Local Nonprofit’s Fundraiser Enables Trip of a Lifetime for Young Tampa Inventors

TechStart Tampa Bay, a not-for-profit using technology to inspire at-risk children, will sponsor five area students for invitation-only, National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurial Expo in Washington D.C., #NICEE16

TAMPA, Fla. – May 17, 2016 – TechStart Tampa Bay, a nonprofit 501(c)3 inspiring local at-risk youth through technology, announced today that the organization has reached its fundraising goal to sponsor five Tampa Bay area student inventors for a trip to the invitation-only, National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurial Expo (NICEE) in Washington D.C.

Ranging from 11 to 14 years of age, each aspiring inventor was selected by TechStart Tampa Bay – three due to their winning performances in the USF Young Innovators Competition that included over 700 entries. Two additional students were chosen by STEM Specialist Laura Spence of the Pinellas County Schoolboard, as a reward for their creativity and dedication to innovation.

Once the student selection was announced, TechStart Tampa Bay, in realizing the monetary needs required for such a trip, jumped into action. The nonprofit established a fundraiser on National Give Day on Tuesday, May 3 and through various donations, including a match donation from the STEMIE Coalition, reached its goal in just under one week – solidifying the trip of a lifetime for the young, local inventors.

“We’re excited and incredibly proud to assist these young, creative minds in showcasing their inventive and entrepreneurial spirit,” said TechStart Tampa Bay Program and Event Director Akira Mitchell. “Attending this conference is a wonderful opportunity for them to expand their horizons, demonstrate their imaginative and analytical abilities amongst peers, as well as inspire innovation to positively impact their futures, and potentially the worlds.”

When NICEE begins on Thursday, May 19 the five chosen students will converge with approximately 300 other students from across the country at the United States Patent and Trademark office to showcase their inventions and compete against one another. Inventions will be judged on its process, solution, impact, and presentation.

As part of their trip of a lifetime, the students will visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, attend an IMAX 3D viewing of the Journey to Space, and be visited by a top NASA official before NICEE concludes on May 21.


To learn more, visit TechStart Tampa Bay’s website , or TechStart’s Facebook .

For more info on NICEE, click here.



About TechStart:

Founded in 2001, TechStart Tampa Bay is a local not-for-profit 501(c)3 as part of TBTF’s philanthropic arm. The nonprofit’s mission is to provide opportunities, inspiration and education to at-risk students in the tri-county Tampa Bay area. Programs include school clubs that teach and fund coding classes, robotics competitions, 3D printing camps, and more.

Red Vector Exclusive Grand Prix Sponsor

Red Vector, the leading provider online education and training for a wide range of industries, was the exclusive sponsor for TechStarts Yacht club. This permitted employees, clients and the executive team the prestigious opportunity to watch the St. Pete Grand Prix from a yacht; fully stocked with food and beverages.

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More importantly their donation allowed 50 kids from Pierce Middle School to get a backstage tour of the St. Pete Grand Prix. The kids were able to talk with mechanics, engineers, drivers and sponsors to best understand the inner workings and the necessity of STEM to make the race come to life.

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For these kids, it opened their eyes into a new world of tech and engineering. They were able to understand how the classes and programs they are involved with today, can severely impact their career of the future. Plus they got the bonus of having a day off of school and sat in an actual race car.  It was a glimpse into the incredible fun they will eventually partake in. A glimpse they never would have realized if not for Red Vector.


See all pictures on TechStart’s Facebook.

Tech Jam 2012 #TBT

Are you interested in attending Tech Jam: Speakeasy Soirée and looking for more information about the event? Follow the link to preview silent auction items and purchase tickets http://techjam.preclickbid.com!

Last year, Tech Jam raised $63,000 to create a better future for at-risk youth of Tampa Bay. Attendees went “Behind the Music” with local artists Christie Lenee, Woody and the Nutcrackers, and Chris McCarty and the Underground Movement. The artists discussed how technology impacts their careers and why they chose to support TechStart’s mission. The incredible performances entertained the attendees throughout the evening. Watch this video to see all the fun!


from In Motion Video Productions on Vimeo.



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Christie Lenee

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Woody and the Nutcrackers

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Chris McCarty and the Underground Movement

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Students from a local boys and girls club showcased the robots they built for a regional competition.

Touring the Paddocks

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, held on March 22-24th, gave 40 students from Northeast High School’s Automotive Technology Education Center a very unique learning experience. Students explored the paddocks, interacted with chief mechanics and crew members, toured team garages and gained perspective on how their knowledge from the classroom transfers directly into racing.

IMG_0006Students interacted with the Firestone mechanic who explained the tires used throughout the weekend. Tires are leased from Firestone and cost the teams roughly $650 per tire. Concerned about the weather for the weekend, students asked about how rain would affect the cars’ grip on the track. Here’s a video to explain:


IMG_0018Thanks to Firestone racing for passing out bright red hats to the students!


Team Pelfrey‘s engineer Stefan Dwornik showed students the technology under the “hood” of the ProMazda series car.


The students were able to tour the team’s office.


IMG_0030Another picture showing technology’s relevance  in racing.


Mike Morrisey, CFO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, taught students about the preparation that goes into making the race a success. Safety is extremely important, and many precautions are taken to ensure risk is minimized. For example, each cement block lining the track weighs 4,000 pounds.



Every car must go through tech inspection before being allowed access onto the race track. If a car fails the inspection, the team must return to the paddocks and to work on the car until it meets the standards. The mechanics inspect the top 5 race cars after racing and also perform random inspections to ensure all teams did not alter the car between inspection and the races. If a top car fails, they are disqualified from any winnings. Pressure is high!


The Go Daddy race car going through tech inspection. This team placed 1st in the races on Sunday!


1st place winner James Hinchcliff! Find more pictures at www.motorsport.com


The students gathered around to hear details about the tech inspection and which specifications are needed to meet the standards.

IMG_0051Group picture of Northeast High School students, teachers, and chaperones at the pedestrian walkway.


Thanks to Bryan Herta AutosportTribridge, and myMatrixx for sponsoring the Grand Prix event!

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