Innovation Hub USA

Winston Consulting Group – 2018 Mentor of the Year Scott Winston

RFM_Apr 12 2018 Tampa Bay Wave - Winston Consulting Group


RFM_Apr 12 2018 Tampa Bay Wave - Winston Consulting Group
RFM_Apr 12 2018 Tampa Bay Wave - Winston Consulting Group

Since arriving in Tampa Scott Winston has been actively engaged with the Tampa Bay Wave helping to mentor and advise businesses. Scott is an entrepreneur, visionary leader, and co-founder of an International Business Ecosystem Incubator.

Making The Move To Tampa Becoming a Part of the Ecosystem
Scott, his wife Jackie and their three son’s Zach, Alex and Jack moved from Seattle Washington in late 2016 after living in the Seattle area for 13 years. Following a family vacation to Florida in July 2016 to visit Jackie’s Dad who lives in The Villages, Scott and his family decided to move to Tampa. In early August 2016, Jackie and the three boys were on a Red Eye to Tampa, so the boys could start school. It took Scott until January 2017 to join the family full time in Tampa.

A Chicago native, Scott spent the earlier part of his career working for Motorola in the early days of the mobile industry, moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers focused on M&A and post-merger integration followed by working for Accenture in their Venture Launch group. Scott relocated to Seattle Washington in 2004 to launch a Six Sigma program and run Customer Research for Washington Mutual’s Retail Distribution Network that grew from 1,650 retail store locations to over 2,150 stores, with 24,000 employees. During his time at Washington Mutual Scott deployed Six Sigma across the Retail Bank, training over 5,000 employees in Six Sigma and launched several innovative programs including introducing Life Cycle Mystery Shopping to the Banking Industry, spearheading programs to eliminate paper from bank branch processes and helped to stream line processes across the bank.

Teaching Cambodia - Winston Consulting Group

After leaving Washington Mutual Scott launched Winston Consulting Group where he provides strategic business advisory to fortune 100 companies and runs transformation programs for companies.

Scott has advised some of the top companies in the world in turning around their operations, growing their business and addressing organization and growth challenges. Companies like Microsoft, Alcoa, Crown Castle, US West, Bell Atlantic, Bell South, McDonald’s, Motorola, and The Reynolds Metal Company have been his clients.

Winston Consulting Group

“The Tampa Bay Wave’s mentor network is one of our greatest assets and benefits to our companies. We are fortunate to have many entrepreneurs who have successfully sold their companies as well as C-Level executives actively mentoring our companies. The Bob Francis Mentor of the Year award goes to someone who has unselfishly given an incredible amount of time and talents mentoring Tampa Bay Wave member companies and embodies servant leadership.

We couldn’t be more proud of the 2018 recipient, Scott Winston, and how much he has served the Wave and our companies this year. Scott is also a member of our Accelerator & Mentor Relations Committee, he Chaired our Accelerator Scalability Study, is a member of our Friends of Wave giving program and has hosted several strategic planning and sales training sessions for companies. He modeled the way for our Mentor Network this year and we look forward to his continued impact on the Wave for years to come”

Rich Heruska, Interim Accelerator Director, Tampa Bay WaVE

winston - Winston Consulting Group
Winston Consulting Group team photo
Pitch_Night - Winston Consulting Group

Since 2011 Scott has served on the Advisory Board of Educational Business Strategies (EBS) an educational 501c3 based out of Seattle that provides practical business teaching to entrepreneurs, business owners and students in 15 countries in developing nations in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South America.

In 2013 Scott Co-Founded Business Impact Networks (BIN), an International Business Ecosystem Incubator and Consultancy. BIN partners and grows locally focused networks of leaders and companies who collaborate to build healthy sustainable communities across the globe. BIN has worked with the government of Iraq to revive agriculture in the region.

Passion for Entrepreneurs
Scott has a passion for entrepreneurs and helping them drive growth in their businesses. Over the last 12 years, Scott had the opportunity to consult, teach and train Business Owners and Entrepreneurs of small and growing companies in The United States and Canada, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Scott is an entrepreneur, investor, mentor and business advisor dedicated to growing the business ecosystems in the Tampa Bay region and around the world. Learn more about Scott and the Winston Consulting Group at and connect with Scott on LinkedIn:

Award - Winston Consulting Group
Winston Consulting Group logo

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Florida Funders – Sunshine State to Startup State

Florida Funders group
Florida Funders logo - Tom Wallace
Florida Funders group


Florida Funders, founded in 2013, is a hybrid a venture capital fund and crowd-funding platform that invests in early-stage technology companies in Florida.

The firm is led by an experienced team of serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and experienced angel investors with a proven track record of successful exits and a shared passion for growing the next generation of Florida tech companies.

Working with individual investors, Florida Funders creates special investment vehicles as an LLC to represent the investors once the investment minimum has been reached. Florida Funders sees a large number of deals per month and puts them through a rigorous vetting process to find the very
best companies to invest in.

Post-funding, the firm treats its portfolio companies as partners, providing value-added resources to help their businesses grow. The firm uses its partners, their networks, and its investors to provide coaching, industry advice, and introductions to potential customers as well as later-stage venture capital firms. These resources give start-ups the best chance to succeed at building a break-out technology company.


Florida Funders has drastically expanded their outreach over the last year by partnering with key organizations throughout Florida. Florida Funders announced a joint venture with announces a joint venture with Florida Angel NEXUS, an angel investment group. Florida Angel NEXUS is a statewide network of accredited angel investors, funds, and family offices focused on investing in early-state high-growth ventures.

In addition, Florida Funders was selected by the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research to provide growth to emerging technology companies in Florida. The portfolio from the Institute for Commercialization of Florida Technology provides Florida Funders with a $22 million-dollar portfolio and 64 Florida-based technology companies to grow and create value for the State of Florida and Florida Funders stakeholders.

Florida Funders Talk


Within the last year Florida Funders has invested $5.7M into 8 exciting early stage technology companies. Florida Funders has completed investments in emerging Florida startups, including PICKUP, Peerfit, Homee, RepScrubs and ClassWallet.

Florida Funders completed a $1.22 million-dollar investment in PICKUP, an agile last mile delivery platform for large or heavy retail product that features Good Guys – a trusted network of military veterans, first responders and handy professionals. With Florida Funders investment, PICKUP announces plans to continue expansion.

Additionally, Florida Funders announced two follow-up investments, total totaling $575k, in Peerfit , a Tampa-based health technology company that provides a digital platform for employers to offer employees health and fitness benefits.

Florida Funders - booth

Florida Funders completed a $1 million-dollar follow on investment in Homee, an on-demand mobile application responsible for connecting customers with local service providers. Homee provides homeowners, property managers, offices, restaurants, hotels and more with access to handymen, electrical, HVAC, plumbing service providers through the Apple and Android application.

Florida Funders announced a $1.1 million-dollar investment in RepScrubs, a Sanford, Florida-based smart scrub solution for modern medical facilities. RepScrubs provides a vending machine system that distributes disposable scrubs for medical device representatives inside of hospitals to create a more sterile solution for healthcare.

Lastly, Florida Funders invested $735,000 in Miami-based ClassWallet, a highly practical and powerful web-based spend management tool especially designed for the vast educational market. More than 2,000 schools nationwide currently use ClassWallet to automate processes for transactions for over 63,000 teachers and principals.

PICKUP, Peerfit, Homee, RepScrubs and ClassWallet are just five of many key investments Florida Funders has completed within the last year as they continue to fulfill their mission of turning the ‘Sunshine State’ into the ‘Startup State’. Florida Funders will continue to partner with new organizations and invest in growing startups throughout the upcoming year, meanwhile, growing the economy in the state of Florida.

1311 North Westshore Blvd, Suite 101 Tampa, Florida 33607
Phone: 813-775-6990
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Robin Hood Ventures – assist entrepreneurs & provide quality investment

Robin Hood Ventures logo



Robin Hood Ventures - ChargeItSpot
Robin Hood Ventures - Tassl


Robin Hood Ventures funds ventures in enterprise software, physical sciences, biotech and healthcare, and financial technology. Our mission is two-fold: to assist entrepreneurs and early-stage growth companies by serving as a key source of funding, mentorship, strategic advice, and educational resources and to provide quality early-stage investment opportunities for accredited angel investors.


Founded in 1999, Robin Hood Ventures has invested in 70+ early-stage, high-growth startups en route to building great companies. Our initial investments generally range from $250,000 to $500,000 and we syndicate with venture capitalists, institutions, and other angels in our network. We will generally invest up to $1M over the lifetime of a company. We invest as a single entity in businesses we know and understand, in a way that gets deals done. We invest in companies in which our expertise adds value and where we can make a difference in building great companies.

We are passionate about using our expertise to establish prominent enterprises. Our members boast a wealth of experience in a range of industries from IT to financial services to healthcare, and they are able to leverage their knowledge and networks to add real value to our portfolio companies. Members play an active role in every stage of the investment process, from networking with companies to screening and due diligence to identify the best opportunities for finding ways to add value to our portfolio companies. You will often see our members attending venture competitions, mentoring university students, leading informative panels on funding, on selection committees for funding organizations and competitions, and participating in monthly office hours.

Robin Hood Ventures - Hope Lodge Volunteer Event_LoanLogics
Robin Hood Ventures - Wash-Cycle-Laudry-header-pic
Robin Hood Ventures - GRP Pharma

Offering much more than financing, we mentor and coach the entrepreneurs in whom we invest, serve on their boards, provide contacts and assist with team building, strategic planning and financing.

By providing capital, mentoring, expertise and connections with angels, institutions and VC’s in its expansive network, Robin Hood Ventures has become a leading player in the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Housed in Philadelphia’s University City Science Center, a mission-driven nonprofit organization that helps innovators and entrepreneurs bring world-changing technologies to market, Robin Hood Ventures is always actively looking for companies that are in the early stages where funding will help them reach the “next level”.


Year started: 1999
Number of investments since 1999: 70
Number of current members: 50

Robin Hood Ventures logo


SeventySix Capital – Funding for Game Changers

SeventySix Capital - Wayne Kimmel event
SeventySix Capital - Wayne Kimmel event
SeventySix Capital - logo



SeventySix Capital is a sports tech venture capital company led by Wayne Kimmel, Jon Powell and MLB superstar, Ryan Howard. The fund invests in passionate, smart and nice entrepreneurs who are launching game-changing tech startups in the sports, health and retail industries.

Since the company’s inception back in 1999 by Kimmel, the team held steadfast on certain philosophical principles on how and on whom the company’s funding would be spent.

“Our commitment to “smart and nice” is more than a philosophy, it’s a standard for how and where we invest ourselves and our capital: support good people with great ideas, contribute to business and the community and mentor the next generation of people hungry to change the world.”

seventysix capital - john fazio, ryan howard, wayne kimmel
seventysix capital - Six Degrees of Wayne Kimmel
seventysix capital - Hashtag Sports Interview
SeventySix Capital - Startup + Health Festival 2018


SeventySix Capital is building the go-to venture capital platform for executives, influencers, and professional athletes, offering unique opportunities for them to invest in sports tech startups, and for entrepreneurs to access the financial and social capital that they have to offer.

SeventySix Capital’s Athlete Venture Group allows players to invest, learn, and work directly with top sports tech startups and entrepreneurs. The firm aims to bridge the gap between athletes, entrepreneurs, and investors by creating opportunities for athletes to become tech investors and for entrepreneurs to access the financial and social capital that professional athletes have to offer. Athlete Venture Group members, including Ryan Howard, DeMarco Murray, Ralph Sampson and Brian Westbrook, work hands-on with SeventySix Capital’s portfolio companies in esports, sports betting, data collection, data analytics, media and more.

Additionally, SeventySix Capital has a strategic partnership with Rubicon Talent, a sports marketing and talent agency based in New York City with a wide range of clients including NFL and NBA stars, Hall of Famers, MVPs, Heisman Trophy winners, Olympic icons, media personalities, and celebrity chefs.


SeventySix Capital is not only innovative in its ventures but also kind as they focus on giving back. As such, the company plays an active role in entrepreneurial and non profit organizations around the world. Inside the company’s walls, with academic partnerships and alongside non profit organizations they build communities, transform industries and makes lives better.

Being a game changer is easy with SeventySix Capital, as they merge athletes with entrepreneurs and create tech company start-ups with a great advantage.

Phone: 610-854-2821
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TradeBanc – Brings Corporate Trade to a Higher Standard

TradeBanc - Profitability
TradeBanc- logo-wht


Companies enjoy the benefits of Corporate Trade to receive full value for underperforming or troubled assets, which greatly enhances liquidity and bottom line profitability.

Corporate Trade enables new possibilities in industries as diverse as venture capital, health care, supply chain, hospitality, advertising, media, and retail, as well as many others. It facilitates new forms of tradable assets that make it possible to monetize illiquid assets.

Underperforming assets such as equity, real estate, excess hotel room inventory, empty seats in restaurants and unsold perishable media is sold for AltCurrency. The AltCurrency is used just like cash towards payment for purchasing and capital expenses at the same pricing as if it was an all
cash transaction, traded for other cryptocurrency, or even converted to cash.

TradeBanc brings corporate trade to a higher standard by combining reciprocal trade expertise with financial transaction modeling and blockchain technology to expand liquidity options for companies that desire to monetize challenged assets and excess capacity.

TradeBanc leverages the vast domain expertise of its founders to utilize AltCurrency Tokens for the acquisition of assets pursuant to Corporate Trade smart contracts. The end result provides liquidity for challenged assets and excess capacity to transform it into new sources of revenue that is utilized towards purchasing.


The History of Corporate Trade

Large companies, municipalities and governments trade products and services through accounts receivable trading, relying on a corporate trade company to purchase inventory offered for sale with trade credits and subsequently to fulfill the credits by providing products and services requested by the seller. The corporate trade company acts as a principal in the barter transaction as buyer and seller and becomes the purchasing agent for clients to spend their trade credit.

Corporate trade as it is practiced today originated in the late 1960’s. At that time, corporate trade was primarily a financial tool – a way for companies with excess or obsolete inventories to recover costs and receive full wholesale value for inventory. Today, corporate trade remains a profitable

alternative to markdowns or liquidation and provides a valuable way to expand a company’s advertising and marketing budget using the leverage of a barter transaction. Corporate trade also facilitates foreign trade with countries that have goods and services to exchange but lack hard currency.

Corporate trade is practiced in transactions such as: excess unsold capacity, unfilled trucking on return trips, idle plant equipment, excess inventory, years on a lease when a company moves, and even equity in a firm or early stage company. Privately held companies can sell restricted stock for trade credit to offset marketing costs that will help build name recognition and market share, or to purchase technology development, consulting or hard assets.

TradeBanc - Profitability

The Evolution of Corporate Trade

TradeBanc’s founders have a history of being early adopters of technology and are expanding the future of corporate trade utilizing blockchain. While retail trade exchanges have made significant strides in minimizing the problems associated with direct trading, TradeBanc is improving transactions and liquidity utilizing automation, transparency, and smart contracts.

The key to a successful asset or capacity remarketing transaction is scale: a well-defined distribution channel and a large number of strategic vendors and trading partners. TradeBanc addresses all industry market sectors, and assists clients with marketing strategy, business process implementation and fulfillment.

Building a better tomorrow by leveraging 60+ years of combined Reciprocal Trade experience, TradeBanc is well positioned to advance corporate trade to a higher level of success for its trading partners. By assisting corporate partners, companies and governments with leadership in trading, commerce and payment platforms to improve commerce, TradeBanc with its native AltCurrency (ALTC) utility token enhances transparency, reduces fees, and brings new advantages to participating in corporate trade.

TradeBanc’s online proprietary web enabled transactional software, intellectual assets, global infrastructure, core relationships, business model and industry domain expertise are available to be integrated into corporate and financial sectors throughout the world.

435 12th Street W, Bradenton, FL 34205, USA
Phone: 888-224-9101

Brinker Capital – Great Ideas + Strong Discipline = Better Outcomes

Brinker Capital - Charles and Noreen



Brinker Capital meeting
Brinker Capital - Bloomberg_Terminal

In 1987, Chuck Widger started Brinker Capital on the front porch of his home on Brinker Road in Barrington Hills, Illinois, as a way to bring institutional-quality investment solutions to retail investors. Acting on his idea, Chuck believed that meaningful diversification, over time, helps keep investors invested, and ultimately reach their goals. Today, we remain focused on the evolving needs of investors and have grown to over 160 professionals responsible for $22.9 billion in assets under management.*

For over 30 years, we’ve believed that investing is more than beating benchmarks and indices; investing is personal and should be focused on investor returns, not investment returns. We offer a range of institutional-quality solutions built on our long-standing multi-asset class investment philosophy and wealth management experience. Through our time-tested, disciplined investment process, we focus on asset allocation, manager selection, and portfolio construction to deliver better outcomes for investors. From wealth accumulation to income strategies to supplementing income, we offer a series of portfolios designed to help investors achieve their goals. Our process is continually evolving, enabling our team of investment professionals to embrace new ideas around strategies, asset classes, and refine our multi-asset class construct.

When Brinker Capital was established, Chuck wanted to create an organization that embraced the principles he saw as common threads among successful companies. So, he established a company that not only emphasized the importance of client relationships, but also as a workplace that embraced the ideas of diversity and family. And, today, under the leadership of Noreen D. Beaman, Chief Executive Officer, the company’s core values have evolved to reflect our authentic culture that supports the needs of the workforce and clients we serve.

Brinker Capital - Charles and Noreen
Brinker Capital

Brinker Capital’s Core Values

People first: everything we do is in support of improving the lives of our investors, financial advisors, partners, employees, and community. Independent: we value our independence and take it into consideration when making decisions.

Entrepreneurial spirit: we embrace critical questioning and innovation to continually improve our investment solutions, technology, and service. Service driven: we are authentic, accountable, and dedicated to the long-term success of everyone we serve.

Focused on outcomes: we have an unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional investment experiences.

Brinker Capital - Mobile app
For hypothetical and illustrative purposes only.

Our core values have guided our work with financial advisors and their clients to provide the highest quality investment manager due diligence, asset allocation, portfolio construction, and client communication services. We believe for individuals, character is destiny.And, for organizations, culture is destiny.

Brinker Capital Logo

1055 Westlakes Drive, Suite 250
Berwyn, PA 19312

Connect with us
twitter: @BrinkerCapital | linkedin | facebook

Brinker Capital Inc., a registered investment advisor.

*As of September 30, 2018

Seedfunders – Investing in Tomorrow’s Technology Today

Seedfunders- david chitester
SEEDFUNDERS - Logo-Final-Full-Color



Seedfunders - IrvCohen-Founding Member
Irv Cohen - Founding Member
Seedfunders- david chitester
David Chitester - Founding Member

Clearly, startup activity in Florida has grown significantly, yet we still lag behind other States in producing venture capital ready companies. This is largely due to an inhospitable and disjointed seed and early stage funding environment, a problem which Seedfunders was created to correct.

Led by a group of leading visionaries, Seedfunders is paving the way for technology startups throughout the State. Seedfunders’ team of experienced entrepreneurs, talented financial professionals and seasoned industry executives, provides not only funding, but connections, mentoring and guidance for early stage companies.

Additionally, in order to strengthen their mutual commitment to bridge the seed to early stage funding gap and invest in high potential technology startups in Florida, Seedfunders and the Adrenaline Venture Fund of Naples recently formed a strategic partnership. By combining financial, technological and intellectual resources, the firms are the preeminent funding source for concept stage companies in the State.

Founded less than a year ago, Seedfunders has already gained traction by adding several exciting young companies to its portfolio. They represent a broad range of industries, from health insurance, to senior living, to weather reporting, all based on a strong technology component. Dealflow continues to be impressive, with numerous promising concepts under consideration for funding.

With a laser focus on pre-revenue technology startups, backed by a group of equity partners committed to creating successful outcomes, Seedfunders is changing not only the investment landscape in Florida but the State’s profile. Our mission is to unleash hundreds of new technology companies and establish Florida as a capital of innovation in the United States.

Ruth Ross - Seedfunders
Ruth Ross - Partner
Seedfunders - Joe
Joe Hamilton - Partner
Seedfunders - Andy Charles - Partner
Andy Charles - Partner

Email: | Phone: 813-335-0322 |

Ark Applications – Investing in Great Companies

ARK Applications Team


ARK Applications Team


Ark Applications is a family office located in Tampa, Florida that is focused on private equity investment, consulting, and community engagement.. We view ourselves differently that most family offices in that not only do we provide funding, but we also offer our collective garnered experience to our partners in the form of “mentorship capital” to be deployed into our portfolio companies and partnerships to help them become more successful. We feel that it provides a more successful outcome and maximizes the personal growth the founders and their teams’ experience. Our expertise can provide insight to the companies and help with the typical challenges that occur during the entrepreneurial journey. We love enabling other people be successful, and get satisfaction in being the catalyst to their success.

Our focus is investing in great companies within the greater Tampa region and positively impacting their trajectory, which has been evident with Peerfit, Script and RAS Learning.


The Company was founded by Daniel Greco, Justin Smith, and Bob Smith, during a dinnertime discussion about wanting to get involved in helping businesses become more successful. All three of the founders had a very different areas of experience in business, and each could add something unique to our mentorship recipe.

Justin Smith’s background is in marketing/ branding/ software development and project management.

Bob Smith started his own business and grew it from the ground up, which provided him 40 years’ experience running a company.

Daniel Greco’s experience in operations, supply chain, and business strategy provided greater opportunity to ensure operational efficiency.

Ark applications - Headshots
ARk Applications D Greco II
Daniel Greco II, MBA - Managing Director
ARK applications J Smith
Justin Smith, MBA - Managing Director
Ark Applications - Bob Smith
R. Bob Smith, III PhD. - Managing Director

The team wanted to use their collective abilities to help others and maximize the outcome of their investment in companies that had significant potential.

Ark Applications viewpoint of providing mentorship to the founders, as well as seeing the investment as a partnership, is a unique value proposition to the companies we work with. In addition, on our consulting side of the business, we treat it as a partnership, where our goal is to see them as successful as possible, even if it means providing insight or work outside of the scope of what we were hired for. We have had consulting agreements where we notice other areas where improvements can be made and will include those in our report because above all we want to see them succeed. 

We treat everyone with whom we do business as an extension of our family. We feel it is important to love our work and what we do, and want to ensure that we are excited every day to work on the projects in which we are involved. It’s all about creating meaningful partnerships with the people we work with.

Ark Applications has made strategic investments in Tampa based companies and is proud to be a contributor to the local ecosystem. Overall we are very happy with our trajectory and have had the opportunity to work with many of the local startups, whether through mentorship or networking.

CEA Group – 45 Years of Investment Banking & Private Equity

CEA Group - IB Team Combined
cea group logo
CEA Group - IB Team Combined


CEA Group, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is celebrating its 45th year of capital markets advisory and investment success. The boutique firm has withstood the test of time, by providing clever and well-planned services to complete transactions during economic expansions and contractions.

CEA Group has continued to evolve with the times, addressing needs and providing advisory services through many types of transactions. Additionally, it has added its institutional real estate investment funds to the family, the Atlantic American Opportunities Funds.

As opportunities arose in the advisory field, CEA grew and expanded to ultimately become a respected national and international investment bank. The transaction services transcended many industries, including healthcare, infrastructure, business services and cybersecurity. CEA’s corporate headquarters has been a cornerstone on the 33rd floor of the Bank of America building in downtown Tampa since 1988. Additional office locations include New York and London, with representatives located in New Orleans, Dallas, Philadelphia and Singapore.

CEA Group focuses on current emerging markets and innovative, diversified industries. By combining the execution ability of a reputable and long- standing financial firm along with its knowledge and expertise in merger/ acquisition strategies, capital markets transaction financing, strategic advisory and related services, the firm has triumphed over the “peaks and valleys” of the cyclical financial industry.

CEA’s reputation and ability to complete transactions speak for themselves. The firm has completed over 900 transactions valued at approximately $45 billion. The experienced professionals are laser-focused as industry changes emerge with the team utilizing the vast skills, expertise, resources and varied talents of each of its professionals.

 The firm continues the legacy of its founding principals, with its sustaining ability to address the capital market needs of businesses globally.

Atlantic American Partners’ funds are managed by Gar Lippincott, Robert Moreyra, Brad Snyder and Ming Jung. The funds traditionally invest in new construction opportunities, including multi-family housing, student housing and hotels. The funds are dedicated to foreign investors participating in the US Investor Visa program (EB-5). To date, Atlantic American Partners has invested approximately $300mm of EB-5 money into 28 development projects, totaling approximately $1.2 billion in the aggregate with 100% approval in meeting the EB-5 visa requirements.

For the past four-and-a-half decades, CEA Group has worked with heads of state, captains of industry and founder-based firms to achieve the desired results for the parties involved.

J. Patrick “Rick” Michaels, Jr. - CEA Group

J. Patrick “Rick” Michaels, Jr.

Mr. Michaels is a financial giant and pioneer in the cable industry, founding Communications Equity Associates (CEA Group) in 1973. CEA Group focused primarily on private equity investments in media, entertainment and telecommunications industries. Mr. Michaels continues to be an active participant in all facets of the firm he founded and offers insight and direction, along with a global collection of top ranking relationships.

101 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 3300 | Tampa, FL 33602 | Phone: 813-226-8844
To learn more about our firm, please visit our website at
CEA Atlantic Advisors, LLC Member FINRA/SIPC

Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

Community Foundation of Tampa Bay - Builder
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay logo


Community Foundation of Tampa Bay - Builder

Since the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay was founded in 1990, we’ve awarded more than $210 million in grants in our community – covering Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties. The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay works to build a better community through creative and innovative philanthropy, vision and leadership. Some of the ways that we help provide opportunities for everyone in our region to prosper and thrive include:

• Bring together leaders and resources for positive change.

• Help donors meet their charitable goals and make inspired gifts.

• Create efficient and effective strategies for gifts to have a lasting impact.

• Support the work of nonprofits by awarding grants and providing endowment management and activities.

• Leverage and grow charitable gifts.

We’re continuously innovating in order to have a lasting impact on our region, and we work closely with local leaders to stay on top of emerging issues and potential solutions. For example, we’ve created a Big Idea Grant to fund creative projects with impact in our community and joined Social Venture Partners in presenting its Fast Pitch Competition to help local nonprofits create social enterprises.

Second Chance Tiny House Manufacturing Company - Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

Second Chance Tiny House Manufacturing Company

THE NEED: Ex-offenders need training for jobs that pay more than minimum wage to support their families. Meanwhile, construction companies need skilled labor.

THE OPPORTUNITY: Tiny houses are the next big thing in housing. They provide options for affordable housing for the homeless, elderly and others who may be living in substandard homes. The Community Foundation awarded $50,000 to Pinellas Exoffender Re-entry Coalition (PERC) for its Second Chance Tiny House Manufacturing Company. The 2017 Big Idea Grant focused on social enterprises, which help nonprofits build a sustainable revenue stream.

THE RESULT: A year later, PERC has agreements with the city of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County and others for tiny houses. The first tiny houses will go to homeless veterans.

Second Chance Tiny House Manufacturing Company - Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay worked with six other local nonprofits to set up the Tampa Bay Disaster Relief Fund before Hurricane Irma in 2017
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay worked with six other local nonprofits to set up the Tampa Bay Disaster Relief Fund before Hurricane Irma in 2017 to allow it to provide immediate support to local nonprofits that would aid in local relief and recovery efforts. After the hurricane, ABC Action News hosted a telethon that raised $45,000 for the fund and local relief efforts.
ABC Action News - Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay telethon

Fast Pitch Tampa Bay

THE NEED: Many nonprofits struggle with sustainable funding.

THE OPPORTUNITY: In 2017, the Community Foundation joined forces with Social Venture Partners to help nonprofits develop social enterprise ideas and strategies with Fast Pitch Tampa Bay. The Fast Pitch program includes a free two-month training and mentoring program led by local experts and culminates in a Shark Tank-style pitch night. The winner receives thousands for their social enterprise. ECHO of Brandon, a nonprofit working to end hunger in southeastern Hillsborough County, won the 2017 Fast Pitch Competition. Its idea was ECHO Handmade where ECHO’s clients turn used clothing donations into accessories like purses, key chains, and jewelry. The accessories are sold online and through local retailers.

THE RESULT: ECHO Handmade’s sales increased approximately 400 percent between 2017 and 2018, thanks in large part to the grant seed money and the strategic financial plan developed throughout the Fast Pitch program.

Community Foundation of Tampa Bay - Fast Pitch 2
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay Fast Pitch 5 - ECHO
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay Fast Pitch 3
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay Fast Pitch 4

4300 W Cypress St. Suite 700 | Tampa, Florida 33607
Phone: 813 – 282 – 1975 | Email:
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