SARASOTA, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2015) — The first annual BuzzPrizeExpo held Friday, Nov. 6, at Ed Smith Stadium concluded on a high note with seven awards presentations.
“We are thrilled with the initial results from the Expo and particularly the investment pitches, connections made and quality of award-winners,” said Suzette Jones, founder of BuzzPrize and the Economic Buzz. “After the extraordinary evening event, my team is inspired to continue the conversation and efforts with the BuzzPrize StartUp Contest so more entrepreneurs can grow in the region.”
Entrepreneurs of all ages can enter the online contest at www.BuzzPrizeExpo.com/buzzprizecontest/ to raise seed capital, gain exposure to investors and win money and prizes.
Former U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters and Chairman of the Board of Oregon-based Smith Frozen Foods, was awarded the BuzzPrize Person of the Year. Smith turned his keynote speech into an inspiring townhall-like question and answer period on the stage at the outfield pavilion.
“Sen. Smith personifies our mission to Inspire, Connect and Influence Growth,” Jones said. “He represents what we are conveying with BuzzPrizeExpo as an entrepreneur, business owner and investor.”
In addition to Smith, the following BuzzPrize 2015 Awards were announced during the evening portion of the event:
- BuzzPrize 2015 Young Entrepreneur(s): Adnan Dedic & Samuel Runnaclesof ‘Rate My Transformation’ and ‘Text Blocker’ (business partners)
- BuzzPrize 2015 Woman Entrepreneur: Heather Holst-Knudson of KidBacker
- BuzzPrize 2015 Veteran Entrepreneur: Chris Mitchellof Rimlox, Inc
- BuzzPrize 2015 Inspiring Entrepreneur of the Year: Trey Lauderdaleof Voalte
- BuzzPrize 2015 Connector of the Year: Jesse Biterof Biter Enterprises
- BuzzPrize 2015 Influencer of the Year: Ron Ciaravellaof Dolphin Aviation
The one-day BuzzPrizeExpo saw more than 100 vendors set up inside Ed Smith Stadium before the evening events that shone a light and capital on the entrepreneurial energy that exists on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The event also hosted RocketHub co-founder and CFO Alon Hillel-Tuch from New York and Kevin Harrington, one of the original Sharks of ABC’s TV series Shark Tank and founder of ‘As Seen on TV’, plus several breakout sessions.
BuzzPrizeExpo, produced by The Economic Buzz, is designed to promote the economic and entrepreneurial strengths that attract investment, talent and revenue to the region. BuzzPrizeExpo employs a unique private sector approach to economic development that connects civic organizations, institutions, companies and investors. This opportunity increases the visibility of the region. BuzzPrizeExpo champions the Gulf Coast of Florida as an epicenter of business by showcasing the assets of a robust economy: institutions, startups, small business, big industry, policy makers and late-stage entrepreneurs with the expertise, capital and passion to invest in new innovation and opportunities.
About The Economic Buzz
Founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Suzette Jones, The Economic Buzz has two divisions dedicated to inspire, connect and influence growth. The digital media division creates and distributes content that highlights the inspiring personal stories behind startups, innovators and entrepreneurs in emerging economic centers. The live events division produces trademarked conventions, conferences and contests designed to showcase and connect the economic assets of key geographical regions. These assets include community organizations and institutions, startups, small business, big industry, investors, mentors, supportive elected officials and talent.