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Synapse Summit announces speakers, themes for 2024 event

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 10:00 a.m. January 28, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Synapse Summit, a highly anticipated annual event designed to “connect, catalyze and celebrate Florida’s innovation leaders,” has announced its main schedule and themes. 

The event will take place Feb. 28 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, according to a statement. “Synapse has been steadfast in its mission to enable Florida’s innovation leaders to thrive,” says Lauren Prager, CEO of Synapse Florida, in the statement. “Synapse Summit is not just an event; it's a beacon for Florida's tech and business communities, shining a light on the path to innovation and success. It’s where we come together to learn, connect and be inspired.”

The sixth annual Synapse Summit will highlight a range of topics and features. Speakers include: 

  • Shirl Penney, CEO and Founder of Dynasty Financial Partners. St. Pete company, which relocated from New York City in 2019, has experienced 300% growth in five years with more than $90 billion currently under management. Penney’s personal story and professional successes “are an inspirational example of triumph over adversity,” the release states. 
  • Lauren Weiner, founder of WWC Global. Company, the release states, “harnessed the untapped talent of military spouses to create a thriving government consulting firm earning coveted federal contracts and growing the business to $100 million in revenue and 350 employees before selling the firm to its next phase of expansion.” 
  • Andrew Koenig, CEO of South Florida-based City Furniture. Koenig’s company has grown to meet Florida’s booming population, and the company created a new structure and culture to overcome, and then grow, through the pandemic. 
  • Rhea Law, president at University of South Florida. Law, Synapse says, will “share how one of Florida’s premier universities is growing to meet the fast-changing connections between industry and talent and what lies ahead for higher education.”

There are several other components and themes to the Synapse Summit, including real-world business use cases for generative AI, the impact of GenAI on human creativity with an interactive session hosted by Vu Studios, insights on how to successfully pitch a business solution to CIOs and CTOs, best practices from innovation leaders, and best practices on how to tell your founder’s story to “reach investors from experienced founders who have raised significant investments and saw successful exits.”

In addition, the finalists for the Synapse Innovation Awards will take the stage to share their story and be recognized, while the finalists for Tampa General Hospital’s innovation challenge will also present their proposed solutions to improve cancer care in rural communities; the winner of the TGH challenge will have the opportunity to collaborate with TGH and the TGH Cancer Institute.

Another part of Synapse Summit is the expo. Several prominent companies are set to make their return to Summit 2024, including Duke Energy, FPL, Jabil, Tampa General Hospital and Verizon. The event also hosts over 150 sponsors and exhibitors traveling from across the state, including startups, entrepreneur support organizations and nonprofits. 

For more information, the full agenda and tickets information, visit

Synapse is a nonprofit that connects and catalyzes Florida's innovators across industries, technologies, and communities. As a year-round connector, Synapse brings together enterprise innovation leaders, startup entrepreneurs, investors, and resources to accelerate the growth of innovation in Florida. 



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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