Post by Amy Kochek
On February 17th, 2022 over 5,500 registered attendees piled into the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL for the daylong conference that included keynote speakers, panels, and interactive booths representing local organizations and tech companies.
For almost five years, the annual Synapse Summit has drawn tech entrepreneurs and investors from across Florida. This year’s crowd was the largest yet, which speaks to how far Florida has come as an emerging player in the tech and start-up world as well as the incredible opportunities ahead.
DAO’s Booth Presence
In the middle of all of the excitement and buzz from the attendees, event speakers and organizers were the Tampa Bay DAO’s booth. Since the focus of this year’s summit was Web 3.0, specifically the rise of cryptocurrencies, blockchains, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other innovations, the DAO positioned itself to provide attendees with a hands-on experience with minting and creating their own NFTs.
The DAO’s signature NFT pelican designed by local Tampa artist Alex Divietro (aka A1- steak sauce, Aspart, man bun, Jesus, Alex Designer) along with bright blue matching shirts designed by Alexandra Quintos (aka Arra) that proudly displayed “TBD” in a pixelated style that stood out and drew hundreds of visitors to Tampa Bay DAO’s booth.
Visitors who approached the booth were shown how to download and set up a crypto wallet to access the Solana blockchain and then walked through the process of acquiring their first NFT.
William Laurnet of Blockster, a network of the top thousand cryptocurrencies and blockchain businesses, described his team’s experience with TBD’s booth by stating, “When we first encountered the TBD, they were expeditiously guiding summit attendees through the process of minting NFTs. Never one to pass up the opportunity to grab a cool NFT, I complied with the instructions thrust upon me: visit the TBD website, register, download a Solflare wallet, and scan the QR code. Once I completed the assigned tasks, an NFT—I wound up with a kick-ass pelican bitmap design!— was gifted into my wallet.”
Tampa Bay DAO Creates Connection
Similar responses were shared as the booth, manned by eight TBD members, was bustling with visitors the entire day. Even more exciting is the amount of interest that was expressed to become a member of TBD.
It was clear that most of the attendees were looking for more than information. They were looking for connection, which is one of the foundational aspects of the DAO.
One of Synapse Summit’s keynote speakers, Cathay Hackl, echoed that need for connection: “If you are not focusing on community, if you are not focusing on being authentic you are doing it wrong. In the metaverse, we are all world builders, and now is your time to build.”
TBD took this opportunity to embrace both of these concepts. The DAO members brought an authentic and welcoming energy that made it one of the busiest booths at the Summit.
One booth visitor was from Miami but after hearing about everything that the DAO is doing in Tampa Bay along with the vision for the future, he realized he had developed an acute case of FOMO.
Booth Visitor’s First Step into Web 3.0
The goal of Tampa Bay DAO’s presence at Synapse wasn’t to sell anything. It was to help onboard individuals who aren’t in crypto get started as a first step and to help local artists get launched into the NFT space. The NFT giveaway was one way they were helping artists get the exposure they deserved.
At the end of the night, TBD minted over 150 NFTs and airdropped .5 SOL into every registered wallet (totaling $7,000 in all). This was TBD’s first major event, and the feedback they received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive.
The DAO’s Future Post Synapse
The unbelievable response received is even more confirmation that TBD’s mission is aligning with the shift going on in the tech community and the overall shift we are seeing in how we buy and sell goods in the United States.
Our booth sponsor Michael O’Rourke, CEO and founder of Pocket Network, was on a panel discussion and commented, “I believe that blockchains coordinate capital and coordinate humans. We were able to get people regardless of race, creed, wherever you’re from, to agree on something. It’s fundamentally a political movement.”
That is essentially what the DAO is building and will continue to build, and the launch at the Synapse Summit is just the beginning.
As the DAO grows, be on the lookout for more interactive events that will be done on a greater scale to bring exposure to local artists, empower free agents, and exchange resources to create a community that impacts both locally and nationally.
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