Friday, January 27, 2012

The CIED: Cultivating Entrepreneurial Growth in North Central Florida

From Flickr User LadyDragonflyCC
How is innovation cultivated in North Central Florida? Recently, I had the opportunity to tour Santa Fe College’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED). I met with Dug Jones, the Assistant Vice President of Economic Development, and Bill Dorman, the Entrepreneur in Residence at the center. The mission of the CIED is "to foster innovation and economic development by adding value and providing enrichment to individuals and organizations within our business community." Dug demonstrated how the CIED eliminates barriers to entrepreneurial success through its services such as meeting space, educational programs, technology resources, peer group meetings, mentoring, and more.

The CIED provides services to entrepreneurs at every level. The Entrepreneur Incubator caters to new businesses and provides opportunities to meet with seasoned Incubator Resource professionals for mentoring and guidance. As an alternative to the home office or coffee shop, the CIED provides space for business meetings and interaction with clients. As a business grows, “Incubator babies” are expected to thrive and graduate from the program. Success stories include the Citizen’s Co-op, Applied Food Technologies, and Corks & Colors Studio.

The Incubator and other services are included with membership to the CIED. There are two levels of membership, and fees are paid on a month-by-month basis. The Associate Level membership offers access to the CIED facilities, networking group meetings, and advising services, while a Resident Level membership provides these services as well as permanent office space at the center.

New members and guests will experience Dug and Bill’s passion for helping fledgling and established business owners succeed. Depending on your needs, I believe membership to the CIED would be an invaluable resource. For more information on the center or the incubator, visit the CIED, or watch this video. The CIED is located at the corner of 6th Street and University Avenue and offers plenty of parking.

For more information on business incubation, check out:
How to Choose an Incubator from the New York Times
Incubation Nation: Where Great Ideas Are Born: An overview of 20 incubators by Inc.
The Perks of Business Incubators from the North Central Florida Business Report

In the coming weeks, I'll report back on other business incubators in North Central Florida.

Have you utilized any incubator services? Would you consider it in the future?

1 comment:

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