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Pinellas County seeks $4M for new Tampa Bay Innovation Center

Veronica Brezina



Pinellas County is planning to submit an application asking for $4 million from the state to help fund the construction of the new Tampa Bay Innovation Center in St. Pete. 

The county will request $4 million through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training. The funds would go toward a portion of the design and construction of the 45,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that will support entrepreneurs and tech startups. The Tampa Bay Innovation Center, a nonprofit tech incubator and accelerator, will be operating the center. 

The total cost for the center is $15.5 million.  

The two-story center will be the first in Pinellas County purposely constructed to focus on entrepreneurs. It will be located on 2.5 acres donated by the City of St. Petersburg at 4th Street and 11th Avenue South in the Innovation District.

Construction is scheduled to start July 29 and take 24 months to complete.

Related: Startup City: Six steps to a healthier startup ecosystem in St. Petersburg

The facility will include approximately 30,000 square feet of client space, plus co-working/collaboration space for market-rate tenants, office spaces and conference/community rooms.

A rendering of Tampa Bay Innovation Center at 4th Street South and 11th Avenue South.

The services will include counseling, idea validation, strategy development, marketing assistance, network opportunities, access to capital, business schools and interns, and a dedicated workspace, according to the application filed. 

There will be a lab equipped with 3D printers and laser cutters. There will also be podcast rooms and large event spaces for conferences and classrooms, similar to what existing coworking hubs offer in St. Pete. 

The incubator will take advantage of the nearby campuses of the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg, USF Marine Science and St. Petersburg College to utilize their wet lab space and to recruit interns and class projects to assist startups, according to the application. 

Greenwood Consulting Group has estimated the center is expected to create 122 direct and indirect construction jobs over two years. By the fourth year, the incubator should be sustaining 1,265 direct and indirect jobs, and its clients should be generating $127 million in annual revenues. 

The project has received $11.5 million in other funding, which includes funding from Pinellas County, private sources and roughly $7.5 million through a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant.  

For more information about sponsorships, naming rights or leasing, contact Tonya Elmore, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, at 727-547-7340 or via email at elmoret@tbinnovates.com.

Central lounge perspective

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