Florida's 3.0 Leaders Innovation & Investment Convergence Conference to Feature International Speakers & Attendees

Posted at 12:09 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-21 14:36:14-05

BRADENTON, Fla. -- International business, civic and thought leaders converge at the fifth annual 3.0 Leaders Conference on February 22-23 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center on Florida's Innovation Coast to network and discuss innovation and investment.

Innovation keeps existing companies alive and thriving and is a primary source of new ideas for startup companies. Whether product, service, or business model – it is innovation that provides a relevant edge on value propositions in a rapidly changing and highly competitive global marketplace. How to navigate change and stay relevant and understanding how the marketplace rewards those that provide value will be focal points of discussion.

With the lines in investment more blurred than ever, non-profit, or independent sector, investing is becoming more like venture capital than ever before where they look for not only financial returns, but ones based on sustainable impact and often social good.  Public/private partnerships are becoming much more common with their own set of unique challenges. As an investor, where do you put your money? With start-up the rage, inflated valuations, a global market and a changing landscape – who, what, when, where, how much and for what? At the 3.0 Leaders Innovation & Investment Convergence Conference, we'll discuss these topics in depth with leaders who bring unparalleled expertise to Bradenton and Florida's Innovation Coast.

Conference organizer Sara Hand says, “The new rules of economic development continue to evolve and operating in silos is no longer a viable option. The 3.0 Leaders Innovation & Investment Convergence Conference gives civic, business, and investment leaders a tailored event to encourage the exchange and expansion of ideas.”

Powerful ideas that include building new Smart Cities and retrofitting existing ones continue to define the trajectory of Smart Growth. Innovation districts are either underway or under consideration across Florida, North America, and globally. Citizens demand an environment and atmosphere of collaboration that empowers their them to live, work and play with sustainability and with modern amenities.

Conference registration is limited to the capacity of the Manatee Performing Arts Center, and ticket information can be found at

About The Conference: Organized by Bradenton-based Spark Growth, the conference will take place on February 22-23, 2017 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center.

Among the 2017 featured speakers will be Kaushal Chokshi, President Scaale Group and Founder Cross Border Angels, David S. Ricketts Innovator, Scholar, Harvard Innovation Fellow, Heather Holst-Knudsen, CEO & Founder, KidBacker Foundation for Entrepreneurship & Hatchpad, Ashwin Sanzgiri, VP Scaale Group Global Operations: Capital, Sales & Advisory, Sandy Carter, Former Fortune 25 Business Executive Leader – Cloud, Digital, Social and IoT, Dr. Jeff Bordon, Chief Innovation Officer at Saint Leo University, Ron Klein, Strategic Advisor, Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Inventor known as The Grandfather of Possibilities, Kevin Burgoyne, President Florida Venture Forum, Professor Gordon Sanson, Emeritus Professor Monash University, Melbourne, Australia & Associate Vice President for Teaching and Learning Innovation at Saint Leo University, Jorge Varela, Entrepreneur, Investor, & Economic Development Advisor, Gail Gillian-Bain, President, Food Business Incubation International (FBII), Peter Righi, Global Director – Center for Entrepreneurship & Executive Development (CEED), Bonny Moellenbrock, Executive Director Investors’ Circle, Davis Graham, Educational Technology Consultant Scheller Teacher Education Program (Prof. Eric Klopfer, Director) MIT, and others to be announced on the website.

2016 speakers included David S. Ricketts, Harvard Innovation Fellow; Glenn Wintrich,  Innovation Leader at Dell; Jonathan Fleece, Health Care Attorney; Vic Ahmed, Founder & CEO of Innovation Pavilion; David Houle, futurist; Dr. Jeff Bordon, Chief Innovation Officer at Saint Leo University; Neil Beckingham, Director of Sustainability at The Mosaic Corporation.

2017 Conference sponsors include Microsoft, Florida Venture Forum, Clear Idea Labs, Clear Idea Labs, Manasota SCORE, City of Northport, KidBacker Foundation, Cross Border Angels, Myakka Research Group, Manatee County, City of Bradenton, Scaale Group, Innovation Pavilion, Saint Leo University, Sun Hydraulics, Strategic Marketing Arts, Suncoast Gems, and others to be announced.

About Spark Growth: Spark Growth, a 2016 Knight Cities Challenge finalist, is a partnership of the community and business development work of Stan Schultes and Sara Hand - social and civic entrepreneurs who are long-time community builders throughout Florida. Spark Growth delivers leadership & strategic collaborative development across organizational boundaries through thought leadership, by experience design, and for future readiness. Stan and Sara are also co-founders of BarCamp Sarasota-Bradenton and DaVinci's Faire.

For Further Information: Stan Schultes, (941) 877-1599  (