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Monday, November 16, 2020

Adeo Ressi
Founder Institute, CEO

Our kickoff fireside chat is with none other than Adeo Ressi, CEO of the Founder Institute, a startup launch program that operates in nearly 200 cities worldwide, and he is a recognized mentor for fast-growing technology businesses. He has pioneered innovations in the protection of founder rights, the raising of early-stage capital and the scaling of new businesses.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Mikaela McShane
Nasa Technology Transfer Program

In this presentation you will learn how to leverage post-validated NASA-developed technology to gain a competitive edge in your industry. NASA maintains a portfolio of hundreds of patented technologies that are available to you through the technology licensing process. This presentation will walk through what NASA's Technology Transfer Program is, explain how you can benefit from it and provide step-by-step instructions to help you find the perfect technology to infuse into your business or create a startup around.

NASA's Technology Transfer Program ensures that innovations developed for exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public, maximizing the benefit to the Nation. Whether you're looking to start a new company, enhance an existing product, or create a new product line, you can gain a competitive edge in the marketplace by putting NASA technology to work for you.

Sandra Noemi Torres
Plan Your Company, CEO

Are you ready to build out your personal brand? In this presentation and workshop, Sandra Noemi Torres will sharing with us practical tools we need to be implementing for our business. She will share the process of how to create powerhouse content that attracts your ideal clients.  

Shante Williams
Black Pearl Global Investments, CEO

Women are the fastest growing entrepreneur segment, with black women leading the way. Yet, they typically receive disproportionately less investment when compared to their male counterparts. In this session we will discuss how to think like an investor and raise the capital that you need.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Willbrand David
Thompson Hine, Early Stage & Emerging Company Practice Chairperson

In this “ChalkTalk” session, David Willbrand will demystify the jargon while unpacking and sharing everything that you need to know about fundraising for your early-stage startup.

He explains in accessible language what a cap table is, how it comes together, how it evolves and – most importantly – how startups raise money! If you are a founder or entrepreneur (or thinking about making that leap), chances are you are a world-class expert in certain areas of your startup (e.g., intellectual property, product development), and have a passing familiarity with other areas (e.g., marketing, human resources). Where you likely have little-to-no experience is all the legal stuff – particularly all the factors involved in organizing, capitalizing and financing a startup.

Basic highlights:

* Balance Sheets and M&A

* Cap Tables

* Founders Stock

* Preferred Stock

* Convertible Notes


The Entrepreneurial Brain. New research from Yale suggests people who are drawn to be entrepreneurs really do have different brains from the rest of us.

Alexander has been working remotely for almost two decades. He embodies the remoter lifestyle. His companies are currently all remote-first. He literally wrote the book on remote working with his latest release Remoter. He'll share his experience with remote working, the reasons, some personal such as his family but also professional with greater opportunities available to remote workers globally then could ever be present locally.

Join us to discover the how and why of remote work in the age of COVID19 and beyond.

Ainsley Moir
Healthy Food & Beverage Group, CEO

People don't buy your product. They buy your brand. The truth is, no matter how delicious your product tastes, unless you have a brand that connects with people, your success will be slowed. What really makes you stand out to accounts you want to sell your product to and consumers you want to buy your product is having a brand that connects with heads, heart and wallet. Food Brand Strategist Ainsley Moir shares how to create a food brand that sells so you can get on and off of shelves, all while creating a food brand you feel great about.

In this session, you’re going to learn the 5 building blocks your food business needs to get into more people’s homes and onto more store shelves. In today’s crowded market place, it’s not enough to simply have a delicious product it’s about having a brand that connects with people and makes them see you as the only brand to solve their need. Your brand is so much more than your logo; it’s the fuel behind everything in your company. And when done right, it fuels action within accounts you want to list your product and within consumers who can’t wait to buy your product.

Marsha Freedman
Express Yourself Communications, CEO

Having a great app, product, service, or idea is not enough. In order to win over your audiences, especially those with the big bucks, you need to exude confidence, charisma, and conviction plus connect with them on an emotional level, all of which are more challenging in a virtual platform.

Tap into Marsha Freedman's 20 years of experience as a presentation skills trainer, coach, and member of the National Speakers Association. She has worked with thousands of people, to develop their personal power, craft their customized message, then deliver it in an engaging way that wins over their respective audiences.

Attend this one-hour session to learn the fast and easy tips, techniques and tools to help you get the "YES"!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Tyler Kelly
Slam! Agency, CEO

Have you launched your business but are having trouble gaining traction? Even with the recipe right in front of us, things don’t always turn out the way we want.

Join Tyler Kelley, Chief Strategist at SLAM! Agency, to learn the essential building blocks to bring a new product or service to market and build for its success in this session. Tyler will share content from his popular MDC Idea Center course, Marketing Agency Secrets.

Holly Bell
Florida Department of Agriculture, Director of Cannabis

Holly Bell, the Florida Department of Agriculture Director of cannabis, will give a keynote address on the impact of COVID19 on the local cannabis and CBD industries. She will also provide an update on the new edibles production standards and the effect of the recently enacted CBD regulations on the local CBD industry.  

Halle Prentice
Prototopics, Director of Ideation & Content

Most of us have strained relationships with our ideas. We know the importance of great ideas, but don't find the processes of generating, preserving, valuing or developing our ideas to be enjoyable. In this "Intro to Euphoric Ideation" workshop, Ideation Coach Halle Pre will teach you the first few principles and frameworks of what she calls "Euphoric Ideation". These strategies are designed to help you find your own creative potential not only approachable, but addicting.  

Michelle Y. Talbert
Her Power Space

Now more than ever, it is imperative for success that entrepreneurs are adept at creating and nurturing BOTH online and offline relationships.

In this highly engaging and interactive workshop attendees will walk away with the tools necessary to set their intentions and goals with regard to their professional networks--using multiple strategies and techniques.

The overarching ethos is that when one of us wins #WeAllWin. This is a workshop for achieving success through building authentic and diverse connections.

Often, while working toward our goals and climbing the ladder of success, we focus on those ahead of us--those men and women who have achieved that to which we aspire. However, that focus is incomplete AND may even impede our success.

True success lies in our ability to add value and requires that we identify peers with whom we may knowledge share and support AND mentees, those on the path behind us, who may benefit from our knowledge.

This workshop will help attendees create an ecosystem of mentees, peers and mentors where value is added, even by those who are not as far along in their journey, but have life experience, technical skills and perspective that can serve as a great value to us, as the mentor.

Michelle will walk attendees through how to leverage social media and live/in-person events with the use of real-world examples to achieve the following:

A plan of action to use social media to create and nurture connections, while simultaneously receiving tools necessary to excel in relationship development in-person.

Shannon Roddy
Marketplace Seller Courses, CEO

When it comes to creating innovative products, the rules don’t apply. The same is also true of launching them. Traditional methods of market research and marketing simply don’t work. So what does…? In this talk, Shannon Roddy uncovers three principles to successfully launch an innovative product from development to release. In this talk, he will discuss ideas like why you should observe your customers (not listen to them), how to know if your customers will truly love your products, and why there’s no such thing as a late product launch. Encompassing stories from dozens of companies and entrepreneurs, this presentation is guaranteed to both inspire and delight.

Joel Gandara
Morro Capital, CEO

Joel Gandara knows e-commerce. He launched his first multimillion dollar apparel brand 20 years ago and never looked back. He is now CEO and founder of Morro Capital, a privately-owned e-commerce apparel company with a portfolio of over 20 brands.

Joel' s been on a tear lately, investing in and acquiring a wide variety of e-commerce companies. He's recently launched a fulfilment center and is riding on the edge of this new wave of seemingly endless growth.

Is the current global COVID19 e-commerce gold rush a trend that will fade when worldwide economies reopen? Joel doesn't seem to mind because he understands how to use his business savvy to stay lean, capture opportunities and scale regardless of business climate. There's never been a better time to launch an e-commerce brand but will it last the inevitable retraction?

Evan Snow
Zero Empty Spaces, Co-Founder

As altruistic community builders dedicated to cultivating culture while putting their city on the art world map as an international destination to view & interact with art, Zero Empty Spaces & UniteUs Group Founders Andrew Martineau + Evan Snow have self funded multiple entrepreneurial initiatives based in Broward County.

Find out more how their agency ideated and built local creative platforms including Art Fort Lauderdale - "The Art Fair On The Water", Zero Empty Spaces, Choose954, Fort Lauderdale Art & Design Week, and non profit initiatives including The Ocean Rescue Alliance & 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Shlomi Ron
Visual Story Telling Institute, CEO

With the raging pandemic and growing communication noise, many startups worldwide went under, others are barely surviving. The winners will be those entrepreneurs that have either pivoted or started a net new venture to adapt to the New Normal.

But here’s the rub.

When every business in the attention battlefield is armed with the same access to technology, information and communication channels – the battle will be decided by strategy and skill:


The rules have changed, and audiences today demand real stories by real people to emotionally move them into action. This talk provides an immersive experience on how to create visually-memorable brand stories that support meaningful brand narratives.

In this session, Shlomi Ron, CEO of the Visual Storytelling Institute, will share actionable lessons that entrepreneurs can easily apply in their organizations, including:

-What is visual storytelling and why now?

- Basics of effective storytelling in support of a larger brand narrative

- How to connect: Unpacking engagement

- Illustrative industry examples

- Future of visual storytelling

Dr. Wanda Eugene
UF- Computing and Society Engagement (CASE), Executive Director

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically impacted our lives and how we do business. Design Thinking is a strategic problem-solving approach which offers guidance on identifying the needs of potential clients/customers and uncovering the right problem for your team to tackle. It also provides a reliable pathway to discover the best solutions. In this interactive workshop we will step through an abbreviated design thinking process, and support you in understanding how it can help you and your organization rethink the products, services, and the complex challenges your business face in doing business during these uncertain times.

At the conclusion of this workshop you will know how to:

•Describe the benefits of Design Thinking

•Apply simple, actionable tools and processes for each phase of the design process that you can implement immediately

•Use design thinking for innovative outcomes

•Integrate design thinking into your business, your work with audience, and work within an organization

Sidharth Srinivasan
TrashBots, Co-Founder
Rohit Srinivasan
TrashBots, Co-Founder

As the world continues to be inundated by the Covid19 pandemic, we face an unpredictable future for our educational landscape. Trashbots’ unique resources offer the flexibility and accessibility needed for STEM education everywhere. A kit, a platform and a community, Trashbots provides students a low-cost solution to learning robotics and coding regardless of the location or format.

Kasem Mohsen
Bustelo Solutions, CEO

Building an impact-focused venture requires a different kind of business approach than most traditional startups. Entrepreneurs need to enter the ideation process from a different perspective at the beginning stages of their solution or business to be prepared to face the specific challenges that may stand in their way. In this talk, multi-exited impact entrepreneur Kasem Mohsen will discuss three strategic differences between starting a normal venture and an impact venture.  

Adrian Smith
Flywheel Foundation, Executive Director

What metrics really matter? Join us for an investor's perspective on mission-driven startups. Adrian Smith, Executive Director at Flywheel Foundation and General Partner at Equilibrium Impact Venture will share his perspective on early stage entrepreneurship in the social and environmental impact space.

Adrian will cover:

- Impact as a business model vs. CSR & ESG

- How investors perform due diligence on impact companies

- Is impact different than other entrepreneurship?

- Funding impact in the next decade.

Lisa Curtis
Kuli Kuli Foods, CEO

Lisa Curtis, the Founder & CEO of Kuli Kuli will lead a session on how to scale an idea and bring a new product to market. Lisa started working with the superfood moringa while in the Peace Corps and has now brought it into over 11,000 stores across the US market, raising over $10M from well-known investors such as Kellogg. Lisa will share lessons learned on how Kuli Kuli took moringa from the unknown to Good Morning America's "top wellness trend" of the year. Learn how to bring a new product to market, secure media attention without a PR budget and raise millions of dollars from top venture firms.