The gatherings attract young entrepreneurs, professionals, community advocates and visionaries, and also more established leaders in the communities in which they’re held. Q. What is the foundation’s budget and how do you get funding?
FloridaNEXT has been around a year, so we still consider ourselves a start-up. Most of our contributions come to us via individual donors. We also attract sponsorships and receive grants. If you visit FloridaNEXT on YouTube, you can see FloridaNEXT receive the DeBartolo Family Foundation Spirit of Humanity award last month, which also comes with funding. We appreciate all the support we get. But, being so young, we certainly need more of it. Financially, and otherwise.Q. What are your plans for the foundation for the upcoming year?
We plan to hold more events, generate more research and continue to expand our blogging, website and social-media presence. If we do that, we expect we’ll attract more young people, entrepreneurs, small businesses owners and policy makers to our mission of inspiring a state of innovation in Florida. But already, I’m encouraged by what I’m seeing around the state. Increasingly, our universities and many of Florida’s businesses and local leaders are demonstrating a desire to innovate.Q. What are your own plans? Do you plan to re-enter politics?
I’m busy with FloridaNEXT. I’m also busy as a senior advisor with Hyde Park Capital in Tampa. I’ve also remained active in Florida politics — separately from FloridaNEXT, which is nonpartisan — by supporting candidates who can make a positive difference. Do I expect to again become a candidate? I’ll tell you, after the first of the year.