Synapse Florida Announces Innovation Awards Finalists

February 22, 2024

Innovation Award Finalists Demonstrate Excellence, Innovation, and Tenacity will Present at the Synapse Summit


Synapse Summit, the premier event that brings people together to connect, educate, and celebrate Florida’s innovation, today announced the finalists for the Innovation Awards, which recognize excellence, innovation, and tenacity. Finalists will present on the main stage at the Innovation Showcase at Synapse Summit 2024 on Wednesday, February 28th. The finalists were hand-selected by a panel of judges of CEOs, innovation leaders, and investors across the state.

“The 4th annual Synapse Innovation Awards celebrate Florida’s innovators, risk-takers, doers, and creators for daring to see an opportunity to make something better and to do it,” said Lauren Prager, CEO of Synapse. “The innovation award showcase gives visibility to companies of different industries, technologies, communities, and stages. Each finalist will give a live presentation at the Summit, and winners will be announced,” she added.

“Being part of the Innovation Awards gave us so much exposure during the last Synapse Summit and was a conversation starter throughout the day, with many companies and attendees stopping by our booth to congratulate the team,” said Rocio Frej Vitale, CEO and Founder of Improving Aviation. “Since then, we have leveraged the award on proposal applications, including with NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for over $1.5 million,” she added.

The Innovation Award judges include Eric Aaronson, senior investment analyst and attorney at Mark Cuban Companies; Richard Heruska, chief operating officer at Kinnetz Family Office; Roger Hoss, chief evangelist at The Venture Mentoring Team; and Rose LeJiste, chief executive at RL Engineering and Tech Solutions.


Finalists by category:

Community Impact – Non-profit and for-profit organizations that have impacted their communities by implementing creative solutions or distributing resources. Initiatives recognized include education, sustainable best practices, tech solutions, or social impact outside traditional tech.

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay

Ocean Rescue Alliance International

Emerging Technology – Companies were judged based on their innovation or new applications of an emerging technology.

National Energy USA


Tech Startup – Startups that are less than two years old. Companies were judged based on their journey, problem discovery, solutions, growth, and community impact.

Expanded Existence


Innovative Product – Products that are currently available, unique, and innovative. Products were judged for design, functionality, and potential impact.

Home Lending Pal


Growth Stage Company – Recognizes organizations that have demonstrated exceptional growth in the past 12 months in company size, user adoption, or revenue.




Synapse creates a place to come and learn about what’s happening in our community and to be inspired. For more information, the full agenda, and ticket information, visit


Come join us at Synapse Summit 2024 at AMALIE Arena on February 28th for this amazing award presentation event.  Meet the finalists in person and connect and network with thousands of other tech and innovation leaders, advocates, and enthusiasts.  The Innovation Awards ceremony kicks off on the ice-level mainstage at 3:00 pm!

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