Synapse Florida

Celebrating The Success Of Our Innovation Communities




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Synapse Florida, the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization connecting innovation communities across Florida, was founded on the premise that serendipity doesn’t scale. By building a state-wide movement, Synapse is enabling innovation partners throughout Florida to find each other and develop relationships in a way that hasn’t existed before.

“If you want to accelerate success and build flourishing, sustainable economies, it needs to be done in an intentional, meaningful, and purposeful way.”– Marc Blumenthal, Executive Director of Synapse

Synapse believes that connections are the key to accelerating thriving innovation communities and driving Florida’s economic growth, while attracting and retaining top talent—now and for generations to come.
By creating a framework to connect entrepreneurs, talent, investors, corporations, educational institutions, and other business stakeholders, Synapse helps people find what they need and share what they have in three ways:

  • Synapse Connect – An online, customized platform that allows innovators to easily and quickly connect with the resources they need anywhere across the state. Synapse Connect only shows you the opportunities, partners, news, companies, and events that are relevant to your changing needs and goals.
  • Synapse Challenges – A crowdsourcing solution for organizations to solve real-world problems and create new opportunities for forward-thinking businesses and people—efficiently and cost-effectively. Challenges inspire our state’s most talented creators and makers to innovate and fuel the talent pipeline.
  • Synapse Programming – Throughout the year, Synapse hosts purpose-driven programming online and in-person. The capstone event is the Synapse Summit—a live two-day celebration of innovation where visionaries, doers, and success-makers connect with the latest transformational innovations across all industries to educate and inspire.

Synapse helps to break down the silos of industry, encouraging people to connect and engage easily with purpose and provide guidance to accelerate success. “It’s an example of our core values,” comments Andy Hafer, Synapse Florida co-founder. “Members of our community are incredibly generous of their time and support to help talented people, entrepreneurs, and startups get to the next level. We celebrate each other’s successes. As the saying goes, the rising tide lifts all boats.”
In just one year, the impact Synapse has made on our state is palpable. “We are proud that Synapse has already made a positive impact on so many in our community,” says Lauren Prager, Vice President of Communication and Programming. “Every week, we hear from another person who found an investor, a client, a new team member, a career opportunity, and an important bit of inspiration, or a valuable connection through Synapse. This is what we are built to do.”

“We were built to enable better connections across the state,” added Marc. “An investor or entrepreneur should not be limited by time and space to find the partner they need to succeed. We’re proud that Synapse has a solution that is beginning to fix the problem.”

Synapse is truly a community movement, led by a Board representing Florida’s leading innovators and run day to day by unbelievably dedicated staff and volunteers. “It is truly remarkable to have such great leaders on one board, all with one common goal, to make Florida the best place to innovate, build a business, career, and life,” says Brian Kornfeld, president of Synapse. “We are grateful to the talented, resourceful Synapse staff and volunteers who are fostering the connections for innovation, helping to create the success stories that will let the world know that Innovation Lives Here.”

Synapse extends sincere appreciation and gratitude to its inaugural board, representing Florida’s leading entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives, and principals of educational institutions, entrepreneur support organizations, and government, who are supporting the state’s thriving innovation communities.
Chairman of the Board, Tim Schar, SunTrust Bank
• Ark Applications
• BayCare Health System
• BNY Mellon Wealth Management
• Cherry Bekaert
• ConnectWise
• Dali Museum
• Deloitte
• Dynamic Communities
• Embarc Collective
• Feldman Equities
• Florida Funders
• Florida Israel Business Accelerator
• Florida Polytechnic University
• Florida State Representative Jamie Grant
• Guidewell Florida Blue
• Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
• Hillsborough County Economic Development EDI2
• Holland & Knight
• Hunter Business Law
• !P Innovation Partnership
• PAR, Inc.
• Publix
• Metropolitan Ministries
• Qualified Meetings
• Reliaquest
• Schifino Lee Advertising & Branding
• Skoda Minotti
• Straz Center for Performing Arts
• SunTrust Bank
• Tampa Bay Business Journal
• Tampa Bay Innovation Center
• Tampa Bay Tech
• Tampa Bay Wave
• Tucker Hall
• Major General David Scott (Ret.)
• Ultimate Medical Academy
• University of South Florida College of Engineering
• USF Muma College of Business
• USF Research & Innovation
• University of Tampa
For more information about Synapse Florida, please visit: and

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