March 23, 2023, Tampa, FL – Synapse Florida, the nonprofit organization connecting Florida’s innovators, announced today that Brian Kornfeld, inaugural CEO, will be stepping down from his position and Lauren Prager will be named the new CEO effective May 1, 2023.
Lauren has been with the organization since 2018, starting as a volunteer and then holding positions of VP of Community Engagement and Chief Strategy Officer. Her vision and strategy have been instrumental to the growth of Synapse since its inception and the first Synapse Summit. “Lauren has been a driving force behind the scenes for years and has become a visionary leader of the community and the team,” noted Brian Kornfeld. He continued, “I am beyond thrilled that somebody so talented will take Synapse to the next level as her vision and strategy in community building is truly unique and top notch.” Lauren added, “It has been a privilege to serve the talented leaders across our state through Synapse’s mission to connect and catalyze our tech and innovation communities. I look forward to continuing to create opportunities to accelerate growth for our businesses, deepen collaborations, and demonstrate that, as we say, ‘Innovation Lives Here’.”
Synapse has become a pillar of Florida’s innovation community since launching the first Synapse Summit in 2018. As a statewide organization, Synapse collaborates with partners to advocate for and promote innovation across the state of Florida. Synapse has hosted 11 large-scale events across the state to celebrate, discover and engage Florida’s innovative community, hosting more than 30,000 attendees, over 2,000 exhibiting companies, and 2,300 speakers. Synapse Summit has become Florida’s premier innovation and tech event. Hosted annually in downtown Tampa, the event attracts an average of 6,000 attendees from around the world to showcase the growing activity and density of Florida’s innovation community. In the year ahead, Synapse will build on its strong statewide partnerships by expanding its presence in several growing tech ecosystems, developing in-depth resources for innovation leaders to navigate key industries and regions, and evolving the annual Synapse Summit, which anchors Tampa Bay Innovation Week, in February 2024.
Brian Kornfeld will remain a key part of the Synapse community as a member of the Board of Directors and the Impact Board, and supporting the work of the Synapse team in a variety of ways as he continues to his next endeavor. Brian Kornfeld is a member of Synapse’s founding team, leading grassroots research in 2016 upon which he helped to establish the foundation for Synapse in 2017. Brian added, “I am so proud to have been a part of this incredible team that has had a lasting impact on the state of Florida. There are not many opportunities in life to enable so many others to achieve their dreams and grow to new levels. It has been an honor to have served in this position for 6 years. I really am excited to see Lauren take Synapse to the next level.”
About Synapse Florida
Synapse Florida is a 501c3 non-profit organization that connects and catalyzes Florida’s innovation community. Curated events and targeted engagement enable us to make meaningful connections. Our approach is unique by connecting key stakeholders across industries, technologies and geographies: entrepreneurs, investors, corporate innovation leaders, policy makers, innovation enablers, entrepreneur support organizations, educational leaders, and talent. Synapse celebrates, discovers and engages thought leaders, doers, creators, and entrepreneurs driving innovation across the state of Florida and beyond.
Inquiries can be directed to Lauren Prager, Synapse’s Chief Strategy Officer (and incoming Chief Executive Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org.