Innovation Hub USA

Elevated Events – Different than most Event Planning Companies

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Elevated Events - group shot
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Elevated Events LLC is an award-winning event management company that creates meaningful, engaging, and flawless corporate events in the Tampa Bay area.

Elevated Events specializes in award galas, charitable fundraisers, conferences, luncheons, festive parties, trade shows, grand openings, and much more. We are different than most event planning companies. We like to ingrain ourselves into your team, learn exactly who you are and why you exist, ask the right questions and listen to the answers in order to truly understand what you are trying to achieve. You don’t just hire us to make a room look pretty or handle registrations. We want to be an extension of your company, help you reach your goals, and grow with you. We thrive on incorporating your brand and purpose into all aspects of your event. We are always thinking outside the box on how we can create a unique experience for your guests instead of just doing what has worked in the past.

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Kimberly Wander is the owner of Elevated Events and has over a decade of experience planning corporate events. She was born and raised in Tampa and loves this city. She began her career at the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (now called Tampa Bay Tech) and managed their events for 7 years. In April 2013, she was named the Association Event Planner of the Year by BizBash magazine. She was selected as the #8 Favorite Event Planner by the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Readers’ Choice Awards in 2015. Most recently, she was chosen by the editorial team at Connect Corporate for their prestigious “40 Under 40” list of top event professionals around the country under the age of forty.

Kimberly Wander - Elevated Events
Kimberly Wander, Owner & Event Planner

She was a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) from 2012-2017 which is an accreditation given by the Events Industry Council for having met high standards of proficiency in meeting management as demonstrated by substantial professional experience and superior examination performance. Mrs. Wander graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in marketing. She is the Secretary of the Board of Directors at the Westchase Charitable Foundation. She is passionate about giving back to the Tampa Bay community and volunteers regularly.

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Hays - Elevated Events

Clients include:

• ReliaQuest: IT cyber security firm
• Beat Nb: non-profit dedicated to finding a cure for neuroblastoma cancer in kids
• Hays: recruiting firm
• Tampa Bay Startup Week: five days of education, parties, and networking for entrepreneurs
• Caregiver Accelerator: 6-week program for founders in the caregiving industry to determine the viability of their idea or innovation
• Tampa Bay Woman of the Year: women compete for 8-weeks to win the title and raise the most money all in the name of charity
• Synapse Innovation Summit: two packed days of content, sessions, exhibitors, networking, making meaningful connections, and showcasing innovation in Florida.

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Phone: 813-967-5965
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OrlandoiX – the Intersection of Creativity and Immersive Technologies

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OrlandoiX team
OrlandoiX Gaming


OrlandoiX is the Southeast’s Largest Gathering of Creators in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Video Games, and Digital Arts. Open to professionals and consumers alike, OrlandoiX sits at the intersection of creativity and immersive technologies, bringing together creators, investors, influential brands, and tech enthusiasts for industry-leading keynotes, speaker presentations, interactive exhibits, gameplay, and networking.


Founded in 2014, by David C. Glass, OrlandoiX was created to promote Orlando as the hub for creativity and digital innovation, build industry connections and increase an investment pipeline.

OrlandoiX - Mixed-Reality-Expo

Orlando is the global center for the simulation industry and is also a hub for video game development, entertainment technologies, software design, 3D hardware, defense technology, and industry education. OrlandoiX has brought together both local and national leaders from these industries from brands such as Microsoft, HTC Vive, Coca-Cola, NFL, Unreal Engine, NBC Universal, and EA Sports.

OrlandoiX highlights include the expo where creators and influential brands can showcase their latest developments in video games, virtual reality, augmented reality, and digital arts. A speaker series with national thought leaders who share industry trends and best practices. Networking opportunities to connect peers and industry leaders. Gaming tournaments where gamers can show off their skills and compete for prizes.

Attendees include Game Developers, Virtual & Mixed Reality Developers, Digital Artists, Designers, Venture Capitalists, Sound & Audio Engineers, Students, Creative Directors, Digital Media Executives. Some attendees are seasoned experts – while others are just getting started.

OrlandoiX event Speakers
OrlandoiX Exhibit


OrlandoiX team is led by David Glass as executive producer, continuing his vision of highlighting digital innovation in the region. The production and media coordinators for OrlandoiX have helped to realize this vision, by executing the event each year.


With an average annual attendance of over 4,000, OrlandoiX is the Southeast’s largest event for creators in virtual reality, augmented reality, video game, and digital arts. The event has brought together tech industry leaders, digital creators, and investors from 27 states and 6 countries to Orlando. Collaborations with other organizations like Indienomicon, Orlando VR, and the Orlando Tech Association have brought about great networking opportunities for industry professionals in the region.

OrlandoiX Speaker

611 N. Wymore Road, Suite 218
Winter Park, Florida 32789
Phone: 321-622-2900






ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is a high energy K-12 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Manufacturing) showcase and FIRST Robotics Competition off-season event organized by Eureka! Factory, a Tampa company specializing in educational and creative event and program development. ROBOTICON is produced in collaboration with the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation, a non-profit educational organization, in partnership with the University of South Florida and Hillsborough County, Florida, with live event coverage by PLuGHiTz Live of Largo, Florida.

The mission of ROBOTICON is to increase public awareness of and engagement in the power of hands-on, mentor-driven youth engineering and robotics programs like FIRST, and to provide participating youth with a low stress, high-quality, competitive event with opportunities for skill building, networking, and college and career readiness experiences. The free event, which draws over 3,000 people each year, started in 2013 and had been held at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome Arena since 2016.

ROBOTICON Tampa Bay provides students and guests with an  opportunity to enjoy a full-scale FIRST Robotics Competition event featuring high school student built robots that weigh up to 120 lbs., as well as companion programs for youth in elementary through middle school. Guests can tour Team Pits to see team members working on their robots, and have a chance to talk to students. Visit the Innovation Fair to enjoy STEAM demos, vendors and organizations; learn about the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center (AMRoC) and about technical, industrial, and science careers and college opportunities.

• Participating competition teams become prepared for their new season.
• New scholarship providers and team sponsors are identified
• $60,000 – $80,000 is invested into the local economy as a result of the event each year, including hotel rooms, dining, shopping, and event production.

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ROBOTICON annually features:
• FIRST Robotics Competition off-season competition
• K-12 FIRST scrimmages and program workshops
• University of South Florida Engineering Showcase
• STEAM Fair with drones, industrial robotics and more
• Science & Tech workshops

ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is leveraging the private sector and the vast resources Tampa Bay already offers, to create a unique event that maximizes all our academic and business communities have to offer. Bringing industry leading experts from local businesses, startup accelerators, and the educational system together to share their talents, collaborate on ideas, and plan for the future with those who will be driving the future – students. Teams from around Tampa Bay, Florida, the nation and international teams are invited to join in the fun and learning each October in Tampa!

In 2019, ROBOTICON is also launching a new post-high school competitive robotics platform called NEXT, developed by the PLuGHiTz Corporation with Tampa Bay FIRST Alumni.

Roboticon supporters
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Contact: Steve Willingham –
Parent organization: Eureka! Factory ( in partnership
with the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (
ROBOTICON on FIRST Looks: 2017 Interviews:
ROBOTICON 2017 video from USF:
Twitter: RoboticonTampa
Facebook: RoboticonTampaBay


Et Cultura - Festival
Et Cultura - Festival



We paint murals on walls, make music and movies, craft new plays and develop new technologies. This town is full of artists and their inspiration. There isn’t just one form that defines St. Pete.

But, the newest event to hit the Sunshine City is on a mission to spotlight the creative and innovation culture coursing through our streets & bring the world to inspire, collaborate, and discover!

Et Cultura: a festival, a destination, a culture!
Where you can explore a macrocosm of innovative thinking, community
action, eclectic music, thought provoking films, and hand crafted wares, in acity rising to claim its future!

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Each November, Et Cultura crafts an event that focuses on 4 highly curated branches: Interactive + Music + Film +Art


Et Cultura has partnered with the Open Partnership Education Network (OPEN) to design a series of Themed interactive experiences that bring next level thought leaders and nationally recognized speakers to the festival. These Themes will provide the opportunity for our community here in St. Petersburg to connect with year round discussions that will engage, entertain, spur discussion and create an opportunity for fresh ideas, collaboration and action. 

EtC MUSIC rings out from several of St Pete’s Musical Landmarks including Jannus Live, The State Theatre and bars/music venues throughout downtown and up Central Ave with a combination of national, regional and local music touching almost every music genre over the 5 day event!

EtC FILM is a chance to discover new people, places and ideas brought to life by the imagination and dedication of the independent filmmakers. Programmed with growing global obsession with short films in mind, our festival is designed to take you on a journey while creating an inclusive environment where filmmakers and audiences can come together during post film discussions and Q&A sessions.

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Et Cultura - Live Music event

EtC ART pop ups of varying mediums including Projections Mapping, Photography, Graphic Arts and more are curated by St. Petersburg Arts and Culture businesses and feature not only local artists, but artists from across the country.

Find your journey through this collection of creativity and innovation to define your own Et Cultura!

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Dissatisfied with the status quo of audio visual services received for events they were managing in hotels and convention centers, DCE’s founders decided they could do the job better on their own. With no prior A/V production company experience, they applied professional strategic planning and execution skills and started investing in equipment and people. And one event at a time, DCE Productions began delighting meeting and event planners with technically sophisticated shows.

Today, DCE has produced some of the most spectacular events in the Tampa Bay region and has a hand in producing more than 450 events a year for hundreds of customers. According to CEO Paul Harris, their work begins months, or even years, before the event. “One of the key differentiators of DCE vs. the alternatives is our involvement in the planning process. The sooner we can start brainstorming and collaborating with our client’s event team, the more dynamic the end-product. We tend to cause our clients to raise their goals and elevate their game when it comes to events.”

DCE Productions is dedicated to developing, designing, planning and producing successful events for organizations across the country. 

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They pride themselves on helping companies and organizations communicate their message using technology in both live event environments, in creative video production projects, and with hybrid in-person / remote attendee events using the latest in live streaming and web conferencing. Their resources include the sharpest, technically savvy producers, videographers, video editors, graphic artists, event experience designers, technical directors, project managers, audio engineers, video engineers, lighting directors, IT specialists, audience response technicians, webcasting technicians and digital signage technicians. “We roll up our sleeves early and develop concepts that ensure memorable experiences for each events’ attendees,” said Harris.

A key to DCE’s formula is rooted in one of its founding tenents: Become a vital part of the customers’ event management team. Most AV companies serving live events begin by compiling a detailed list of equipment and seeing how fast they can inflate a number on the bottom line of a price quote. DCE approaches each project asking “What is the objective of this event?” By assuming an interest in the overall success of each event, they become accountable to their customers on a different level than in-house AV providers or mom-and-pop AV companies.

“It’s all about providing an event experience that motivates and inspires the audience while maintaining the integrity of the event,” added Harris.
Regardless of the scope of the event or the size of the audience, DCE applies its formula for success. From a meeting for 25 people to a keynote for 10,000. And based on overwhelmingly positive customer satisfaction, Tampa-based DCE Productions has clearly succeeded in re-inventing the live production business.


5415 West Sligh Ave., Suite 102
Tampa, Florida 33634
Phone: 813 606-4107
Twitter: @DCElive

ConnectGo – an event management platform aimed at making event attendee and presenter interaction for business purposes much more efficient.


Sam Altman, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Army Infantry Veteran and current MBA in Entrepreneurship candidate at the University of Tampa, along with civilian partner Tom Gaffney have been hard at work creating ConnectGO, an event management platform aimed at making event attendee and presenter interaction for business purposes much more efficient.

More importantly, Sam and Tom believe ConnectGo is a startup that highlights everything that is right, and exciting, about the Tampa Bay area startup ecosystem that has been building momentum over the last few years. 

First, Sam and Tom were able to meet at 1 Million Cups based in the Ybor City Entrepreneur Collaborative Center on August 31st, 2016 when Sam presented his original concept, and was in search of a technology partner that could help make it possible. Tom, with an extensive technology background, had been devising a way to make business networking more efficient, and thanks to 1 Million Cups, they were able to meet, combine concepts, and rapidly develop the platform to where it is today.

Secondly, Sam and Tom were lucky enough to be accepted into the second cohort of the Veterans Florida Entrepreneur Program (VFEP) presented through Hillsborough County Community College and Operation Startup. This class, along with the MBA Entrepreneurship program at University of Tampa, helped take ConnectGO to the next level. Perhaps most importantly, these programs have been instrumental in helping ConnectGO get to know the resources and warm business climate of the Tampa Bay area. Sam will be presenting ConnectGO’s story once again to 1 Million Cups in July 2017, and hopes to inspire the community to embrace ConnectGO as a startup they helped build in less than 1 year.

Tom Gaffney. Co Founder
Chief Technology Officer

ConnectGo - Sam Altman and Tom Gaffney

Sam Altman, Co Founder
University of Tampa, MBA

To learn more about ConnectGO, and to join the ConnectGO story, visit us:
University of Tampa Lowth Entrepreneurship Center
401 East Kennedy, Tampa, FL 33602
Operation Startup, 2101 East Palm Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: (703) 624 1599 | | |