TALLAHASSEE, FL – Starting and sustaining a successful business has always been a cornerstone of the American dream. A record 5.4 million new businesses were started in 2021 and the number continues to grow. However, continual economic and workforce disruptions are presenting unique challenges for local business owners.
In the 9th Annual Power Forward Speaker Series, co-presented by First Commerce Credit Union and the FSU Office of Research, Spencer Rascoff will talk about the adversity he faced in co-founding and building startup tech businesses Hotwire and Zillow, and how he grew them into multimillion and multibillion-dollar successes. Rascoff will also share insights into building a successful team, uniting them around a mission and creating a culture of success. Rascoff remains an active entrepreneur who has been pivotal in the expansion of tech entrepreneurship, investing in more than 100 companies and incubating several more.
“As co-founder of Zillow, Spencer Rascoff transformed the real-estate industry by putting home values at our fingertips,” said First Commerce CEO Cecilia Homison. “We believe his journey to incredible success as a world-class entrepreneur is just the inspiration our business leaders need to keep powering forward in these challenging and ever-changing times.”
Spencer Rascoff is a New York Times bestselling author who co-founded four tech companies, invested in over 100, and was CEO of Zillow for a decade. Zillow is now a real estate colossus, worth around $10 billion. Recently, he cofounded dot.LA, a media company covering the cutting-edge LA tech scene. Additionally, he hosts a world-renowned podcast called, “Office Hours with Spencer Rascoff,” where he speaks with CEOs, startup founders, venture capitalists, and other prominent thought leaders about how to manage, how to lead, and how to win in business.
“Hearing from world-class entrepreneurs like Spencer Rascoff is an excellent opportunity for FSU and the wider Tallahassee community to learn about the twists and turns of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said FSU Vice President for Research Stacey Patterson. “The Office of Research supports our local innovators who are taking those steps to turn their technologies and ideas into companies. Spencer is someone who has lived that life and we are glad that we could help bring him to Tallahassee.”
Some of Rascoff’s recent ventures include co-founder and board chair of Pacaso, a tech startup pioneering a new way to own a second home. He is also co-chair of Supernova, a family of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, which helps take private companies public. He has also spent time as a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, where he taught the StudioLab on Creativity and Entrepreneurship — Startups from Ideation to Exit through the Lemann Program on Creativity and Entrepreneurship (LPCE).
Established as Tallahassee’s largest annual business event averaging 1,000 attendees, the 2023 Power Forward Speaker Series with Spencer Rascoff is set for Thursday, Feb. 16, starting at 3:30 p.m. in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall on FSU’s campus. Power Forward has established a record of bringing highly successful celebrity entrepreneurs to Tallahassee to share their journeys and experiences in business, as well as insights that provide tangible takeaways to help drive economic development through our area business leaders.
The first speaker in the Power Forward Speaker Series in 2013 was Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran. Other acclaimed speakers in the Power Forward Speaker Series include: Chris Gardner, CEO of Happyness (whose autobiographical movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness” starred Will Smith); Peter Diamandis, Founder of the XPrize Foundation; Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary; Airbnb’s Chip Conley; NFL legend and entrepreneur Jim Kelly; Facebook startup team member Randi Zuckerberg; and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, December 13, for the 2023 Power Forward Speaker Series at Tickets.fsu.edu All tickets are $11. Tickets also will be sold in person at the FSU Fine Arts Ticket Office (lobby of the Fine Arts Building at 540 W. Call St.). Limited sponsorship opportunities are available.
Follow Power Forward on social media: #PwrFwd @FirstCommerceCU @FSUResearch
For more information about Power Forward with Spencer Rascoff, visit FirstCommerceCU.org/PowerForward.
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ABOUT FIRST COMMERCE
First Commerce Credit Union is a full-service financial institution headquartered in Tallahassee, Fla., with more than $990 million in assets and serving more than 70,000 business and consumer members in North Florida and South Georgia. First Commerce has 14 financial centers – six in Tallahassee and one in Marianna, FL, one in Adel, Nashville, Ray City, and Thomasville, Ga., and three in Valdosta, Ga,. First Commerce offers a full array of business and consumer products and services, as well as access to thousands of ATMs across the country through a credit union network, mobile banking, mobile deposit, and real-time text/email account alerts. Credit union services include free and interest-bearing checking accounts for all ages; savings accounts; money market accounts; CDs; IRAs; auto loans, mortgages; refinancing; home equity loans; identity theft protection; credit cards; and business loans and accounts. In addition, First Commerce offers a wide range of financial planning and investment services through our subsidiary Six Pillars Financial Advisors, and commercial & personal insurance through First Commerce Insurance Agency. For details on products, services and membership, visit FirstCommerceCU.org or call 850.488.0035 or 1.800.533.5772. Insured by NCUA. Equal housing opportunity lender.