Innovation Hub USA

Brian Kornfeld Headshot

"BUILDING THE TAMPA BAY INNOVATION COMMUNITY, ONE CONNECTION AT A TIME"

BRIAN KORNFELD

“I have built my network and connections under the single hypothesis of offering value and asking for nothing in return.”

Over the two years with Synapse, I have been asked time and time again about my story: where I came from and why nobody knew my name. While the long answer involves transitioning from life as a rocket scientist to a business leader, the heart of the story comes back to the value of connections I’ve made.

Why does connectivity matter? Simply, connectivity creates opportunities, which breeds success. The more you can give and receive help and support, the less you are required to rely on serendipity and hope. This puts you in the driver’s seat for opportunity. This matters to our entire community as we continue to hear the narrative in the Tampa Bay region that connectivity is challenging and holding us back from becoming a powerhouse innovation ecosystem. There are actions that we all can take to help connect each other which in turn will provide the necessary connectivity for Tampa Bay to continue its upward innovation trajectory.

This information is not top secret and you don’t need a security clearance, I can share my successful path and hope it helps you along yours.

I have built my network and connections under the single hypothesis of offering value and asking for nothing in return. While this approach may seem backwards, I find it to be the best path to success. By helping others without expectations, people are more apt to trust my intentions. There are no subliminal motivations or desires in my “why” – but to keep a strong focus on helping our community grow successfully.

There are many other schools of thought here, none of which are wrong. Often, people will value numbers in networking over depth and personal relationships. Others will try to find a mutual exchange of value. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. Some people just take from others, tossing aside connections when the value is no longer present. Finally, there are the self-contained bunch, who prefer to work solo.

As more leaders step up in the Tampa Bay innovation community, let’s think about the bigger picture. Reassess your connections and ask yourself what you expect to get and what you expect to give. The more you give, the more valuable your connections and relationships become and the more you can grow as a leader. When you take that lead and set that example, you encourage others to do the same, thereby creating a more connected community and a stronger Tampa Bay.

I truly believe that if everyone in this community takes the unselfish approach: be the provider of value, we will see stronger leaders, greater connections, and a more unified ecosystem. With this approach, we will all drive more support and build wider networks. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that strong connections lead to success; but linking to one on Synapse Connect won’t hurt either.