Posted by: Tampa Bay Chamber on Monday, October 8, 2018

3rd Quarter Focus

Managing Your Brand Through Community Involvement

Quarter three was the busiest quarter yet for the cohort participants, as they focused on various ways of creating their brand through their community involvement, leveraging their network to find the right connections, and forming strategic partnerships. The Cohort participants collaborated with master networkers, branding experts, and public relations gurus to learn the "Do's and Don'ts" of making their network "work" for them. The cohort participants utilized their new skills by attending several community events, including:

  • Greater Tampa Chamber's Leadership Retreat
  • Greater Tampa Chamber Small Business of the Year Awards
  • Tampa International Airport Prime Connections Event
  • Florida Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference
  • Prospera Annual Success Stories Luncheon
  • USF Annual Supplier Diversity Day
  • Women's Conference of Florida

The cohort participants also gained insider tips from industry experts on financing their business growth, both through traditional capital sources and alternative funding sources. Topics discussed included SBA Loans, Commercial Lending, Private Lenders, Equity Investors, etc... Industry experts also shared tips on how to prepare for such capital and the "Do's and Don'ts" of each funding source.

3rd Quarter Impact

8 New Jobs Created
35 Vacancies Filled
44 Mentor Hours
10 Chamber & Community Events Attended
3 New Assets Acquired
15 Strategic Introductions Made

All impact numbers are reported on an aggregate basis for the 3rd quarter (July - October) only.

Founding Sponsor Highlights

Tampa International Airport, TECO Energy, Valley Bank, and the Vinik Family Foundation were early adopters of the accelerator program and believed it would help strengthen minority businesses and our local economy. Their commitment to creating a more diverse and economically inclusive community motivated them to be at the forefront of offering public support for the accelerator even before the inaugural class was recruited.

As founding sponsors , they dedicate their time, talent, and resources to ensure the accelerator program is successful. As a result, their contributions have led to meaningful business introductions for the cohort participants, an increased awareness of how to effectively do business with larger corporations, and an ever-growing network of mentors and peers that help them continuously evolve as business owners. Check out a few of our favorite sponsor highlights below!

Tampa International Airport

Tampa International Airport partnered with the Leadership Alliance Advisory Board to host a strategy roundtable for the cohort. Michael Stephens, Esq., General Counsel for TIA and Chair of LAAB, and his colleagues provided solutions to managing today's multigenerational workforce, mitigating risk, and building the right business relationships. TIA also:

  • Facilitates strategic introduction meetings between TIA buying partners and cohort participants;
  • Actively promotes the accelerator to minority vendors; and
  • Promotes MBA events on the TIA website and at their events.

TECO Energy

TECO hosted strategic introduction meetings with each cohort participant and its Procurement, Purchasing, Supplier Diversity, and Facilities departments. These meetings directly connected the cohort to TECO’s key decision makers and ultimately led to a very lucrative contract for one of the cohort participants!

  • Hosted the cohort at its headquarters in downtown Tampa and shared insights on the future of TECO and People’s Gas; and
  • Facilitated a tour of its internal communications department with one of the cohort participants to discuss future partnerships.

Valley Bank

Valley Bank hosted the cohort participants three times between their downtown Tampa and Ybor City offices. Various members from the Valley team stopped by to greet the participants and shared what's next for the bank as it transitions from US AmeriBank to Valley Bank.

  • Educated the cohort on SBA Loans and traditional lending, including tips on increasing their chances of securing capital; and
  • Assessed the financial standing of accelerator applicants while serving on the MBA selection committee.

Vinik Family Foundation

The Vinik Family Foundation was the first early supporter of the accelerator program. They opened the door for many conversations with other potential sponsors and expressed their support every step of the way.

  • Partners with Strategic Property Properties to facilitate strategic introduction meetings between the cohort participants and the Water Street Tampa project; and
  • Exclusively invites cohort participants to outreach meetings for the Water Street Tampa project.