Entrepreneur Florida What I’m Up To

Videos from StartupBus Florida 2019

I recently found the video above, which features an ABC Action News story that covered the “Welcome” party held for StartupBus Florida participants on the evening before our three-day bus trip across the southeastern U.S.. It’s been two years since that extended long weekend in late July 2019, and while COVID-19 ended any possibility of safely holding then event in 2020 and 2021, I hold out hope for a StartupBus return in 2022.

The 2019 edition was the 10th annual Startup Bus North America competition, which might be describes as “Shark Tank goes on a road trip”. It’s a competition that takes place on a bus ride where contestants (better known as “buspreneurs”) form teams, ideate, and come up with an innovative technology startup, then build a working application — all in the space of three days. While on a bus.

I could go on about what the team and I did, but I’ll let these videos tell the story instead…

Meet Team Hyve!

Here’s our first team video, which we recorded at the end of Day One of the bus trip at NC State in Raleigh:

Pitching Hyve to a stranger

One of our assigned tasks — on top of building a startup and the application that powered it — was to pitch our idea to a stranger in one of the towns where we stopped. We pitched the Hyve concept to the Lyft driver who took us from NC State to our hotel. Here’s how it went…

Practicing our pitch

In addition to building the business and the app on the bus, each team on the bus practiced their pitches at regular intervals by presenting to their fellow buspreneurs. Here’s Tracy Ingram from Team Hyve delivering our pitch as the bus raced towards New Orleans:

The qualifying round

The qualifying rounds took place on Saturday, July 27th at New Orleans’ Propeller Incubator, where all the teams from all the buses — the Advancing Black Entrepreneurs, Florida, Mexico, New York, Ohio, Silicon Valley, and Washington DC teams — made their pitches.

Every member of every team had to be ready to pitch, because in the qualifying round, the judges chose two people from each team to make their pitch, one at a time. They tend to choose the least confident-looking team members, and a couple of them already knew me. We did well, though, with Rina doing the “set ’em up” pitch and Tracy doing the “finish ’em off” one:

The finals

We’d have to wait until the next day to find out who made it to the semifinals, but we were among them! Even better, we made it to the finals. We re-worked our pitch for the finals judges with the help of the Florida Bus Conductors — Akira Mitchell, Nick Price, and Shane Needham — and here’s the result:

The winners

Once all the finalists made their pitches, the judges sequestered themselves, and shortly afterwards, they made their announcements, which included Hyve!

Just the bit about Hyve

Just because I love that bit about walking the line between good and evil, here’s just the part about Hyve:


Bloomberg’s article on tech migration buries the lede of Florida’s success story

The data pointing to Florida’s success story is right there in the graph, and Bloomberg chose to bury the lede and write about Austin instead. Tap to view at full size.

Look at the chart above, which shows the top 15 cities to which tech workers in the U.S. have been migrating for the past 12 months. There’s only one state that appears four times, which makes for almost one-third of the list: Florida.

Does the headline of the Bloomberg article from which I took (and improved) the chart mention this fact?

It most certainly does not. In fact, the title of the article is Austin Is Biggest Winner From Tech Migration, LinkedIn Data Show.

To be fair, Florida gets its due, but it’s not until halfway into the article…

The Covid-19 pandemic upended — at least temporarily — the idea that technology workers need to cluster around high-rent San Francisco or that finance workers need to do so in pricey New York. It also reinforced existing growth trends in smaller and relatively affordable markets, including Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida.

Lately, another Florida market — the Miami area, which is neither cheap nor second-tier — tends to grab most of the attention. It has been at the center of a buzzy social media campaign to lure tech workers. Even though Mayor Francis Suarez’s move-to-Miami campaign on social media didn’t begin in earnest until early December, the city was No. 11 by net migration rate.

…but I still think that Bloomberg got distracted by Austin’s long-time standing as a technology center and missed the real story:

Florida is taking its place as one of the new centers of tech.

Recommended reading

Conferences Current Events Florida

Synapse Converge: Global Entrepreneur Week edition happens Monday, November 16!

Synapse Converge and Global Entrepreneurship Week logos - Monday, November 16 - Thursday, November 19

Hey, Florida techies and entrepreneurs — the online conference Synapse Converge: Global Entrepreneur Week edition happens Monday, November 16 and runs through Thursday, November 19, and it’s FREE to attend!

If you’re a would-be entrepreneur looking for inspiration or an entrepreneur seeking knowledge to help you bring your startup to the next step, this conference is for you.

Synapse Converge: Global Entrepreneur Week edition, as its name implies, is put together by:

  • Synapse Florida logoSynapse Florida, Florida’s innovation hub, whose mission is to connect entrepreneurs, investors, and other stakeholders to accelerate success in Florida’s thriving economies.
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week logoGlobal Entrepreneurship Week, a collection of tens of thousands of events, activities and competitions each November that inspire millions to explore their potential as an entrepreneur while fostering connections and increasing collaboration within their ecosystems.

This conference has two tracks:

  1. Entrepreneur Leadership track:
    • Candid interviews with successful entrepreneurs and leaders.
    • Tangible tools to help late-stage companies and enterprises connect and identify opportunities to partner.
    • Gives investors the opportunity to make their mark by supporting growing Florida companies.
  2. Startup Toolkit track:
    • 12 distinct, sequential sessions taught by leading Florida academics and business leaders, on the entrepreneurial journey.
    • Features sessions ranging from “Is Entrepreneurship for You?” to “Getting to Growth Stage”, and everything in between.

Find out more at the Synapse Converge: Global Entrepreneur Week edition conference at their site.