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Embarc Collective Front Rendering



The Beginning

Led by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, Embarc Collective started as a vision to be a first-of-its-kind innovation hub for the Tampa Bay startup community.

EARLY 2018


Making It Happen

Jeff Vinik hired Lakshmi Shenoy as the founding CEO of Embarc Collective. Lakshmi has helped with the growth of 1871, the world's #1 tech entrepreneurship hub in Chicago.

We Listened

Our first order of business was to listen to the community and identify the needs of startups, their founders and the broader Tampa Bay entrepreneurial community. Lakshmi sat down with over 500 people to learn about the needs of Tampa Bay startups as they work to grow.

MID 2018

We Determined A Plan of Action

This community feedback was essential in determining Embarc Collective’s mission, strategy and value proposition to startups, how it will serve the individual needs of Tampa Bay area startup founders and their teams.


The Brand was Born

With the help of Prophet, we drew inspiration from the beautiful Tampa Bay landscape while also thinking of the bigger mission to grow our tech ecosystem. The rising building blocks in our logo symbolize the growth and elevation of our ecosystem as well as pay homage to our future home, the District 3 building.

Launch of the Embarc Collective Community Survey

To validate our strategy with quantitative findings, we launched the Embarc Collective Community Survey, which had over 250 respondents. This gave us greater insight about the state of startup connectivity, talent, capital, and customers in Tampa Bay and helped the Embarc Collective team prioritize the ways we could add value in the community.

LATE 2018

A Team Came Together

With a strong vision and undeniable mission to grow the Tampa Bay startup community, our non-profit platform team took shape. The team jumped right in to define the Embarc Collective member experience, make connections with investors and national partners, and curate the best resources to support the specific needs voiced by local founders and their teams.

We Planned the Space

We are working with Kreher Barna Designs and Creative Contractors to plan a state-of-the-art facility for startups. The space includes cutting-edge technology, collaboration spaces, private suites for startups, an on-site cafe and many other amenities to give startups and their teams everything they need to scale.


Applications Are Open

In November, we opened our applications for founders to nominate their startups to join Embarc Collective.

We Started Solving

Even before we launch, we decided to start solving based on the needs of the startup community. People didn't have a single place to find startup jobs in Tampa Bay, so we launched Tampa Bay Startup Jobs, a free job site showing all of the open positions in startups locally.

We're Officially a Non-Profit

We received our 501c3 status at the end of the year. Best holiday gift thus far!

EARLY 2019

Embarc Collective building rendering

Phase 1 Launch

In March, we began to roll out the first phase of our organization's launch with support to 25 early-stage technology startups that are either already based in Tampa Bay or are soon to be based in Tampa Bay.

Rise of the Rest

We've been very engaged with the preparation for the Rise of the Rest tour stop to Tampa & St. Pete on May 1st. We've held an "Ask Me Anything" with Rise of the Rest's Mark Rucci, asked for advice from past hosts, and shared our excitement about the opportunity this tour presents to Tampa.


MID 2019

Meet Our 50 Partners

In June, we announced our partnerships with 50 impactful organizations from around the world to help us support Tampa Bay startup talent.

Rolling Applications Reopen

In July, we reopened our rolling applications for interested startups. Startups can nominate their team on our Join page.


LATE 2019

Embarc Collective's First Founder Summit

In September, Embarc Collective hosted its first-ever Founder Summit for member companies. We curated a half-day of learning and reflection about how to build bold, scalable, thriving companies.


Early 2020

Soft Opening

In January, Embarc Collective soft opened to its member companies. 49 early-stage technology startups now call Embarc Collective headquarters.

Embarc Collective announces Endeavr Coffee

Embarc Collective partnered with Roberto Torres, owner of Blind Tiger Cafe, to develop a unique coffee brand. Endeavr, a brand inspired by startups to support the entrepreneurship journey with sustenance, is the on-site provider of cafe beverages and food at Embarc Collective’s community cafe.

Embarc Collective Founders Circle

Six key business leaders in Tampa Bay join Jeff Vinik, Board Chairman of Embarc Collective, Owner of Tampa Bay Lightning, Co-Owner of Strategic Property Partners, to form the Embarc Collective Founders Circle.

Grand Opening

Embarc Collective held its Official Ribbon Cutting on February 4th. 2020 with over 200 people in attendance including Embarc Collective's Board of Directors and Founders Circle, Mayor Castor, government officials, startups and members of the entrepreneurial community.


As we continue forward, we plan to share more updates on Embarc Collective's progress.


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