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In This Issue
Venture Capital Activity in Florida: 2011 Overview and 2012 Preview
December TECH Talk
Introducing Mentor's Corner
Something to Tweet About
Social Media Tips and Tricks for Start-Ups
StartUp Xchange
Innovators Digest
Tampa Bay Innovation Center Events



StartUp Xchange 

December 6, 2011
5:00 - 7:00 pm
St. Petersburg, FL



TECH Talk 


December 13, 2011

9:00 - 11:00 am

Tampa, Florida



Partner Events   

2012 Florida Venture Capital Conference January 31- February 1, 2012
Naples, FL

Starting Your Business


January 3, 2012

12:00 - 2:00 pm

Clearwater, FL 


SCORE Tampa Chapter

Preparing Your Business Plan Workshop

December 10, 2011

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Tampa, FL 


Tampa Bay Inventors Council (TBIC) 

Monthly meeting

December 14, 2011

7:00 - 9:00 pm

Largo, FL 



Community Events

Moffitt Cancer Center
Business of Biotech
February 6, 2012
8:30 am - 1:30 pm
Tampa, FL



  altorr october 2011



Field Forensics Logo

HIT Logo


military parts

NuEnergy Tech

Ready Alert Logo

talent sprocket


Wildbright Logo

WELCOMETonya 2011

When 2011 started, we didn't realize what a significant year this would be for us. 

One of the real takeaways has been remembering that organizations, like businesses, must always be flexible and nimble enough to adjust to changes in the marketplace.  Our decision to rebrand from STAR TEC to Tampa Bay Innovation Center followed a great deal of discussion with clients, advisors, partners and members of the technology community. 
Innovation is at the heart of entrepreneurial success, a theme echoed by Robin Lester in the following article.  That's what led us to our new brand as Tampa Bay Innovation Center, and has served as an evaluation criterion for each new program we consider - in which we ask whether each activity, service or project supports innovators and entrepreneurs in creating a more vibrant technology community. 

We look forward to working with you to help develop your innovative ideas during 2012.

Tonya Elmore

Venture Capital Activity in Florida: 2011 Overview and 2012 Preview 
       An interview with Robin Lester
Executive Director, Florida Venture Forum
How would you describe VC activity in Florida during 2011?
2011 was a rebound year and VC firms are now reloading with cash.  Funds typically invest with a five- to seven-year horizon for their portfolio companies.  As they approach the last years, which many of them are now, they determine the exit strategy for portfolio companies, distribute proceeds to investors and raise capital for new funds.  When they reload, they are in a better position to invest in earlier stage companies. 

What were some of the more interesting trends in 2011?
There's a lot happening in Florida, particularly in technology and bioscience.  This includes robotics, simulation, medical devices, diabetic research and a number of very specialized research fields. 

On the down side, too few investors are aware of this.  On the up side, however, we've seen growing awareness of the strength of the Florida market not only with Florida funds, but also with funds in Richmond, Birmingham, Seattle, Texas and Silicon Valley.

Several turning points that occurred during the past several years accounted for this heightened awareness. (More ...) 


December TECH Talk
new TECH Talk LOGOTECH Talk is a free monthly breakfast, networking and education event specifically geared to the interests of the Tampa Bay area's innovation and technology entrepreneurship communities.


Our  December TECH Talk presentation will be held Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 from 9-11 a.m at Microsoft, 5426 Bay Center Dr., 7th floor, Tampa 33607. Kevin Lothridge, chief executive officer of National Forensic Science Technology Center, will be the featured speaker.  His topic is "Innovation in forensic science isn't just on television: What's next on the horizon for applying science to criminal justice" and he will discuss the innovation that drives growth in forensic science and the new technologies that enhance the criminal justice system.

If you haven't yet attended TECH Talk, we hope you'll put this on your calendar. There is no fee to attend, but space is limited and  advance registration is suggested.

 Introducing Mentor's Corner
 You might say the latest Innovation Center service has been in beta for the past several months - but now we're ready to announce it formally.

Clients of the Innovation Center - whether coworking, incubator or accelerator; virtual or onsite -- can now schedule appointments in our Launch Lab up to twice a month with mentors on such key performance areas as human resources, sales, marketing, finance, legal, exporting and other areas clients request.   

We'd like to offer special thanks to Kelley Rexroad, HR strategist and coach, for helping us develop the concept and committing to being in the Mentor's Corner on the second Friday of each month.

Something to Tweet About

talent sprocket

Talent Sprocket, one of the Innovation Center's clients, discovered the power social media can have over a young business this past month. Tony Duda, CEO of Talent Sprocket, an automated hiring solution company that streamlines the candidate selection process, simply answered a tweet from an investor at Southern Capital Ventures in early November and soon found himself on a plane to North Carolina.

The tweet read "Looking for a startup to pitch at Duke Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Conference on Sat 11/5. Best 140 characters wins." Duda decided he had nothing to lose. He tweeted "@jcaplin Talent Sprocket is a self-funded ready to rock hiring analytics tool actively spreading corporate hiring bliss. Ask our clients" and then moved on with his day.  Twenty-four hours and a direct message later, Duda was booking his flight to North Carolina.

The Duke Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Conference was held on Nov. 5 and Tony presented to over 400 investors and students. We'd like to extend our congratulations to Tony Duda and the Talent Sprocket team on their clever 140 character business win.

For more information on how to utilize social media for your start-up, take a look at Tony's tips below.


 Social Media Tips and Tricks for Start-Ups

      By Tony Duda, CEO, Talent Sprocket

 1.      Engage!
Social media- particularly for start-ups - must be about consistently engaging customers and potential clients and providing necessary information, not promoting. In addition, social media can provide a great venue to connect and communicate with potential funders.
2.      Do your research.
Find and follow companies that are in your field and observe how they manage their social media accounts. Find things you like and dislike and move forward from there. Does one company establish itself as an expert by writing and posting articles in the field? Or does another do a great job of interacting?
3.      Look for opportunities.
For start-ups, social media, when used correctly, can be a great way to find and utilize opportunities. Looking for funding? Follow venture capitalists and investors on Twitter. Hoping to meet a mentor? Follow professionals whom you would love to get to know.
4.      Be selective.
As tempting as it is to Tweet 20 times a day, it isn't necessarily helpful to your business. Avoid the temptation to post all information (and annoying your audience) and really evaluate the content of your posts. Like everything else, social media should be about quality, not quantity.
5.      Be yourself.
Your business's social media personality should be fun, expressive and completely reflective of the company you're starting.   


social media bar 

StartUp Xchange
Have questions about your next steps in entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurs at all stages are invited to attend the next StartUp Xchange from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at ParkShore Grill, 300 Beach Drive Northeast, St. Petersburg.

This is a great informal opportunity for entrepreneurs, talent in transition, scientists, funders, innovators, technology professionals and engineers to make connections in the Tampa Bay area innovation marketplace and learn from each other and from the Tampa Bay Innovation Center mentors whose experience can help further their idea or startup company. 

Our mentors will be Mike Eitler, Group125, Leisa Mohler-Erickson, Advantage Performance Group and Chris Paradies, Fowler White Boggs.

 Follow the StartUp Xchange Meetup Group here.  


 Innovators Digest
In case you missed them, here are some recent articles and blog posts.

From CBS News: The Easiest Elevator Pitch to Deliver
By Jeff Haden
Why forgetting your mission statement and focusing on what you really do, in laymen's terms, makes the ideal elevator pitch. (More ...)

Three Tips for Finding a Business Mentor
By David Cohen for
For small business owners, finding a mentor can have an enormous impact on the growth and development of a young company. (More ...)

How to Retain your Start-Up Workforce
By Morgan Norman for
Start-ups provide a unique and challenging work environment for employees, allowing them to have a more hands on approach in business development. (More ...)

How to Hook a Lifetime Customer
By Karl Stark and Bill Stewart for
How a start-up can keep their customers coming back...for good. (More ...)
Follow Us
Based in Largo, Florida,  Tampa Bay Innovation Center is an innovation and entrepreneurship center that assists emerging and entrepreneurial technology companies in accelerating their success


If you'd like to learn more about our services, click here for our website, email us or call 727-547-7340.


Tampa Bay Innovation Center 

7887 Bryan Dairy Road, Suite 220

Largo, FL 33777 


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