Innovation Hub USA

Dr. Jacqueline Darna – Nomo Nausea

Dr. Jacqueline Darna inventor of NoMo Nausea bands

NOMO NAUSEA

DR. JACQUELINE DARNA

Dr. Jacqueline Darna inventor of NoMo Nausea bands

As a medical professional, Dr. Jacqueline Darna was aware of copious antiemetics. However, when they didn’t work after her surgery, she knew she needed to find an alternative relief. Inventing NoMo Nausea bands, not only allowed her to hold her sweet baby girl, but to help moms in the same position. Although perhaps initially difficult to encourage people to try something “untraditional”, NoMo bands have flourished. Clinical trials and hospital partnerships have expanded the reach of NoMo Nausea bands and their soothing power. Now with 5 product lines and products in 12 countries, Dr. Darna knows people are getting the help they need. People are not just imagining a day without nausea they are experiencing a full, adventurous and healthier life with NoMo Bands.

Vision Statement
I was in the hospital having my second child. The resulting joys of childbirth took a turn when my emergency C-section left me sick, nauseated and vomiting for three days. With no relief from traditional medication, I tried aromatherapy and acupressure, which worked! But, my search for a similar product combining these two powerfully soothing agents turned up empty. So, I created my own. After all, if it helped me, how many other people can it help?

NoMo Nausea Bands and other all-natural remedies will undoubtedly continue to develop a sense of open-mindedness, adventure and healthy living in the Tampa Bay Community. If people can imagine a healthier life, they can achieve so much more!

Open-mindedness
Tampa has a culture of trying new things, making it a beautiful breeding ground for entrepreneurs. From unique restaurants to water bikes,  open-mindedness is key. By being open to different possibilities, like all-natural remedies, people can experience their life to the fullest!

Adventure
Travelers come to Tampa from all over the world, whether by cruise, plane or car. Products that increase the fun during an adventure and take away motion sickness, like NoMo Bands, will certainly succeed here in Tampa.

Healthy Living
Everywhere parents and individuals worry about medicine’s side effects, dosages and timing, pregnant and breastfeeding moms especially! So, the proliferation of organic, all-natural and healthy lifestyles are sure to popularize these products. Tampa’s culture is the perfect prescription for increased access to all-natural, innovative products, whether people are seeking a healthier daily lifestyle, comfortable pregnancy or just a fun vacation.

Dr. Jacqueline Darna NoMo Nausea - logo

Write Us: info@nomonausea.com
Call Us: 813-528-8877
facebook | twitter | instagram
www.NoMoNausea.com

Cherry Bekaert – Perpetuating Success by Paying it Forward

Cherry Bekaert volunteer group

CHERRY BEKAERT

HELPING TAMPA BAY’S INNOVATORS AND ENTREPRENEURS ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS, MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND PAY IT FORWARD.

Cherry Bekaert logo
Cherry Bekaert volunteer group

Dear Innovators and Entrepreneurs:

Congratulations on your decision to make Tampa Bay – and its thriving technology community – the starting point for your future growth and success.

I am Chris Rux, the Central Florida managing partner for Cherry Bekaert. We are a full-service accounting and consulting firm with a footprint throughout the Southeast.

Our Tampa team is engrained throughout all facets of our community – continuing a tradition of involvement and service that began at our origin as a successful hometown firm and extends into the present day.

We have been and continue to be energized by the ideas, talent, and enthusiasm found throughout the Bay Area and believe everyone benefits when we tap into and share our strengths with one another.

Cherry Bekaert team

How we help is just as important as the services we offer.

Expertise and resources are obvious reasons clients choose Cherry Bekaert. However, I would also suggest that how we honor our commitments is the reason our clients retain Cherry Bekaert for the long term and recommend us to others. 

Firm-wide, our shared values guide all of our interactions: Uncompromising Integrity, a Passion for Excellence, Mutual Respect, and One Firm.

I believe in these values and strive to live them daily. It’s a simple concept, but I can honestly say I’ve witnessed, time and again, how doing right by others positively impacts our working relationships and ripples throughout the community.

Perpetuating success by paying it forward.

Personally and professionally, I also firmly believe in the concept of Paying It Forward. This idea can take many forms, including time, talent, and treasure. It not only applies to special occasions and projects but – perhaps more importantly – to our ongoing, everyday interactions.

Cherry Bekaert – Feeding Tampa Bay
Cherry Bekaert Team

Supporting civic organizations and addressing the needs of the greater community is one way to do this.

We recently held our annual volunteer week, where every person in the firm took a day off to give back to our communities. Locally, our Partners and Associates spent the day volunteering for three great civic organizations – Feeding Tampa Bay, Metropolitan Ministries, and Ronald McDonald House.

Beyond our obligation to our community, I feel it is equally important to realize that very few of us got to where we are without a little help. We’ve all had mentors, formally or informally, whether we realized at the time (or not). And we can return the favor by helping others as someone once helped us.

Pay It Forward! Mentor an up-and-coming person or company, recognize talent, offer opportunities, or impart experience. By sharing our know-how, successes, and failures – from generation to generation – we allow others the opportunity to succeed.

It all adds up.

Cherry Bekaert Synapse Banner
Cherry Bekaert wall quote

My challenge to you.

Let’s create a cycle of connection, collaboration, and success that allows your organization, other innovators, and our entire community to thrive.

I challenge you to share your time, talents, and treasure with others every day! Collectively, let’s leave a legacy that makes the Tampa Bay a better place tomorrow than it is today.

Our team at Cherry Bekaert is up for the challenge. The question is: Are you?

As you continue your journey, if there is ever any way I – or, by extension, our team at Cherry Bekaert – can help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me any time.

Best,

Cherry Bekaert Chris Rux signature

Christopher F. Rux, CPA
Managing Partner, Central Florida
Chery Bekaert LLP

MP Studios – Professional Headshot Photography

Michael McCoy of MP Studios
MP Studios Logo
Michael McCoy of MP Studios
Michael P. McCoy, owner

ELEVATOR PITCH

MP Studios specializes in working with business professionals who need to make the best first impression possible through professional headshot photography. By coaching and educating their subjects, MP Studios can capture an image that accurately represents the individual’s personal brand and highlights confidence, authenticity, and trust.

MP Studios focuses on the psychology behind what it takes to make a lasting impression. The foundation of a quality headshot all comes down to authentic expression.

When business professionals step in front of a camera, it can be a daunting task to produce an image that looks good and grabs the attention of potential clients; that’s where MP Studios simplifies the entire process by applying our three-step method for the picture perfect headshot.

Step 1: Persona
The process begins with a consultation to learn about the client, their business, and target market. Each headshot is individually crafted to make the strongest impact by appealing to the emotions of their target market.

Step 2: Pose
Every person is unique, and at MP Studios we know which angles will look good in front of the camera for that particular person and how to coach them into different positions and expressions.

Step 3: Perfection
Once the client has chosen their favorite images, the editing process begins. We remove any blemishes or distractions while keeping it real. Over retouching causes a trust barrier. Simply put, if someone is “lying” about the way they look in pictures, people might wonder what else they could be lying about.

MP Studios Tampa-11
MP Studios Tampa-2
MP Studios Tampa-5

SUCCESS STORY

One of my favorite client success stories comes from Sheryl Hunter. Sheryl is a beautiful young attorney and no stranger to the camera, but every professional headshot she’d had before was missing something, and it was one simple highlight.

In Sheryl’s old headshots she had a gorgeous, full smile that conveyed a high level of approachability, but no confidence. Her level of confidence in the courtroom and in every meeting she participated in is unparalleled, but you would never have guessed it from her previous headshots.

By toning down Sheryl’s smile and teaching her how to engage her eyes and look through the camera, we were able to get a headshot that highlighted the quality of work she is known for.

Sheryl was asked to speak at a conference after the publication of her new headshot, and the event organizers had her headshot published as one of the event’s speakers. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to speak at the event, but when she noticed that her headshot was still being used to advertise the conference, she inquired as to why.

She was told that a picture of that quality would help event attendance as well as Google analytics, ensuring more ticket sales. After the conference, she was asked back the following year, which goes to show that a picture perfect headshot can have a lasting impact.

In Sheryl’s words, “I feel my headshots enhance my overall ability to get more speaking opportunities. Having a portfolio of headshots that I feel great about enables me to confidently pursue speaking engagements and TV appearances.”

MP Studios Tampa-3
MP Studios Tampa-6
MP Studios Tampa-25

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

“Michael’s headshots capture both my personality and my passion for what I do. I’ve never worked with a photographer who made me feel so confident in front of the camera.” – Sarah McDugal

“I’m so impressed with the quality and service of MP Studios, I send all my employees and colleagues to Michael without hesitation. Even if they have an
existing headshot, unless Michael took the picture, it’s never up to the standard I expect.” – Topher Morrison

“I regularly appear on national television and my headshot is the anchor of my career. I trust only the critical and precise eye of MP Studios.” – Cory Bergeron

412 E. Madison St., Suite 800, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-334-8152
facebook: mpstudiostampa
linkedin: @mpstudiostampa
MPStudios.com

TiE Tampa Bay – the World’s Largest Entrepreneur Global Network

Startup Pitch Competition TIE Tampa Bay CON 2018

TiE TAMPA BAY

TIE TAMPA BAY’S ROOTS MAY BE FIRMLY PLANTED IN LOCAL SOIL, BUT ITS BRANCHES HAVE GLOBAL REACH.

Startup Pitch Competition TIE Tampa Bay CON 2018

“Born” in Silicon Valley, TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) is an organization for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs that focuses on mentoring, education, incubation, networking and funding for startups. Founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley, TiE has grown to be the world’s largest entrepreneur global network with over 60 chapters and 15,000 members around the world.

The Tampa chapter was founded in Tampa Bay in 2012. The chapter’s focus is on mentoring, networking, education, and investment. Through the mentoring program, industry leaders offer one-on-one guidance in several areas, including idea exploration, customer acquisition, marketing, finance and technology. A series of popular networking nights at Tampa’s nightlife hotspots are a popular draw for newbies and veterans alike. At TiE Tampa’s monthly speaker series, the area’s top entrepreneurs inspire and educate with topics relevant to Tampa’s emerging market needs. Even the most seasoned investors find that there’s plenty to learn by attending a speaker’s event or an annual marquee convention.

TiE Tampa Bay team
Arnie Bellinie TIE Tampa Bay CON 2018

With its investment arm, TiE Tampa Angel Fund, investors have the opportunity to invest in early stage startups and can collaborate with other local venture capital and angel investors. Within just one year, the fund has invested over $1.2 million in various startups in and around the Tampa Bay area. The investments were made in the following next-generation technology and market disruptors: Knack, Molekule, Fenexio, Droplit and Morphogenic.

Community outreach is another goal of the organization, and TiE Tampa annually recognizes local entrepreneurs and startups with the TiEtan Awards at their annual day-long marquee event – TiECON. At the 2018 conference, awards were given to Super Entrepreneur, Social Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Community Champion and Startup of The Year. Another top-rated event at the TiECON is the Startup Pitch Competition. Additional to winning a cash award, the winners get an opportunity to present and pitch their ideas/startups at the Global TiE Silicon Valley’s annual pitch event.

Sarvajana TIE Tampa Bay CON 2018
TiE Tampa Bay Con Audience

TiE Charter members have the privilege of attending the TiE Global Retreat, an exclusive networking event, as well as meetings and annual conferences at any of the 60 global chapters. The charter members also have the opportunity to participate in the TiE Tampa Angel Fund to invest in local startups. Becoming a member of TiE Tampa Bay may be the best investment you could make for your business.

Most importantly, the mission of TiE chapters is to work collaboratively with other organizations in the region as well as providing mentoring and access to thought leaders and collaborators across the entire global TiE community to encourage and foster entrepreneurship. TiE Tampa Bay has a premier reputation for the enthusiastic vibe generated for entrepreneurship and professionalism and the quality of speakers at their events. Inspiring and riveting speakers have included Sarvajna Dwivedi – Co-founder, Pearl Therapeutics (acquired by Astra Zeneca for over $1.2B), Arnie Bellini – Founder and CEO at ConnectWise, Desh Deshpande of Cascade and Sycamore Networks, and Farooq Kathwri – CEO of Ethan Allen.

TiE Tampa Bay logo

Suhas Apte – President
Email: president@tampa.tie.org
Raj Rajendran – Executive Director
Email: ed@tampa.tie.org
tampa.tie.org

Sofwerx – Special Operations Forces

SECNAV Visits SOFWERX
SECNAV Visits SOFWERX

THE UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (USSOCOM), LOCATED ON MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE IN TAMPA, FLORIDA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES (SOF) OPERATING AROUND THE WORLD.

OUR STORY

From its roots in the legendary Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in World War II, USSOCOM champions a culture that embraces and supports innovation in research and development, operations, and bringing diverse communities together to rapidly invent and field new capabilities.

USSOCOM recognized that it was becoming difficult to reach entrepreneurs, small businesses, and creative talent outside the traditional defense industry market, as well as have a place where the SOF operator, acquirer, and inventor could collaborate and think about the challenges of the future. To address this issue, USSOCOM and The Doolittle Institute, a 501 3(c) nonprofit, entered into a Partnership Intermediary Agreement.

This partnership created a unique collaboration venue, SOFWERX, designed to bring academia, industry, individuals and other “non-traditional” partners together to innovate for USSOCOM’s most challenging problems. The goal was to create a place where they could harvest the “return on collision” by bringing a diverse set of experts together to rapidly solve problems, as well as reduce barriers to enable anyone with an idea to collaborate with USSOCOM.

SOFWERX - event

THE INNOVATION

Today, SOFWERX, located in Historic Ybor City in Tampa, FL attracts hackers/makers, university students and professors, inventors, small businesses, and more to support the Special Operation Forces. An interactive venue for innovative ideas, SOFWERX has become the premier incubator for innovative thinking in Tampa Bay.

They host several types of events including: rapid prototyping, collaboration & capability sessions, prize challenges (www.teamwerx.org), hackathons, and more to get the “best of breed” ideas and emerging technologies to USSOCOM.

sofwerx drone

SOFWERX also supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs with K-12 schools in the Tampa Bay area. Providing tours/briefs, project development support, professional development, technical expertise and more, SOFWERX can inspire the next generation of incredible innovators to solve USSOCOM’s toughest future problems.

Sofwerx - improving capabilities for our military and first responders,
Sofwerx - tech

SOFWERX facilitates collaboration with a variety of academic organizations, including maintaining a very close relationship with the University of South Florida (USF). College interns, industry fellows, graduate students, collegiate faculty, startups, and foreign partners also collaborate daily in this truly unique innovation environment. SOFWERX accepts intern applications from across the country to fulfill slots ranging from marketing, to cybersecurity, to electrical engineering, and more.

SOFWERX, and the collaboration it has inspired in the Tampa community, has become the recognized standard of how the military, academia, entrepreneurs, traditional defense suppliers, and everyday citizens can work together to create immense value in numerous ways – improving capabilities for our military and first responders, improving education of our high school and college students, and providing access to new markets for start-ups and small businesses.

Join the SOFWERX Ecosystem today and stay connected:
www.sofwerx.org/ecosystem.

SOFWERX logo

1925 E. 2nd Ave, Suite 102, Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: 813-693-5599
linkedin | facebookyoutube
twitter: @sofwerx
Instagram: @SOFWERX
www.sofwerx.org

Motion State Media – a Full-Service Video Production Agency

Motion State Media filming
motion state logo
Motion State Media filming

ELEVATOR PITCH

Motion State Media is a full-service video production agency here in Tampa Bay. We specialize in commercial and corporate visuals that take a business’s branding to levels that set them far apart from the rest. It’s our goal to create videos that positively impact our viewers’ lives while delivering the product our clients need.

OUR STORY

motion state video production

Motion State Media was founded in 2014 by Cam Simon with the purpose of creating a way to do what he loved for the rest of his life. Filmmaking and entrepreneurship had been his passion for many years and had always been something he wanted to make a career out of. At first, it was just Cam and his partner, Chris Sassouni, in a small bedroom office with a large whiteboard full of goals. After many long days and late nights, they established a solid client base and finally opened the Motion State Media Studio in Downtown Clearwater in 2015. Fast forward to 2018 and we’ve become one of the premier video production agencies in the Tampa Bay area, creating over 1,000 videos for our clients who range from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

We’ve grown our team to a large family of likeminded, talented and passionate individuals as well as having claimed the title of “Best Local Filmmaker 2016”.

We believe there are a few things that set us apart from the rest. The first being that filmmaking and photography isn’t our only skill or focus. We’re artists who are knowledgeable, passionate and experienced with producing, marketing, advertising, social media, and entrepreneurship. We take all of these aspects into consideration while creating a video, making it more effective and unique as opposed to somethingcookie cutter.

Motion State Media Shoot
Motion State Media - Studio

Secondly, we provide a large spectrum of services for our clients to make the experience as easy and stress-free as possible. From writing scripts and treatments, storyboarding, location scouting, casting, scheduling, directing, shooting and editing, all is precisely calculated to deliver an effective product.

Lastly, the passion. This isn’t “just a job” for anyone here at Motion State Media – it’s our passion. When you look forward to coming into work every day, you’re working with a purpose and creating something meaningful. We believe the key to creating excellent content is having your passion show through your work.

WHY IS OUR WORK SO IMPORTANT?

The answer is simple. The quality of our work and our anti-cookie-cutter beliefs, create branding that stands out from the rest and helps our clients reach their greatest potential. If you had two businesses side by side with the same exact product, one could be a multi-million-dollar company and the other could be a six-figure company. The difference is one company’s branding is better. Their overall image, ads, campaigns, commercials, and connection to the world is better. In conclusion, Motion State Media is where your visions are brought to life.

Motion State Media crew
Motion State Media - camera man

614 Grand Central Street, Clearwater, Florida 33756
Phone: 727-417-6593
facebook | instagram
motionstatemedia.com

NoMo Nausea – Instant Relief for the Whole Family

NoMo - girl with no mo band
Dr. Jacqueline Darna NoMo Nausea - logo
NoMo - girl with no mo band

ELEVATOR PITCH

NoMo - Advert

NoMo Bands are the first and only essential oil infused acupressure wristbands that instantly relieve nausea and vomiting, as well as headaches and migraines. Soothing essential oil aromatherapy combines with gentle acupressure in a comfortable, stylish, and waterproof wristband for safe, effective, fast-acting, long-lasting, natural relief that works for your whole family

OUR STORY

Our story began almost four years ago when I became the patient instead of the medical provider. The anesthesia from my emergency C-section left me sick and vomiting for days. Surprisingly, none of the traditional medications worked for me. Luckily, I tried Eastern medicine practices of acupressure and aromatherapy and I rejoiced in finding the perfect remedy. But, my search for a similar product in stores turned up empty. So, my first product, NoMo Nausea, was born. Then I thought, if it helped me, how many others can it help? Now I have five product lines both internationally and domestically, and we want to keep growing. The more we grow, the more people we can help. We are changing people’s lives for the better, one band at a time.

MEET THE TEAM

At NoMo Nausea, we pride ourselves on being a truly small, bootstrapping business that has become a family. Our core management team is only four people. I oversee the business and find new ways to continue our progress. Sara, my VP, is my righthand woman. She effectively actualizes my ideas and oversees our sales team. Stan, my husband, and COO, manages everyday operations and supervises our fulfillment center. Pam, my office manager, and her wealth of knowledge about retail sales keeps us all organized. Dr. Orbegoso, my Chief Medical Officer, is an anesthesiologist with 26 years of  experience and conducts our clinical research. Our family wouldn’t be complete without our team of student interns. We embrace our partnerships with Tampa universities so students can use their skills in “the real world.” For three years, our interns have supplied innovative and contemporary ideas, amplifying the success of the company.

NoMo - Jackie
NoMo - doctor wearing wrist band

MILESTONES

NoMo Bands’ uniqueness has garnered significant attention. In 2015, Kiwi Magazine, Surgical Products, and even national sports teams recognized us. I also began my annual campaign, “Buy a Band, Give a Band”, where for every band purchased during October, we donate a band to a patient undergoing chemotherapy.

n 2016, I was given the PharmaHero award and nominated as Business Woman of the Year by the Tampa Chamber of Commerce. I also won Shark Tank’s The Big Pitch when my NoMo Migraine band stopped the judge’s migraine in two minutes.

Our products hit the shelves of nationwide retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond, BuyBuy Baby, and CVS in 2017. I also introduced my hilarious and informative Pregnancy Pukeology podcast and was featured in Forbes magazine. Finally, last month, I won the inaugural 2018 PepsiCo Choice competition at the WBENC National Conference and Business Fair. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2019!

NoMo Nausea - 4 Product Line

Write Us: info@nomonausea.com
Call Us: 813-528-8877
Like Us: nomonausea | Twitter: @nomonausea | Linkedin | youtube

www.NoMoNausea.com

Johnson Pope – Thinking Outside The Box

Johnson Pope -Bulb

JOHNSON POPE

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

Johnson Pope -Bulb

OUR STORY

Over the past four and one-half decades, Johnson Pope has been committed to helping our business clients seize opportunities and solve problems in a high quality, timely and cost-effective manner. Many of our attorneys are business owners themselves and that experience sets us apart and allows us to assist our business clients with a greater understanding of the path they are walking.

GROWTH IN TAMPA

Johnson Pope’s first office was opened in Clearwater 45 years ago, started by young entrepreneurial attorneys who saw the business opportunity of an underserviced legal market in Pinellas County.

Johnson Pope Tampa opened its office 36 years ago, and over 20 of our 70 lawyers are based in Tampa. Our other offices in Clearwater and St. Petersburg are of similar size and strength. Regardless of the office or legal practice area, our lawyers work together as a team to produce superior results for our clients.

Throughout our 45-year history, the firm has consistently focused on having the best attorneys in the areas of practice most critical to business clients – tax, corporate law, securities and capital formation, intellectual property, as well as, real estate and land use, health care, and business litigation. The firm’s depth of talent and experience allows us to provide new or existing clients the team they need at all critical points in the business-life-cycle.

The growth of Tampa, particularly the downtown renaissance, is an exciting time. Johnson Pope will continue to guide new and existing clients through their growth and prosperity throughout the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

ONE CLIENT’S INNOVATION STORY

Johnson Pope - Kaercher Family Farms

Patrick Traber, a partner with Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP, helps focus the firm’s efforts and involvement in the innovation and technology community in Tampa. Patrick and the firm are constant champions and connectors for their clients. Each has a unique story to tell, like Kaercher Family Farms, an urban farming company located in Largo, Florida.

The vision for Kaercher Family Farms came unexpectedly. Matthew Kaercher, the owner of the urban hydroponics farm, was with his family at Epcot. As Disney season pass holders, this was a regular family outing until one day, the adventure took them down a boat guided tour through greenhouses and according to Kaercher, something just clicked when he realized he could build something very similar. He recalls, “I would build hydroponic systems and then tear them down after I ran it through the season and then build a new system until I knew I was onto something sustainable.”

Johnson Pope - Patrick-Traber

And a little over one year later, that vision has become a reality. Kaercher Family Farms is up, running and thriving. The farm started growing microgreens and then added many varieties of lettuce according to the needs and wants of local chefs.

With the sudden growth pattern, Kaercher inquired to friends about legal guidance and was put in touch with Patrick Traber, which was a natural fit from the beginning. Patrick’s experience with startups and capital raising enabled him to assist his new client with some basics when starting a new business. Patrick functions as an outside general counsel and strategic advisor.

The future looks bright for Kaercher Family Farms as they are developing the property and bringing in European automation and robotics to alleviate the burden of tiresome labor. By the end of this year, the implementation of this cutting-edge technology will be the first of its kind in Florida – and allow the Kaercher Family Farms to efficiently increase its productivity.

Johnson Pope - Logo

401 East Jackson Street
Suite 3100, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-2500
www.jpfirm.com

International Screening Solutions – Solutions for Managing Global Risk

International Screening Solutions - office

INTERNATIONAL SCREENING DEVELOPS SOLUTIONS FOR MANAGING GLOBAL RISK

HOW GOOD IS YOUR ROLODEX?

International Screening Solutions world map

For decades in business, the measure of networking prowess was defined by the content of a spinning wheel of index cards. Could you imagine relying on a Rolodex of business cards and pencil scratches to manage your relationships today? Hardly. Now imagine a global risk business tool relying on manual updates to track millions of known terrorists, human traffickers, and money launderers.

Fortunately, the team at International Screening Solutions imagined a different solution. While the market was focused on watchlists created regionally, maintained manually, and updated sporadically, ISS co-founders Chuck Papageorgiou and Eric Beach envisioned an automated global risk information exchange (GRIX) that could locate, aggregate, curate, and deliver risk data directly from the source.

“As more countries and agencies identified money laundering, human trafficking, and terror financing, the manually-updated tools couldn’t keep pace with all the new information being shared,” said Papageorgiou. “The old tools were okay when the blacklist alerts streamed from a handful of sources, but today it is more like a river of risk data. When a money launder is sanctioned in one location, they will often resurface somewhere else.”

Businesses everywhere need “know your customer” (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) programs to protect against the growing global risk. According to the Financial Action Task Force, human trafficking alone generates $150 billion annually in black market revenue. From a recent FATF report:

“Money laundering is inextricably linked to the underlying criminal activity that generated it. Laundering enables criminal activity to continue.”

International Screening Solutions World Watch Plus FinCEN

Supported by customers including the world’s largest payroll and background screening companies, ISS developed GRIX to locate, aggregate, curate, and deliver information drawn from the “river of risk data” each day. ISS created a selective search engine to access validated information about individuals and businesses restricted from commercial activity because of their criminal activity. Algorithms dissected adverse information from structured and unstructured data, then indexed everything to accommodate customer-specific searches.

Delivery came in the form of WorldWatch Plus® – a customer-designed platform with case management, reporting, and custom filtering, available in a SaaS portal or integration with existing customer systems. Launched in 2015, utilization doubled each of the last three years, and ISS was named a Top 10 KYC Solution Provider by Banking CIO Outlook for 2017, and an Inc. 5000 entry for both 2016 and 2017.

ISS continues to build on four pillars of differentiation: casting a wider net, timely and relevant results, unmatched partnering and customer service, and a customer-friendly economic model. With customers on-boarding from around the world, the Rolodex at ISS is doing just fine.

International Screening Solutions - office

twitter: @intlscreening
linkedin: intlscreening
www.intlscreening.com

Chuck Papageorgiou – CEO of International Screening Solutions

CHUCK PAPAGEORGIOU - UT Pitch Room

“TAMPA BAY INNOVATORS SIMPLY NEED TO CONTINUE CHALLENGING THE “WHAT IS”, LEVERAGE THE, EVER EXPANDING, RESOURCES OUR REGION HAS TO OFFER TO DELIVER THEIR VISION OF “WHAT IT CAN BE;” TRY NEW THINGS. BE WRONG. LEARN FROM IT. AND ALWAYS LOOK FOR BETTER SOLUTIONS.”

CHUCK PAPAGEORGIOU, ENTREPRENEUR, CEO OF INTERNATIONAL SCREENING SOLUTIONS, MANAGING PARTNER OF IDEASPHERE PARTNERS.

CHUCK PAPAGEORGIOU - UT Pitch Room

For many years, I never really considered myself an innovator because I was the operator, the solver, the builder, or the fixer, but not the “idea guy”. Then a professor friend of mine pointed out that finding creative ways to solve big problems, was doing just that. After all, being an innovator means shaking things up from time to time, and always looking for improvements. Now that I look back, I’ve been doing this for most of my life.

It started early on when, as a 16-year-old student, I built my first FM radio transmitter. I followed the process, mostly, and applied for a license for a 10W school radio station based on an old military design. I decided to modify the design to boost one of the factors, and ended up building a 1,000W station, which messed up other local signals for a couple of weeks, baffling the local authorities, until they figured out what was going on and called my school. I got into a little trouble over that, but my love for technology endured and I continue building electronics and writing software.

Chuck is an operator. From building and leading his own successful company, International Screening Solutions, to taking on turnarounds of global companies with thousands of employees. He is a mentor for entrepreneurs and inventors, both at the University of Tampa and the Tampa Bay Waveand volunteers his time annually to the St. Petersburg College Business Plan competition. Life balance and finding time for family and self is important to Chuck. In addition to spending time with his wife and two beautiful daughters, Chuck finds time to meditate, practice Martial Arts, fish the Tampa Bay waters, and enjoys time in his woodworking shop, designing and building furniture pieces.

Fast forward a few decades; past my tour as a Sergeant in the Cyprus Army, in special services, a couple of attempts at a corporate career, a couple of startups, leading transaction for over $9Bn in M&A, and driving some major turnarounds all over the world, and I ended up back building some cool technology for the global risk space, WorldWatch Plus® (www.worldwatchplus.com), with my company International Screening Solutions (www.intlscreening.com).

Of course, as much as I love the field, technology, and innovation by themselves don’t always make commercial sense, and over the years I had my share of failures. But being occasionally wrong is also part of the fun. It’s where change happens. People need to realize that being an innovator simply means refusing to accept the status quo, being open to looking at problems and challenges from multiple angles, and willing to try things even if it means being wrong. Becoming a successful innovator also requires going beyond this and being curious, pursuing continuous learning across many disciplines, and learning to use the tools that can translate ideas into plans, strategies, products, and solutions.

I love the Tampa Bay region and have been actively engaged in building our ecosystem for over a decade. And it has been a great base for me, ISS, and Ideasphere. I have built friendships with many of the local innovators, who are always willing to bounce ideas around that help me improve our products. And when, for the first time ever, I decided to raise outside capital for ISS, the lead investors where all local. This region is becoming a hotbed of innovation and I am thrilled to be part of it!

CHUCK PAPAGEORGIOU - Ideasphere logo

E-mail: c.papageorgiou@ideasphere.com
twitter: @chuckPapaG