Innovation Hub USA

MAKEOFFICES – A PLATFORM THAT EMPOWERS MEMBERS TO GROW THEIR BUSINESSES THROUGH WORKSPACE, COMMUNITY, AND PARTNERSHIP.

MAKEOFFICES
Make Office logo

MAKEOFFICES IS A PLATFORM THAT EMPOWERS OUR MEMBERS TO GROW THEIR BUSINESSES THROUGH WORKSPACE, COMMUNITY, AND PARTNERSHIP.

MAKEOFFICES
MakeOffices
MakeOffices members

MakeOffices was founded with a mission to create a platform of useful solutions to the everyday entrepreneur. The first step is to make finding and leasing office space flexible, affordable, and pain-free. We understand what it is like to be a startup with a tight budget or a small business that does not want to commit to a multi-year lease in a stuffy corporate environment.

MakeOffices delivers turnkey, move-in ready work spaces with flexible, month-to-month lease options that satisfy company needs without the burden and capital commitment of a long-term lease. Members are part of a vibrant community that regularly interacts through hosted events and organic networking opportunities. By providing the office infrastructure and all-inclusive amenities, including fast WiFi, 24/7 access, locally-roasted coffee, and craft beer, for one, low monthly rate, members can spend more of their time and money growing their businesses.

MakeOffices

Here is what some of our members are saying about their experiences while at MakeOffices:

“MakeOffices checked all the boxes we were looking for. The bang for your buck at MakeOffices in terms of amenities provided, the
actual square footage you get, and connections to local businesses/startups is unmatched.”- Elan Bar, Director of Operations, Cater2.me

“I love the community here. It’s definitely very productive. When you come here, you see that everyone is working so hard, and you want to work just as hard.” – Jesse Calzado- Esponda, Founder Cuba Inspires

“We’ve tapped designers that are also working at MakeOffices, photographers, developers, social media gurus. We’ve been able to work with a number of the other MakeOffices members.” – Shy Pahlevani, Founder & CEO, Hungry.

MakeOffices operates 14 locations across Chicago, Philadelphia, and the Washington, DC metro area. 

For additional information please visit: www.makeoffices.com

TAMPA BAY WAVE – A FOCAL POINT OF TAMPA’S GROWING TECH STARTUP COMMUNITY

TAMPA BAY WAVE, INC. - TheWave

TAMPA BAY WAVE, INC.

“THE WAVE” AS IT HAS BECOME TO BE KNOWN, IS A FOCAL POINT OF TAMPA’S GROWING TECH STARTUP COMMUNITY.

TAMPA BAY WAVE, INC. - TheWave

As a “by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs” non-profit, Tampa Bay WaVE’s mission is to help entrepreneurs build, launch and grow successful technology companies right here in Tampa Bay.

Through the diligent cultivation of entrepreneurs, technology talent and support from community and business leaders, Tampa Bay WaVE has created a unique ecosystem focused on collaborative pathways to success. The 10,000 square-foot inhabitants with all they need to focus on becoming Tampa Bay’s next breakout success. Oh, and not to mention the coffee bar, hammocks, foosball and open work environment that supports their distinctive culture.

Tampa Bay Wave - Phonism

History

Tampa Bay WaVE began in 2008 as a meet-up of the CEOs and founders of local technology startups. Founder and current President, Linda Olson formed a community of leaders that came together regularly to solve problems and share ideas. The group continued to grow a they became more effective at providing solutions and resources to its members.

In 2011, after instituting some programming and organizing around a few key initiative, Tampa Bay WaVE formally established itself as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a focus on enabling Tampa Bay to support great technology startups.

Tampa Bay Wave
Tampa Bay Wave Group Shot

In 2012, Tampa Bay WaVE moved into downtown’s iconic Sykes Building while simultaneously raising $1M from the business community to support its efforts. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) matched these funds with a federal grant that same year.

In 2015, the EDA followed up on their commitment with a second grant that allowed the WaVE to continue their mission of helping entrepreneurs build successful technology ventures. Later that year, Tampa Bay WaVE relocated to their current space in the Sunshine Bank Building.

This new home effectively supports Tampa Bay WaVE’s mission by providing resources for co-working, workshops, a mentor network, as well as , a home for the FirstWaVEVenture Center and Accelerator Program.

The FirstWaVE Venture Center

Today’s startup founders require a growing number of resources to support their success. Close Proximity and collaboration with other founders and CEOs is an invaluable part of this mix. The FirstWaVE Venture Center provides co-working opportunities with flexible, open office along with the access to resources and the community support that entrepreneurs need.

With the added value of workshops and networking events, the Venture Center is an affordable and valuable asset for businesses at any stage of growth.

The FirtsWaVE Accelerator

Tampa Bay WaVE’s FirstWaVE Accelerator delivers a hands-on program that moves startups from an idea to an investment-ready business in just ninety days. This program offers founders the counsel, connections, and the confidence of commitment that will allow them to thrive. This accelerator program is different by design and allows the bootstrap entrepreneur the chance to focus on their idea while maintaining 100% of their equity. With a nominal fee for participation, these founders invest in their idea with divesting their ownership.

The FirstWaVE Accelerator provides many additional support resources after the program like meaningful peer relationships build during the program along with beneficial connections to customers and capital.

Tampa Bay Wave - community

Community

WaVE is one the closest entrepreneurial communities in the Tampa Bay area – and growing more expansive every year.

Because helping entrepreneurs is at the heart of Tampa Bay WaVE’s mission, they will continue to expand their services to assure they are contributing value to the Tampa Bay entrepreneurial community. Whether it is more education, leadership and/or capital investment opportunities in Tampa Bay WaVe is committed to building companies and growing the Tampa Bay area’s ability to support a thriving technology business community.

SPARXOO – Hello Trendsetters. A Digital Agency Born to Accelerate Growth.

Sparxoo Agency

SPARXOO

HELLO TRENDSETTERS. A DIGITAL AGENCY BORN TO ACCELERATE GROWTH.

As a leading digital agency, Sparxoo is a trendsetting powerhouse where badass talent, inspired ideas and ‘wow’ results lead the pack. Since its founding in 2010, Sparxoo has landed on the Inc. 5000 list and been named a finalist for Tampa Bay’s Best Places to Work, Coolest Office Space, and Small Business of the Year.

Sparxoo Agency

Sparxoo, every client and project is unique—and treated as such.

Sparxoo’s growth trajectory is buoyed by its focus on being an innovative, world class digital agency.Their team of experts—who have earned more than 75 digital certifications—create high-performing campaigns for a range of clients. With an innovation and leadership mindset, the team of award-winning storytellers, designers, animators, developers, and digital marketers fuse their technical expertise into deliverables that make strategic impact for clients. From initial brainstorming and communication to the final product, the Sparxoo team blends visual masterpiece with the core of all work—a focused strategy.

Inside the office, the Google certified agency inspires its Xoolebrities through team building events, brainstorming workshops, and motivating educational programs such as a monthly Rise & Energize leadership series, where Tampa community leaders share their career journey over coffee and breakfast. The agency also sponsors and participates in Leadership Florida, Leadership Tampa, Tampa Connection, Ad2 Tampa Bay, Equality Florida, and Community Tampa Bay.  Further, living up to their name as trendsetters, Sparxoo is Tampa Bay’s first LGBT certified business.

Sparxoo - Work Badass

Be First, Be Inventive, Be Connected, Be Energized, Be Badass

Sparxoo Space

Regular Executive Updates ensure staff is aware of important milestones.

In the digital world, performance can be tracked and optimized. Through data driven campaigns, iterative testing, advanced technology and agile scrum methodology, Sparxoo combats any pre-conceived notion that marketing isn’t money well spent. In the Tampa Bay region, Sparxoo has launched the Water Street brand, partnered with Florida Polytechnic University in optimizing their admissions funnel, and served as a key agency partner for Tech Data in the accelerated growth of their Cloud offering. Beyond Tampa Bay, the agency applies digital expertise on behalf of Fortune 500 brands in health & wellness, sports & entertainment, and technology. 

Sparxoo is a catalyst of Tampa Bay’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The digital passion is palpable at their Digital Power Hours,which bring together more than 50 emerging digital leaders on a quarterly basis.  These forums connect the Tampa Bay digital community by bringing together CEOs, CMOs, and emerging talent. The agency stretches their involvement onto the college campus, previously donating pro bono work through the University of Tampa Innovation Center and establishing a strong presence at University of Tampa, University of South Florida and Florida Polytechnic University. 

Sparxoo fiercely and proudly proclaims itself a badass digital agency. The team is energized to ignite growth, solve the unsolvable and uncage potential across its community of amazing talent and growing clients.

Sparxoo Red Logo

Sparxoo | 450 Knights Run Ave, Unit 1, Tampa, FL 33602 | Tel: 813-402-0208 | www.Sparxoo.com

PROSPERA – In 25 years of Service, Prospera has Generated $1.5 Billion in Total Economic Output and Impacted more than 26,900 Jobs Across Florida.

PROSPERA

In 25 years of service, Prospera has generated $1.5 Billion in total economic output and impacted more than 26,900 jobs across Florida. Prospera invests expertise and resources in existing and prospective Hispanic-owned businesses, empowering entrepreneurs through training, support, and resources so their business can grow and prosper. Prospera has offices in Florida’s central, south,and west coast regions, and also offers services in other areas of the state on a regular basis. Funded by corporate and government contributions, as well as funds raised through special events and contracts, it is able to offer all of its services at no charge to clients.

Prospera

Left to Right Back Row: August Sanabria-President/CEO of Prospera along with West Coast team members, Fabia Yepez-Vice President, Claudia Johnson-Senior Business Development Consultant, Diana Teixeira-Business Development Consultant, Maitte Velez-Business Development Specialist, Leidys Gonzalez Customer Service Receptionist. Left to Right Front Row: Success Stories Luncheon Honorees were COS Janitorial owned by Oscar Pineda and his family, ISSA Rehab owned by Patricia de la Ossa and Guillermo Saavedra and Paola Beauty Boutique owned by Paola Cruz.

Dr. Cruz Maria Ceino, owner of Happy Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Prospera has partnerships with numerous key organizations to accomplish our mission of supporting Hispanic-owned small businesses in the Tampa Bay area, such as, Clearwater SPARK, Pinellas County Economic Development, Hillsborough County, and the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center.

SERVICES

BUSINESS SEMINARS | Presented in Spanish, orientations for startups and advanced workshops on topics that are vital for the success of a business.

BUSINESS CONSULTING | Ongoing and personalized guidance to identify opportunities and overcome challenges of the existing or prospective business.

BUSINESS GRANTS | Subcontracted professional services vetted and paid by Prospera.

ACCESS TO CAPITAL | Assistance throughout the process of obtaining traditional and micro-loans.

We strive to make a difference with our clients so that they can be better equipped for their small business endeavors with modern and innovative ways to develop their business model, start, grow and expand. Below are some clients that we have awarded at our Success Stories Luncheon for their prosperous small business successes. Success Stories Luncheon is a signature event that pays homage to several successful clients. With more than 500 attendees, this event brings together government, civic and business leaders to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in the Hispanic community.

Left to right:
Prospera Team: Augusto Sanabria-President/CEO, Claudia Johnson-Senior Business Development Consultant, Diana Teixeira-Business Development Consultant, and Fabian Yepez-Vice President of West Coast

Roberto Torres owner of Blind Tiger Café

PASCO EDC SMARTSTART

PASCO EDC - meeting
PASCO EDC - meeting

PASCO EDC SMARTSTART

THE PASCO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (PASCO EDC) WAS FORMED IN 1987 WORKING TO RECRUITMENT AND RETAIN BUSINESS IN PASCO COUNTY, WHILE DEVELOPING A NETWORK OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COMMUNITY LEADERS TO HELP IN THE EFFORT.

Today the organization is unique as it is one the few of its’ kind in the United States. Business recruitment and retention is still a primary focus of the organization, however the growth of new and small businesses and services to entrepreneurs is equally important.

Pasco EDC is already known as one of the leading economic development organizations for its’ business recruitment and retention efforts, workforce development relationships and foreign investment and exporting programming. Now its SMARTstart program is known as the ultimate resource for new and growing businesses in Pasco County.

Whether you’re an established small business or just starting a business, SMARTstart provides the tools needed to establish and grow a strong business in Pasco County.This innovative suite of programs is offered through a network of SMARTstart Entrepreneur Centers and provide the tools growing businesses need for long-term success, including; Pasco Enterprise Network (PEN), Business Incubation, Pasco Microloan, Business Leadership Round tables, and the CO. STARTERS business development curriculum and SPARC Business Framework.

SMARTstart Entrepreneur Centers are places where entrepreneurs of any business stage can obtain information, access resources and network with like minded business owners. There are 2 Centers strategically located in Dade City and West Pasco that offer services such as; business coaching, mentorship, business development classes and workshops, co-working space, meeting rooms and private offices and weekly events.

Pasco Enterprise Network (www.pascoenterprise.com) is a partnership of agencies and business leaders committed to ensuring the success of small businesses. The coordination of programming helps business owners build the confidence to strengthen and grow their businesses through business consulting, individual counseling, education in the form of topical workshops and classes, and technical assistance in a variety of areas and subjects.

Business Incubation is a vital service for early-stage ventures when they are most vulnerable. This program is currently offered at 2 of the SMARTstart Entrepreneur Centers, one in Dade City and one in West Pasco. The incubation program provides hands-on management assistance, access to funding and connections to critical business resources or technical support services. There are shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases, and expandable space all under one roof. 

The Pasco Microloan Fund was established to help passionate small business owners with solid ideas, good management skills, and a valid business plan get the funding they need when traditional financing is not an option.Loans are available up to $35,000 for entrepreneurs who have the experience and resources to be a successful business operator. 

Business Leadership Roundtables bring industry CEOs, Presidents, and business owners together monthly for an exchange of information, challenges, and insights.  Eight to 12 members from non-competing, growth-oriented companies meet in a confidential setting to share the challenges and rewards of leadership and how it impacts life at work and home.  The roundtable experience results in better-informed decision making, more effective visionary thinking,heightened ability to anticipate trends and issues,increased profitability, and enhanced personal satisfaction.

CO.STARTERSis a nationally recognized business development curriculum developed by The Company Lab in Chattanooga Tennessee. This is a nine-week program to equip seasoned and aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavor. The cohort meets once a week with a trained facilitator and others who share the entrepreneurial spirit and work to develop a successful business model and discover repeatable steps for success that can be used throughout the life of any company. 

The SPARC Business Framework was developed by Dino Eliadis, business coach and author of Business Growth Simplified. SPARC is a proven system for helping business owners become more strategic in how they run their business with the goal of having the business become self-sustaining. This systematic approach to growing a business includes 6 key steps: Defining Your Passion, Determine Your Growth Stage, Assess Current Resources, Establish Strategy, Create and Action Plan, and Execute, Monitor, and Adjust.

The power behind the success of the SMARTstart small business programs is an extensive network of relationships and expertise that come from 30 years of operations by the Pasco EDC. The SMARTstart programs are unique in that any entrepreneur from any stage of business development can find essential resources to help assist with strategic business growth.

16506 Pointe Village Drive, Suite 101

Lutz, FL 33558

Phone: 813-926-0827

www.pascoedc.com

www.smartstartpasco.com

www.facebook.com/PascoEDC

www.facebook.com/SMARTstartPasco

Twitter: @PascoEDC | @SmartStartPasco

PASCO EDC SmartStart - logo

SPARK GROWTH – INNOVATORS WHO SPECIALIZES IN BRINGING CONNECTIONS, RESOURCES & SOLUTIONS TO SOLVE THE MOST CHALLENGING BUSINESS ISSUES

Spark growth - Girls committed to the future
Spark growth - Girls committed to the future

Girls committed to the future

SPARK GROWTH

THE GLOBAL GROWTH CONSULTANTS AT SPARK GROWTH ARE INNOVATORS WHO SPECIALIZE IN BRINGING CONNECTIONS, RESOURCES AND SOLUTIONS TO SOLVE THE MOST CHALLENGING BUSINESS ISSUES.

Park growth - 2017 Smart Citites Innovation Havard NYC

Customizing our approach to the specific needs of a problem, place and culture – at Spark Growth we draw on the right resources from our talented network of thought leaders and experts to bring high value through strategic innovation and creative problem solving. Working in agile and iterative cycles, we help organizations determine the best courses of action with the highest impact and ROI. Then we guide project implementation with a focus on rapid and effective results.

We are in a time of unprecedented change worldwide, with major new challenges facing our organizations every day. As leaders, thinkers and problem solvers, the traditional ways of operating no longer work and even the unspoken rules of business and innovation no longer apply. In this big-data and information-rich world, context is critical and insight is invaluable to help you innovate rapidly and effectively adapt to change. For the future of your organization, how you manage change is as important as knowing what changes to make

Our passion is in connecting the dots – growing people, businesses, and communities. We’re always looking for cool new ideas that make a difference, great people, and awesome partners for projects.

These projects take shape across cultures, multiple time zones, industry clusters and profit and non-profit sectors. From the wild west of “Smart Cities”, the culture shifting aspects of thought-leadership workshop retreats and conferences, to the capital creation results of business and economic development.

Leaders Conference 2016 - Spark Growth

Leaders Conference 2016 Strategic Doing Workshop

Spark Growth - Station2-Vern Buchanan

Station 2 – Vern Buchanan

Some of these projects include:

DaVinci’s Faire – multi-generational sensory-rich community engagement centered around science, technology, makers, inventors and lifelong learners in an unique open-spaces format.

3.0 Leaders – convening extraordinary leaders and innovators, “heroes” in establishing innovation cultures to address the tough issues that are facing us all today. What are the latest trends? What questions should you be asking? Where are they investing their time and money, and why?

Soft-landing services – support business expansion into new markets, and are designed specifically to ensure those businesses are provided with an accelerated introduction into the market’s business practices, regulations and culture.

Agile strategy – lean, agile and fast, we teach people how to form collaborations quickly within in their networks, and rapidly generate innovative solutions in quick, iterative cycles.

Station 2 Innovation – building community and growing businesses in Bradenton and beyond with weekly education, co-working, mentoring and more.

Cool collaborations – from visiting the UN and State Department, to Innovation Accelerators sponsored by Harvard University, international business networking and impact investment conferences.

Spark Growth was founded in Bradenton, FL in 2013 by entrepreneurs Sara Hand and Stan Schultes. With recognized business development, technology, and organizational skills, we are certified Business Incubation Managers through the InBIA, and certified practitioners of Strategic Doing, an agile strategies development process supported by the Purdue University Agile Strategies Lab.

Spark growth - Leaders 2017 Panel

Leaders 2017 Panel

DaVinci Faire BarCampDeconstrruct Zone 2017

DaVinci Faire BarCamp Deconsruct Zone 2017

Spark Growth - Station 2 Grand Opening

Station 2 Grand Opening

Spark Growth - logo

Address: 912 7th Ave E. Bradenton, FL 34208 | Phone: 941-877-1599 | Email: info@SparkGrowth.net

www.SparkGrowth.net,

Facebook –SparkGrowth , Twitter – @Spark_Growth

TEC GARAGE – NEARLY 15 YEARS OF ACCELERATING HIGH-TECH ENTERPRISE

tec garage St.Petersburg logo

NEARLY 15 YEARS OF ACCELERATING HIGH-TECH ENTERPRISE

As we approach our 15th year of operation, we can take pride in reaching an important milestone by serving as a valuable resource for innovators and entrepreneurs.  Our ever-growing list of graduates is a testament to our ability to nurture successful high-tech entrepreneurial ventures in West Central Florida. 

Tanya Elmore, President & CEO of TEC Garage

Tanya Elmore, President & CEO

When we launched the Innovation Center in 2003, the concept of an incubator as a vital part of regional economic development was not yet top-of-mind for most people.  It surely wasn’t as trendy as it is today to coach, mentor and support startups.  We were pioneers in understanding how important it is to assist and nurture entrepreneurs. 

BUILDING ON OUR SUCCESS

In 2014, we took the foundation of the Innovation Center and established TEC Garage in downtown St. Petersburg.  TEC Garage is an innovation and entrepreneurship center that assists emerging and entrepreneurial companies in the technology and manufacturing sectors by accelerating their success.  TEC Garage provides a unique mind-to-market model for working with entrepreneurs from concept through exit strategy, providing dedicated coaching, mentoring services, shared equipment, conference and office space, educational workshops and access to funders.  Clients are able to access services either onsite or virtually.

Much of our success can be attributed to an outstanding staff with experience in launching and growing tech companies, as well as a group of professionals who volunteer their time to serve as mentors to our clients.  Today we continue to improve our program by incorporating the best features and practices of the most successful programs throughout the country. By continuing to focus on the individual entrepreneur, we can address specific needs with specific skill sets, helping to move the young startup more quickly to revenue and success.

We are fortunate to count numerous well-respected individuals from funding and venture capital organizations, defense program offices, law offices, accounting firms and many more for community support.   Together they make a significant contribution in helping us foster innovation and growth in the high-tech economy in the Tampa Bay marketplace.

TEC Garage
TEC Garage - a unique mind-to-market model for working with entrepreneurs
TEC Garage - space
Tec Garage - office space

A CATALYST FOR SPURRING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL AND INNOVATION ECO-SYSTEM

We are very pleased to report that we’ve been laying the groundwork for a purpose-built Innovation Center – a technology hub in St. Petersburg’s Innovation District and Pinellas County.  With emphasis on healthcare and marine sciences, the new facility will provide tomorrow’s technology business leaders access to the resources, services, networking and mentors they need while also fulfilling our vision of creating high-tech high-wage jobs.  The Innovation Center will serve as a focal point where startups, entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors can work in a collaborative environment bringing forth new innovations with a shared vision

TEC Garage

244 2nd Avenue North, Suite 9

St. Petersburg, FL  33701

727-547-7340

tecgarage.org

Facebook.com/TECGarageStP

OPERATION STARTUP (OPSU) – MISSION DRIVEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Operation Startup - Mission-Driven Entrepreneurship
Operation Startup - Mission-Driven Entrepreneurship

Rosie Lee, Veteran Spouse, COO Divergent Dimension and Operations Manager, OPSU Beth Kerly, HCC Business Professor and Co-Founder of OPSU Andy Gold, HCC Business Professor and Co-Founder of OPSU Valerie Ellis Lavil, US Army Veteral, CEO, Luminary Global, and Director, OPSU

OPERATION STARTUP (OPSU)

NEARLY ONE IN FOUR ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE MEMBERS AND VETERANS WANT TO OPEN AND OPERATE THEIR OWN BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY, FREEDOM, AND SOLVING PROBLEMS ATTRACT THEM TO THE CHALLENGE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

Operation Startup (OPSU) is disrupting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tampa and the U.S., becoming the first business actuator for early-stage entrepreneurs.Incubators and accelerators offer entrepreneurs co-working spaces and amenities at lease terms or equity shares that are unaffordable for early-stage entrepreneurs.

As a business actuator, however, Operation Startup serves early-stage entrepreneurs from the military Veteran community who may have not yet fully developed their business ideas and strategies. Even a modestly priced incubator is not a viable starting point for an early-stage business idea, and these entrepreneurs are a long way from attracting investors that may be available through an accelerator.

Operation Startup - Entrepreneur Services

Robert Blacklidge, US Air Force Veteran, Serial Entrepreneur, OPSU Entrepreneur in Residence Travis Ingram, US Army Reservist, Aspiring Vetrepreneur

Operation Startup - OPSU

Brian Mann, Ed.D., Director, Associate in Science Degree Programs Rosie Lee, Veteran Spouse and Operations MAnager, OPSU Beth Kerly, HCC Business Professor and Co-Founder of OPSU Valerie Ellis Lavin, US Army Veteran, CEO, Luminary Global, and Director, OPSU

Business actuators, as described by Operation Startup co-founders Dr. Andy Gold and Mary Beth Kerly, bridge that gap for budding small business owners, and are the necessary precursor to incubators and accelerators.

“There is a chasm in the entrepreneur eco-system, not just in Tampa Bay but around the world,” explains Gold. “Successful entrepreneurs do not dive into incubators until their business ideas are validated, their products tested, or their businesses have launched.”

Adds Kerly, “But those businesses fail more often than not because they were not formed strategically with a solid understanding of the market, the customers, or the cost involved in starting a business.”

“Our niche is helping early-stage entrepreneurs develop an idea, validate the idea, and learn best practices before laying down that first dollar to start a business.”

Supported in collaboration with Hillsborough Community College and Hillsborough County government, as well as private and corporate donations, Operation Startup offers all its services, resources, and guidance at no cost to the eligible members.

Members participate in workshops on pertinent business topics, from ideation validation to customer discovery to financial planning. Business advisors, local experts who volunteer their time to mentor entrepreneurs, help craft development plans, provide networking opportunities.

“We tap into local and national experts, business executives, investors and philanthropists to offer robust services to help new small businesses and high growth scalable enterprises get moving in the right direction with the right business model,” explained Kerly.

“Our goal,” says Gold, “is to help these business innovators launch their idea after carefully modeling the business, testing their assumptions, pivoting when necessary and laying the groundwork for long-term success. Equally critical is to prevent the formation of unsustainable business models, saving individuals unrecoverable time and money.”

Operation Startup Members

Membership in Operation Startup is currently restricted to Veterans, active duty military, National Guard, Reservists, military spouses, and their civilian business partners. 

“Five, ten years from now, Operation Startup is going to be noted as the founder of the business actuator, much like Mancuso for the incubator and Y Combinator for the accelerator,” Gold says.

Kerly adds, “Businesses developed in this actuator will populate incubators and accelerators across Florida with more viable business ideas, stronger business planning, and businesses with a greater likelihood of success. Investors will actively compete for investment opportunities in actuator-founded businesses, because the ROI will be greater and the regional economic impact more evident.”

Operation Startup - logo

You can connect with us at www.operation-startup.com

THE LOWTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER – THE UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA

THE LOWTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER THE UNIVIRSITY OF TAMPA

THE LOWTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER

THE UNIVIRSITY OF TAMPA

THE LOWTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER THE UNIVIRSITY OF TAMPA
the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center - building

A Tampa Bay Ecosystem study funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and conducted through the John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at The University of Tampa, Sykes College of Business found that entrepreneurial ecosystems within small metropolitan areas – such as Tampa Bay – lack the collaboration and vision necessary to instill an entrepreneurial mindset.

The solution to growing a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem is increased collaboration between stakeholders in the ecosystem and education.

At the Sykes College of Business, the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center’s programs teach skills that are critical for today’s entrepreneur to succeed in a changing business economy, and help build healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems. As an academic program, student learning is at the core of all entrepreneurship activities and programs at The University of Tampa. The focus of the program is to be nationally recognized and engage students and the regional business community in mutually beneficial learning experiences. Additionally, the program provides research opportunities focused on student engagement and entrepreneurship pedagogy.

the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center - The University of Tampa

The academic programs within the Sykes College of Business at The University of Tampa include both undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship degree programs. Undergraduate degree programs include majors in entrepreneurship and international business and entrepreneurship and a minor in entrepreneurship. Graduate degree programs include an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship and an MS in entrepreneurship. Launched in 2016, the MS program utilizes design thinking, systems thinking, collaboration and prototyping to help students move from concept to business in 12 months.

THE LOWTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER THE UNIVIRSITY OF TAMPA

The Lowth Center offers a customized learning approach to entrepreneurship education and is leading the discipline in innovative approaches to integrating curricular and co-curricular learning and assessment.Through our programs, we bring together prospective student entrepreneurs, educators and experienced entrepreneurs to generate, refine and develop business concepts and to launch new ventures. Through a combination of classroom study and applied learning with the local business community,students learn how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, recognize business opportunities, conduct marketing research, prepare executable business plans, identify financial needs,acquire funding,maintain liquidity,manage cash flow and much more.

THE LOWTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER FACILITY

The Lowth Center is housed in an exceptional facility that was created with experiential learning in mind.  The entire blueprint is based on the assumption that meaningful learning only takes place if it is embedded in the social, as well as the physical context within which it is used. The space provides an environment that is conducive to five learning modalities: apprenticeship, collaboration, reflection, coaching and multiple practice. These learning strategies are reflected not only in the center, but in its curriculum and programs. Students and members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem have multiple opportunities to get engaged in a wide variety of diverse learning experiences,including accelerator and incubator programs,networking events with local business leaders and entrepreneurs,pitch competitions,speaker series led by entrepreneurial leaders from all over the nation,coaching from entrepreneurs-in-residence and education seminars.

Success at the Lowth Center stems from the ability to build and grow students’ entrepreneurial mindsets so they have the right skills and experiences to further pursue their entrepreneurial career in an evolving economy.

John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center
Sykes College of Business, University of Tampa
401 W. Kennedy Blvd. | Box 2F
Tampa, FL 33606-1490
Phone: (813) 257-1760
Email: rwhite@ut.edu
Twitter: www.twitter.com/@UTEcenter
Facebook:www.facebook.com/utecenter/
Website:www.ut.edu/entrepreneurcenter/

TAMPA BAY TECHNOLOGY FORUM – FLORIDA’S LARGEST & FASTEST-GROWING TECH HUB

Tampa Bay Technology - CEO2CEO

FLORIDA'S LARGEST & FASTEST-GROWING TECH HUB

ONE OUT OF EVERY 89 US TECH WORKERS CALLS TAMPA BAY HOME.

Tampa Bay Technology - CEO2CEO
Daniel Scott - Tampa Bay Technology Forum

That’s more than Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Philadelphia, Detroit, Nashville, Omaha, Las Vegas, Des Moines, Boulder, every other metro in Florida, and half the states in the nation. And a third of our tech workforce arrived over the last seven years, making us one of the country’s fastest-growing tech hubs.

Which begs the question: Why is so much US tech talent choosing Tampa Bay?

Is it the average annual temperature of 73.35°F? Is it the seemingly endless coastline? Is it the active lifestyle? Of course that is part of the story; however, we would agree that living anywhere in Florida is a pleasure.

So, why is so much US tech talent choosing Tampa Bay over other places in Florida?

Might it be that Tampa Bay is more densely populated with tech talent than other Florida markets? Might it be that Tampa Bay is growing its tech workforce faster than other markets in Florida? Might it be that Tampa Bay is the state’s leading employer in two of tech’s hottest jobs: cyber security and network architecture? All of these are true, yet maybe not the entire story. There is one factor that may rise above all others in attracting tech talent…

Tampa Bay’s tech is as diverse as its people.

Tampa Bay is one of the top two markets most demographically similar to the US. And our tech workforce is just as diverse, with an abundance of career opportunities across disciplines and industries.

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Tampa Bay Technology Forum

What industries, exactly, with examples?

Consulting & Professional Services: Accenture, A-LIGN, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners, Convergence Consulting Group, Chasm Communications, Deloitte, Holland & Knight, Identity Fusion, KForce, LivingHR, RIDG, RSM, Simply Axiom, SourceTek, Staffometry, Stonehenge Capital, TeleVoIPs, The PraxsysGroup, Tribridge, Valet Living and Wolters Kluwer.

Cybersecurity: Abacode, CheckPoint, Ivanti, KnowBe4, LogRhythm, Malwarebytes, Optiv, ReliaQuest, Splunk and the SSL Store.

Education: BICSI, Bisk Education, ISC(2), Florida Polytechnic University, Keiser University, Lighthouse Academies, New Horizons, South University, St. Leo University, St. Petersburg College, Tampa Prep, The Iron Yard, Ultimate Medical Academy, University of Tampa, University of South Florida and Vector Solutions.

Finance: American Express, AON, Arbitration Forum, Bond-Pro, Fintech, Jackson Hewitt, JPMorgan Chase & Co., New York Life, PSCU, Raymond James, UPC Insurance and Wellcare.

Government & NGO: British Consulate, City of Largo, City of St. Petersburg, Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Geographic Solutions, Panther International, Tampa Bay Water, Tampa Bay WaVE and Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.

Hardware/Logistics/Managed Services: CDW, CenturyLink Business, CIO Technology Solutions, Dobler Consulting, Forsythe, Hivelocity, IT Authorities, Jagged Peak, Nutanix, Peak10, Red Hat, Tech Data, Technology Integration Group, Urban E Recycling and Vology.

Healthcare & Bio-Life Sciences: Cardinal Solutions, CareSync, Empath Health, Healthesystems, Health Plan Systems, Johnson & Johnson, Pilgrim Quality Solutions and Skynet Healthcare Technologies.

Marketing: Catalina, GSP, Nielsen, Triad Retail Media and Valpak.

Retail and Manufacturing: Ashley Homestore, Bealls, Bloomin’ Brands, Gerdau, Goodwill Industries of the Suncoast, HSN, Melitta, PODS, Publix, Rooms To Go, Superior Uniform and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Software Development & Integration: 4th Source, Accusoft, AgileThought, Appian, Haneke Design, Mad Mobile, Mercury New Media, Nitro Solutions and Sourcetoad.

So, why is so much US tech talent choosing Tampa Bay?

Silicon Valley is the leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Washington, D.C. is the leader in defense technologies.

Boston is the leader in biotech and life sciences.

Tampa Bay is the leader in tech diversity.

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The Tampa Bay Technology Forum Team: Jill Pearson & Daniel James Scott

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