This years’ Synapse tech conference will host more than 350 speakers and 6,000 attendees, staying on-par with the heavy-hitters of tech conferences like CES and TechCrunch Disrupt. Indeed, this years’ keynote speakers are comprised of the cream of the crop, cultivated in every corner of the industry. It seems only natural that an event of this scale would attract some extremely qualified speakers.
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Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx, built her multi-billion dollar company with the $5,000 in her savings. That’s after spending seven years selling fax machines door-to-door. It was during these seven hot years, broiling in her sales uniform under the Florida sun, that she saw an opportunity. Blakely devised a new and improved structure for hosiery and presented her idea to as many hosiery mills in North Carolina that she could get hold of, all of which turned her down. When she arrived back home, a call from a mill operator and father of three daughters provided the support she needed to get her idea off the ground. Nearly twenty years later and her idea is worth billions.
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The next keynote may not have as dramatic an origin story as Blakely, it is, however, every bit as inspiring and demonstrative of what any motivated individual can accomplish. Steven Currall currently serves as President of the University of South Florida and has served on faculties at some of the nation’s most revered institutions. Graduate of Cornell, Currall has sat as Vice President and Provost of SMU where he oversaw seven academic departments as well as various satellite departments such as Research and Graduate Studies and the campus library system. While at SMU, he was the Endowed Professor and professed in the School of Business. In addition to this appointment, he also held positions as an adjunct professor in the Psychology and Engineering Schools. After SMU, Currall served as the Chancellor’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Projects and Initiatives and Professor of Management at UC, Davis until he arrived at Rice University where he was a Professor of Entrepreneurship and founded the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. Currall was only inducted into the USF presidency last July, but has already made his presence known in the University’s messy unification process, bringing it to the forefront of University policy.
If the international reach of Spanx wasn’t enough, Jeff Hoffman’s career must be. Sitting on the boards of companies based in the US, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa and a board member and evangelist of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, Hoffman has influenced millions of thinkers and stretched the lines of communication for innovators to great lengths. He has produced Hollywood films, jazz albums and authored a bestselling book on scaling startups into fully-fledged businesses, likely based on his involvement in successful startups priceline.com and booking.com. He now gives motivational speeches and leads innovation workshops for corporations.
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Having to follow the acts of these luminaries, the other speakers of the Synapse Summit conference constitute the heart of tech on a national scale. Individuals of unique and varied backgrounds will be giving their perspectives and opinions on anything and everything tech; there will be something sweet for every attendee. You'll find over 350 speakers that will lead hands-on workshops and dynamic panel discussions.
Make sure you get your tickets today for Synapse Summit 2020 and be ready to connect and expand your knowledge of why innovation lives here in Tampa Bay!