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Daniel James Scott, 37

Executive director, Tampa Bay Technology Forum

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  • | 2:50 p.m. October 16, 2015
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  • Class of 2015
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Daniel James Scott says his best decision was deciding to live in Tampa Bay. He came to the area to attend the University of South Florida in Tampa. Now, looking at the impact he’s made in the region, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Over the last 14 years, Scott has built a reputation in the Tampa startup community, co-founding the entrepreneurship program at USF and a Tampa seed-stage fund with Gazelle Labs. He has also co-authored five books on entrepreneurship.    

In January he was hired as the executive director of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. In this role he’s working to spread the word about Tampa’s tech community — turning into a “massive resource center.” Part of that effort involves transforming the organization’s blog to publish thought leadership pieces. “It’s an empty gallery that we’re filling with the people and the pride of Tampa Bay,” Scott says.

Throughout his career, Scott says he’s hit many forks in the road, and sometimes he doesn’t pick the most effective or most efficient. “Some work, some don’t,” he says. “You maximize and optimize” the ones that do.

— Traci Beach


Name: Daniel James Scott

Age: 37

City of residence: St. Petersburg

Twitter handle: @sparkcatalyst

Employer: Tampa Bay Technology Forum

Title: Executive Director

Birthplace: Cleveland

Years on the Gulf Coast: 20+

Marital status/children: Married, no children

Alma mater: University of South Florida

Best place to network: Tech Tuesdays

Coolest business experience: Ignite Tampa Bay was a great event to speak at.

The most important business lesson I’ve learned: Failure is just part of the process. Never stop.

One website that makes your job easier: (we are building this into a massive resource center)

One community group you’re most involved with: Tampa Bay Technology Forum

Favorite off-hours activity: Dinner with my wife

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Myles Standish and Mahatma Gandhi

What you would be doing if you could pick another career: I’ve done a lot and wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Rock climbing

What’s at the top of your bucket list: Leave the Gulf Coast better than I found it

What new skill would you like to learn: Ruby

Who would play you in a movie about your life: Probably Mark Wahlberg

If I had a magic wand I’d: Help as many people as I could


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