The Tampa Bay region has taken another step
toward establishing itself as a thriving entrepreneurial community with the grand opening of TEC Garage in downtown St. Petersburg in late October.
Ties to the Tampa Bay Innovation Center
’s well-oiled startup services allow TEC Garage to offer business incubation programs such as “coaching, mentoring, advising, and providing access to connections that have proven successful with launching and growing startups for more than a decade,” says Tonya Elmore, TBIC President and CEO.
TEC Garage’s location on the St. Petersburg College
campus at 244 Second Ave. N. in the revitalized heart of downtown St. Petersburg was a strategic choice, aimed at generating a buzz among entrepreneurially minded city residents.
“The new location has already attracted coworkers, coders and developers, students and innovators -- all part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that helps startups succeed,” says Elmore.
TEC Garage houses a coworking space, complete with amenities that include 24-hour access, dedicated offices, open collaborative areas, conference rooms, a full kitchen, and the opportunity for networking with other entrepreneurs. Some tenants have already set up shop in the spacious TEC Garage quarters.
Why offer 24/7 access?
“Flexibility is key to entrepreneurs,” Elmore explains. “They have clients all over the world, and conducting business from 8 to 5 isn't logical for a startup.”
Entrepreneurs who take advantage of incubation services like coaching and advising have been pleased, Elmore says.
“Startups go through several stages. We provide programming and coaching at each level. The best resource is dependent on the stage of the business.”
In addition to offering just-starting-out entrepreneurs the chance to seek advice and grow connections, TEC Garage
has “garnered the attention of potential investors and a larger pool of mentors who wish to connect to the startups,” Elmore says.
More than 300 local residents attended the TEC Garage grand opening in late October.