Tampa Bay Innovation Center Approved for State of Florida Funding for St. Petersburg Incubator

LARGO, Fla., May 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tampa Bay Innovation Center, an innovation and entrepreneurship center for technology businesses, has received a grant of $400,000 from the state of Florida for a St. Petersburg-based incubator to promote business growth by providing access to lab facilities, research institutions, entrepreneurial support and educational opportunities dedicated to the marine science, biotechnology and healthcare technology startup communities.

"We are pleased that the state of Florida is supporting our efforts to create high-tech, high-wage jobs in sectors identified as targeted industries by the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County and the State of Florida," says Tonya Elmore, Innovation Center president. "The St. Petersburg program will build upon the partner network we have established over a 10-year period, but will also include initiatives that will bring new partners to the network."

The program, named St. Petersburg Technology Incubator, will include recruitment, coaching and mentoring for founders, innovators and entrepreneurs in the targeted industry sectors.

Elmore says the grant from the State of Florida will be leveraged to secure federal grant money as well as additional support from the private sector. The grant will also make it possible to hire additional team members dedicated to the St. Petersburg program, although existing Innovation Center team members will also support it. Efforts will begin immediately to implement the grant provisions.

"I am pleased that Governor Scott approved this appropriation for the St. Petersburg technology incubator," stated State Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), who played a leading role in securing the appropriation in this year's budget. "These are the types of innovative programs that help our small businesses adapt to changing technologies so that they can sustain continued job creation in our community."

About Tampa Bay Innovation Center:

Tampa Bay Innovation Center (http://www.tbinnovates.com) supports entrepreneurial success, fosters the creation of high-tech jobs and develops new sources of technology and manufacturing capabilities by nurturing early stage ventures as they grow and launch their products into the marketplace. Programs are tailored to the innovator/entrepreneur and address business intelligence, planning and business formation, strategy execution and technology transition. Tampa Bay Innovation Center recently announced the Entrepreneurs' Hub, which includes programs and a new online community geared toward entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and others interested in the growth of the local technology community. Follow Tampa Bay Innovation Center on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/tbinnovates, or on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/tbinnovationcenter.

CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACT: Suzie Boland RFB Communications Group 813-259-0345 sboland@rfbcommunications.comSource: Tampa Bay Innovation Center