Brian starts every day thinking about how to make Tampa Bay and Florida the world’s next great innovation community.
The Tampa Bay native is President and Co-Founder of Synapse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is the guide for Florida’s innovation communities.
Through Synapse, Brian is creating the nexus for businesses to easily find what they need and share what they have to accelerate success and create thriving economies in Florida.
Early in his career, Brian worked on amazing technology projects from handheld encryption devices to fighter jets to cutting-edge satellites. After receiving his MBA from the University of South Florida, he joined Nielsen as a senior manager and became a key player in a $25M international software development project, as well as helping to integrate a $1B acquisition as part of an executive training program.
While completing his MBA, Brian’s entrepreneurial endeavors began as the founder of RhiKNOW, a mobile application for a personalized recommendation engine. As CEO of RhIKNOW, Brian discovered a massive gap in the ability of people with ideas to turn them into a reality while overcoming fears of technology and money.
To overcome these challenges, Brian launched Popkorn Apps, a mobile application development company and mini-incubator to help entrepreneurs turn their visions into reality. As CEO of PopKorn Apps, Brian clearly saw the connectivity issues of the Tampa Bay and Florida regions.
He later teamed up with Marc Blumenthal and Andy Hafer, along with the support of many others in the community, to form Synapse, the framework for connecting Florida’s innovation communities. Brian quickly transformed his passion from enabling individuals with good ideas to empowering Florida’s entire innovation community to become the best place to build and grow a business.
Brian is the President of the USF Executive MBA Alumni Advisory Council and supports many local missions and companies as an advisor or partner. He is a Six-Sigma Black Belt, Lean Expert, and Certified Scrum Product Owner. Brian is a 2018 recipient of the prestigious Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under 40: Business Up and Comers of Tampa Bay.He is also nationally recognized in The Business Journals’ Influencers: Rising Stars as one of the top 100 business executives across the country who are having a positive impact relatively early in their careers on their companies and their communities, and who could be shaping how business gets done for years to come.
In his spare time, Brian enjoys having fun with his wife Marcy, his twin sons Jacob and Micah, his dog Brooks, and being an avid Tampa Bay sports fan.