Hugs, handshakes and a bit of humor keep the energy level high at Tampa Bay WaVE as a growing number of technology entrepreneurs leading the local startup community and public officials celebrate the 1st anniversary of Hillsborough County’s Economic Development Innovation Initiative (EDI2) program.
Hillsborough County commissioners led by Mark Sharpe, who will join the Tampa Bay Innovation Alliance after he leaves office in November due to term limits, set aside $2 million to provide financial support for growing the startup community. The Alliance includes USF, University Community Hospital, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Busch Gardens.
Setting aside funding for EDI2
is a recognition by Hillsborough that future economic and job growth, particularly in the Tampa Bay region, is much more likely to result from the cumulative effect of nurturing innovative startups than by investing the bulk of additional resources into attracting giant corporate headquarters.
So far, since its launch in June 2013, 55 applicants have received $598,583 to support networking and educational events, industry promotions and service providers. Additional program and application information
is available online.
Some of the programs funded include:
- East Tampa Business and Civic Association for the 2014 MLK Technology Business Expo
- Hillsborough Community College Foundation for the Veterans Entrepreneurial Symposium
- Learning is for Everyone, Inc. for the Robocon Tampa Bay 2013
- Moffitt Cancer Center for the Business of Biotech 2014
- Startup Bus for the Startup Bus Tampa Bay
- Startup Grind, Inc. for eight monthly meetings
- Tampa Bay Technology Forum for the Tech Trek 2014, Engine Peer Network Event, and Entrepreneur Network
- Technova Florida, Inc. for the Tampa Code Camp and Ignite Tampa Bay
- TiE Tampa Bay for the TiE Breaker III and TiE Angel Forum
- University of Tampa for the Southeast Entrepreneurship Conference 2014
For more information about EDI2, contact Economic Development Manager Jennifer Whelihan with Hillsborough County’s Economic Development Department at 813.272.6217.
Writer: Diane Egner
Source: Jennifer Whelihan, Hillsborough County’s EDI2