In what officials are calling a surprise announcement, Florida High Tech Corridor Council president Randy Berridge announced his organization is offering a $50,000 sponsorship for the SmartStart Business Incubator program.
The announcement was made Monday at the opening of the second incubator location in New Port Richey, joining the existing one in Dade City.
The council and the University of South Florida back “numerous initiatives that support small and growing companies, and the SmartStart program is a terrific program that is already beginning to show successful results,” Berridge said, in a release. “We are glad to help foster the entrepreneurial activity in Pasco County.”
This is the group’s second sponsorship of Pasco Economic Development Council’s SmartStart Program with USF. Last year, both groups announced it would provide a $50,000 sponsorship during the opening of the Dade City business incubator.
Pasco EDC’s goal is to work with new entrepreneurs and scalable start-up companies in the incubators in Pasco County, and help them build their businesses from the ground up, officials said. Only 20 percent of new businesses are still in operation after the first five years, according to the Small Business Administration. On the other hand, the U.S. Economic Development Administration funded a study that concluded 87 percent of all businesses graduating from an incubator remain in business after five years.
The SmartStart program has helped create 42 jobs, and has projected to create a total of 65 jobs over the next two years, officials said.
For information, visit SmartStartPasco.com, or email Krista Covey at .