TEC Garage is latest concept from Tampa’s veteran incubator, Tampa Bay Innovation Center
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – (Dec. 15, 2015) – TEC Garage, the latest concept to come from the area’s oldest (12 years old) incubator, Tampa Bay Innovation Center, has made a significant impact on the Tampa Bay region during the past year. TEC Garage occupies 6,000 square feet on the first floor of the St. Petersburg College building, 244 2nd Ave. N. in downtown St. Petersburg.
“We have been so pleased with the high level of interest from local innovators and entrepreneurs who were looking for a resource to accelerate their growth or gain access to coworking space,” says Tonya Elmore, CEO of Tampa Bay Innovation Center and creator of TEC Garage. “We think this interest clearly demonstrates the growing importance of the region’s entrepreneurial community.”
Following are some 2015 highlights:
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Received more than 200 direct inquiries. These individuals either became a client, entered a TEC Garage program, attended a workshop, received a tour or were referred to a partner such as the Greenhouse or Pinellas County.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Directly coached and assisted 35 tech start-ups, which employ 90 workers. Two of these, PikMyKid and Toonari Corp., were named finalists in the 2015 Tampa Bay Technology Forum’s Industry Achievement awards. PikMyKid was named the winner of the TBTF Emerging Technology Company of the Year category.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Celebrated the second year of 1 Million Cups, which attracted 70-90 attendees each week. The Innovation Center was one of the organizations leading the introduction of 1 Million Cups to the Tampa Bay area.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Hosted more than 75 programs and seminars, serving 4,000 community entrepreneurs through the following:
[if !supportLists]o [endif]The Innovation Center’s TECH Talk program, the area’s premier networking and education event, developed specifically to meet the interests of the local technology community, attracted more than 500 attendees during the year and is still offered at no cost to attendees.
[if !supportLists]o [endif]Assisted more than 165 innovators and entrepreneurs in the region through the StartUp Xchange program, a monthly gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators and Innovation Center mentors held at different restaurants throughout the bay area. Mentors share their advice and experience to help further innovation and start-up activity.
[if !supportLists]o [endif]Held tech meetup groups and education programs, including ThinkPitch, the event that attracted Priatek to locate in downtown St. Petersburg.
[if !supportLists]o [endif]In partnership with the Florida Defense Contractors Association, hosted the first Florida Defense & Technology Summit, which attracted 100 industry, congressional and military leaders who discussed our nation’s most pressing national security challenges.
[if !supportLists]o [endif]StartUp Studio 1.0, through a grant from Duke Energy, graduated six innovators in the marine and health technology sectors.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Tampa Bay Innovation Center and TEC Garage staff participated in numerous community panels and events, including:
[if !supportLists]o [endif]Judging business plan and pitch competitions for USF St. Petersburg’s Entrepreneurship Club, St. Petersburg College’s Entrepreneur Program, Bright House Regional Small Business Awards and Florida Venture Forum’s Early Stage Conference
[if !supportLists]o [endif]Presenting at the June 2015 St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership meeting
[if !supportLists]o [endif]Serving on the City of St. Petersburg’s Innovation District Committee
“While continuing to serve a growing number of clients, we are also focused on our next major project, a 40,000 square foot purpose-built incubator and accelerator, also in downtown St. Petersburg,” says Elmore. “We believe this will create exceptional opportunities within the region and that our track record with TEC Garage and Tampa Bay Innovation Center makes us the organization to fulfill this need.”
About TEC Garage:
The Technology and Entrepreneurship Center (TEC Garage) provides entrepreneurs with the tools needed to turn an idea into a business or take the business to the next level. TEC Garage was created through a collaborative partnership with the St. Petersburg community and the State of Florida. The TEC Garage incubator with its coworking space in downtown St. Petersburg is the Tampa Bay Innovation Center’s newest concept to accelerate entrepreneurial success.
About Tampa Bay Innovation Center:
Tampa Bay Innovation Center supports entrepreneurial success, fosters the creation of high-tech jobs and develops new sources of technology and manufacturing capabilities by nurturing early stage ventures as they grow and launch their products into the marketplace. Through its TEC Garage, the Innovation Center offers programs that are tailored to the innovator/entrepreneur and address business intelligence, planning and business formation, strategy execution and technology transition. Follow TEC Garage on Twitter, https://twitter.com/TECGarageStP, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TECGarageStP. Follow Tampa Bay Innovation Center on Twitter, www.twitter.com/tbinnovates, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tbinnovationcenter.