IDEA Camp For Entrepreneurs With BioMed Plans

Entrepreneurs with products and services related to the life sciences, biotech and medical fields soon will have an opportunity to share and hone their ideas alongside vetted professionals. 

The Tampa Bay Innovation Center, formerly known as Startec, is partnering with St. Petersburg College Collaborative LabsBioFloridaFlorida Medical Manufacturers' Consortium and Moffitt Cancer Center to present an IDEA Camp Wednesday, March 21, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the St. Petersburg College Collaborative Labs at 13805 58 St. N. in Clearwater. Applications are being accepted until the deadline on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, and can be downloaded from the innovation center's website.

According to Danielle Weitlauf, venture manager at the Innovation Center, 12 to 15 applicants will be chosen to participate in its IDEA Camp, which will help entrepreneurs refine their business model and further develop their ideas and products. Participants will receive feedback from vetted professionals and make new contacts who can help them move their ideas forward. A $99 fee will cover pre-conference and full-day workshops as well as meals for participants accepted for participation in the camp. 

Weitlauf says the concentration of medically related industries throughout the Tampa Bay region combined with positive feedback about last year's camp contributed to the center's decision to focus on emerging businesses with bio relevance. 

"The camp was originally open to any industry, but last year we focused on web ventures and found it brought greater value to attendees," says Weitlauf. "We chose emerging businesses in biotech, medical products and life sciences because of the knowledge base already available in the area. These are focused industries in the Tampa Bay area that provide a greater return, provide a greater impact and create direct and indirect jobs in terms of home ownership and other spending."

Weitlauf says applicants will be chosen by a small panel comprised of representatives from the Tampa Bay Innovation Center as well as each of this year's sponsor entities. Participants will be chosen based on their ability to demonstrate a well thought-out idea or product that can be further developed on the day of the camp.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Danielle Weitlauf, Tampa Bay Innovation Center
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