TiE Tampa Bay’s journey for past three years has been invigorating keeping with the overall growth of business in the Tampa Bay region and in the State of Florida. A delegation from TiE Tampa Bay that visited Silicon Valley last month quickly came to the realization of how effectively our volunteer work has communicated to the world outside, especially to the west coast, that Brand Florida is a force to be reckoned with. We heard serial entrepreneurs bragging about Tampa Bay’s progress and their eagerness to make a visit to the Tampa Bay region and to Florida in general. This was how I envisioned the path we would carve for Tampa Bay when curating this chapter of TiE. This would simply not have been as successfully executed without the support of the community, friends, volunteers and their families who trusted our instincts and supported us right from the beginning. We thank you for that leap of faith. This would also not have been possible without the support of The Hillsborough County’s leadership and the Economic Development Innovation Initiative.
Now entrepreneurs in the west coast’s Bay Area recognize the fact that there is one more Bay Area in east coast where innovation and entrepreneurship is the norm. Those who visited Tampa Bay from outside Florida in past few years have now become our ambassadors in that region. Kanwal Rekhi, Vish Mishra, Shankar Trivedi and many more who visited Tampa Bay are talking about us amongst the investors as well as community builders on a global platform. The one-minute interview of Silicon Valley VC Dr. Kanwal Rekhi that was posted online by Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Alexis Muellner is a testimony to that fact that there is something special in the air in our region. At TiE Tampa Bay, one of our goals is to shine the light on this undercurrent of entrepreneurial energy that exists in Florida and further help put our city on the world map for innovation and entrepreneurship.
We had three startups from Orlando and Tampa Bay Area showcased in Silicon Valley that received a huge response from investors. To quote Prasad Vemullapalli, the founder of Munchem, “Coming to TiEcon 2015 in Silicon Valley was the best decision for my startup business. I already got connected to several startup investors who are very interested in my solution”.
In the past three years TiE Angel Forum has invested in four different startups, which are doing very well. Florida Funders have been supporting these angel investment initiatives. Feathr, Flexreceipts and PikMyKid.com got funding from TiE Angels. There are many more in pipeline.
TiE 50 in Silicon Valley selected my startup Eatwell.kitchen as one of the the top 100 startups featured at TiEcon Silicon Valley, which gives me huge motivation to pursue this dream of spreading wellness by providing healthy resources.
Opportunities are everywhere when you associate with entrepreneurs through TiE because through events such as TiEcon, they become accessible. Last year, at a local startup founder’s request we facilitated a meeting between this Tampa Bay startup founder and an accomplished speaker from Atlanta who keynoted at last year’s TiEconFL, resulting in an informal mentoring relationship between the two. The planning of TiEconFL 2015 is already underway in Tampa Bay. It is scheduled to be held at The Westin Harbour Island on the waterfront in downtown Tampa Bay on Saturday, October 3rd 2015.
I invite all entrepreneurs (current and future), investors, physicians, scientists, educators and business professionals in and around the Tampa Bay Area to associate with TiE in some form, be it as a mentor, a Charter Member, or a general member. Annual membership is $100 and provides free and subsidized benefits. Charter Membership has other benefits such as access to deal flows through TiE Tampa Angels where various early-stage startup investment opportunities come your way. TiEcon welcomes all dreamers and prospective entrepreneurs who want to be successful, find your mentors and meet potential investors. Look at TIE as huge resource for funding as well as mentorship by becoming a general member. Membership is available on our website www.tampa.tie.org, where you can click on ‘Join TiE Tampa’.
About TiE Tampa Bay: TiE Tampa Bay is a not-for-profit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (6), created to foster entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, and education in Florida. Contributions to TiE Tampa Bay will generally be tax deductible, however we advise contributors to consult a professional tax advisor. TiE Tampa Bay’s Board of Directors is comprised fully of accomplished volunteers with a successful track record in entrepreneurship, and a willingness to help other entrepreneurs. Membership fees and non-dues revenues are channeled entirely towards TiE Tampa Bay’s various programs and events designed to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem through education, mentoring and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs. TiE Tampa Bay is part of the global TiE group that is the largest not-for profit organization promoting entrepreneurship globally. This allows for TiE Tampa Bay to offer unique programs that bring to Florida world-class expertise and thought-leadership from around the globe. TiE is the only entrepreneurship organization led entirely by volunteers, and TiE Tampa Bay is proud to bring the dedication of its volunteers to serve Tampa Bay Area’s and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Learn more at www.tieconfl.com Save the date: October 3, 2015 for TiEcon Florida, the largest entrepreneurship conference in Florida.