Launch into IA is our convocation for the new Innovation Academy students. The event kicks off the academic year by bringing all of the incoming IA students together and welcoming them to the University of Florida. This event is required for all incoming first-year IA students. Family members are invited to attend as well.



Save the Date!

Join Innovation Academy on Saturday, January 6th, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.) to Launch into IA. Launch Into IA is our convocation for new Innovation Academy students. The event kicks off the academic year and welcomes incoming IA students to the University of Florida.

Location: University Auditorium, 333 Newell Dr, Gainesville, FL 32611

+ Attendance at Launch into IA is mandatory for all first-year students.
+ Business professional attire is required.
+ Keynote presentation by Brian Kornfeld, former President and Co-Founder of Synapse, 501(c)(3) nonprofit guiding Florida’s innovation communities.


2023 Event Recap

Thank you to the Launch into IA 2023 attendees. You may find the livestream video recording of this year's event below.

Launch into IA 2024 Keynote Speaker: Brian Kornfeld

Brian Kornfeld, MaxU CEO & Co-Founder, Synapse Co-Founder

Brian Kornfeld is a serial entrepreneur that continues to focus on enabling people to have opportunities to improve their communities and their lives.  The Tampa Bay native has launched multiple successful businesses all by subscribing to the mantra that creating opportunities creates endless possibilities.  Brian’s current company, MaxU, was established in 2022 to help youth athletes with their mental performance and mental health, particularly for the 99% of athletes that will be going professional in something other than sports. 

Brian’s passion for technology began at an early age and continued through college, culminating in a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from The University of Michigan and the University of Florida, respectively, officially making Brian a rocket scientist. Through his career, Brian has worked on amazing technology projects from handheld encryption devices to fighter jets to cutting-edge satellites to billion-dollar acquisitions. 

Brian is an accomplished keynote speaker, having spoken at multiple conferences, events, and commencements.  Brian is the President of the USF Executive MBA Alumni Advisory Council and supports many local missions and companies as an advisor, board member, or partner. He is a Six-Sigma Black Belt, Lean Expert, and Certified Scrum Product Owner. Brian is a 2018 recipient of the prestigious Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under 40: Business Up and Comers of Tampa Bay. He is also nationally recognized in The Business Journals’ Influencers: Rising Stars as one of the top 100 business executives across the country who are having a positive impact relatively early in their careers and in Forbes’ Next 1000 as a rising entrepreneurial star.

In his spare time, Brian enjoys having fun with his wife Marcy, his twin sons Jacob and Micah, his dog Brooks, and being an avid Tampa Bay sports fan.  You can often find him coaching his kids at baseball, out to eat at a local restaurant, or cheering on his beloved Wolverines, Bucs, Lightning, or Rays.



Abhi Lokesh (2013)

CEO & Co-Founder of Fracture 

Josh Greenberg (2014)

Co-Founder of Grooveshark

Kristen Hadeed (2015)

Founder/CEO of Student Maid and Author

Kai Kight (2016)

Keynote Speaker and Violinist

Julia Landauer (2017)

NASCAR Driver and Keynote Speaker

John Spence (2018)

Top 100 business thought leaders, International Business Speaker and Author

Josh Linkner (2019)

Five-Time tech entrepreneur, two-time NY Times bestselling author, venture capitalist and keynote speaker

Gigi Butler (2020)

Branding Powerhouse, Motivational Speaker & Founder of Gigi's Cupcakes 

Kai Kight (2021)

Keynote Speaker and Violinist


Kim Kaupe (2022)

 Buisnesswoman, keynote speaker, and one-of-a-kind teacher

Dr. Farouk Dey (2023)

 Vice Provost for Integrative Learning and Life Design at Johns Hopkins University