Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee

Florida’s state capital may not be the largest city, but Tallahassee is considered a booming economic hub in the southeast. Here’s all the elements that make it a prosperous location.

Tallahassee, FL, is the state’s capital but only its seventh-largest city. Despite its relatively small size, however, the city is an economic hub for both the state of Florida and the larger region including Southwest Georgia. Because of that status, Tallahassee is also an entrepreneurial hotspot.

Back in 2016, Entrepreneur Magazine named it one of the 50 best cities to start a business. More recently in 2018, WalletHub ranked it 73rd overall on its list of the best large cities to start a small business, with top-50 rankings in both the “Access to Resources” and “Business Costs” categories. The state of Florida as a whole is also well-regarded in entrepreneurship, ranking 3rd among the 25 larger states in startup activity in the Kauffman Foundation’s 2017 report and 6th overall in WalletHub’s 2018 state rankings.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Tallahassee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

Domi Station, a co-working space in Tallahassee, organizes a number of meetups and events for members and non-members alike to support entrepreneurship.

TCC Spark is an initiative run by Tallahassee Community College to support and advance entrepreneurship in the area.

The Tallahassee chapter of the Women’s Prosperity Network is designed to help women in business and entrepreneurship find success.

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Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

1 Million Cups hosts weekly events for entrepreneurs to meet and present their ideas in cities around the country, including in Tallahassee.

Located in Tallahassee, the Florida Chamber of Commerce hosts a variety of events both in the city and around the state to support and develop entrepreneurship.

The Florida Technology Council hosts a number of regular events, primarily in Tallahassee, with the goal of working to develop the technology development scene in the state.

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce hosts events supporting entrepreneurship, including an annual chamber conference.

Tallahassee is one of many cities around the country to host annual startup week events, five-day conferences supporting entrepreneurship in the community.

 

Startup Competitions:

Florida State University’s Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship hosts the Ideathon, a weekend-long app development competition for all FSU undergraduate and graduate students.

Students in all majors and all levels at Florida State University can compete in the InNOLEvation Challenge for the chance to win $30,000 in cash prizes.

While not exclusive to Tallahassee, the Startup Challenge is a competition for entrepreneurs around Northern Florida with a grand prize of $10,000.

The Innovation Park of Tallahassee runs an annual event in which entrepreneurs compete to earn grants of up to $15,000 to support their startups.

 

Co-working Spaces:

CoLab at The Pod has a variety of membership to best meet its members’ needs, ranging from the drop-in level to the executive plan that includes 24/7 access and unlimited guest passes.

Among other resources, Domi Station offers co-working memberships and office space as well as a number of optional add-ons including 24/7 access and conference room access.

The Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence in Tallahassee offers several levels of co-working space to further support nonprofit work.

Located in the Alliance Center downtown, Regus Office’s Tallahassee office offers co-working and office options to its members.

 

Makerspaces:

Florida State University’s Innovation Hub is a collection of tools and resources that support creation and innovation, primarily aimed at the school’s undergraduate students.

Making Awesome, Tallahassee’s arts and technology makerspace, has a wide variety of tools and equipment available for members and is open to the public every Wednesday.

 

Incubators:

Florida State University runs the Greenhouse Incubator, a program that helps the university’s students start and grow businesses.

The Innovation Park of Tallahassee is an organization that runs a number of programs and organizes resources to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Tallahassee.

In addition to offering commercial kitchen space for rent, Kitchen Share also has a food incubator that works to support food-based startups.

 

Accelerators:

In addition to co-working space, Domi Station offers a six-month program dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and growing their early-stage startups.

Florida A&M University hosts a Small Business Development Center, an organization that runs a number of programs to support entrepreneurship.

 

Colleges/Universities:

In addition to the Small Business Development Center, Florida A&M also has a School of Business and Industry that has several classes focused on business and entrepreneurship.

The Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship at Florida State University organizes a variety of resources in and out of the classroom, including several different entrepreneurship majors.

Tallahassee Community College runs TCC Spark, a program that supports students interested in entrepreneurship through classes and outside resources.

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Angel Groups/VCs:

Ballast Point Ventures is a Tampa-based venture capital firm that invests in companies across the state of Florida and the entire southeastern United States.

Based in Orlando, Nexus Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in companies across the state of Florida.

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Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

850 Business Magazine, Northwest Florida’s magazine focused on business news, offers an online mailing list with news.

Florida Trend, a website that covers business news around the state, has a variety of e-newsletters with different focuses.

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce offers e-mailed updates about news and events about the area’s business scene and the chamber itself.

 

Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Tallahassee not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Tampa, FL, Orlando, FL,Fort Lauderdale, FL


Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at Funding$age where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.