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
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.
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.