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Our History

Founded in 2004 with support  from the Tampa Bay Partnership, the Florida High Tech Corridor and Verizon, Forward Thinking Initiatives created an economic development  initiative dedicated to developing a more competitive emerging workforce.  At this time, workforce initiatives were common and an obvious part of economic development. However, creating the link between education and economic development was more a discussion than a direction. With encouragement from the Tampa Bay Partnership, and Creative Tampa Bay, FTI began providing programs to teens and educators with a focus on youth entrepreneurship, critical thinking, and leadership.  In 2010 we became a non-profit organization and in March 2011 received our 501(C)3 status.  This has allowed us to expand our outreach to schools, the community and to other non-profit organizations. 

We continue to grow through our many partnerships as well as our work with the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education and the Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Technical Development.

Forward Thinking Initiatives is proud to be a recipient of the Kauffman Foundation Platinum Award, the Creative TampaBay’s Creative Catalyst Award and a State Coordinator for the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education .