The Tampa Bay tech startup ecosystem is a thriving and ever-growing community, and its success is dependent on the investment of mentors in entrepreneurs. Education is a fundamental need that can be hard to come by, but Tampa Bay Academy of Hope provides support and guidance through mentoring programs and tutoring services. By opening up opportunities for learning, the Academy helps to unlock the potential of business communities in Tampa, Florida. Chris is an experienced business professional with over 15 years of experience in business development. He has held executive roles at large organizations such as Fiserv and Nielsen, as well as start-up companies such as Aptitude.
He currently serves as an advisor to entrepreneurial companies and is a member of the advisory board of Vocap Ventures in Florida. Chris' expertise in interpreting business objectives in terms of human capital needs and finding the right people to create successful businesses has been invaluable. Kalpesh Patel, an attorney, has a background in business and business administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and a doctorate in law from Florida Coast Law School. Greg began his career at Morgan Stanley's fixed-income trading division, and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master's degree in Business Administration from Duke Fuqua School of Business. Nelson's practice focuses on corporate and business matters, providing general business advice to emerging and middle-market companies, capital raising transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and company formation and entity selection. He continues to work with business leaders, professionals, community and government leaders, and veterans to help them become better leaders and have an impact on their organizations.
He earned a master's degree in Business with a specialization in International Business, a master's degree in Project Management, and studied for Human Resources certification as a Senior Professional through the Career Transition Program for Veterans sponsored by Syracuse University. Patel's extensive experience in law and business development led him to found FL Patel Law PLLC, a Florida-based law firm that offers services in business and corporate law. Tom co-founded Direct Mail Express (DME) in Daytona Beach, Florida with his brothers Mike and Kathy back in 1983. Candice was one of the first members of the Village Capital team, where she hired, trained, and invested in startups participating in VilCap's accelerator programs. She holds a bachelor's degree in Communication and a master's degree in Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies from the University of South Florida. Kevin's business networks extend across San Francisco, Denver, Salt Lake City, Tampa Bay, Ireland, Estonia, and India. Brunner is an active member of the University of Tampa Board of Trustees, the Florida Venture Forum, and is a member of the University of Tampa's Committee on Educational Affairs. Mentorship programs are essential for unlocking the potential of business communities in Tampa Bay.
By providing access to education through mentoring programs and tutoring services offered by Tampa Bay Academy of Hope, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insight into how to succeed in their businesses. With experienced professionals like Chris offering their expertise to interpret business objectives in terms of human capital needs and finding the right people to create successful businesses; Kalpesh Patel providing legal advice; Tom co-founding Direct Mail Express; Candice investing in startups; Kevin networking across multiple cities; and Brunner being an active member on various boards - these mentors are helping to shape the future of businesses in Tampa Bay.