Startup of the Year Welcomed Over 300 Entrepreneurs and Investors Across the Nation to Create Economic Buzz In Tampa

Embarc Collective Hosts Startup of the Year Helping to Amplify Startup Community in the Tampa Bay Region

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Embarc Collective, the fastest-growing startup hub helping founders in the Tampa Bay region build bold, scalable, thriving companies, today announced the success it saw at last week’s 9th Annual Startup of the Year Summit. From January 25-27, over 300 startups, innovators, and investors representing 21 states and Puerto Rico gathered in Tampa, Florida, to compete and connect with like-minded individuals.

As one of the biggest competitions among the startup community today, Startup of the Year chose Tampa as its location because it is one of the most sought-after destinations for building and scaling startups. With hundreds of business leaders, mentors, and corporate investors, the support offerings and resources for startups in this region are unmatched.

Located in the heart of the Tampa Bay region’s entrepreneurial community, Embarc Collective served as the host organization for this year’s Summit and competition. Dozens of sponsors, businesses, and government organizations came together to watch the semi-finalists compete for $50,000 in potential investment and other prizes from CDW, Cherry Bekaert, Carta, Hutchison PLLC, HubSpot for Startups, Hyde Park PR, Pilea, Republic, and Sticker Giant.

“For the past two years, there were limited in-person opportunities to network and learn from other fast-growing startups. Our community across Tampa Bay was ready to bring back nationwide collaboration,” said Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of Embarc Collective. “We were overjoyed to be able to host the Startup of the Year Summit and bring together some of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs and investors.”

This year the 9th Annual Startup of the Year welcomed:

  • 330 In-Person Attendees
  • 990+ Views on Livestream
  • 78 Investors and Corporate Innovators
  • 60 Venture funds
  • 82 Startups
  • 44 Founders of Color
  • 35 Female Founders
  • 6 LGBTQIA+ Founders
  • 11 Veteran Founders

The winner of this year’s competition, Virginia-based startup SCOUT, was selected out of the many semifinalist startup companies from around the country. In total, over 500 one-on-one mentor meetings occurred during the summit, and Cope Notes and Trustate, both Embarc Collective members were recognized. To see a full list of the winners from each category, please click here.

“Entrepreneurs work tirelessly day in and out, but it takes connected networks to help founders truly rise to their potential,” said Jen Consalvo, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Established. “The build up and response to this gathering was monumental and we know that there will be a positive ripple effect for so many of our participants for years to come. We’re proud to have reconvened safely, in person, while leveraging the beautiful Florida weather and the warmth of the local community.”

“When I think of the objectives of the conference, we included celebrating and showcasing the Tampa Bay startup community,” said Shenoy. “To be able to host the summit enabled us to show off our momentum to the nation's smartest investors, founders, and community builders.”

About Startup of the Year®
Powered by Established, the Startup of the Year program is a global competition, worldwide community, and resource to elevate startup founders. Since 2006, the Established team has discovered and supported the most promising and innovative startups from around the world via this annual competition, its Investment Community, Daily Dealflow™ newsletter, Startup of the Year Podcast, Activation Events, and more. For more about the Startup of the Year program, visit

About Embarc Collective
Embarc Collective is Florida's fastest-growing startup hub helping founders build bold, scalable, thriving companies. Embarc Collective works with a growing roster of over 100 early-stage startups at its 32,000 square-foot facility in downtown Tampa. Member companies receive customized, ongoing coaching and support from startup veterans to help propel their growth. For more information, please visit

Watch a recording of the entire two-day program held at Embarc Collective & Sparkman Wharf in Tampa, Florida below.

Watch Summit Speakers:

Watch Startup of the Year Finals Competition:

To learn more about the Startup of the Year Summit, including the Top Semifinalists, all-star judges, mentors, speakers, and advisors - visit

Hayleigh Criss