Pinellas Park gives entrepreneurs a "step-up" with its incubator program

Gives small business start-up tools

Orange Blossom Designs, a small landscaping company, is the brainchild of Tricia Wing.
 
As an entrepreneur, she first started running the business out of her home. Now she has a sleek, new office thanks to a Pinellas Park incubator program.
 
"I'm kind of doing the same things only I'm doing them better, and they're reaching a wider audience," Wing said. "It's getting a better return for what I'm putting out."
 
Pinellas Park Suites is also home to eleven other small businesses.
 
"We're all very supportive of one another. We network together. We sort of work as a team," Mark Panuthos said. His small business, Epiphany Magazine,  has an office inside Pinellas Park Suites.
 
For about $130 a month, entrepreneurs can rent office space, helping cut out some of those pesky start-up costs.
 
"It offers them the financial assistance that they need to get started, because a lot of them can't afford to move out at market rate," Pinellas Park Community Development Analyst Shannon Coughlin said. 
 
In addition to their office space, tenants also get access to a conference room and on-site mentoring from an entrepreneurship professor from St. Petersburg College. They offer education, training, and help them with a business plan and marketing, Coughlin said.
 
If that business plan takes off, the program will even help you find a place when you're ready to move out on your own. "You have the full support of staff, and city council, and St. Pete College," Coughlin said.
 
The support is helping Orange Blossom make a name in the local landscaping market.
 
"It's opened up a network of opportunities for me and a network of people to correlate with that will help me grow my business," Wing said.
 
Here's where to find a business incubator in your area:

Florida Business Incubation Association- State wide List
http://www.fbiaonline.org/

 

Florida Business Incubation Association - Central Florida list of business incubators
http://www.fbiaonline.org/Incubators/central.htm

 

Hillsborough County
https://sbic.hillsboroughcounty.org/
http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx?NID=1587

 

Manatee County
http://www.cedcflorida.org/

 

City of Tampa
http://www.tampaedc.com/Local-Expansion/Small-Business-Assistance.aspx


Pasco County
www.smartstartpasco.com     


Pinellas County
http://www.young-raineystarcenter.org/


City of St Pete
http://stpetegreenhouse.org/


City of Lakeland
The Catapult Incubator in Lakeland is a project implemented by the Lakeland Economic Development Council
http://www.lakelandedc.com/

 

USF
Tampa Bay Technology Incubator, located at USF Tampa: http://www.research.usf.edu/rf/tbti.asp

USF Student Innovation Incubator, located at USF Tampa: http://www.research.usf.edu/rf/sii/

First WaVE Accelerator, located in the Sykes Building in downtown Tampa: http://www.tampabaywave.org/accelerator/

 

Tampa Bay Innovation Center (technology focus)
http://www.tbinnovates.com/

 

Tampa Bay WaVe 
www.tampabaywave.org

 

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