On June 22nd, FIBA welcomed the Tampa Bay business and entrepreneurial communities to the Bryan Glazer Family JCC to its inaugural event, Innovation Fusion: A Collaborative Exchange. With over 300 guests in attendance, the afternoon was filled with learning, networking and an engaging discussion surrounding local and global innovation.
Some of the special guests and FIBA supporters who attended the event included State Senator, Dana Young; Tampa Police Chief, Eric Ward; and Hillsborough County Commissioner, Sandy Murman. Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who was not able to attend, welcomed the Israeli entrepreneurs in person at a dinner event earlier in the week.
Jeff Vinik, Chairman and Governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning, gave a keynote address, discussing his plans for the Channelside district, the ongoing growth of Tampa and the exceptional local talents and resources that Tampa offers as a breeding ground for success and innovation.
A panel discussion around working in multi-national organizations, bridging cultural gaps and staying innovative in a competitive marketplace was moderated by FIBA COO, Saru Seshadri. Panel members included CEO of Bisk Education, Mike Bisk; Dean of USF Muma College of Business, Moez Limayem; U.S. Special Operations Command representative, Lisa Sanders; Nielsen Engineering Director, Jitin Patel; and Henderson Family Office Investor, Dave Henderson.
Eight Israeli businesses who graduated from FIBA’s business development program delivered presentations to the audience about their technologies and contributions to their respective fields. Ranging from fitness, cyber security, drone surveillance and IT, to agriculture, beverage analytics, and radiation protection technology, the companies reported early successes in Tampa and will continue to work with FIBA for the next two years to further their business expansion into the U.S. market.
Tomobox’s Co-founder and CEO David Sachs announced at the event that he would be opening an office in Tampa as the U.S. headquarters.
The event would not have come to fruition without the contribution of Gold Sponsor, ConnectWise; Silver sponsors, Nielsen and Henderson Family Office Investments; Bronze sponsors, Elbit Systems America and the Law Office of Laureen Galeoto-Jaffe and supporters Florida Funders, Pepin Distributing, and Sara and David Scher.