tampa-based startup company Residential Acoustics promises with their patented soundproof curtains and doors.

The AcoustiDoor and AcoustiCurtains aim to block unpleasant sounds from invading your home: trucks roaring down the road; noise from nearby establishments; train whistles; loud neighbors; construction; even the sound of a roommate watching late-night TV.

Initially, Walker Peek developed and designed the AcoustiDoor to give his now-wife a quieter place to sleep or study, while Peek, a night owl, watched movies or sports in the next room.

After searching for a solution in stores, Peek turned up empty-handed. He decided to create his own version of a noise-blocking apparatus: the AcoustiDoor, which keeps sound from traveling from room to room within a home. A sample of his sound-proofing scientific research and resources can be found on the company website.

The original AcoustiDoor ($139-$199 for standard sizes) is still being used in the Peeks’ home today.

The AcoustiDoor was soon followed by soundproof, light-blocking thermal curtains.

“Many people struggle with unwanted noise in their home or business and are looking for a well-made solution,” Peek explains, especially apartment residents in urban markets like New York, Chicago and Atlanta, who consistently purchase AcoustiCurtains.

Most sound-blocking curtains on the market work by absorbing noise, but Peek says that AcoustiCurtains work by deflecting sound waves. “Sound deflection makes the AcoustiCurtain the most effective sound-blocking curtain on the market.”

AcoustiCurtains also aim to block out almost all traces of external light, making them “perfect for new mothers, night nurses or anyone on an irregular sleeping schedule," Peek says, by "transforming a daytime bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.”

In addition to keeping noise and light out, AcoustiCurtains are designed to keep heat (or cool air) in. The thermal curtain’s insulating properties have helped homeowners see a reduction in heating and cooling costs, Peek says.

AcoustiCurtains range in price from $99 to $189; custom design and sizing is also available.

Along with private homes, AcoustiCurtains can be found in property management firms, construction companies and hotels throughout the United States. And as for future endeavors, Peek says the sky’s the limit.

“Our team is constantly learning, innovating and improving,” Peek says. “Our mindset has always been, ‘What problem can we solve next?’ ”

With 13 employees and plans to hire several more over the summer, Peek says that Residential Acoustics is “looking to expand our manufacturing footprint.”

The company takes pride in manufacturing in the U.S. using locally sourced materials. Peek calls the choice “one of the best decisions for our business. The quality, detail and workmanship of our products is something I’m extremely proud to stand behind.”

Residential Acoustics plans to remain in Tampa, but move into a larger warehouse space.

“It’s a very exciting time,” Peek says. “The jobs added to the economy and the team we’ve created is empowering. I’m grateful for it everyday.”

Buy a pair (or a mat), plant a tree: Tampa company seeks crowdfunding

Two new must-have meditation accessories for yogis are being developed in Tampa, Florida.

Gurus sandals, inspired by “an ancient wooden sandal” that Prem Thomas bought in India around 2011, have resonated among yogis online, Thomas says.

“Mainly on Instagram."

Thomas and his Gurus cofounder, Joe Choorapuzha, loved the sleek, simple design of the wooden sandals, their place in Indian history and the story that Mahatma Gandhi wore them.

The duo set out to build upon the minimal sandal and “make a product that is superior to flip-flops, but still retains the design of the original Indian version,” Thomas explains.

The result is a natural rubber sandal, sustainably sourced and hand-processed from rubber trees -- a practice that can continue for up to 25 years without harming the tree. 

The $30 sandal comes in a variety of colors, accompanied by a natural-fiber jute bag that features a Gandhi quote. Currently, Gurus sandals can be found online or at retailers such as surf shops, theme parks, salons, yoga studios and boutiques.

The cofounders place emphasis on producing and packaging products sustainably. The Guru sandal is biodegradable, making it a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastic or foam flip-flops and sandals. To help promote the pair’s commitment to sustainability, a tree is planted in the developing world each time a product is sold.

“At the end of the day, a lot of companies can make new products and sell thousands or millions of sandals,” Thomas says. “We think if we can plant thousands or millions of trees, that’s a little more special.”

A successfully funded Kickstarter campaign ($16,236 pledged) helped bring Gurus to life. After the success of the sandal, brand ambassadors for the company wondered whether the cofounders could develop a yoga mat using the same type of natural rubber.

Thomas and Choorapuzha developed a solution: natural rubber topped with a layer of cork. A Kickstarter campaign for the cork yoga mat ends on Friday, May 22, at 1 p.m.

Click here to back this project.

At prices that range from $80 to $115 (up to half off for pledge backers), the campaign slogan reads, “Experience a no-slip, natural yoga mat that costs less than your yoga pants!”

“The mat is pretty amazing,” Thomas says, “and will even work when it is drenched with water or sweat, allowing yoga practitioners to do hot bikram yoga without a towel.”

If the Kickstarter goal is met, backers can expect to receive their mats in August 2015.

Thomas and Choorapuzha are “pretty confident” that the Kickstarter goal of $20,000 for the Gurus cork yoga mat will be met. But even if the crowdfunding target is not met, “we will most likely end up producing it in some form,” Thomas says.

“We think it’s an amazing product, and there is a market need from consumers and studios.”

Thomas, who grew up in Tampa, has worked in finance in the Philippines and with a civic venture capital fund in New York City. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before working as an investment banker for Bank of America, where he met Choorapuzha.

Choorapuzha, an MBA student at the University of Pennsylvania, grew up in Pittsburgh, PA before attending Columbia University. Prior to cofounding Gurus, Choorapuzha worked with an investment fund in NYC.

Along with CEO Thomas and president Choorapuzha, Gurus employs six independent sales representatives and a distributor in Australia and Canada. The company plans to hire another employee in the field of marketing or design, and is seeking interns in Tampa beginning in summer 2015.

“As our company grows, it will be great to build a larger team locally to support that growth,” Thomas says.

Ad agencies hiring in Tampa? ChappellRoberts, Dunn&Co., SPARK and more

Award-winning Tampa advertising agency ChappellRoberts is growing.

The agency, located in the heart of historic Ybor City since 2010, expanded their team in May 2015 to include a senior copywriter, a graphic designer and two assistant account executives.

ChappellRoberts approaches branding from a full service perspective; advertising, marketing and public relations are all part of the package for clients, including high-status accounts like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

“Our elevated team brings rich industry experience and new perspectives to our agency and clients,” Colleen Chappell, agency president and CEO, says in a news release.

Assistant research account executives Maritza Ochoa, who graduated from the University of West Florida, and Kelley Volenec, who graduated from Florida State University, will implement client marketing strategies and support the agency’s market research and public relations divisions.

Graphic designer and New Zealand native Marie Holdaway joins ChappellRoberts with nearly five years of professional design experience to help execute creative concepts for client campaigns.

Rick Kourchenko brings over 20 years of advertising experience to the agency as a senior copywriter who will lead copy development for client projects.

“As we continue to grow our roster, infusing our team with incredible talent further serves the growing needs of our clients,” Chappell said.

ChappellRoberts also seeks to fill several other roles; the agency is hiring for a junior media buyer and a junior art director.

The Junior Media Buyer role requires a high school degree, along with three years of media department experience. The successful candidate will assist media buyers and account executives; will track artwork and ensure deliverables are met; will place orders and reconcile invoices; will record activities for planning and billing purposes; and will maintain all digital and hard copy resources.

The Junior Art Director position will assist with design and execution for multiple mediums. The successful applicant will enjoy problem-solving and will have three years of professional experience, including agency experience; knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite; excellent production skills; and understanding of UX/UI design principles.

Interested candidates should submit a resume and five work samples via email with Jr. Art Director as the subject line.

Dunn&Co.

Dunn&Co. (the agency behind giant billboards that read GoodbyeDon that have cropped up around Tampa in spring 2015 [a tip-of-the-hat to AMC TV show Mad Men]) seeks a senior art director and a copywriter.

The Senior Art Director position will work alongside creative directors to develop work in both the digital and print realm. The position requires 7-10 years of advertising agency experience, along with a strong portfolio; proficiency with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign; ability to lead by example, strategize, conceptualize and implement; and an appreciation for all media.

Dunn&Co. is also looking for a motivated Copywriter who to work closely with the agency’s creative directors. The successful applicant will have three years of agency experience and a strong portfolio with multiple media formats, including digital and social; is comfortable and proficient with long copy; has the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines; has strong interpersonal, verbal and presentation skills; and is detail-oriented.

SPARK

Spark Brands is hiring for several positions: brand writer, community manager, editor, developer, and media buyer.
  • Brand Writer: Bring a brand’s personality to life with words, create stories and build brands in your own language.
  • Community Manager: Bring brands to life online by connecting to the audience and employing social media best practices aimed at improving the social presence of brands. The ideal candidate is a social-savvy individual who has experience with and enjoys working in social media, fostering the growth of online communities.
  • Editor: Control the post-production editing process, turning footage into brand stories. An intimate knowledge of Adobe Suite (specifically Premier and After Effects), RedCine-X and DaVinci Resolve, is required.
  • Developer: Knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, mySQL, WordPress and experience with third-party APIs, specifically for Google, Facebook and Twitter, are necessary. Mobile design is a must, as well as UX/UI best practices.
  • Media Buyer: Negotiate and implement media placements across multiple media platforms, monitor digital media performance and making recommendations and improvements as necessary. Successful candidates will have the ability to analyze website data.
Apply or learn more by sending an email here

22Squared

The advertising agency, which has offices in Atlanta, GA along with downtown Tampa, is hiring for multiple roles in Tampa Bay, including:

Account Director; Analytics & CRM Director, Ecommerce; Analytics Group Director; Developer; Business Development Director; Content Art Director; Help Desk Coordinator; Sr. Human Resources Manager; Talent Acquisition Manager; Integrated (Digital) Producer; Integrated Producer; Marketing Analyst; Marketing Analyst, Interactive Marketing & CRM; and two Copywriters.

To learn job requirements and submit an application, visit the agency’s website.

Hillsborough teacher wins national award for student achievements

Last year Hillsborough County Public Schools piloted a new way to engage middle school students struggling with math through a dynamic intervention system designed by Scholastic called MATH 180™ -- complete with videos and computer lessons.

This school year, the program was available to eligible sixth graders throughout the county and is being used in all 50 states by 400 districts.  A Tampa educator using the program, Joel Leventhal of Webb Middle School, stood out nationally and was the sole winner of Scholastic’s Math 180 Educator Award for 2015.  

Margery Mayer, President of Scholastic Educational Technology and Services, says Leventhal won for “harnessing the power of the MATH 180 to rebuild his students confidence in math and accelerate them toward algebra-readiness,” and that he “empowers his students to take risks, embrace a growth mindset about their intelligence and guides them toward understanding, fluency and mastery.”

“I feel really fortunate,” says Leventhal who received $1,200 in prize money and will also be flown to Atlanta for Model Schools Conference in late June. “I tried to build a classroom where kids aren’t afraid to take risks and they really bought into it. I think the kids are really making me look good!”  He also credits his math coaches and Webb principal, Frank Diaz, who he says has been “extremely supportive.”

Leventhal says the curriculum provides intensive support and is geared toward kids who have struggled with math throughout elementary school. He is impressed with the Math 180 program and says it clearly illustrates through videos and other exercises “how math is important in their daily lives and real world scenarios.” He cites a video in the program that shows the example of a global soap delivery project for Africa -- “it showed division in real life,” said Leventhal. “How many boxes could fit in a package?” 

Half of the work is done on the computer, which Leventhal says provides “a lot of encouragement and positivity,” is something the kids enjoy, and allows them to work at their own pace. The rest is work in the classroom, together, supported by a workbook.

The students take benchmark and progress tests throughout the year. By midyear, Leventhal’s students had already achieved 70 percent of what they needed for the entire year -- well ahead of schedule. 

Leventhal has a degree in exceptional student education from the University of South Florida. This is Leventhal’s first year teaching math and first year at Webb, having taught science for the three years prior at Buchanan Middle School. In addition to regular math and PE classes, he teaches a total 90 Math 180 students, divided by four classes. You do the math.

$1.1M grant boosts employment services at Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women in Tampa

The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women has championed employment service efforts in the Tampa community for nearly four decades. In May 2015, the Centre announced that a new $1.137 million grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will help to substantially expand its Employment Services Program.

Grant funding will enable the Centre to broaden employment programs in Hillsborough County, and executive director Ann W. Madsen says that the Centre might provide future services in Pinellas County, as well.

The new grant will be dispersed to the nonprofit organization over a five-year period, and will help to fund training and placement programs for men and women the Centre identifies as displaced homemakers.

The programs at the Centre are distinct from more general training and job search programs, Madsen explains in a news release, because their primary goal is to “assist women and men in their efforts to achieve lasting economic self-sufficiency. The program helps them to focus on careers that can provide a realistic, livable income for families.”

The JobSync program provides displaced homemakers with one-on-one counseling to help individuals address emotional issues before seeking employment and to develop career plans. It also provides resources to help individuals learn to navigate job applications, computer training, interview techniques and other skills essential to transitioning into a new role -– and economic stability -- successfully.

JobSync aims to “help people, both men and women, to get connected to the right job,” says Madsen.

The original profile of a displaced homemaker when the Centre first began offering services in the late 1970s was “a woman in her mid-thirties or older who had lost her source of income due to divorce, separation, death, disability or unemployment,” explains Alice Thompson, director of the Centre’s Employment Services Program.

Today, Thompson says, “there are many types of individuals and situations that would qualify.”

Now, the displaced homemaker program provides services for both men and women, as long as they meet certain criteria: ages 35 or older; have relied on federal aid or unemployment; are not employed (to learn more about The Centre’s Displaced Homemakers Program and how to qualify, email Alice Thompson or call 813-251-8437.

“Helping displaced homemakers has been one of our core programs,” Madsen says. “Through the years, the Displaced Homemakers Program has provided the opportunity for hundreds of people in our community to lead financially independent lives and find careers that truly support their families.”

The Centre for Women provides many programs and services that help local women and men, including workforce development, entrepreneurial and employment strategies, individual and family counseling, substance abuse treatment and services for girls and senior citizens.

NEA grant enables USF CAM to bring musical village to Sulphur Springs

The University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) has just been awarded a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to make music come alive in a series of unusual structures to be built in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood of Tampa next spring. 

Sarah Howard, curator of public art and social practice at USF CAM, likens the public art project to a musical village and that depicts the rich cultural heritage of Sulphur Springs. The setting on the Community Stepping Stones property at the Mann-Wagmon Memorial Park “is perfect for this,” she says.

According to Howard, the project, The Music Box: Tampa Bay, based on the original version by the arts cooperative New Orleans Airlift, will create “a wonderful, magical, inventive space that facilitates experimentation not only through the process of building it, but programming it.”  The installation will serve both as an open facility for performance art while the structures themselves will be hands-on and playable. 

In Tampa, the cast of Music Box collaborators will include installation and sculptors from New Orleans, USF art, architecture and music students, and the middle- and high-school children in the Community Stepping Stones program, among others from the community.  

Stepping Stones is an after-school program for underserved youth that seeks to improve lives through the arts. CAM has done other collaborative projects with the group and Howard notes it is important that the students “feel they have ownership and authorship. They become the ambassadors for this project, and it is important for them to see not just design and envisioning, but the process of coming out with a final project.”

Howard says there are currently a couple of structures on the Community Stepping Stones site that need to be torn down.  She plans to repurpose the remnants as building materials, in line with the New Orleans Airlift aesthetic, which she describes as “a little DIY – they use a lot of reclaimed materials. It’s intimate, but otherworldly. … It takes you back in time, not so slick and overdesigned. Real quality of the real deal.” 

Initial envisioning and design plans should begin next January, with the installation complete by the end of March 2016. 

Though still in its beginning stages and in need of additional funding, the project contemplates a month of musical programming with national and local musicians, visits for local schools, educational and history lectures (The Heritage Center is also located at Mann-Wagnon park), instrumentation workshops as well as plenty of time for unstructured play. The Music Box: Tampa Bay will then be moved to the USF campus for further exhibition, with at least one structure remaining permanently at the Community Stepping Stones site. 

Who's hiring in Tampa Bay? Booz Allen, Lowry Park Zoo, and more

Did you know? 83 Degrees Media searches for growing companies to bring you exciting job opportunities in the Tampa Bay region. Here's who's hiring in the Tampa, St. Pete, and Clearwater area in May 2015:
 
The strategy and tech-consulting firm Booz Allen is hiring for an Assistant Editor to work under a senior editor in the company’s Tampa offices. The position requires a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communications or a related field; three or more years of experience writing and editing long-form journalism, including working with an online publication; knowledge of AP style; and the ability to obtain a security clearance.

Experience as a magazine or newspaper reporter, knowledge of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia region and/or experience with Arabic, Russian or Dari languages preferred. The position includes developing, writing and editing original online magazine content and proofreading.

To learn more, visit the Booz Allen website

Computer Mentors, a nonprofit tech service organization that helps kids develop skills for careers in the computer industry, is hiring for a full-time Programming Coordinator. The program includes serving as lead instructor for students in grades 4-8 basic computer programming skills and helping high school students build mobile apps for other local nonprofits through the STEM Corps program.

The successful applicant will have experience working with youth; experience programming, including knowledge of Android and iOS app development, graphical interface programming tools and programming robots.

To learn more about the role and to apply, visit the Computer Mentors website.

Health Hero, a St. Pete-based startup company that is gaining traction with the idea of reinventing healthcare plans through increased engagement, is hiring for multiple roles in St. Petersburg, including: Director of Sales, Growth Engineer, UX Designer, Ruby on Rails Developer, Native iOS Developer and Native Android Developer.

Learn more about available roles at the Health Hero website.

Do you love to volunteer, get involved in big events, and coordinate complex logistics? Oh, and a love of animals would be a bonus.

Lowry Park Zoo is hiring for a full-time Events/Volunteer Coordinator at the zoo’s central Tampa location. The successful applicant will have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, communications, marketing, business or a related field. Experience in special events, fundraising, development or hospitality management is also preferred. 

The Events/Volunteer Coordinator will work under the direction of the Events Manager to plan and support zoo events (new animal exhibits, baby reveals, animal birthdays, for example) and volunteer projects. Duties will include organizing and implementing rental events; planning and implementing fundraising events (Zoo Zoom, the Charity Golf Classic, Zoominations, for example); cultivating in-kind donors; and offering other assistance as needed. Holiday and weekend availability required. 

Lowry Park Zoo is also hiring for a Director of Finance, Chief Development Officer, Education Instructor, Staff Accountant, and part-time, seasonal Summer Camp Instructors, among other roles. For a complete listing of available roles, visit the zoo website.

Florida Blue is hiring for several positions in the Tampa Bay area, including: Retail Center Navigation Nurse ARNP, Sr Mgr Medical Review, Senior Media Relations Consultant, Web Designer and Sr. Consultant Leadership Development.
Florida Blue offers private health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. 

To learn more about the  available job opportunities with Florida Blue in the Tampa bay area, visit the Florida Blue website.

Tech Data is hiring for multiple positions in the Clearwater area, including a senior financial analyst, a systems engineer and a senior copywriter. An applicant for the entry-level Financial Analyst position must have an AS or higher in Accounting, Finance, or Accounting Systems, along with 0-3 years of work experience 

The role will include data compilation, maintaining and distributing management reports, analyzing new business opportunities, efficiency initiatives, or other business issues. and maintaining systems applications, among other tasks.

The global technology distribution company headquartered in Clearwater is also seeking a Marketing Strategist. The position will act as Marketing Consultant for vendor partners and will be responsible for developing and executing marketing campaigns for clients, working together with business development representatives and project managers.

Requirements include a BA in Marketing or Communications and a minimum of two years (five years preferred) of previous marketing strategy development and/or IT channel vendor/reseller marketing experience. 

For complete descriptions and a complete listing of available jobs with Tech Data, visit the company's website.

Employers, if you have a career opportunity you would like to promote, please email the 83 Degrees Innovation & Job News editor with "Hiring" in the subject line. Reach out over on Twitter @83degreesmedia if our job listings put you on the path to success.

On the job hunt? Upcoming career fairs in Tampa Bay

Whether job seekers are searching for that first post-graduation job or planning to change professional directions with a new career, attending a career or job fair can sometimes be the best bet for finding the right new role. There are several upcoming career or job fairs in Tampa Bay that can connect job seekers in the Tampa and St. Petersburg areas with the industry leaders and resources who can help open doors for new hires. Here are a few:
 
Wednesday, May 6: Pinellas Career Fair
noon-3 p.m.
Bright House Field
601 Coachman Road, Clearwater

Title sponsors include Bright House Networks, Home Shopping Network (HSN), Tradewinds resort hotel, and Center for Technology Training. Open to the general public.

Employer exhibitors include:
  • Big Brothers & Big Sisters
  • Bright House Networks
  • Eckerd College
  • GSP Marketing
  • H&T Global Circuit
  • Hydro Dyne Engineering
  • Kannon Heath Services
  • Lakeside Oaks Care Center
  • Pinellas County Schools
  • Pride Staff
  • Teachers R Us
  • Utica College
  • Vology Inc
  • YourMembership

Click here to learn more about the Pinellas Career Fair
 
---

Wednesday, May 6: Tampa Career Fair
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Westshore Airport
4500 West Cypress St., Tampa

Sponsors include MetLife, Southern Green, Dress for Success Tampa Bay, Mary Kay and Fleetistics. Can't make it? Tampa Career Fair will also be held on August 18, 2015. 

Click here to learn more about the Tampa Career Fair.

---
 
Thursday, May 14: FCC Statewide Career Fair
10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
UCF Arena
University of Central Florida, Orlando

The Annual Statewide Job Fair at the University of Central Florida in Orlando offers employers the unique opportunity to recruit graduates and alumni from Florida’s state universities all at one centrally located event. More than 150 employers typically attend to meet and recruit students and alumni who are seeking fulltime, professional positions.

Click here to learn more about the FCC Statewide Career Fair.
 
---
 
Monday, June 8: Tampa Bay Job Fair
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore Airport
700 N. Westshore Blvd, Tampa

Sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times. Free admission, free parking. No pre-registration required. Over 50 local employers will be in attendance.

Click here to learn more about the Tampa Bay Job Fair.

---

Wednesday, June 17: Job Fair Tampa
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore Hotel
2225 N. Lois Ave., Tampa

Business professional attire and resume required.

Click here to learn more about Job Fair Tampa.

---

Tips for job seekers from the Tampa Bay Job Fair:
  • Wear proper business attire.
  • Bring at least 20 copies of your resume.
  • Arrive with a positive attitude. 
Employers, are you hosting an upcoming career fair in the Tampa Bay area? Put potential future employees on the right path by sharing the details of your upcoming job or career fair in Tampa Bay with 83 Degrees. Email the 83 Degrees Innovation & Job News editor with "Hiring" in the subject line. Reach out over on Twitter (@83degreesmedia) if our job listings put you on the path to success.

Creativity takes center stage at June startup event

Up Global’s Startup Weekend events often bring together a city’s brightest techies, entrepreneurs and advocates for innovation. In June, for the first time in Tampa, entrepreneurs and artists will have the chance to create, invent and innovate during Startup Weekend Design Edition, Tampa Bay.

The new event is the result of the strong showing of the creative community during Tampa’s inaugural Startup Week in February 2015, event co-organizer Ryan Sullivan explains.

“Creatives, just like everyone else, experience challenges on a daily basis, and we wanted to provide them with a platform to solve those problems,” Sullivan says.

The three-day event will follow the traditional Startup Weekend format – over the course of 54 hours, Tampa Bay designers, developers, entrepreneurs and experts from all domains will come together to create an innovative solution to a real-world problem.

This time, the focus is on the challenges faced by those in the creative industry. Local fashion entrepreneurs, interior designers, architects, graphic artists and other creatives are invited to join in on the collaborative event.

Anyone can pitch an idea; teams form around the most popular ones. Over the next few days, teams work to develop a product and a business model to bring their idea to life – this time, with creativity in mind. On the last night, teams will present their visions to local entrepreneurial leaders from creative or design industries and one team will be named the winner.

The goals of a Startup Weekend event in any community are to educate people about entrepreneurship and to encourage networking, says Sullivan, who has organized multiple Up Global events including Startup Week and Startup Weekend Youth Tampa Bay. He anticipates around 50 attendees for the region’s first design-focused startup weekend. 

Lisa Gilmore, founder and lead interior designer at Lisa Gilmore Design, anticipates networking with members of the local creative community during the upcoming Startup Weekend Design event.

“As a creative myself, I know that we can run a bit wild with our ideas,” Gilmore says, “and collaborating with other professionals during Startup Weekend will be beneficial in bringing some of those ideas and dreams to life!”

Startup Weekend Design Edition co-organizer Nancy Vaughn has previously participated in and sponsored Startup Weekend events, and “experienced first-hand the impact that Startup Weekend has on the community,” she explains. As for potential outcomes of the event, Vaughn, principal at White Book Agency, hopes to see “some cool creative businesses started.”

Vaughn, creator of Tampa Bay Fashion Week, suggests examples including “an app that takes everyday colors for use in textiles or wallpaper, or maybe a new runway show seating platform, or wearable technology that allows for automatic VIP check-in. Can someone make that, please?”

“More importantly, I hope that great connections are formed, new ideas are sparked and launched, and everyone has a good time working together,” Vaughn says. 

Startup Weekend Design Edition, Tampa Bay will begin at 6:30 pm on June 5 and conclude in the late evening hours of June 7. The 54-hour make-fest will unfold at CoWork Tampa, 3104 North Armenia Ave. Ste 2.

To register, or learn more about the weekend’s schedule, visit the Startup Weekend Design Edition, Tampa Bay website. Be sure to use the code "83D'' for $25 off. 

Discover more upcoming entrepreneurially minded events in the Tampa Bay area, like Startup Weekend Tampa Bay Youth (May 15-17), in the 83 Degrees Spring/Summer 2015 startup events guide.

With $1 million at stake, UT students take on urban slums

A student team has earned the University of Tampa the distinction of being the only university in the United States to secure a spot in the final round of competition for the 2015 Hult Prize. Up for grabs: $1 million in seed funding to the winning team.

The Hult Prize Foundation is a nonprofit that focuses its efforts on solving world issues through challenging young, social and eco-conscious entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ideas.  The challenge, this year, was to develop an idea that would meet the goal of educating 10 million children in urban slums by 2020.

UT’s student team, Athollo, joined other competitors from across the globe, including another team from UT, to address the issue of early childhood education – or lack thereof - in urban slums. The team aims to use mobile phones as the key component in providing top quality early childhood education to children from the ages of 0-6 who are living in the urban slums of developing nations.

Inspired by the educational theme, the team name derives from the Greek god of wisdom, Athena, combined with the Greek god of knowledge, Apollo. Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Phil Michaels explains that the team’s mission is to ”endeavor to alleviate the inaccessibility of education around the world.”

Athollo won first place in the San Francisco regional competition, one of six Hult Prize regional locations around the world. Along with the other regional winners, the team will attend a 6-week accelerator over the summer. In September, the teams will then head to NYC to present in front of President Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual meeting.

One team will be named winner, and earn $1M in seed capital funding.

If Athollo wins the Hult Prize competition, Michaels says, the team will “funnel the seed capital funding into providing salaries for their employees, developing an app, subsidizing marketing efforts and other operating expenses.”

“Tampa is the next wave of social entrepreneurs!” says Michaels, who also serves as the UT campus director for the Hult Prize. “I never doubted the ability of our university’s young social entrepreneurs to address this pressing challenge intelligently and thoughtfully.”

Athollo is comprised of six enterprising UT students:
  • Michaels, a dual degree-seeking student (MBA in Entrepreneurship and MS in Marketing) at UT and self-described serial entrepreneur.
  • Chief Social Capital Marketing Officer Sercan Topcu is an MS (Marketing) student at UT. Chief Education Officer Brittany Brescia is a dual-degree seeking student in Education and English at UT.
  • CFO Ulixes Hawili is an honors student at UT pursuing a dual degree in Mathematics and Economics.
  • COO Ravi Goldberg is an honors student at UT who is majoring in Entrepreneurship and minoring in Leadership and Business Analytics.
  • Akingbolahan Akinwumi, Chief Cultural Officer, M.D. is pursuing an MBA.
A second UT team, BamBoost, came in second at the Boston regional competition, but they aren’t out of the running for the $1 million yet.

This year, any participating teams can compete for a wild card spot in the final competition by earning the most money in an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign. To date, BamBoost has earned about 60 percent of their goal of $20,000. Click here to learn more or to donate to their crowd-funding campaign.

Athollo is also seeking donations via crowdfunding website GoFundMe; the team hopes to raise $53,000 to implement a pilot study in sub-Saharan Africa. Click here to learn more or to donate to their crowd-funding campaign

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work that both teams have put into their efforts to educate impoverished children in urban slums that need it most,” Michaels says. “It is a humbling experience to watch them grow into the business pioneers they were destined to become while changing the lives of millions of people in the process.”

Picture this: High fashion, high art intertwined at FMOPA

The works of three international fashion photographers will combine in one show for the first time at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA).

"High Fashion: Kristian Schuller, Billy & Hells, Taka Kobayashi,'' curated and hosted by FMoPA in downtown Tampa, opens May 1 and runs through June 22nd. It will kick off at FMoPA’s “First Friday” social hour, 6-8 p.m. on Friday. 

The exhibit, in large-form, brings to life the confluence of fashion and statement, the meeting of commercial and fine art. 

“Fashion photography is a natural bridging between fine art and documenting photography, “ says Zora Carrier, FMoPA’s Executive Director. “It is very much about aesthetic and conception, but also practical information.  This is a show commenting on the universal cosmopolitan of softness and femininity.”

While fashion is the common thread, each of the artists brings a distinct nuance to the table.  

Carrier describes Romanian-born Kristian Schuller, whose work is reminiscent of Daliesque surrealism, as “creating images out of this world,” with a “dreaminess and weirdness” that highlights the beauty of natural elements in stark contrast to the usual venues for high fashion. 

In FMoPA’s exhibit, Taka Kobayashi, of Japan, is working with the classical theme of geisha and fashion, but in a modern context.  Billy & Hells, a German photography duo, portrays pretty, feminine fashions of high aesthetic, “but the faces of the models are sad, with pain and suffering,” says Carrier, creating “a kind of unusual tension.” 

The FMoPA has a back-to-back line up of exhibits through the rest of the year. This summer, visitors can experience Florida-themed large format projects by two Tampa photographers Jason Henthorne and Joseph Gamble. In September, the FMoPA is collaborating with the Florida Aquarium in an underwater photography exhibit, which Carrier says is a joint effort to pay “homage to this deep earth interest.” New York based photographer Richard Renaldi, famous for his “Touching Strangers” project, will exhibit his work on hotel rooms and the “comfort and quirkiness of that.” The exhibit is timed to coincide with Tampa’s LGBT festival. 

Carrier says she is working on positioning the FMoPA as a social venue, “a nice place to come after work, maybe take a photography class.” To this end, she instituted monthly “First Fridays” at the museum, which include an opening or artist’s talk, food and wine. 

In addition to opening the High Fashion exhibit, this week’s First Friday will feature an artist talk by American photographer Jim Reynolds whose CityScapes exhibit is concurrently on display.

Hillsborough Community College sacks recycling apathy

If you happened to step foot on the Ybor City campus of Hillsborough Community College (HCC) during the week leading up to Earth Day on April 22, perhaps you noticed some students were carrying around more than just their backpacks. Biology Professor Paul Rabaut gave some of his students a most unusual assignment. As an extra credit task, he asked them to carry a trash bag for a week, throwing their garbage into the bag. 

The goal? “I wanted them to be inconvenienced by their waste and realize the burden it creates in the community and on our planet,” says Rabaut. 

To ensure his students were staying on track with the project, under the heading of a sustainability initiative called HCCthinksgreen, he required them to check in via Twitter three times a day and post using the hashtag #TrashBag. Rabaut says 80 to 90 students participated in the event, with many even drawing faces or cartoons on their trash bags. 

“The bags really proved to be conversation starters with other students on campus,” he comments. “The idea was to make everyone feel comfortable about carrying around a trash bag on campus and encourage others to partake in the project.” 

Not only did the weeklong project, which started on April 16, catch on with several faculty and staff members, but some local businesses also took interest. “Fit2Run – The Runner’s Superstore, which operates a location at International Plaza, engaged with the initiative on Twitter and started following us.” He hopes the event, which was in its first year, will expand to the other HCC campuses throughout Hillsborough County. Rabaut, who masterminded the project and even runs his own composting maggot farm at his home, refers to the #TrashBag initiative as his “baby” and says he will certainly promote the event more heavily next year. 

HCC Marketing and Public Relations Manager Angela Walters says the event helped her realize how much trash she produces on a weekly basis. 

“It really made me stop and think about how much waste I created,” she remarks. “It’s quite interesting carrying around a bag of trash for a week.”

The #TrashBag event culminated on Earth Day at the HCC Ybor City campus, when the participants were to turn in their bags. Rabaut and Walters both said that around 20 students did so, but some had only a few items in their bags. 

“Throughout the duration of the project, students were encouraged to throw food waste into a compost pile and recyclable items such as plastic bottles and aluminum cans into appropriate receptacles, which we have around the campus,” says Rabaut. While there wasn’t a final tally on precisely how much trash was collected by all participants during the week, Rabaut believes the active engagement from the students was the greatest result of the project. “Many students spread the message to parents, friends, and others and helped get them involved, too.”

Walters adds, “This project shows that small steps can make a huge impact.”

Undergrad research recognized during UT celebration

The University of Tampa is broadening the notion that research is exclusive to faculty or graduate students by celebrating undergraduate student researchers with a week of recognition.

UT, a small private university located at 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. on the Hillsborough riverfront in the growing heart of downtown Tampa, serves over 7,500 students from all 50 states and 137 countries. During the Undergraduate Research Celebration (URC) April 23-27, UT will recognize undergraduate students who have developed a better understanding of their subjects of interest and deepened ties with professors through participation in research projects.

URC events “are opportunities for networking and discussion, and celebrate the accomplishments of UT's undergraduate scholars,“ says Dr. Eric Freundt, an assistant professor of biology in UT’s College of Natural and Health Sciences. “These events lead to cross-disciplinary collaboration and improve the intellectual exchange across campus.”

On Thursday, April 23, UT will kick off URC festivities by celebrating Honors Day, during which Honors Program undergraduate research fellows will receive recognition and give oral presentations on recently completed or current research projects.

The following day, Friday, April 24, the CNHS Undergraduate Research Symposium will take place. CNHS students will present research projects in Plant Hall's Fletcher Lounge from 3:00-5:00 pm. Sara McGrath, a research chemist at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, will give a keynote presentation on the topic of seafood safety challenges at the FDA in Sykes College of Business, Room 131, at 2 pm.

Friday is also the Sykes CoB Student Research Day, during which students from the UT CoB will present research projects in the Cass Gym, from 3-5 pm.

Finally, the UT College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education Undergraduate Research Conference will take place on Wednesday, April 29. During the event in Plant Hall's Fletcher Lounge, CSSME students will present their original research from 4-6 pm.

Freundt explains that research helps undergraduate students develop critical-thinking skills and the ability to solve real-world problems. The focus of student presentations during the URC is the opportunity for students to share research results in a formal setting.

“Undergraduate research and creative inquiry allows students to work closely with a faculty member to conduct a high-quality, original research project,” he says. “As we often learn best through teaching, students who present must communicate the motivation behind their project, methodology, results and conclusions to a diverse audience. “Each student presentation therefore leads to a deeper understanding of their own research, sharpens their communication skills, and completes an important aspect of scholarship.”

Undergraduate Research Celebration week events are open to the local community.

“We hope that community members who attend these events can discover opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration with our faculty and students,” Freundt says.

Results from a CNHS’s 2014 symposium, as provided by Freundt:
  • Eighty percent of participants surveyed indicated that it was their first time giving a scientific presentation. 
  • All respondents (100%) reported feeling more confident in giving a scientific presentation after participating in the symposium. 
  • Seventy-seven percent of participants surveyed indicated that they spoke with students outside of their discipline. 
  • One hundred percent of participants surveyed learned by visiting other posters. 
  • Ninety-six percent of participants surveyed received helpful, personal instruction from a faculty member while preparing their poster. 
  • Ninety-six percent of participants surveyed learned more about their research topic. 
  • All respondents indicated that participation in the Symposium enhanced their overall educational experience at The University of Tampa. 
Participating in undergraduate research gives future job seekers an advantage, Freundt says, because “employers are looking for college graduates with the ability to solve complex, real-world problems and who possess excellent critical thinking and communication skills. 

“UT’s commitment to learning through student inquiry projects, and celebrating these students through the Undergraduate Research Celebration week, leads to UT grads who are prepared to make an impact in the local community and benefits the economy,” he says. 

Spring/Summer startup events guide: Tampa Bay

Technology and innovation enthusiasts in the Tampa Bay area can look forward to an array of upcoming events for meeting like-minded peers and mingling with successful serial entrepreneurs in the coming spring and summer months. From recurring meetups such as Startup Grind and Homebrew Hillsborough to annual adventures like the Startup Bus Florida (launching from Tampa on June 4), 83 Degrees has the details on upcoming spring and summer 2015 technology, networking and startup-centric events.
 
StartUp Xchange
April 23, 5 pm
Green Bench Brewing Co.
1133 Baum Ave. N. St. Petersburg

Hosted by the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, StartUp Xchange is a monthly gathering that brings TBIC mentors together with local entrepreneurs and innovators. Small business owners have the opportunity to network with other local leaders or aspiring entrepreneurs, and to discuss business-related questions or concerns with mentors.

April 2015 Startup XChange mentors include Chris Paradies, an Intellectual Property Attorney at Paradies Law PA; Kellye Dash, a social media and virtual assistant expert who founded her own company The Busy Buddy; and JJ Roberts, Client Service Manager for TBIC.

The event will take place at Green Bench Brewing, a local business named for the iconic colored benches that once resided on DTSP's Central Ave. To register for April's Startup XChange, visit the event’s Meetup page or the TBIC website for more information.
 
Homebrew Hillsborough
April 24, 8:30 am
Krazy Kup
101 East J. Arden Mays Blvd. Plant City

Join your local area network of small business owners at monthly Homebrew Hillsborough coffee shop meetups. As part of Hillsborough County’s economic development initiatives, Homebrew Hillsborough brings local leaders in the county’s Economic Development Department together with small business owners from Seminole Heights to Plant City. Each month, the meetup is hosted in a different neighborhood of Hillsborough County.

Along with the April 24 meetup at Krazy Kup in Plant City, upcoming Homebrew Hillsborough events will take place on May 29 at Kahwa Café in Westchase; June 26 at Tu Sabor Café in Town n Country; and July 31 at the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa.
 

DRINKandCONNECT
April 30, 5:30 pm
The Patio
421 South MacDill Ave. Tampa

During the free networking event on April 30, entrepreneurs and techies are invited to come out to the The Patio’s large indoor/outdoor courtyard and mingle with Cigar City Brewing VP Justin Clark and Angry Chair Brewing co-founder Ryan Dowdle. Enjoy a cold local brew as Cigar City & Angry Chair “takeover” the taps for the night.

Along with the tap takeovers and networking, the event will host raffles to benefit the Tampa Police Department's Honor Guard. Raffle items include spa gift certificates, a custom skateboard, and Cigar City or Angry Chair baskets.

To register, visit the event Meetup page.

Plum Alley's Jan Mercer Dahms at Startup Grind
May 6, 6:30 pm
CoWork Ybor/The Blind Tiger Café
1901 E. 7th Ave. Ybor City

Each month, Joy Randels and the Tampa Bay chapter of Startup Grind host fireside chats and intimate gatherings, where entrepreneurs share the secrets of their successes – and failures – with attendees, who range from small business owners to students to serial entrepreneurs. Startup Grind Tampa Bay will host Jan Mercer Dahms, managing director of Plum Alley, at Ybor City's mixed use cafe and coworking space, The Blind Tiger Cafe/CoWork Ybor, on May 6. Entry fee is $10.

Plum Alley is “the premier crowdfunding platform for women in the world,” Randels say. During May’s Startup Grind, guests from across the state will discuss their products and how Plum Alley can help them. To learn more about Plum Alley and the campaigns it supports, visit the company website. 

Startup Weekend Youth Tampa Bay
May 15-17, 5:00 pm
Trinity School For Children
2402 W Osbourne Ave, Tampa

Students, do you dream of starting the next Facebook or Snapchat? Startup Weekend is back with a special youth edition, open to aspiring designers, developers, business leaders or entrepreneurs! The 54-hour event has been a staple in Tampa Bay for several years, and in 2015, the event will include coaches and mentors from across the Tampa Bay area, including Todd Broyles, David Harris, Gregg Hilferding and founder and host Angela Ardolino.

Step into the shoes of an entrepreneur during Startup Weekend Youth Tampa Bay at Trinity School for Children. The three-day startup crash course includes pitching your ideas, forming teams, building a tangible product (including coding and creating a business model), and launching (I.e., presenting your case to the event judges, local entrepreneurial leaders).
 
#Collabtb (Q2 Tech & Entrepreneur Peer Networking Event)
June 4, 5 pm
1930 Grande Room
1930 East 7th Ave. Ybor City

Collaborative Technologies of Tampa Bay hosts quarterly networking events for tech-savvy designers, developers, programmers and other entrepreneurs who want to interact with peers without hearing sales pitches from recruiters. Students, job seekers, entrepreneurs and tech professionals are encouraged to attend the June event at Ybor City's event space and unique venue, the 1930 Grande Room.

#Collabtb events are free, but registration is required. Entrance into the event includes a free T-shirt for the first 100 attendees, a free drink ticket for the first 200 and light appetizers. Click here to register for the #Collabtb Q2 networking event.
 
StartupBus Florida
June 4-8, Tampa-Nashville

For the sixth straight year, StartupBus participants across North America will join together on buses and work to pitch and develop a startup idea. The 72-hour competition ends in Nashville in June 2015, with buses originating from six different regions competing. The Southeast region bus will leave from Tampa on June 4. One catch: you’re on your own for the return trip.

“Hackers, hustlers, and hipsters” are encouraged to apply for a seat on the bus. To pre-apply for the 2015 Startup Bus Florida, visit the Startup Bus website
 
Startup Surge
June 5, 10 am
Tampa Bay WaVE
400 N. Ashley Dr., St. 200. Tampa

Hosted by Tampa Bay WaVE at the Sykes building in the heart of downtown Tampa, Startup Surge is a one-day opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and students to meet and hear from more than 50 mentors from around the region. Attendees will be matched up with mentors, all of whom are successful entrepreneurs, before participating in coaching sessions and workshops. Learn about building a successful startup (from identifying a target market to crowdfunding and early stage marketing); the launch process (development, updates, and analytics); and growing your company (fundraising, bring on a Board of Directors, and more).

Click here to register for Startup Surge; to learn more about event mentors, visit the Tampa Bay WaVE website.
 
Startup Weekend Design Edition, Tampa Bay
June 5-7, 6:30 pm

For the first time in Tampa, creative entrepreneurs and artists will have the chance to come together for a Startup Weekend event! Startup Weekend Design Edition will follow the traditional 54-hour format and aims to bring together Tampa Bay designers, developers, entrepreneurs and experts from all domains. Fashion entrepreneurs, interior designers, architects, graphic artists and other creatives are invited to take part in the collaborative event.

Meet peers, network with creative industry leaders, and design or develop ideas to help solve real-world problems faced by those in creative industries. Pitch your ideas and form a team (or join another -- popular vote wins out), develop a product and business model, and then present the final version to local entrepreneurial leaders in creative or design industries.

To register, visit the Startup Weekend Design Edition, Tampa Bay website. Use code "83D'' for $25 off. 

TEDx Tampa Riverwalk
August 29, 1 pm
John F. Germany Library Auditorium
900 N. Ashley Dr. Tampa

TEDx events are independently organized meetups of thinkers and innovators based on the popular TED talks that focus on the slogan of “ideas worth spreading.” The theme for the 2015 TEDx Tampa Riverwalk session is “Going Places!” TEDx presenters should consider the theme and how it applies scientifically, socially, economically, geographically, artistically and philosophically.

Nominations for speakers and presenters will be accepted through June 2015. Click here to apply or to nominate a speaker for the August event at downtown Tampa's John F Germany public library. Learn more at the TEDx Tampa Riverwalk website.

Enchanted Earth: An evening with world-renowned explorers at the Tampa Theatre

Two internationally recognized female explorers with roots in Tampa Bay are coming back to the area for a one-night discussion at one of downtown Tampa’s most iconic venues. With the historic starry sky of the Tampa Theatre serving as the backdrop. “Enchanted Earth, An Evening with Sylvia Earle and Margaret ‘Canopy Meg’ Lowman” will take place on April 30.

Susan Giles Wantuck, a host, producer and reporter for WUSF Public Radio, will host the special one-evening event with Earle and Lowman, who are two of America’s most beloved explorers and conservationists.

Earle, who founded Mission Blue and is currently an Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society, began diving in the Gulf of Mexico while growing up in Clearwater. These early adventures helped inspire her career in deep-sea exploration and ocean advocacy. View Earle’s TED talk here.

Lowman, a former CEO of Marie Selby Gardens who founded the Sarasota-based TREE Foundation, is currently the Chief of Science and Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences. She also served as Climate Science Advisor to Florida CFO Alex Sink under then-Gov. Charlie Crist, and as Director of Environmental Sciences for New College Florida.

Both women are renowned scientists, speakers and authors whose conservation work has helped make them role models for women in science, technology and innovation worldwide.

Explorers and conservationists are especially important to the Tampa Bay area, Wantuck explains, because “we need scientists to help us to understand what is happening with our environment, so we can be more responsible caretakers. I’m a Floridian by birth and I know there is no place else in the world like it."

"Enchanted Earth: An evening with Sylvia Earle and Margaret ‘Canopy Meg’ Lowman'' will start April 30 at 7 p.m. at the historic Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St. A portion of the proceeds from Enchanted Earth will benefit the global conservation and public engagement work of Mission Blue and TREE Foundation.

“Anyone who is curious about the wide world” should consider attending, Wantuck says.

"There’s so much ground to cover, I just hope we can squeeze it all in," she says. “If you are coming to Enchanted Earth, please bring your questions, because we want to hear what’s on your mind.”

Tickets for Enchanted Earth are on sale now at the Tampa Theatre Box Office. GA seating is $30, student tickets are $26.50 (day-of show sales only), and VIP seating is $65. VIP tickets include a pre-show reception with Earle and Lowman at Spain Restaurant, 513 N. Tampa St., from 5-6:30 pm, as well as reserved seating at the show. 

After the intimate disucssion, Earle and Lowman will sign copies of their books, which can be purchased in advance through the bookstore at Oxford Exchange or by calling (813) 253-0222 (ext. 4). There will also be limited quantities available for purchase at the event.
638 Tampa Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts