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Episode 29: “Radically Connected” with Jill St. Thomas, Executive Director, Tampa Bay Tech

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Tune in to our latest episode Jill St. Thomas where we discuss how she’s helping the area's best innovators thrive through Tampa Bay Tech.

Here are five things we learned from this week’s episode:

1.Understanding your customer's needs is critical.

When the pandemic hit in March, Tampa Bay Tech took some time to pause and learn about what their members needed most during this time. By taking the initiative to become radically connected, they’ve managed to develop more intimate ways of engaging with members and providing them with the value they need to build their business, right on time, during these waves of uncertainty.

2. Align within your community instead of competing.

There are several organizations in the Tampa Bay area striving to help innovators and entrepreneurs grow their business. Instead of seeing these organizations as competition, Jill sees opportunities for partnership. Instead of competing, she chooses to build relationships with local organizations such as Embarc Collective and Synapse to support overall business development in the community.

3. Automation and cybersecurity are growing.

As automation grows, Tampa Bay Tech is considering how this innovation will impact the technology workforce and all businesses implementing this technology. Jill says her team is focused on coming up with new ways to help people develop new skill sets in order to adapt in this new era of digital transformation. ASs automation grows as a critical need for effective business efficiency, so does the need for increased security measures. 

4. Cybersecurity is growing around the globe.

Cybersecurity is an area that became increasingly popular this year as most companies transitioned to a remote workforce and required additional security of their employees and their information. While other industries experienced a decrease in hiring, cybersecurity boomed and Jill expects the trend to continue into 2021.

5. Sometimes you need to adjust your measurement of success.

A large portion of Tampa Bay Tech’s work included hosting events. This year, most of those events, including their 17th annual award show, were hosted virtually. In previous years, the number of attendees was the primary metric of a successful event. This year, Jill’s team pivoted to focus on building more authentic and intentional experiences for their members. This changed what success looks like within their business and provided more opportunities to build relationships and offer value to their members.

Coffee with Ben is a series that focuses on how companies innovate, strategically plan for the future, and create a strong company culture. These topics are always important for companies to address, but now they’re absolutely critical. To learn how you can increase your capacity for innovation or to guest star on the show, subscribe to our channel and schedule virtual coffee with RIDG Director of Development, Ben Blackman.