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Florida Next – What Do You Hate About Southwest Florida?

Florida Next – What Do You Hate About Southwest Florida?

FloridaNext – Grow your idea into something that changes Southwest Florida.

  • Who: You (Those With Ideas on How to Better SWFL)
  • What: Florida Next – Impact Forum
  • When: November 5th
  • Where: Silverspot Cinema @ Mercato @ 6PM
  • Why: Because You Want to Be The Change You Want to See in the World…

Lately I’ve been thinking about two big things:

  1. Nothing
  2. Communities

As I’ve gotten older and as Atilus has grown, I’ve come to realize how powerful people are. In a business context there’s certainly something to be said about connections, access to capital, and all of those advantages that reduce the time and space between here and there, from idea to execution, from nothing to success.

What I’ve found most interesting though is that first part – NOTHING. How so much – projects, companies, processes, greatness – starts from nothing. How, with just an idea, you can change the world (for a neighbor, or the whole damn thing!).

Two years ago I didn’t know anything about Bitcoin. But, I studied up, started participating in the online and local communities, learned fast, and have since been amazed by how, partially through our Bitcoin scholarship (the first Bitcoin donation to a public university), I’ve become a bit of an expert talking to hedge funds, research companies, the press – about this cool new technology and how it works, and what it could mean for the future.

Two years ago I knew NOTHING about Bitcoin. Nothing.

And through all of this stuff Atilus does, through the scholarship, and Atilus’ work with Shy Wolf, Literacy Council, Harry Chapin Food Bank, CCMI, Voices for Kids, Pace, David Lawrence Center – Atilus is helping to shape our community. I’m realizing that we all play a role, that each of us is a part of the culture and direction of our homes.

I don’t know if everyone realizes this. I certainly never did.

I used to think other people were responsible for all “that stuff.” From animal rescue, to film festivals to Zombicon, I now understand people spot a need and come together, have a conversation, and get to work on a solution. And by coming together each person or group, can solve the different problems in their immediate communities or more regionally – be they entertainment, social, medical, etc.

What Do You Hate About Southwest Florida?

Or maybe more appropriately, what problems can you think of throughout Southwest Florida that requires a solution and what’s your solution?

At this year’s 40 under 40 event I was introduced to some of the staff of Florida Next through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. The Florida Next program is a non-profit based out of Tampa that holds “impact forums” to help select some of these problems/solutions and assist the originators of the ideas in executing, from planning, to website and graphic design, through funding – they help at every step.

On November 5th, Florida Next in cooperation with Gulfshore Life & Business and the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will be holding an impact forum to help bridge that gap between nearly nothing and success. All you need is a community problem and a solution.

What problems, issues, or areas do you find lacking in Southwest Florida?

Come up with an idea and you might get the chance to pitch it at this years’ event. Some of those that participate will then be selected for ongoing planning and assistance.


More About FloridaNext

Florida Next Foundation, a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to empower young people, entrepreneurs and small businesses so they can drive the innovation needed to enhance Florida’s economy and quality of life.



Kristen Bachmeier
Kristen Bachmeier
Kristen Bachmeier is Atilus' Director of Operations and helps to oversee all client accounts and day-to-day operations. Kristen also has a background in digital marketing, and has been working in the digital marketing space since 2012.

  • Carolyn

    OK, this is really good – thank you Zach!

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