Growing up in a very entrepreneurial family, I always knew I wanted to start my own business, first doing so at age 12. For the past five years, I ran WeVue, an HR technology startup based in Tampa. While running WeVue I truly found my strengths in fundraising and sales. I have an extensive background in business development and marketing and have been actively involved in the technology ecosystem in Florida. I now head up Investor Relations at Florida Funders, helping find new investors and raising capital for early-stage companies.
"As a Pittsburgh transplant, I can’t get enough of the Tampa Bay salt life and music scene. On weekdays, I’m busy connecting local startups and growing companies with investors."-Saxon Baum
Q. How would you summarize the overall workplace culture of the Tampa area? Is there something that sets Tampa Bay apart?
A. You’re in a city where you can travel if you need to, you can bring people in if you need to, and you have high level conversations with other people that are on the same professional road map as you. Unlike a lot of other cities, the business climate is a lot warmer, so you have access to individuals that you wouldn’t have access to before. You have a lot of people that would go leaps and bounds to help you out and want you to be successful. That’s just something that I think sets Tampa apart. And yes, there is competition of course, but there is always a friend, or a friend of a friend who wants you to be successful.
Q. To what do you attribute your success?
A. I would say I attribute my success to the role models and mentors that I’ve had in my life. I’ve been pretty lucky to have a father that instilled hard work in me. That was always something for me; I always wanted to be successful like my dad. And then when it comes to mentors and the access to those mentors; being in Tampa has helped me get to where I am today.
Q. What advice would you give to young people who just moved to Tampa and are looking for ways to familiarize themselves with the business and social scenes here?
A. I would say, depending on what you want to get involved in, to look for organizations that are putting on events. For example, if you are involved in technology, attend the Tampa Bay Inno., if it’s finance, go to the ACP. Different organizations that have events that you can go to will help you meet some great people and create your own network. The other key is putting yourself out there. Persistence and following-up is highly important. I met my last intern at an ACP event and if it weren’t for him reaching out via email, that connection wouldn’t have been strengthened.