Thursday January 10, 2019 – For Immediate Release

Spark Growth is Launching Toward Smarter Communities Workshops at the Synapse Innovation Summit in Tampa at Amalie Arena

BRADENTON, Fla. – “Imagine the communities of the future – will people navigate from place to place with ease, or will the streets be chaotic and gridlocked? Will communities be healthy and sustainable places to live, or will environmental problems spiral? Will communities be able to provide adequate housing, infrastructure, and services to keep up with the needs of surging populations?” McKinsey Global Institute

On January 23-24, city and county leaders from across Florida will gather as part of the Synapse Innovation Summit in Tampa to kick-off discussions on moving Toward Smarter Communities. These workshop sessions are designed by Bradenton-based Spark Growth to bring key learnings from leading worldwide smart city programs back to Florida city and county leadership to learn and define together what “smarter” looks like across our state as we move into the future.  As the 17th largest economy in the world, and the Florida 2030 goal to be in the top 10, becoming smarter communities is critical for this growth to occur.

The Synapse Innovation Summit is expected to bring 5000 participants to Amalie Arena over two days.  There will be two Toward Smarter Communities general sessions available for all Synapse attendees both Wednesday and Thursday at 11:00AM. The first featuring Bright Spots across Florida highlighting transformative “Smart Community” stories and the second showcasing “Emerging Trends in Connected Communities.” Hear what leading communities are doing and discover key takeaways to creating real value and economies of scale for your community’s efforts. Tickets are available at Use CODE SPARKSYNAPSE19 to save $25 off Registration

Workshop formats are invitation-only for city/county leaders and are based on a model proven by Spark Growth founders, Sara Hand and Stan Schultes in collaboration with Dr. David Ricketts, chair of the Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator series and Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH). Major topics on the table include transportation, data and funding – the big issues facing local governments creating development strategies in their communities to move them into the future. Select industry partners bring a broad perspective and expertise in implementation to collaborative, hands-on working sessions that help define a set of common strategies for communities. Sponsorship opportunities for the Toward Smarter Communities workshop series are still available, contact Sara or Stan for more information.

About Spark Growth:

Stan and Sara are leading voices for Smart Cities Technology, facilitating sessions and leading discussions at the Harvard Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator series, and are working to bring future Accelerator programs to cities in Florida and in other major regions across North America. They are also involved in several Smart Cities initiatives globally, and also work on development of Innovation Districts as a progressive economic development strategy.

Spark Growth provides innovation and creative problem-solving services. We design and orchestrate experiences, creating environments ripe for innovation and changing the way people think. As an innovation consulting firm whose projects take shape across cultures, time zones, industry clusters and business sectors, we leverage expertise across the innovation value chain from idea stage to exit. Spark Growth works alongside our clients to identify potential and possibilities for growth and to develop authentic solutions specific to each client’s needs.

Identifying potential and possibilities for growth, our consultants are innovators who specialize in bringing connections, resources and solutions to solve the most challenging business issues.

Photo credit: Sara Hand – Smart City Innovation Accelerator San Diego – Co-produced by Spark Growth

Sara Hand Headshot

Stan Schultes Headshot

Contact Stan Schultes or Sara Hand at or 941-877-1599.