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The 4th Annual Lakeland Entrepreneur Awards

See who came out on top at this year’s award ceremony honoring Swan City entrepreneurs.

A blurry image of the Catapult Logo displayed on the wall with award ceremony guests in the foreground

Coworking spaces allow for creativity and ideas to flow between like-minded entrepreneurs.

Photo by Catapult

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Catapult Lakeland hosted its 4th Annual Lakeland Entrepreneur Awards on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. With a keynote address from Caterina Fake — investor at Yes VC, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch, and one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People in the world — the co-working space known for launching Lakeland’s startups honored local entrepreneurial movers and shakers in four categories.

A graphic that says "The way that the community in Lakeland is rising up to support its entrepreneurs is incredible." A quote from Caterina Fake

Caterina Fake shared insights from her career as an entrepreneur and investor.

Photo by LALtoday, Graphic via 6AM City

🏆 Entrepreneur Champion — Mayor Bill Mutz, City of Lakeland

Mayor Bill Mutz addresses a crowd on-stage beside Catapult President Christin Strawbridge

Mayor Bill Mutz accepts his award for 2023 Entrepreneur Champion

Photo by LALtoday

This award goes to a person or company from the Lakeland community who has intentionally taken the time to invest in the development of entrepreneurs. They have provided mentorship, support, and guidance to entrepreneurs navigating a business start-up.

Other nominees: Justin Heacock, Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship at Florida Southern College; Ian Gutoski, Hem Healer

🏆 People’s Choice — Jeremy Brumley, LoveBird Almost Famous Chicken

Jeremy Brumley accepting an award on stage

Jeremy Brumley accepting the 2023 People’s Choice Award

Photo by LALtoday

The People’s Choice Award winner is a Lakeland entrepreneur nominated by their community. Catapult conducted an open call, and Lakeland voted from a pool of finalists to select the 2023 winner.

Other nominees: Marcos Fernandez, Nineteen61; Callie Miller, Carilly

🏆 Catapulter of the Year — Nate Kendrick and Mike Mitchell, Mike & Mike’s Desserts

Nate Kendrick and Mike Mitchell accepting an award

Nate Kendrick and Mike Mitchell accepting the 2023 Catapulter of the Year Award

Photo by LALtoday

This Catapult member is in their first few years of operating but has already experienced significant success. This person has proven to be a visionary and strategic leader in how they have started and begun to scale their business. They have demonstrated humility and willingness to learn that is inspiring to those around them.

Other nominees: Clay Canning, Screen Skinz; Josh Frost, Fine Line Machine; Kadean and Laures Dockery, Our Noire Kitchen; Fred Koehler, Ready Chapter 1

🏆 David Lyons’ Entrepreneur of the Year — Hunter Abramson, Relic Tickets

Hunter Abramson accepts an award

Hunter Abramson accepting the 2023 David Lyons Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Photo by LALtoday

This award goes to a previous or present Catapult Member who successfully manages a business and exhibits strong entrepreneurialism, creativity, innovation, passion, perseverance, and risk-taking. This person is a trailblazer in their field and is committed to pouring back into the Lakeland community.

Other nominees: Diana Cortes, DOU Bakehouse; Jeff Cox, VeriTread