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Innovation & Job News

Tampa Chamber Targets Startups, Entrepreneurs

Local entrepreneurs and startups now have an ally in their hunt for success. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is starting a new initiative known as the Startup Scholars Program, which will focus on helping innovators and entrepreneurs access the resources needed to succeed.

"The chamber is in a unique position to unite entrepreneurs with the many isolated resources that are across the Tampa Bay region,'' says John Wakefield, business innovation subcommittee chair for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. "We feel the chamber can play a role in helping entrepreneurs by offering needs assessments and offering our resources to help them.''

Wakefield says the Chamber is looking for startups or entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of development for their product or service. Once entrepreneurs are chosen. they will be provided guidance and assistance in three major areas the Chamber has identified as crucial to a company’s success: seed capital, best management practices and sales growth.

In addition to receiving an assessment, the Chamber will also offer those chosen entrepreneurs membership to their organization, as well as a mentor.

The program is open to entrepreneurs in any industry sector. The Chamber’s mission with the Startup Scholars initiative is to ultimately help the greater economy.

"Our mission is to improve the likelihood of success for entrepreneurs,'' Wakefield says. "If we have more entrepreneurs and startup successes the result will be more jobs and economic development, as well as innovation.''

Applications are being accepted until October 19 and can be completed through the Chamber’s website. Entrepreneurs will be selected by the end of November.

Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: John Wakefield, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
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