The Tampa Bay Innovation Center, an innovation and entrepreneurship center for technology businesses, will partner with Pinellas County and the city of St. Petersburg to conceive and operate a major new business incubator.
“We have enjoyed a close and productive relationship with Tampa Bay Innovation Center, and this collaboration with the TBIC team and the city of St. Petersburg is an opportunity to bring a new energy and significant resources to the Pinellas startup community,” said Mike Meidel, director of Pinellas County Economic Development.
Meidel added, “Entrepreneurs are a crucial part of our economy. We’re ready to begin working with our business community to design this space, recruit tenants and to discuss sponsorship and fund raising.”
Tonya Elmore, president and CEO of STAR-TEC Enterprises, dba Tampa Bay Innovation Center, said the incubator helps the center achieve one of its goals.
“From the time we commissioned a feasibility study about a downtown incubator in October 2013, it has been our goal to pursue this project to allow us to serve the growing needs of the region’s thriving entrepreneurial community,” Elmore said. “As the community’s oldest incubator and accelerator, we believe we have demonstrated the track record that allows us to perform successfully. We are so grateful to our board of directors and our many partners who have supported our growth and success throughout the years, and look forward to their continued partnership and support.”
The Tampa Bay Innovation Center was selected after responding to Pinellas County’s recent request for Letters of Interest from potential operators of the proposed incubator. A Memorandum of Understanding between Pinellas County and TBIC will facilitate the next phase of the project, including tenant recruitment and fund raising.
As outlined in the request for Letter of Interest, the project includes a 40,000-50,000 square-foot mixed-use business incubator facility in the City of St. Petersburg that could potentially support research, innovation and entrepreneurial activity in the technology, life sciences, marine sciences and/or advanced manufacturing sectors. The location is the southwest corner of 11th Avenue and Fourth Street S in St. Petersburg.