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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jul. 5, 201905:20 AM EST

Innovate Jax seeks to spark ideas, inform

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“Let’s have fun with this,” says founder and Forcura CEO Craig Mandeville.

Technology entrepreneur Craig Mandeville launched Innovate Jax with the creation of a podcast to share what he wants the world to know.

“Smart, innovative things are happening here,” he told the estimated 150 like-minded creators of ideas, technology and businesses in Northeast Florida at a launch event June 27.

The first three podcasts, available at https://www.forcura.com/innovatejax, are with Mandeville; Brian Kornfeld, co-founder, president and CEO of Synapse, a Tampa-based nonprofit founded to accelerate innovation;  and lawyer Gwen Griggs, chief executive of ADVOS Legal PLLC in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Technology entrepreneur Craig Mandeville.

Mandeville invites questions or podcast nominations be sent to https://www.forcura.com/innovatejax

In 2012, Mandeville created Forcura LLC, a tech company that developed a platform to connect medical professionals with caregivers so that accurate information is shared about patients.  He is the founder and CEO.

He and Chief Strategy Officer Annie Erstling created the Innovate Jax forum to bring together the area’s tech ventures and companies to create a shared culture for the area’s wide dispersion of creators.

“Let’s have fun with this,” he said.

Mandeville said podcasts are the foundation of the effort.

“We think about connecting the dots. Everyone in this room is a dot,” Mandeville told the invited guests at Forcura’s Southside headquarters in Deerwood North.

Mandeville and Erstling consider Jacksonville as comprising “almost five cities in one,” he said.

The differing cultures within the large geography include the Beaches, Avondale and Downtown, for example. Each has its own innovators, ideas and personality.

Ideas for Innovate Jax go up on the whiteboard.

The podcast, Mandeville said in an email to attendees, “is our grassroots way of contributing to the elevation of Jacksonville as a leading southeastern city of innovation.”

Its intent is “to spark ideas, inform, and create connections. Together we can continue the momentum and propel Jacksonville into the limelight by consistently bringing together change-makers,” he said.

In addition to the podcasts, Mandeville envisions networking events and possibly panels of speakers.

“If you are interested in moving Jacksonville forward from an innovation standpoint and want to participate in putting Jacksonville on the map as an innovation hub in the Southeast, then come on,” he invites participants.

Mandeville said Forcura elevated its membership in JAX Chamber, whose councils include one focused on IT. “We’re talking with them about how we can work together to move this forward,” he said.

Technology entrepreneur Craig Mandeville speaks at the Innovate Jax meeting.

 

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