Hillsborough #EDI2 Program Kick-off

Middleton Magnet High School in Tampa was the site for the formal introduction of Hillsborough County’s Economic Development Innovation Initiative (EDI2). Commissioner Mark Sharpe (@MarkSharpeFL) championed this initiative to focus more of the region’s economic development efforts on our emerging tech community. The Commissioner along with Economic Development Director Lindsey Kimball and EDI2 Project Manager Stephanie Cvetetic have listened closely to the community and responded with a program that recognizes the value of having experienced tech entrepreneurs leading this type of grass roots economic development effort.

The county is now accepting applications from programs and events in Hillsborough County that are designed to foster growth and advance the skills of the Tampa Bay tech community.

The deadline for the first wave of applications is July 31st. The application form can be downloaded from the Hillsborough County Office of Economic Development web site.

EXMO Event Management App in Beta

This past Friday at Startup Weekend Tampa, the winner of the 2012 Startup Weekend (EXMO), officially launched the long awaited public beta of their event scheduling and management app.

The EXMO mobile app makes events easier for organizers and more enjoyable for attendees. Organizers can offer a simple to use planning and notification tool to conference or meeting attendees that can be accessed from any smart phone running Android or iOS. By connecting conference goers before, during, and after the event, organizers are able to provide a better experience for their attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors. The organizer platform which is a SaaS app accessed from EXMO’s main web site allows for very intuitive creation and promotion of an event and provides useful analytics to measure how attendees use the app to keep tabs on selected sessions, speaker info, sponsors and last minute changes or updates to the agenda. This insight into agenda usage is not only useful during an event, but think of how helpful it will be as a benchmark for planning future events or providing the executive management team a quantitative after action report.

Team EXMO Screen Shot

I feel the EXMO application, while suited for any size conference, is going to be a huge hit with corporate meeting organizers and tech savvy events like Startup Weekends. Whether you have a shareholders meeting or the annual president’s club and sales award retreat, the organizers task of herding cats will be much easier with EXMO’s simple and efficient event management app.

It was great to see an alumni of the local Startup Weekend come back and engage the very community that gave them their initial start. As a once avid conference attendee and occasional speaker, I have used several of the first generation mobile conference apps many of which are clunky derivatives of the traditional printed conference agenda. The EXMO mobile app is a clean, social media aware experience that meeting attendees will wish they could use for all of their planned events. Follow their progress on Facebook or on Twitter.