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Monday, February 12


Economic Insights from Big Data and Dynamic Visualizations
The Center for Analytics & Creativity at the USF Muma College of Business led a new initiative in 2017 that uses dynamic visualizations, big data analytics, and economic models to investigate the economic prosperity of the Tampa Bay region.  The project examined ten years of data for over forty traditional economic variables to identify the key leading factors that have a significant impact on economic growth of the Tampa Bay region. Also, for the first time ever in regional economic forecasts, the team collected and analyzed several Real-time Big Data (RBD) variables such as Google searches, Twitter sentiment, airport traffic data, real-time housing data from Zillow and the market capitalization of firms to develop insights that can provide valuable real-time signals for business and community leaders. This session will present findings and implications for startups.

(The title of this session was updated. 1/11/2018. Same great content to be presented as promised in the original session description - Interpreting Local Social Media Data to Grow Your Business.)

avatar for Moez Limayem

Moez Limayem

Moez Limayem joined the USF Muma College of Business in 2012, coming from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. At the University of South Florida, Limayem has been charged with enhancing the college's profile and increasing its resources, building program... Read More →
avatar for Balaji Padmanabhan

Balaji Padmanabhan

USF Muma College of Business
Balaji Padmanabhan is Professor and Director of the Center for Analytics and Creativity at USF’s Muma College of Business. He received a B. Tech in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras and a PhD from New York University (NYU)’s Stern School of Business... Read More →
avatar for Shivendu Shivendu

Shivendu Shivendu

Shivendu Shivendu is an associate professor of Information Systems and PhD program coordinator in the Information Systems and Decision Sciences department. He has created and taught undergraduate, MBA/MS and doctoral courses in areas related to economics of information systems, blockchain... Read More →

Monday February 12, 2018 11:00am - 12:00pm
3 - Redeemer 1602 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602


Marketing Lessons Learned: Stories on Pivoting Towards Success
Many entrepreneurs start off with a good idea, but how to bring those ideas to fruition with the proper tools sometimes comes at a price.

Getting the proper communications to their potential and existing customers, reviewing their offerings for product market fit, selecting the right tools and more will be shared during this fireside chat.

Will you avoid errors? Probably not. Hopefully, you will learn which ones not to make.


avatar for Ebony Vaz

Ebony Vaz

Owner, Above Promotions Company
Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the PR/Marketing Track Captain for Startup Week Tampa Bay and owner of Above Promotions, a digital marketing and public relations company in Tampa and the author of the book titled, "Because You're Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation... Read More →

avatar for Pat Bhava

Pat Bhava

Serial Entrepreneur, with demonstrated success building businesses and driving process improvements in both private industry and the military. Founded and successfully exited multiple businesses after retiring from the Navy as a Fighter Pilot and a deep sea Diver with a strong track... Read More →
avatar for Jose Gomez

Jose Gomez

One of the world's leading experts in nonprofit web presence development, Jose Gomez has built technologies, services, and teams that help nonprofits advance their message and acquire more donors, members, volunteers, and supporters. Today, Jose's technology platforms, Net Ministries... Read More →
avatar for LaTecia Johnson

LaTecia Johnson

Visionary Rising, CEO
LaTecia Johnson, better known as LaTecia Rising, is a writer, podcaster and creative entrepreneur bridging the gap between art, music, and technology. As Founder + CEO of Visionary Rising, she serves the multi-layered needs of underrepresented brands, creatives, and influencers... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Machota

Andrew Machota

New Town Connections
From a farm town in Indiana to being the CEO and Founder of New Town Connections (NTC), the largest social club for young professionals in the Tampa Bay area, Andrew Machota has built his social network up from one person to several thousand in the span of a few short years. Previously... Read More →

Monday February 12, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm
2 - Cavu @cavu_tpa 1601 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602


Pitch the Press
Come and gain insight into the do’s and do not's of pitching to the media. 

Our panelists will give you tips on how to gain their attention, how to ensure once you have it your story is well crafted and how to communicate with them. 

If you want to increase your knowledge in how to effectively work with your local journalists, you do not want to miss this event.

Once they have shared their tips, we will select entrepreneurs who have registered to pitch to the media panel. Here is your chance to have your startup featured by the media outlets in attendance.

Enter for your chance to be selected to pitch at the event by filling out the form located HERE.  https://goo.gl/forms/uTQxsgYVLVJV28jh1

If selected, you will have 60 seconds to pitch your business. The outlets will follow up with questions. They will let you know then if they have interest in more information. 

Confirmed media outlets:

ABC Action News
83 Degrees
Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay Business Journal

(More media professionals to be added or substituted. Media features are at the discretion of the outlets and per their individual news company’s needs. Tampa Bay Startup is not liable for features or communications after the event.)

avatar for Robin Sussingham

Robin Sussingham

Robin is a reporter and anchor at WUSF Public Media, where she hosts WUSF's flagship current affairs program, Florida Matters, and has earned multiple awards for reporting on science, health, the environment and education. She's reported many national stories for NPR, as well as... Read More →

avatar for Diane Egner

Diane Egner

83 Degrees Media
Diane Egner, Publisher and Managing Editor of 83 Degrees Media, is an award-winning journalist with more than three decades of experience writing about the Tampa Bay region. She is a member of Leadership Florida, USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy (WLP) and the Athena Society... Read More →
avatar for Ernest Hooper

Ernest Hooper

Tampa Bay Times
Ernest Hooper is the East Hillsborough Bureau chief and columnist at the Tampa Bay Times. Hooper joined the Times in 1992 and has worked as a prep sports writer and editor, TV/radio sports columnist, NFL writer, news columnist and unofficial ambassador, representing the Times as an... Read More →
avatar for Alexis Muellner

Alexis Muellner

Alexis Muellner (“Milner”) is in his 20th year with American City Business Journals. He was named editor of the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2004 after working in Miami for 14 years. He earned a master's degree in print journalism from the University of Miami, and a BA from Hampshire... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Perez

Sarah Perez

Sarah Perez has worked as a reporter at TechCrunch for six and a half years. She's currently the most cited reporter on the tech industry's prefered aggregator, Techmeme.com, which ranks publications and authors by how frequently they break news and are referenced by other media... Read More →
avatar for Camille Spencer

Camille Spencer

Camille C. Spencer (@MediaCamille) is an award-winning journalist and Michigan State University graduate with a variety of experience as a media professional in the realms of print, online and broadcast journalism. She pitched and served on a panel about community journalism at the... Read More →

Monday February 12, 2018 4:00pm - 5:00pm
2 - Cavu @cavu_tpa 1601 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
Tuesday, February 13


Campaigns to Reach the Masses
You know you need to develop a public relations strategy, but you're just not sure how to put it together or what it should entail.

Join the members of the local chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association as they share details of successful campaigns they spearheaded.

They will share:
- Tools and platforms used;
- Pitfalls;
- Timing;
- and storytelling techniques.

 Sign up for this session and walk away knowing how to better reach the masses.

avatar for Estella Gray

Estella Gray

Estella specializes in public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots organizing and media relations with Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Estella has developed award-winning public affairs programs in Tampa Bay. Most recently, Estella was a government affairs manager for the Southwest... Read More →

avatar for Shaleria Faison

Shaleria Faison

Shaleria is the senior manager of social media at Taylor Media Corporation, named by Inc. 5000 as the fastest growing private media company in the country. Shaleria focuses on analyzing audience content affinity, network growth and emerging trends to build innovative social media... Read More →
avatar for Chris Gent

Chris Gent

Chris Gent is vice president of corporate communications for Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida’s sixth largest municipally-owned electric utility. He holds responsibility for the utility’s internal and external communications, including marketing and advertising, media and... Read More →
avatar for Liana Lopez

Liana Lopez

Liana Lopez, APR, serves as the Chief Communications Administrator for Hillsborough County, Florida. She is a highly motivated public relations strategist with over 20 years of experience in the non-profit, corporate and government sectors. She is well practiced in crisis management... Read More →
avatar for Colleen Thayer

Colleen Thayer

Colleen is a public relations professional, and political advocate (lobbyist) with more than 20 years under her belt. She’s had the opportunity to work at the federal level for Congressman, Porter Goss, and her first entree into the political arena. Then a stint in the state House... Read More →

Tuesday February 13, 2018 1:00pm - 2:00pm
2 - Cavu @cavu_tpa 1601 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
Wednesday, February 14


Automake your business: The most important activities to set and forget
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Among all startups is a common roadblock to growth; too much to do with too few resources. Automating common tasks and marketing efforts can spell the difference between success and defeat. Don’t get bogged down doing things that technology can. You don’t even need much to get started.

avatar for Brandon Marcum

Brandon Marcum

VP Marketing, Health Insurance Innovations
I'm a hungry brand and marketing professional always looking to improve myself, those around me and any company I come into contact with. Problems exist everywhere but solutions are equally as abundant. I'm interested in finding those solutions through habit change, collaboration... Read More →


The Psychology of Marketing
Marketing can be confusing, but when you understand the psychology behind it, it gets a lot easier.

There are reasons we buy certain things, pay more for certain things, want discounts, etc.

For instance, did you know a jewelry store once sold out of jewelry that wasn't selling by accidentally doubling prices? Why did this happen?

This session will cover the basic psychology behind your customers and why various marketing tactics work. Understanding these core principals will improve your marketing and your ability to decide which marketing tactics you should be using in your business.

JR will finish with Q&A so you can get some individual help with your marketing.

avatar for JR Griggs

JR Griggs

President, Red Wall Marketing
JR is the founder and president of Red Wall Marketing. He's also the Lead Organizer of Startup Week Tampa Bay. He's worked with businesses in a variety of industries to implement proven marketing strategies. He has a passion for business and marketing which is what led him to start... Read More →

Wednesday February 14, 2018 3:00pm - 4:00pm
2 - Cavu @cavu_tpa 1601 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602


Instagram for Brick & Mortar Entrepreneurs
This Valentine’s Day, make Instagram your bae.

Hear from a panel of creative business owners in Tampa Bay on how they use Instagram to grow their brand, promote their business, & build their customer base.

We’ll share our favorite app features, best tips & tricks, challenges we’ve overcome, & advice for business owners on how to master this platform. You’ll leave this event feeling Insta-empowered.

Every attendee that signs up for our newsletter will be entered to win a gift card to Bake 'n Babes and a gift card to The Paper Seahorse. Also! The first 10 attendees will take home a tote bag with goodies from our panelists inside.
Panelists include:
Jai Lopa and Ren Altizer of Wolf & Rabbit Marketing // @wolfandrabbitmarketing
Julie Curry of Bake ’n Babes // @bakenbabes
Patrick Ruddell of Mini Doughnut Factory // @minidoughnutfactory
Seanissey Loughlin of Tampa Indie Flea // @indieflea
Tona Bell of The Paper Seahorse // @thepaperseahorse
Panel moderator:
Gina Moccio of Boss Babe Club // @bossbabeclub

avatar for Gina Moccio

Gina Moccio

Founder, Boss Babe Club
Gina is the Founder of a girl gang in Tampa Bay, FL called Boss Babe Club. Boss Babe Club seeks to highlight the stories of local women entrepreneurs and give back to non-profits that empower women & girls. Boss Babe Club is a membership for established women business owners, a blog... Read More →

avatar for Ren Altizer

Ren Altizer

Owner, Wolf & Rabbit Marketing
Ren Altizer is half of Wolf & Rabbit Marketing. Ren and Jai Lopa created their business to empower entrepreneurs & small business owners. They do this through social media management, success workshops and consulting, and focus on bringing their clients' status from overwhelmed and... Read More →
avatar for Tona Bell

Tona Bell

Proprietress, The Paper Seahorse
Tona is the Owner of this paperie + a makerie that specializes in creativity and mindfulness. It’s a place where handwritten and handmade experiences are curated, celebrated, and shared. Tona’s commitment to the creative spirit and makers shines brightly in the shop’s stationery... Read More →
avatar for Julie Curry

Julie Curry

Owner, Bake 'n Babes
Julie started Bake’n Babes Bakery in the local Tampa farmer’s markets as a fun hobby in 2013. The business grew and she opened their first storefront inside The Hall on Franklin on 2017. Bake 'n Babes specializes in all types of artisanal and handmade baked goods to satisfy your... Read More →
avatar for Seanissey Loughlin

Seanissey Loughlin

Co-owner, Tampa Indie Flea
Tampa Indie Flea is the newest local market in the Bay Area brought to you by Rosey Williams, the creator of the St. Pete Indie Market and Seanissey, the curator of the Urban Outfitters Market Tampa. Indie Flea is a monthly, curated event meant to showcase the amazing talent within... Read More →
avatar for Patrick Ruddell

Patrick Ruddell

Co-owner, Mini Doughnut Factory
Patrick & Zezura Ruddell opened up Mini Doughnut Factory in the foodie city of South Tampa, Florida on November 15th, 2015. Little did they realize how obssessed Tampa would become with their minis. Before they knew it, there was a line out the door every weekend and now, a year later... Read More →

Wednesday February 14, 2018 4:00pm - 5:30pm
2 - Cavu @cavu_tpa 1601 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
Friday, February 16


From Local to Global: Learn the Growth Hacking Strategies of Successful Companies
This inspiring panel of speakers from some of the coolest businesses in the region with international clients are ready to share their growth hacking techniques. 

We’ll discuss:
- how they identified their product market fit
- their main growth challenges
- how they overcame the challenges
- marketing automation methods and tools used
- freemium vs. subscription
- and more...

These panelists have found success in obscure places. Join them as they share their business' success.

avatar for Ebony Vaz

Ebony Vaz

Owner, Above Promotions Company
Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the PR/Marketing Track Captain for Startup Week Tampa Bay and owner of Above Promotions, a digital marketing and public relations company in Tampa and the author of the book titled, "Because You're Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation... Read More →

avatar for Jorge Brea

Jorge Brea

Jorge is the CEO of Symphonic Distribution, one of the leading independent partners for digital music distribution services to stores such as iTunes, Beatport, Amazon, Spotify and more. Because Jorge Brea wasn't backed by a big record label a decade ago when he was a DJ and producer... Read More →
avatar for Jacqueline Darna

Jacqueline Darna

Jacqueline Darna is the CEO and medical inventor of the NoMo Nausea, NoMo Migraine, & NoMo Sleepless Nights. The first and only natural way to stop nausea, vomiting, and headaches instantly for adults, kids, and pets. Within three short years Jacqueline started the company and is... Read More →
avatar for Ericka Perry

Ericka Perry

Ericka is a successful businesswoman and dedicated mother and wife. She started her first business, MommyMaiDD Services, Inc. in March of 2012 while she was working on her Master's degree, pregnant with her 3rd son and working full-time in the nonprofit sector. Soon after, she quit... Read More →

Friday February 16, 2018 10:00am - 11:00am
2 - Station House - Lobby 260 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701


Selling for the Non-Salesperson
Just because you build it, does not mean they will come.

Join Leighton Kyler as he helps you to understand how to build your sales funnel from lead to pitch meeting. Sales funnels don't get built overnight and you don't just stumble into selling or ensuring you hire great salespeople.
This session will highlight: 
  • Perfecting your Elevator-Pitch
  • Tips for presenting via phone or in-person
  • Overcoming the fear of "no"
  • Traits to look for in hiring great salespeople
There's a lot to cover in this session. You don't want to miss a minute of it.

avatar for Leighton Kyler

Leighton Kyler

Chief Revenue Officer, ARIEL Business Group, Inc.
Leighton Kyler, EA, MBA, PMP is the Sales and Peak Performance Strategist, Change Agent, and Chief Revenue Officer at ARIEL Business Group, Inc.   Leighton Kyler has over 25 years of experience with hundreds of successful implementations creating change in individuals and a broad... Read More →

Friday February 16, 2018 11:00am - 12:00pm
2 - Station House - Lobby 260 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701