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Tampa grandmother designs ergonomic holder for easily gripping smart devices

When Rosanne Clementi of Tampa won a Kindle e-reader in a raffle, she planned to regift it. Instead, she “got hooked” on using the device for casual reading.

There was only one problem.

Clementi has arthritis in her hands, which made holding up her new device difficult. It was painful, and, she adds, “My thumbs kept hitting the screen and changing the page before I wanted to.”

An Internet search for a product that could ease her pain – some kind of handle for the e-reader – turned up empty. A folio cover served as a temporary solution, but it didn’t solve the problem.

“It became my mission to develop a product that would make it easier to get a good, comfortable grip on an electronic tablet,” says Clementi.

The Pad Go Round, an ergonomic tablet holder with handles, is Clementi’s solution.

Clementi designed and developed the Pad Go Round for people who have difficulty with gripping tablets. The device, which can be used for various sizes of tablets and e-readers, has a sturdy base on which four handles or clamps slide. Handles can be adjusted for various brands of tablets and can be used for activities from casual reading to video or photography. Four legs on the bottom of the base elevate the tablet slightly, reducing the risk of damage from spills.

“We have such a versatile design for the Pad Go Round that it has multiple applications for various markets,” Clementi says.

Clementi, who is a successful business owner in the field of environmental consulting, attended the University of South Florida for undergraduate studies before earning an MS from Clemson University. The grandmother of two has also formed a corporation to develop products that help make daily life activities, such as yoga, more accessible to people with arthritis.

The Pad Go Round is patented, but Clementi is still seeking the necessary funding to make the device a reality.

With over 50 backers and $5,000 pledged to the Kickstarter campaign for the device, the project has a long way to go to reach the funding goal of $22,000 by June 22. Regardless of whether the Kickstarter campaign is successful, Clementi says, “My plans are to continue to move forward and hit the street to market the product.”

”Every day I meet someone who has not seen the Pad Go Round and falls in love with it,” Clementi says. “The testimonial in my Kickstarter video from Rob [see above], the gentleman who is a quadriplegic, is my inspiration to keep going. Failure is not an option.” 

To contribute to the Pad Go Round Kickstarter campaign, click here.

Mobile app for multicultural visitor's guide wins HIllsborough County hack-a-thon

The 2015 Code for Hillsborough hack-a-thon brought more than 100 presenters, programmers and community leaders in economic development together to create potential solutions to existing real-world problems in local communities.

The team that created a “Multi-Cultural Visitor's Guide” won top honors at the Sunday, June 7, awards ceremony.

The mobile app multicultural guide to the Tampa Bay area was created following county guidelines, such as: including links to Visit Tampa Bay and the state tourism office, Visit Florida; a Google-interfaced map with prominent venues highlighted, a background history or photo of the venues; a walking trail or driving route; and more desired criteria.

Code for Tampa Bay Brigade and Hillsborough County worked together to present the 3rd Annual National Day (in this case, weekend) of Civic Hacking. County commissioner Sandy Murman praised Code for Tampa Bay's efforts to "provide a creative environment where innovation thrives."

Civic collaboration in the community, networking among local government and technologists, programmers and developers, and encouraging “civic hacking” are all part of the goals of the Hillsborough County EDI2-funded event.

During the two-day hack-a-thon, event participants were challenged to create useful resources that addressed community needs identified by data supplied from the county government. Challenges included:
  • Dig through thousands of lines of raw data to make Florida Vendor Payment information accessible, useful and understandable for your application
  • Use multiple sources of information to develop a way to help the county understand inmate populations and how jail systems are being used
  • Map out a shuttle transportation system for downtown Tampa
  • Create a web application that provides international matchmaking between foreign companies and Hillsborough County 
  • Develop a multicultural visitor guide using basic tools like a jpeg image and a brochure
Presenters discussed best practices in tech hot topics like mobile app development or transparency for vendors, as well as community-centered issues like the challenges that government agencies and citizens alike can face when it comes to providing or accessing services or resources.

Runners up included a team that created an Emergency Preparedness Interactive Map and the Tampa Bay Trade and Protocol Council app.

2015 Code for Hillsborough partners in civic engagement include: MicrosoftForex FactoryTekBankEureka! Factory,  The Iron YardAbsolute Mobile SolutionsCastleRoc Information ServicesRedHatLaicosThe Grind Coffee BarKahwa Coffee Roasters,  Tampa Innovation Alliance and Busch Gardens.

Designing Tampa as a smarter city

Tampa is about to become a smarter city, thanks to Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

At a free seminar on June 12, local community leaders will have the opportunity to join national experts, such as noted futurist Daniel Burrus, in a discussion about technology-based solutions for cities.

The “Internet of Things: Smart Cities” seminar series will bring smart city experts to eight communities across the United States, including Tampa, where they will meet with local leaders to showcase the ways that the “Internet of Things” (machine-to-machine communication) can help cities increase economic growth, enhance safety, create more security and become more efficient.

The goal of the IoT Smart Cities seminars is to create cities that exemplify three distinct qualities: livability, workability and sustainability.

Discussion will likely include topics such as transportation and parking solutions, energy conservation, increasing citizen engagement, and how community leaders can redistribute available resources.

“With limited resources, municipal leaders are being tasked with finding ways to make their communities more efficient,” Dan Feldman, director of IoT Smart Cities at Verizon, says in a news release.

“Towns and cities can start with projects like energy-efficient smart streetlights, car sharing and smart parking,” Feldman explains. Then, by creating more energy-efficient or technologically advanced projects, cities can begin to save revenue that can be applied toward bigger investments, such as “tackling pollution and upgrading transit infrastructure."
 
Burrus, the New York Times bestselling author and technology futurist, entrepreneur and innovation expert, will be the keynote speaker at the Tampa IoT Smart Cities seminar. Burrus developed the “Hard Trend Methodology,” which has been adopted by city planners, government agencies and leading corporations as a method of connecting cities through technology.

A name familiar to many in the Tampa Bay area, Jim Shimberg, will be the event's guest speaker. Shimberg is the EVP and general counsel of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment (which owns the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are currently competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs), as well as the company representative to the Tampa Bay Partnership and the Tampa Hillsborough County Economic Development Corporation. Shimberg, who has over 30 years of experience practicing law in the Tampa Bay area, is also the COO of Strategic Property Partners LLC, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s real estate company (in late 2014, Vinik and his investment partners announced a plan to invest more $1 billion into 25 acres of land in downtown Tampa’s Channelside region).

The IoT Smart Cities tour is sponsored by Verizon Enterprise Solutions, a division of communications giant Verizon, in partnership with the Smart Cities Council. Along with Tampa, stops include Boston, New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Phoenix and San Jose.

Tampa’s IoT Smart Cities seminar will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 12, at the Tampa Marriott Westshore, 1001 N. Westshore Blvd. To register or learn more about the event, click here.

June women's networking events include baseball game, bathroom businesswoman

Those familiar with the Tampa Bay tech scene already know that June is a busy month for startup and networking events. For one, Startup Weekend Tampa Bay: Design Edition and Hillsborough County’s hackathon both take place during the first weekend of the month.

Also in June, three networking events will bring members of the entrepreneurial business and tech crowds together, but with a specific spin: they’re all geared toward women.

Mingle with local tech titans

What: Professional Women’s Network Luncheon
When: 11 a.m., June 9
Where: Hilton Carillon, 950 Lake Carillon Dr, St. Petersburg

Join the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) at its annual Professional Women’s Network (PWN) luncheon on Tuesday, June 9. The luncheon was created for a dual purpose: to encourage more women to pursue a career in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field, and to provide mentorship for women and girls wishing to enter those fields.
 
During the luncheon, a panel of top female tech professionals will discuss their career paths as well as the mentors who helped shape their own experiences.

“Both community and careers are built with mentorship -- both are solidified by showcasing successes,” TBTF executive director Daniel James Scott says in a news release.
 
PWN luncheon panelists include: Staci Cross, Enterprise Project Management Office VP at WellCare; Lauren Deren, Raymond James manager of Information Security Operations; Rini Fredette, SVP and Enterprise Risk Officer at PSCU; and Lieutenant Colonel Clorinda Trujillo, Chief of Enterprise Operations at USCENTCOM. The discussion will be moderated by Angela Beltz, VP of Cisco Solutions Group at event presenter Tech Data.
 
The luncheon allows TBTF "to actively connect hand-selected female college students with Tampa Bay’s top leadership, while also sharing the outstanding success of our distinguished panel,” Scott says.

Cost is $75 per person. To register for the event, click here.
 
Meet the mastermind behind Poo-pouri

What:
 InnovatHer Sip, Tip, and Talk
When: 6 p.m., June 16
Where: Westin Tampa Bay’s BluVu Rooftop Event Venue, 7627 Courtney Campbell Causeway

The Business Centre at the Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women is bringing the businesswoman who made millions by becoming “the Queen of the Can” to Tampa Bay.

On Tuesday, June 16, join special guest Suzy Batiz at the InnovatHer Sip, Tip, and Talk event to learn “how your stinkin’ idea could make millions.” That’s the idea behind Poo-pouri, a fresh scent product for the bathroom.

Curious about how Batiz earned the nickname “Queen of the Can”? Take a peek at one of the commercials promoting her product

Join local professional women and members of the Centre at the Westin Tampa Bay’s BluVu Rooftop Event Venue for light drinks and a cash bar during the event.

Cost is $30 paid in advance; $40 at the door. Register online by clicking here.

Can’t make it to this event, but are interested in learning more about The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women? Visit the nonprofit’s website to learn more about membership.
 
Mix business and baseball at the ball game

What: 
Rays Professional Women’s Night
When: 4:30 p.m., June 15
Where: Ricky P's Orleans Bistro, 1113 Central Ave in St. Pete

Combine business and baseball during the Working Women of Tampa Bay Rays Professional Women’s Night!
Bring colleagues or friends along for the women’s night at Ricky P’s Bistro and the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field, as the home team takes on the Nationals. WWoTB seats are located in the lower reserved section.

Tailgate on the Ricky P's patio from 4:30-5:30 p.m., where light food and drink specials will be offered. Then head over to the game seating, where a pre-game Q&A session with Rays VP of Business Development Melanie Lenz and other female leaders will take place. 

Cost is $30 for members, $40 for non-members. The last day to register for the event is Sunday, June 7. Register online by clicking here.

Can’t make it to this event, but interested in learning more about the networking group? Visit the Working Women of Tampa Bay website for complete listings of local events and to learn more about membership.

Who’s hiring in Tampa Bay? Marketing firms, furniture store, tech companies 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 June 2015:

Ashley Furniture HomeStores is hiring for several full-time positions at the company’s Brandon, Florida headquarters, including an Interior Designer, a Graphic Designer, a Process Improvement/Change Manager and a Director, eCommerce User Experience (UX).

The successful candidate for graphic designer will have 3-5 years of experience; extensive knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite 6; design experience in HTML and CS5; and a strong design sensibility. Duties will include working with the marketing team on projects from concept through to execution, designing print materials and signage, and assisting in production tasks. 

The UX/eComm director will lead the Ashley Furniture team in data-driven change and help improve site experience for customers. Duties include overseeing user experience activities; modeling Ashley Furniture core values; and establishing and driving strategies for the eCommerce platform.

The process improvement/change manager role will assist in overall business strategy through release, training, and feedback; work with stakeholders; and coordinate teams across departments. Project management experience; excellent communication skills; experience with Lean, Six Sigma, and/or CQI methodologies; and a Bachelor’s Degree are required.

The interior designer will create furniture, paint and signage plans for Ashley Furniture; contribute to development of prototype designs and elements; and support new store set-ups. Experience in the design industry and extensive knowledge of AutoCAD required.   

To learn more or apply, email the Talent Acquisitions Manager.  
 
Inspirata, a cancer diagnostics company, is newly headquartered in Tampa as of May 2015. The business is set to create up to 70 new jobs in the Tampa Bay area, and is currently hiring for several positions, including: Business Unit Manager, Software Technical Lead, Histology Imaging Technician, LIS Integration Specialist, Software Architect, Big Data Senior Manager and Team Level Scientists

Visit the Inspirata website for further inquiries or to submit your resume.
 
Growing St. Petersburg-based construction company PJ Callaghan is hiring for a Construction Superintendent.

The successful candidate will have a minimum of three years construction experience, including experience with interior build-outs, construction, and permitting. Responsibilities will include supervising commercial construction projects in an outdoor work environment, ensuring quality control, project management, and providing customer service. Travel within Florida is required.

To learn more or apply, visit the company website.
  
Tampa advertising agency Schifino Lee Advertising & Branding is hiring a Junior Art Director. The company has been a mainstay of commercial advertising in Tampa Bay for more than 20 years under the direction of cofounders Paola Schifino and Ben Lee.

To apply for the junior art director position with Schifino Lee, email resumes here.
 
Rank K.O., a Tampa internet marketing company housed at Tampa Bay WaVe, is seeking qualified applicants for the positions of Sales Associate, Account Manager and Reputation Management Specialist.

The sales associate will work as outside sales representative, selling corporate services through visits to customer sites, cold-calling and networking. Requirements include three years of work in external sales; a proven ability to close deals; experience in account development and territory management; and experience with customer relationship management software.

The account manager role will include occasional travel, but primarily will work directly with clients to assist with internet marketing services. Responsibilities include assisting with bringing new clients onboard, giving presentations, and educating clients on industry best practices and changes. Experience with customer relationship management software and three years of experience as an account manager or in a related position required.

The reputation management specialist assists with planning and executing online reputation management campaigns for clients. The ideal candidate is an analytical marketer who is comfortable working with databases, Excel, and high volumes of data; conducting research; collecting, tracking, analyzing, and monitoring data; and who has strong analytical thinking and problem identification skills. Two-three years of experience in an analytical internet marketing position, or experience working with a wide variety of internet marketing tools and software, required.

To learn more or apply, visit the company website.
 
YourMembership

The website YourMembership is seeking to fill the following roles in St. Petersburg: Director of Design, Product Manager/Project Manager and Inside Sales Representative. To learn more about job requirements or to apply, visit the company 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.

Hillsborough County hackathon takes on community concerns

Can coding offer a cure for community problems? Hillsborough County is betting that it can.

Code for Hillsborough, a three-day hackathon in June, could yield real-world solutions to community problems from safety to sanitation. The event, a part of the National Day of Civic Hacking on June 6, aims to bring UX experts, developers and “civic hackers” together with residents, designers and community organizers. The goal: Develop a solution to local civic issues via coding.

“This is a unique opportunity to bring together some of the best and brightest minds in the technology community to push forward civic innovation and open idea-sharing,” says Lindsey Kimball, Hillsborough County Economic Development Director.

National Day of Civic Hacking events bring together participants in cities across the United States each year to build technological solutions that improve local communities.

The county has been a host of the annual hackathon event since 2013 “in order to highlight the growing technology community,” Kimball says.

Hillsborough County has placed an emphasis on bolstering the local tech scene in recent years, from the expansion of its Small Business Information Center into the Mark Sharpe Entrepreneur Collaborative Center to the $2 million it set aside for economic development in the tech and startup community.

In the days before the competition, participating local governments will release data to the public that programmers or “hackers” can then use to develop apps or websites that address community concerns.

Hillsborough County’s team is working on identifying the final datasets, Kimball says. One possible project that Kimball says has been identified as a focus for the hackathon is “the development of an application for children to learn about 9-1-1, and what to do in emergency situations to stay safe.”

Interested in participating in Code for Hillsborough, but not technologically savvy? That’s OK, Kimball says. “Anyone with the passion to make the community better” is welcome to attend and participate.

Tampa Bay event partners for Code for Hillsborough include: Code for Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County's EDI2 programMicrosoft, Laicos, Forex Factory, TekBank, The Iron YardCastleRoc Information Services, Collaborative Technologies of Tampa Bay, The Grind Coffee Bar and Kahwa Coffee.

“Working with volunteer community event partners has been a wonderful partnership,” Kimball says, noting Code for Hillsborough’s “dedicated co-chairs” Terri Willingham, Eureka Factory president, and John Punzak, Sr., National Sales Director for Red Hat.

Code for Hillsborough will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 5; the hackathon culminates on Sunday, June 7, with final presentations beginning at 3 p.m.

Code for Hillsborough will take place at Microsoft’s Tampa offices, 5426 Bay Center Drive, Suite 700. The event is free and open to the public.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.

Who's hiring in Tampa Bay? Women's Tennis Assoc., Advluence, and more

Did you know? 83 Degrees Media searches for growing companies to bring you exciting job opportunities in the Tampa Bay area. Here's who's hiring in and around Tampa in April 2015:

Advluence

Have you ever thought about working for a full service creative advertising agency located in the heart of Tampa’s growing SoHo district? Now’s your chance! Advluence, a successful startup developed by a University of Tampa graduate, is a young, innovative team of branders who have an impressive social media following and a steadily growing portfolio. Advluence is hiring for a Graphic Designer at their South Tampa offices.

The ideal candidate will have 1-2 years of graphic design experience, a BA in Graphic Desgin or a similar field, and will work closely with a team of designers, producers and marketers to design for various mediums. Must be proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Visit the company website to submit a portfolio and application.
 
BISK Education

The distance learning and online education company, Bisk Education, is hiring for 11 roles in Tampa, including: Marketing Manager, Database Admin, Instructional DesignerDeveloper, Media Buyer, Systems Engineer, Business Analyst, Mobile DeveloperHR Generalist, and other roles.

Bisk Education's headquarters is a 135,000-square-foot corporate campus in Tampa. A staff of more than 900 employees includes an award-winning advertising team, enrollment representatives who work to place students in programs, web developers, and more. To learn more about the positions or to apply, visit the company website.
 
The Great Escape Room

Aspiring sleuths, puzzle solvers and mystery fans: The Great Escape Room in the heart of downtown Tampa is hiring for multiple part-time positions. The Great Escape Room is a puzzle solving mystery game that is a perfect activity for friend groups, parties or business team-building exercises.

The ideal candidate will be fun, energetic and enthusiastic. The positions will be for 10-20 hours a week, primarily on evenings and weekends. Job duties include helping customers in the event that a clue or puzzle has a technical issue, fixing any technical difficulties, interacting with customers, light cleaning, and returning telephone messages and emails. To apply or to learn more about The Great Escape Room Tampa Bay, visit the company’s website.

Garcia & Ortiz, CPA

Garcia & Ortiz, CPA is hiring for a full-time Staff Accountant. The business is a corporate environment that maintains a family culture. The Staff Accountant will join a department of 10-15 members in accounting and finance, with responsibilities including assisting with preparation of annual and mid-year budgets, preparing journal entries, analyzing accounts and preparing reimbursement billings, and more. 

The successful candidate will have a BS in Accounting, 1-4 years of experience, know advanced Excel, and be familiar with applicable laws, codes and regulations. To apply, visit the company's website and follow instructions.

Kobie Marketing

Full service marketing firm Kobie Marketing is hiring for an Email Marketing Manager. The position will be target-focused, requiring 7+ years of experience with email marketing and at least three years experience with Exact Target marketing. The role will involve developing and managing all aspects of email marketing and production for email campaigns, including code development, campaign setup, testing and delivery, and reporting.

The successful applicant will have prior email marketing experience, HTML and AMPscript knowledge, project management experience, strong written and verbal communication skills, and advanced Excel skills. Kobie Marketing is hiring for several other roles in the Tampa Bay area, including Front End Developer and Project Manager. To apply, visit the company's website.

SPCA Tampa Bay

For those who would enjoy a career in animal welfare, the SPCA Tampa Bay is currently hiring for three fulltime positions, including Intake CounselorAdoption Counselor and Medical Assistant. The SPCA Tampa Bay recently announced that the hospital will expand to include a St. Petersburg location.

The Intake Counselor job role requires at least two years of experience working in an open admissions shelter environment, veterinary office or other animal welfare organizations, and five years of driving experience with a clean driving record. The successful applicant must be a Pinellas County resident.

The Adoption Counselor role requires three years experience of working in a retail environment. Weekend and evening hours required for both roles. For detailed job descriptions, and information about how to apply to either position, please visit the SPCA Tampa Bay website.

WTA – Women’s Tennis Association

The Women’s Tennis Assoc. is hiring in Tampa Bay for a Social Media Coordinator to work with the WTA’s Digital team on social media projects. Responsibilities include daily monitoring and maintenance of WTA social media pages; assisting in the gathering of social media user data; working with the WTA Digital team; uploading videos to WTA’s video platforms; and coordinating content with WTA’s content calendar.

The ideal candidate will have knowledge of and interest in tennis, excellent verbal and communication skills, a background in social media, journalistic experience, the ability to work independently and a BA degree in Media, Communications, Journalism or equivalent. The role requires evening, weekend, and holiday availability. To learn more and apply, visit the association’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.

Design-a-thon invites student innovators to pitch solutions

College students with innovative ideas, mark your calendars for April 10-11.

That’s when USF St. Petersburg’s Kate Tiedemann College of Business, along with the student chapter of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, is hosting a first-time event: a "design-a-thon” and pitch competition, during which enterprising students will have the chance to solve a real-world problem proposed from the local business community.

One small catch? Innovation Overnight is a 20-hour long event, beginning at 3 pm on April 10 and culminating in an 11 am awards ceremony April 11. Students can leave from midnight to 7 am, but they are also welcome to stay and keep working.

During the marathon brainstorming and building session, students will work through the phases of design thinking to build a functioning prototype that solves a problem sourced from event sponsors (including Jabil Inc, Valpak and the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team).

Games like “Are You Smarter than a Freshman?” and a hula hoop competition will help keep things light during the long hours.

Similar to Startup Weekend events, Innovation Overnight aims to connect members of the community in an informal but inspirational environment. Unlike Startup Weekend events, only students are permitted to participate.

Jessica Chin, co-creator and Chief Innovation Officer for the event, says that Innovation Overnight was developed to help students focus on approaching a problem using “design thinking and a structured thought process.”

Design thinking refers to a process of problem solving through specific phases: “Explore, Ideate, Build and Test,” Alison Watkins, associate dean of the USFSP COB and event co-creator, explained in a news release. It is “particularly useful in terms of defining multifaceted problems and providing innovative, multidimensional solutions to complex business challenges.”

The 20-hour design-a-thon, which mixes play with problem-solving, will include time to pitch a prototype solution to judges, network with potential employers, and learn design thinking tactics from keynote speaker Michelle Royal. Judges will include representatives from several Innovation Overnight sponsors, USFSP, and the TBTF.

Royal, CEO of Royal Innovation Design Group, was selected as keynote speaker “based on her willingness to engage in higher education and her professional expertise,” Chin explains.

Students can sign up for Innovation Overnight as individual participants, but Chin recommends that interested students engage each other on social media before the event to create a team, or contact her to facilitate team creation.

“Innovation Overnight provides an opportunity for students to connect classroom learning to real world situations, demonstrating to the business community that there is high quality talent graduating from area colleges,” TBTF’s Pat Gehant noted in the release. “This program lifts the bar for developing tech talent in the Tampa Bay area.”

The event will be held at USFSP’s University Student Center, 6th Ave S., in Ball Room A. Student pitches, which are open to the public, begin at 9 am on Friday, April 10; an awards ceremony and reception begins at 11 am Saturday, April 11. 

To learn more or to register for Innovation Overnight, click here.  

Maker convention brings inventors together in the DIY spirit

Gulf Coast MakerCon just keeps growing.

This year’s Tampa Bay area community do-it-yourself celebration will be held at the Florida Living Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 18. Lead organizer Terri Willingham anticipates about 800-1,000 guests at the one-day event. 

Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015 is open to the public and covers a wide array of technical, creative and professional workshops and sessions across more than 80 anticipated indoor and outdoor exhibits, from modern tech like 3D printers to “heritage tech” that focuses on woodworking and fiber arts.

Entertainment and educational opportunities at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015 range from the Mid-Pinellas Comic Con exhibit and Gamers on the Edge tabletop gaming area to the Tampa Amateur Radio Club and the Tampa Bay Inventors Council “Inventors Showcase” to the USF Robotics Interest Group “Fight Robots” competition and a Young Makers section.

More than 30,000 square feet of available exhibit space triples the size of last year’s MakerCon, and the “makers” who have applied more than double last year’s numbers, as well; about 60, with applications still coming in. 

“We're excited about the diversity of exhibitors and programs we have on tap,” Willingham says.

The annual springtime festival is produced by Eureka! Factory, the nonprofit that Willingham runs with her husband Steve, and is supported by a grant from Hillsborough County’s Economic Development Innovation Initiative (EDI2). 

“We believe Gulf Coast MakerCon showcases the best of our community and inspires others to try their hands, hearts and minds at making and learning new things,” Willingham says. 

The community DIY festival “fits in perfectly with our mission to help move people from passive consumption to active creation --making!” Willingham explains. “A society of capable, creative, self-reliant people is a healthy, empowered and productive society."

Making things -- "products, solutions, services, inventions, games, gadgets, industrial and commercial tools like robots, mechanical devices and assistive technologies, and resources for sustainability," she says, is good for economic development, academic enrichment and personal fulfillment.

Back in 2012, the Willinghams introduced Tampa's first and only maker festival, the Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire. In 2014, the event expanded into Gulf Coast MakerCon. This year, big name community sponsors like USF Connect and the Florida High Tech Corridor have signed on.

“We've got some amazing collaborative partners this year,” Willingham says. “MityMo Creative in St. Petersburg has been doing all our promotional materials and graphic design; TBIC has been actively curating and providing promotional and other event support; Scrap on Spot is sponsoring the Deconstruction Zone; and the Innovation Lab at Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College has been organizing our ComicCon and Gaming Festival.”  

Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015 is a designated USA Science & Engineering Festival satellite event, as well as a National Robotics Week event.

Tickets, which are $10 per person ages 13-up and $8 for children ages 6-12, can be purchased online at the event website

Calling all women in tech for Tampa meetup

Local women in the technology industry will have the opportunity to meet and greet peers, mingle with local tech leaders and hear from female field experts during a free event at the Seminole Heights Library on Monday, March 30.

The Women in Tech gathering aims to highlight females in the industry, and to teach and inspire young women to pursue careers in technology through shared connections and resources.

Attendees can expect a variety of activities at the free networking event; along with a tech meet and greet and a speed networking round, Women in Tech will also include a “Learn to Code!” class and will culminate with an interactive panel.

Collaborative Technologies of Tampa Bay founder and CEO Sylvia Martinez, who will be on hand to help out with the speed networking segment, encourages women who are actively in the tech field to participate in Monday’s meetup, but also suggests that those who are not yet in the field, students motivated by technology, and “any woman looking to support the awesome ladies in tech that we have here in Tampa Bay” should attend. 

Hillsborough County Economic Development Director Lindsey Kimball will moderate the interactive panel, whose members include:“I am very much looking forward to being part of this event. It's inspiring to be surrounded by other women who want to positively impact this thriving tech ecosystem just as much as I do,” Martinez explains.

Women in Tech will be held from 1-4pm on Monday, March 30, at the Seminole Heights Library, 4711 N. Central Ave. The free networking event is part of Hillsborough County’s economic development innovation initiative, with local partners like Kahwa Coffee and Eureka Factory providing resources and sponsorship. 

To register for Hillsborough County’s Women in Tech event on March 30, click here.

Martinez, who runs a quarterly networking meetup for tech professionals through CToTB, is “a firm believer in peer events. It's fantastic when those that share common goals and interests can come together and support one another,” she says. “The synergy is incredible and it's great to have others like you that you can learn from.”

Since launching in June 2013, the $2 million in funding set aside by Hillsborough County commissioners for the EDI2 program has helped to host events from coffee shop gatherings to the weekly 1 Million Cups program to local and regional conferences. In Dec 2014, EDI2 and Small Business Information Center programs were relocated to the new Mark Sharpe Entrepreneur Collaborative Center at 2101 E. Palm Ave. in Ybor City.
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