2019/06/06 18:00:00

What’s Your Passion?

Ignite! is an internationally syndicated presentation series with a unique twist: 20 speakers fire off 20 slides in just 5 minutes each, for a night of inspiration-filled, rapid-fire talks.

Share what matters most to you. We’re seeking Tampa Bay’s most passionate and talented people to share stories, ideas, and inspiration. Everyone is welcome to submit a talk as long as you have something compelling to say, we want to hear it.

Ignite 2019 was on Thursday, June 6th at the Palladium Theater in downtown St. Pete. Thank you to all that came out to speak, volunteer, and support this great community event.

Applications to speak at the 2020 Ignite Tampa Bay will open up once we have a date and venue for next spring.


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Our event is solely funded by our Sponsors and tickets.

We’re looking for sponsors! Please get in touch if you’d like to connect with our audience and support our event. Just drop us an email at info@technovaforida.org.

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Ignite 2020


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Ignite Tampa Bay is a fun, fast-paced, evening of presentations where speakers gather to share their knowledge and passion.

Each speaker gets exactly five minutes to teach, enlighten, or inspire the crowd, all backed up by 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds.

Talks cover a wide range of (often geeky) topics, from roller skating to nuclear reactors.

Ignite Tampa Bay’s unique rapid-fire format draws a loyal audience that reflects our vibrant community, often filling our venues to capacity. Each event is different, but you’re sure to experience talks that will educate, inspire, motivate, and entertain. The Ignite concept first appeared in Seattle in 2006 and has since spread to many cities across the globe. We brought Ignite to Tampa Bay in 2011, and have been running events annually since.  You can find videos from past Ignite Tampa Bay events below or in our video archive.

Ignite Tampa Bay is a production of Technova Florida, Inc., a Tampa-based all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to creating resilient, radically inclusive tech and maker communities that empower positive change.

Our all volunteer organization produces other events throughout the year including Barcamp Tampa Bay each fall.

Can't Wait for Ignite 2020?

Click Here to Get Inspired by Past Presenters on the #IgniteTB YouTube Channel

The Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg was the host venue for the ninth annual Ignite Tampa Bay! Our attendees enjoyed beverages from the theater bar and mingled with other guests and speakers. Our Emcee Mark Sharpe kicked off the event with his vision for building a more engaged and entrepreneurial community starting with the Innovation District in Uptown. Mark also provided a recap of how his views of economic development and ecosystem building have evolved over the years and why events like Ignite and BarCamp impact our region’s attractiveness to creative and tech talent.

The following 19 fast-paced talks entertained and engaged our audience. There were tears, laughs, and the occasional rowdy outburst of support.

Stay Tuned for info about the After Party

Ignite! Tampa Bay Sponsors & Supporters




Friends of Ignite

2019 Media Partners

Join the #IgniteTB Community

This Year’s EmCee – Mark Sharpe, Chief Potential Officer @ Tampa !P

Mark Sharpe is Chief Potential Officer for Tampa !p, an Innovation Partnership whose mission is to create a vibrant, magnetic place to live, work, study, play and stay in the 19-square mile area bounded by Busch Boulevard, Bearrs Avenue, Interstate 275 and Interstate 75. The region includes parts of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and unincorporated Hillsborough County and is anchored by some of the most ground-breaking, innovative institutions in the world.

In fewer than three years, Mark and his team have grown membership in the !p from just 4 to over 230 business and community members. They led a multifaceted collaborative effort to win a $3.8 million TechHire Grant and designation by the White House as a TechHire Community in 2016 and in 2018, supported efforts which led to the successful passage of the Hillsborough County transportation ballot initiative.

Mark is passionate about applying innovation to overcome challenges. He founded the company, Hog Back – named after a geologic formation of narrow crested, steep sloped, hard-to-climb hills –  to help others clear obstacles and find success. He is a 20-year Navy veteran with a BS from Florida State University in Multinational Business and an MA from the University of South Florida in Strategic Studies.  Mark is married to Stephanie, a high school English teacher, and they are the parents of three children.

When he is not working – which is rare – he runs trails. His mission is to change the world.

The 2019 Ignite Lineup* of Passionate Speakers!

*Please note these are presented in no particular order nor is this the order presenters will give their talks at the event. We typically have >100 speaker submissions each year on average and unfortunately the speaker selection committee can only select ~20 talks. We strive for diversity and to represent as many segments of our community as possible.  The overwhelming response by all of you demonstrates the passion of the bay are community members. 

Talk Title Speaker
Your Job: Commit to One Action! Dr. Farhan Malik
How Do We Tackle the Oncoming Skills Gap? John Flanagan
The Good, the Bad & The Ugly of Influencer Marketing Laura Egocheaga
The Backfire Effect, Why Facts Get In the Way of Feelings Topher Morrison
Why We Need Lunch Breaks Alex Abell
Why Not? Self-Portrait of a Recovering Perfectionist Ann Adair
Making S.T.E.A.M. Mainstream! Neirda Lafontant
The Future of AI and Its Global Impact RJ Garbowicz
What I Learned Biking Across Florida Kevin Miller
Advice From All the Dads I’ve Known Terence Okus
The Richness of Our Tapestry Ericka Guy
I-Ching, Binary Digits Before Binary Was Cool Michael Gamson
LGBTQ+ Within Steven Universe Riley Schofner
Own Your Voice Veronica Blakely
Whales: If You Love Them You Will Put Them In Cages Shane Smith
Not Just a Bunch of Rolling Steel James Waugh
The Choice We Face Raymmar Tirado
Trust Faces – how to maintain your authenticity Vadim Davydov
Housing Turmoil in Tampa Bay Nico Hohman

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Brought to you by: TechNova of Florida