Dade City, Florida — Randy Berridge, President of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC), surprised the crowd at the grand opening of the SMARTstart New Port Richey Business Incubator by announcing a $50,000 sponsorship for the program.
“The Florida High Tech Corridor Council and USF support numerous initiatives that support small and growing companies, and the SMARTstart program is a terrific program that is already beginning to show successful results,” said Berridge. “We are glad to help foster the entrepreneurial activity in Pasco County.”
This is the FHTCC and USF’s second sponsorship for Pasco EDC’s SMARTstart program. In July of 2013 the FHTCC and USF provided a $50,000 sponsorship to help Pasco EDC launch the County’s first SMARTstart business incubator in Dade City.
“We were completely surprised by Randy Berridge’s announcement of the $50,000 sponsorship,” said John Hagen, Pasco EDC President/CEO. “The Florida High Tech Corridor Council and its affiliate the University of South Florida are tremendous supporters of the SMARTstart program.”
Pasco EDC’s goal is to work with new entrepreneurs and scalable start-up companies in the incubators in Pasco County and help them build their businesses from the ground up. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), only 20 percent of new businesses are still in operation after the first five years. In contrast, a U.S. Economic Development Administration funded study concluded that 87 percent of all businesses graduating from an incubator remain in business after five years.
The SMARTstart program has helped create 42 jobs with a total of 65 projected jobs over the next two years. SMARTstart also holds several free entrepreneur workshops and classes, monthly roundtables for startups, and networking events like Wired Wednesdays throughout the County. Startups in Pasco County can visit www.smartstartpasco.com for more information or contact Krista Covey at firstname.lastname@example.org.