Moderated by Mike O'Donnell
The misnomer in press coverage of Florida is that people move here to retire, and this area is just about tourism and construction. The truth is that with no state income tax, a great climate, and booming entrepreneurial ecosystem - people are moving here not to retire, but to grow their companies and raise their families. We're in an environment that gets more entrepreneur friendly every day, in fact, Florida was just named #1 in the nation for Innovation, by Fast Company online magazine. Florida has the U.S.’s second-highest rate of new business production and Startup America says it’s the No. 3 state for annual revenue per startup.
Michael O’Donnell has 25 years starting and building tech companies, with an emphasis on software development and Internet services. He has broad experience managing complex projects; recruiting, and developing and leading cross-functional teams. He excels at new product development and launch. Michael also have a solid track record of closing national accounts and forging strategic alliances that accelerate distribution and sales.
Michael’s Specialties include: startups, product specifications, product management, product launch, product marketing, business and marketing planning, capital placement, corporate and business development, Internet advertising models, digital content strategies, content monetization, copyright, presentations and public speaking.
Michael is the Founder and CEO of startup Leaves.com. Leaves is a social media application for telling and sharing life stories. He is Director of the Founder Institute, Tampa Bay, and is on the Board of Directors of several intermediate stage startups.
Ronald L. Hollis, Ph.D. is the founder and former President & CEO of Quickparts.com, Inc. He founded the company in 1999 with a new approach toward procurement and led the rapid growth and profitability of the company to an ultimate acquisition by the industry leader, 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD).
He has received many awards and recognitions, including INC 500, a patented inventor, author of Better Be Running! Tools to Drive Design Success, a business book on product development, as well as a graduate of the MIT/INC Birthing of Giants, the former President of the Atlanta Chapter of Young Entrepreneur’s Organization (YEO), a member of Young President’s Organization (YPO), and advisor to many entrepreneurs to address their challenges for success.
He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama as well as a MS and Ph.D. in Engineering with a focus in technology management from University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). He is recognized as a distinguished alumnus of the UAH School of Engineering. He is also a non-practicing, registered Professional Engineer. He worked as a design engineer on Space Station Freedom for Boeing and went on to be the Director of Alabama Center for Advanced Technology; Vice President of Fastec Engineering; Founder of Rapid Tech Engineering, a technology integration company for manufacturing and engineering services and the predecessor to Quickparts.com.
His areas of expertise include 3D printing, additive manufacturing, product development, Internet technologies including e-commerce for industrial markets, organization management and strategic planning.
Laurence S. Liebson is a seasoned technology and services-oriented, CEO with a depth of experience in startups, IPOs, MBOs, and turnarounds in both private and public companies with worldwide operations. Prior to founding i-Netix, Mr. Liebson led a management buyout of Harris Corporation’s Electronic Design Automation Division (a Division of a Fortune 500 Company) and served as its CEO. Renamed Xynetix Design Systems it was subsequently sold and became part of Synopsis. Previously, he founded two high-tech companies (Xylogics, Inc. and Xyvision, Inc.) that grew rapidly and were NASDAQ-listed. Mr. Liebson also has prior work experience at the NASA Electronic Research Center and Bell Laboratories. He holds an MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was an M.I.T. Sloan Fellow, has done graduate work at Harvard University in the Division of Engineering and Applied Physics, has a BS in engineering with an emphasis on computer science and is an Adjunct Professor. He serves and has served on more than a dozen private and public company Board of Directors. Mr. Liebson enjoys skiing the back bowls of Vail and windsurfing in Aruba.