“In today’s information-rich world, context is critical and insight is invaluable.”
Spark Growth Founders
Chief Executive Officer, Visionary Leader, Spark Growth
Sara Hand, CEO of Spark Growth, has a diverse business development background across public and private sector enterprises. She is the US-based partner in global investment, international market expansion and exits with Cross Border Angels and Scaale.com. As a team member, Sara has participated in the national finals of Startup India Rocks in Bangalore and is engaged in ongoing development in India. She is past President of the Sarasota Chapter of the Gulf Coast Venture Forum.
Sara, as founder of Spark Growth, uses her strengths to find and leverage unique value propositions and create synergistic partnerships and collaborations between organizations in the business, organizational and community development consulting practice. She is founder of the 3.0 Thought Leader’s Initiative, which has provided a worldwide platform for thought leaders to convene and develop calls-to-action for transformative change. Sara’s recognized accomplishments have presented opportunities with the State Department, the United Nations, the 2015 Harvard Future-Ready Economies Summit, Harvard’s Digital Life in Latin America Symposium and Dell’s Women Entrepreneur Network (DWEN). She was also the emcee at the Recent TiECon Tampa Bay annual conference event.
Utilizing agile strategies, Sara drives action-focused agendas in solving complex problems and is widely recognized for consistently achieving her goals with grace and confident skill. She believes that insight is invaluable and context is critical. Her motto is “Think Big. Keep it Simple. Make it Happen.”
Chief Innovation Architect, Spark Growth
Stan Schultes is an Engineer and Innovation Architect, working at the convergence of Technology, Business, and Community. He brings a background in enterprise solutions architecture and development, tech evaluation, commercialization and global technology transfer to his Spark Growth venture. Not constrained by traditional ways of thinking, Stan is a skilled teacher, facilitator, and problem solver that makes things work.
Stan is a growth consultant that leads organizations through scale-up and globalization using agile strategies. Stan guides Smart Cities projects and works on developing Innovation Districts around economic clusters. He co-produces global Smart Cities Innovation Accelerators with The Innovators’ Forum, an initiative out of Harvard TECH. He is considering writing a book for Smart Cities practitioners.
Internationally recognized as a technology expert, Stan is recognized as a Microsoft Regional Director (RD) and earned the coveted Microsoft MVP award for 15 years. Stan is certified in Business Incubator Management by the InBIA, and in Agile Strategies by the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab. As an entrepreneur and professional technologist, he has led engineering and development teams from the Fortune 200 to stewardship of several startups.
Stan works actively with his local Manatee Chamber’s Downtown Redevelopment Committee and has served on the Suncoast Technology Forum Board of Directors and Florida High Tech Corridor Core Council.