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Fall 2023 Entrepreneurial Academy Graduation

Mattie Velasco's Story: Struggles - The Entrepreneurial Academy - Success

Introduction to Mattie & The Spring Entrepreneurial Academy

As we look forward to the Spring 2024 Entrepreneurial Academy, we're inspired by stories of transformation. Mattie Velasco's journey, in particular, stands out. From her battles with addiction to founding Open Forum Strategy, Mattie significantly shows her ability to bounce back and move forward.

From Recovery to Entrepreneurial Leadership

Furthermore, Mattie's story is not just about overcoming personal challenges; it's also about her entrepreneurial spirit. After her recovery, she didn't just sit back. Instead, she channeled her experiences into creating Open Forum Strategy. As a result, this venture is a testament to her strength, aiming to connect the community with government for a better tomorrow.

The Beginning of Open Forum Strategy

Open Forum Strategy started with a dream. Mattie wanted to make a difference, and The Entrepreneurial Academy played a crucial role in her success. By bringing together community leaders and standing up for important causes, she's helping shape a healthier future for Tampa Bay. Her company isn't just a business; it's a platform for change.

Community Impact

Mattie's work has a big impact on the community. Not only does she run her company, but she also puts her heart into advocacy work. Whether it's organizing special events or speaking out on critical issues, Mattie uses her voice to make a difference. Her journey has inspired many, showing that it's possible to turn challenges into opportunities.


Mattie Velasco's path from recovery to entrepreneurship is a powerful example of what the Entrepreneurial Academy and The Chamber represents. Her successes go beyond personal successes, highlighting the potential of entrepreneurship to contribute to societal well-being. As the new cohort starts, Mattie's story serves as a sign of hope, reminding us that with the right support, overcoming obstacles and achieving great things is within reach for everyone.

Ribbon Cutting for Open Forum Strategy with Mattie's mentors
Mattie's Entrepreneurial Academy Graduation
Pitching Open Forum Strategy at 1 Million Cups St. Petersburg after The Entrepreneurial Academy
Ribbon Cutting for Open Forum Strategy
Proclamation for St. Petersburg, FL to make September "Recovery Awareness Month"




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