Foundation for Community Driven Innovation

FCDI Proud Member of ARM Institute

We’re delighted to announce our membership in the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, an initiative of Manufacturing USA.

We believe this affiliation will provide a valuable resource and networking partnership as we embark on the development of the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center (AMRoC) .

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FCDI Partners with SOFWERX to Host 2018 Tampa Bay FIRST Robotics Competition Kick Off

For the 3rd year in a row, SOFWERX , this year in partnership with the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation,  is hosting a live Tampa FIRST Robotics Competition Kick off .  Created as a partnership between  Defensewerx (formerly Doolittle Institute) and SOCOM, the goal of SOFWERX is to spur collaboration and innovative problem solving – the perfect location to learn the new season challenge!

Tampa Bay area teams will join more than 90,000 high school students from over 3600 teams worldwide, seeing the unveiling of 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition challenge:  FIRST POWER UP!  The SOFWERX kick off is one of over 100 live events going on around the world on January 6.


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Happy Holidays from FCDI!

We at the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI) want to wish all our friends and associates the happiest of holidays and a successful and rewarding New Year!  Special thanks to our program sponsors and donors, who help make all our community projects possible!

2017 at a Glance

This was a year of record achievements for FCDI, including:
All told, our programs reach thousands throughout Tampa Bay., and more online through our website resources and program support.

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FCDI Board Member Terri Willingham Honored as Lightning Community Hero

Lightning Defenseman Braydon Coburn, and Lightning team owner Jeff Vinik present Terri Willingham with Lightning Community Hero Award

From left to right, FCDI board chair Steve Willingham, with Lightning Foundation executive director, Elizabeth Frazier, and board members Terri Willingham, JoAnn Fitzpatrick and Chuck Stephens.

The Tampa Bay Lightning honored FCDI board member, Terri Willingham, as the 12th Lightning Community Hero this season during the Lightning’s November 22 game against the Chicago Blackhawks (which the Lightning won! Go Bolts!) . Willingham, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, donated $35,000 of the award to the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation and the balance to other area nonprofits, most of whom partner with FCDI in the development and organization of local programs and events, including St. Petersburg College Foundation, Tampa Bay Robotics Foundation, Metropolitan Ministries for FIRST Tech Challenge team Coding Hope, Real LIFE Inc. Agile Learning Center, Central Florida Robotics via Polk State College Foundation  and Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalists.

FCDI board members and friends celebrate in the Jabil box at the Amalie Arena

Terri Willingham with Susan Garrett of the St. Petersburg College Workforce Institute.

Willingham was recognized for her work providing guidance to schools and communities in the development of FIRST youth STEM programs , as well as her work developing FCDIs Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Center program, which will give  youth a clear pathway to a high paying future and will also allow adults in the community an opportunity to improve their own earning potential.

We’re grateful to the Lightning Foundation and Jabil, for hosting a wonderful evening for FCDI and all the great friends and community partners who celebrated with us!


ROBOTICON Tampa Bay Set for Oct. 7 & 8

FCDI is excited to again join with some amazing community partners in hosting ROBOTICON Tampa Bay, now in its fifth year!  Over 1500 students and their teachers and mentors from around Tampa Bay and Florida will descend on the University of South Florida Sun Dome Arena October 7 & 8 to learn while they play, and show guests this exciting STEAM powered Sport for the Mind.  ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is free to the public and events take place from 10am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.  Individuals and organizations interested in being part of the event as sponsors, donors, or exhibitors, or wanting to secure free event tickets, are invited to visit to learn more.

FCDI board members with community partners from PLuGHiTz Live Radio and Tampa Bay Robotics Foundation.

With support from University of South Florida, Hillsborough County, Lockheed Martin, the Doolittle Institute, USF Connect and the Florida High Tech Corridor, Eureka! Factory, JPMorgan Chase, Solid Professor  and other fine community organizations, ROBOTICON Tampa Bay provides FIRST students and guests an opportunity to enjoy a full scale steampunk themed  FIRST Robotics Competition event featuring high school student built robot that weigh up to 220 lbs., FIRST Tech Challenge (7th to 12th grade teams) and hydrology themed FIRST LEGO League (4th to 8th grade teams) scrimmages and practice games, and a FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo for our youngest roboticists, ages 6 to 9.

There will also be an Innovation Fair showcasing commercial and industrial robotics and education exhibits.  Guests will be able to tour Team Pits  to see team members working on their robots, and have a chance to talk to students, visit the Innovation Fair to enjoy STEM demos, vendors and organizations, learn about the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center (AMRoC) under development, as well as about technical, industrial,  and science career and college opportunities.

The mission of ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is  to increase public awareness of FIRST K-12 education programs and to provide FIRST Robotics teams with a high-quality, post-season competitive event that provides opportunities for pre-season skill building, networking, and college and career readiness experiences.  ROBOTICON also provides a fun and unique way for the general public to enjoy this “Sport for the Mind” and learn about the hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics that FIRST offers.

The event is FREE and open to the public! Get your tickets at Eventbrite!