TAMPA – The Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at The University of Tampa has received a grant from the TD Charitable Foundation to expand its Spartan Incubator Program, which will assist more low- to moderate-income (LMI) individuals in advancing their early-stage businesses.
Interested individuals can apply for the 2020-2021 program here. Application review begins on Friday, Aug. 28.
Since 2015, the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center has offered the Spartan Incubator Program to early-stage Tampa Bay businesses. The program is a free service that allows business owners to receive guidance from faculty, investors, entrepreneurs and experts both in the Tampa Bay region and beyond. The overall goal of the program is to provide support for local business owners to progress in the Tampa Bay ecosystem and determine what they need to work on.
The program selects several companies each year to participate in the 12-month program. In the past, industries have included medicine, horticulture, food service and technology.
Business owners accepted to the program are typically working full-time to launch their startup, and at least 80% of them fall into the LMI category.
This year, with the help of the TD Charitable Foundation grant, the Spartan Incubator Program is able to increase the number of participants in the program. The Lowth Entrepreneurship Center will also be able to ensure that LMI companies are included in the program.
“At TD, we recognize that small businesses comprise the backbone of our economy, which is why we are proud to support The University of Tampa’s Spartan Incubator to provide more low- to moderate-income business owners the opportunity to learn, grow their businesses and drive growth in the Tampa Bay community,” said Mike Nursey, director, middle market Florida, TD Bank.
The grant from the TD Charitable Foundation will mainly fund the cost of bringing in consultants, subject experts, coaches and training sessions to enhance the program.
“The Spartan Incubator program is an important component in our offerings at the Lowth Center. Our programming is not only designed to educate and support UT students who wish to pursue an entrepreneurial dream, but to also help launch regional companies. One of the key benefits is that in doing so we not only support the Tampa Bay ecosystem, we also give our students the chance to work alongside these companies and to gain apprenticeship experience,” says Rebecca White, the James W. Walter distinguished chair of entrepreneurship and the director of the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center.
When the program begins, certain milestones are set as goals to meet over the course of the 12 months, and businesses regularly meet with mentors to track their progress. Goals are achieved through weekly seminars, coaching, mentoring and peer-to-peer learning. Since most companies are in the early stages and may not have an adequate number of employees, UT students often intern for the companies.
For more information on the Spartan Incubator Program, contact the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 257-3702.
The University of Tampa is a private, comprehensive university located on 110 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves approximately 10,000 students from 50 states and about 130 countries.
About the TD Charitable Foundation: The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed over $243 million through donations to local nonprofits from Maine to Florida. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation is available athttps://www.tdbank.com/corporate-responsibility/the-ready-commitment/funding-opportunities/