After a few years of virtual events, we are finally headed back to a somewhat normal in-person conference experience! This year’s 2022 Synapse Summit was held at the Tampa Bay Lightning’s home, Amalie Arena. The 5th annual innovation event brought together over 5000 attendees with over 150 speakers gathering to further drive the fast growing entrepreneurial ecosystem of Florida. This event brings together all tech industries with a big focus on Web3, Metaverse, HealthTech, VR and Cybersecurity.
With our new Hybrid Campus now open in Tampa, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to attend this amazing tech conference. We sent over Kevin Perez, our Partnerships Manager at Ironhack US to connect with some of the most game-changing companies in the Florida’s tech scene. Check out his recap and insights of the Synapse Summit 2022 in Tampa, FL.
Hey, it’s Kevin here. As the Partnerships Manager at Ironhack, I was excited to learn about all the new tech giants that have made a new home in Florida within the last couple years. Having the opportunity to attend the Synapse Summit was great because I was able to really understand the main objectives these companies have when it comes to innovating in tech.
After working at eMerge Americas (the premier tech conference in South Florida gathering over 16,000 attendees) for about 5 years and now at Ironhack, I was ready to explore the conference with a unique perspective on Florida's tech industry. I am a believer in the Sunshine State becoming the Startup State, so I was more than excited to be a part of one of the largest gatherings of tech in Florida.
While there was so much to learn from this year’s Synapse Summit, I’ve narrowed it down to the top 3 takeaways I found were most valuable:
Web3, Metaverse and NFT’s are here to stay
Throughout the last couple of years there has been a lot of chatter surrounding the latest evolution of the internet, Web3. With Web3, the Metaverse and NFT’s being top of mind, there was a huge buzz that seemed to have everyone talking. Many companies are slowly but surely devising strategies to ensure that they are not left behind in the “real world” and are equipped for the future that lies ahead.
As a result of this, they had the Godmother of the Metaverse, Kathy Hackle, on center stage as one of the keynote speakers. Kathy is the CEO and Chief Metaverse Officer of The Futures Intelligence Group. She is globally recognized as a metaverse expert and business executive with experience working at companies like Magic Leap and AWS. Hackle discussed how the metaverse is bringing people, companies, and products together in virtual environments to create new economic and engagement opportunities. After listening to her keynote, I am confident that this Web3/Metaverse theme will be the topic of choice for the foreseeable future.
Florida Entrepreneurship is Leveling Up
The idea that Florida as a whole is transforming from being the place where senior citizens come to retire and young people come to party is steadily taking a backseat. Now, Florida is the place to start a company and raise capital. Companies from all over the world are recognizing how Florida is becoming the tech capital of the world and have now started to relocate to what Florida Funders believes is the “Startup State”.
With over 300 exhibitors representing new and innovative ideas and over 800 accredited investors and VC’s with open checkbooks, companies in Florida are seeing growth and capital like they’ve never seen before. Some of the big names seen at this year’s Synapse tech conference were Blockspaces, Pokt Network, Rapid7, Flymotion, Jabil, Celcius, and Relic. You’ll want to keep an eye out for these companies because they have some exciting projects in the works.
Florida Working as a Team
When you compare Florida to other states, you quickly realize how isolated the major regions are from each other. For years, each of these regions have operated on their own, only focusing and driving their effort in their immediate communities. What we’re seeing now with the development in Florida as a whole is these communities or ecosystems working together. Their centralized mission is to make Florida the tech capital of the world. One example of this collaboration is how eMerge Americas became an official partner of Synapse.
Instead of competing against each other as the two largest tech events, they partnered and worked together to strengthen the ecosystem that will eventually leave Florida as the face of tech. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Orlando got together for a great panel discussion on driving Florida’s culture of creativity, collaboration, and innovation. They left us with one piece of advice on how to make Florida better for innovation, talent, and opportunities. Melissa Medina, President of eMerge Americas, noted that the best way to get this done is to “pay it forward, help make connections, and be able to connect the dots within your own network to open that door for other people”. This is something we're seeing now with the collaboration of all the major cities in Florida.
Synapse 2022 was a great reminder that getting in front of people face to face forms a connection that’s hard to replicate over the internet. While that might be true, it also gave great insight on how the world is evolving with Web3 and the metaverse to make these virtual connections as seamless as if you were in person. Florida is on its way to becoming the face of tech and maybe one day we’ll find ourselves in the Florida metaverse.
But although our dream of meeting in a Florida inspired metaverse might be years ahead of us, at Ironhack we’ve found a way to build online learning experiences while having the connection of meeting people in person. This is the concept behind our new Hybrid Campus in Tampa! To learn more about Ironhack Tampa, how you can take part of this hybrid model of learning, and how it integrates into Florida’s growthing tech scene, check out the Ironhack Tampa Campus page.