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Philanthropic Think Tank
IMPACT FORUM: 90 Seconds to a Better Tampa Bay

Joanne Weiland, founder of LinktoEXPERT was among the 120 people who braved the evening thunderstorm July 31st to participate in the Think Tank at Florida Next’s Tampa Impact Forum. It was a great night and we heard many interesting pitches on how to improve our community in Tampa.

We listened to over a dozen 90-second pitches on ways to make the Tampa Bay area a more desirable place to live, work, and play.

The quick-fire pitches, part of the invitation-only event, took on a Shark Tank feel, but with a friendly audience serving as judges. Fourteen people made pitches and the crowd voted on their top three favorites. These three ideas will receive organizational support from Florida NEXT:

  • Public relations owner Keisha Pickett suggested a "Sunday Sounds" event along downtown Tampa's waterfront. Her idea, which calls for a festival atmosphere featuring local bands, received the top number of votes.
  • Second place was an idea by Tampa attorney Tyler Cathey, who wanted to create a "Culture of Philanthropy" in the Tampa Bay area by establishing a way of tracking charitable giving by young professionals.
  • Two ideas tied for the third highest number of votes and the participants who pitched them enthusiastically agreed to merge their ideas. Ryan Iacovacci, a farm-to-restaurant distributor, wanted to plant fruit trees on all vacant lots throughout the city. Pastor Danny Bennett asked for ways to help the homeless. They agreed to hire the homeless to plant the trees while also providing them with sustenance.

Florida NEXT plans to hold similar Impact Forums in other cities across the state, including Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Miami, and Sarasota.

Great job Alex Sink, Founder and Ned Pope, President of Florida Next!

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