Moderated by Sara Hand - Transformational Business Leader

When you came, you came to FL not only for a great place to live, but to enjoy life the way you want to live it. Whether it is arts, heritage, sports, nightlife, beaches or family life, you want to environment that fits your needs, and an ecosystem in which your business can thrive. You will meet leaders from Jacksonville to Miami who will share the success secrets of their region, and give you insight into what's going on across the state. You will see that in Florida - "we know what you want, and we have what you need!"

Sara Hand

Founder of SP Hand and Associates, Sara Hand brings a unique combination of skills and experience from the public and private sectors across a variety of industries. Sara is past president of the Sarasota Chapter of the Gulf Coast Venture Forum, co-founder of Spark Growth, co-founder of BarCamp Sarasota-Bradenton, on the Board of Directors for the Sun Coast Technology Forum, and involved across FL in regional collaborative efforts for Entrepreneurial Support Organizations.

Jeremy Vaughn from the Factory

From Jacksonville:

Jeremy has focused his career on bringing value to business through technology. As a principal consultant at feature[23] he helps technology-dependent companies stay focused on aligning their software projects with their business goals. As such, he's led client engagements through many stages of the product development lifecycle –- market opportunities, envisioning new solutions, customer and market validation, business and revenue modeling, requirements definition, design, implementation, and support strategies.

Jeremy has also served as a business & strategy consultant to many area tech businesses bringing value to their organizations through building high-performance programs and strategies to ensure customers are successful with their technology investments.

In addition, he is a co-founder of The Factory, a different take on the Florida technology incubator. The Factory is a focused, no nonsense, and distraction-free environment to launch quality startups. Here he's working on implementing new programs to help orchestrate and accelerate each startup company's growth.

Wifredo Fernandez

From The Lab Miami

Wifredo, or Wifi to his friends and colleagues, is a social entrepreneur and professor based in Miami. Currently, he is the CEO/Co-Founder of The LAB Miami, a 10,000 sq ft campus for social and tech innovation. He also serves as Adjunct Faculty at Miami Dade College and is a visiting fellow on Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Miami School of Law. Prior to starting The LAB, Wifi was a Teach For America corps member in Washington, D.C., where he taught Math, Social Studies and Spanish across 5 grade levels. Wifi holds an MA in Teaching from American University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dave Gustafson

From Bradenton Executive Director for Downtown Development Authority, City of Bradenton.

David is an experienced Urban Planner, Project Manager and Land Developer with an extensive background in property acquisition, site design and site development/redevelopment. His diverse work experience and employment history ranges from Manatee County Government, ZNS Civil Engineering and Benderson Development.

Recent Community Projects: David was the Project Manager on the City of Bradenton’s 6.2 million dollar Riverwalk, helped broker the deal on the 16 million dollar Pink Palace 119 room Hotel renovation. David has been heavily involved with the Bi-County rowing initiative. He has volunteered for the last 3 years at Nathan Benderson Park and worked with the design team on park operation. He was the Project Manager at the Ft. Hamer Rowing Facility, where Universities such as Harvard are training. He also helped start three High School rowing teams in Manatee County.

Marvin Scaff

Managing Director, Gazelle Lab

Software entrepreneur and technology innovator, lead developer of multiple 1.0 products. Played a significant role in many successful companies that were later acquired. Former founder, CEO, CTO and EIR for a venture capital fund that had a successful portfolio company IPO and later acquisition for $1.5B. Have filed over 15 patent applications for inventions in the last 5 years and awarded 6 to date.

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