Tampa Bay hosts Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration involving thousands of events in 170 countries to connect entrepreneurs with potential collaborators, mentors and investors during one week in November.

As the Tampa Bay entrepreneurial ecosystem heats up, the community has for the first time coordinated its GEW programs into a calendar of events that are easier for the community to access, says Allie Felix, Director of Programming and Partnerships for Embarc Collective, a not-for-profit working with the Tampa Bay startup community.

More than 11 events are planned November 10 through 18, with some organizations holding multiple events under one umbrella, she says.

“I think this week is so important because it demonstrates again that cross collaboration, that efficiency in our ecosystem,” says Felix, who prepared the calendar in collaboration with co-hosting organizations.

Among the highlights of the week locally is Techstar Startup Weekend starting at 5 p.m. Friday, November 16, and running through 8 p.m. Sunday, November 18, at Factory 114, 114 S 12th St, Tampa. The event is being sponsored by the Clearwater-based KnowBe4, a technology company. On Friday, participants will pitch startup ideas. Afterwards, they'll form teams, then spend the weekend developing products and business plans. Winners will be chosen on Sunday and receive office time at co-working spaces and legal fees for incorporation.

Another signature event is USF Connect’s Building Entrepreneurship Around TampaBay, or B.E.A.T., scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 14, at USF Connect, 3802 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa. The program features keynote speaker John Spence, an international business speaker, leader and author, who will give an 11 a.m. address entitled “Formula for Business Excellence.” A 9:45 a.m. panel discussion on building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tampa Bay is planned with Brian Kornfeld, Co-Founder and COO of the nonprofit Synapse; J. P. DuBuque, President of St. Petersburg Area EDC; and Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of Embarc Collective. Another panel discussion at 3 p.m., “Connecting the Dots: Networking Startup Resources,” includes Kevin Aspegren, Vice President of Advancement at Lakeland's Florida Polytechnic University; Tonya Elmore, founder, president and CEO of STAR-TEC Enterprises, Inc. a not-for-profit working with innovators and entrepreneurs; Felix; and Robyn Spoto, Founder and President of SpotOn Digital Media.

Starting with BarCamp Tampa Bay

The local lineup kicks off with BarCamp Tampa Bay, an event for those with a passion for technology. Check-in is at 8 a.m. Saturday, November 10, at University Mall in Tampa; the event concludes with an after-party after the 4 p.m. wrapup.

Other programs include:
• Startup Tampa Bay Happy Hour and Florida Innovation Discussion from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, November 12 at Factory 114;
• Women Lead Tampa Bay, a social media and marketing program for female entrepreneurs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 13 at Factory 114;
• Tech Talk slated from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 13, at Tampa Bay Innovation Center, 501 1st Avenue North, Suite 901, St. Petersburg, features an open house and entrepreneurial showcase;
• A special edition of the 1 Million Cups networking event at 9 a.m. at St. Petersburg Greenhouse Wednesday, November 14;
• A special edition of 1 Million Cups at 9 a.m. at Entrepreneur Collaborative Center, 2101 E. Palm Ave., Tampa, on Wednesday, November 14;
• The Untapped Power of Diversity, a program by Tampa Bay Spark from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 14 at Factory 114; and
• Entrepreneurial workshops by HCC Operation Startup Friday, November 16 at the ECC. The workshops include “The Psychology of Being an Entrepreneur!” at 9 a.m., “Create Your Explainer Video” at 10 a.m., and “Learn to Create Free Graphics” at 11 a.m.

Additionally, a two-day Blockchain Technology course is scheduled Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18. The course runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days at BlockSpaces (at Tampa Bay Wave) 500 E. Kennedy Blvd. #300, Tampa.

The events are expected to attract company founders, those involved in entrepreneurial support, and community learners, Felix says.

“It’s really for the community at large. The purpose of GEW is to inspire and engage entrepreneurial activity in the region,” she says.

Learn more at the GEW Tampa Bay website, where you can sign up for events individually.

GEW, supported by The Kauffman Foundation, brings together innovators and job creators and involves more than 15,000 partner organizations.

Felix encourages participants to share the events on social media and tag Tweets and Instagram photos with #GEW2018 #MakeItTampaBay.

Read more articles by Cheryl Rogers.

Cheryl Rogers is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about careers. An ebook author, she also writes Bible Camp Mystery series that shares her faith. She is publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine and founder of the Mentor Me Career Network, a free online community, offering career consulting, coaching and career information. 
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