SPARK Hollywood, a Shark Tank-like program based here in Hollywood which will present a major event on May 17 at the new CIRC Hotel, held an enlightening and enriching Spark Speaker Series event on Wednesday, April 18, at Nokku, a discreet cocktail lounge tucked away beyond the main dining room of Monkitail restaurant at The Diplomat Beach Resort.
The guest speaker was Mark Volchek, founding partner of Las Olas Venture Capital and director of the Founder Institute, who participated in an interactive Q&A, themed around bringing traction and value to the South Florida start-up ecosystem and discussed the momentum and growth within South Florida’s very own start-up scene.
Anne Hotte (CEO of Greater Hollywood Chamber), Ed Walls (GM of The Diplomat Beach Resort), Pam Butler (one of last year’s successful SPARK competitors), Brian Rademacher (City of Hollywood Office of Communications, Marketing & Economic Development), Chris O’Brien (Police Chief) and Amanda Harris (The Diplomat Beach Resort Director of PR & Marketing) were in attendance at the event. After the Q&A, Volcheck mingled with the attendees to continue speaking on his topic of expertise.
SPARK Hollywood is an event that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship for local startups, entrepreneurs, small businesses and inventors in Hollywood and South Florida. The event has three main objectives:
(1) to provide a competition for selected contestants to pitch their idea or invention to a panel of judges to win prizes.
(2) to provide an opportunity for start-ups to showcase their ideas, inventions and products during a “trade show” open to the public.
(3) to provide an opportunity for early-stage entrepreneurs to learn about resources available in the City of Hollywood and the rest of the South Florida region while networking with potential investors and experts who may help start their ventures or grow existing endeavors.
There are no “typical applicants” for SPARK Hollywood. Entrepreneurs and ideas come from every walk of life, every industry sector, and every age group. Contestants can be individuals or a team developing an idea. Some entrepreneurs may have a new business which is already marketing and selling while others may only have a business concept and are working to get to market. Ideas and innovative products may be at any stage of development from creation of concept to a finished product or business.
SPARK Hollywood will be held on Thursday, May 17th, 2018 at the new CIRC Hotel on Young CIrcle. Selected contestants will have the opportunity to give a three-minute presentation of their innovative idea/business to a panel of judges comprised of local community leaders, investors, and professionals. The judges will select the contestants whose ideas will be awarded first, second, and third place prizes based on a variety of criteria.
SPARK Hollywood is produced by The City of Hollywood, in partnership with the Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Nova Southeastern University and the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship.