| Board of County Commissioners
Leon County Courthouse
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/16/2012
Public Information Officer
Leon County's Commercialization & Technology Transfer Stakeholder Forum Stimulates Community Action for Economic Development
Leon County’s Commercialization & Technology Transfer Stakeholder
Forum Stimulates Community Action for Economic Development
Leon County hosted a Commercialization and Technology Transfer Stakeholder Forum on Friday that brought many community leaders into a think-tank environment where ideas were exchanged to enhance the area’s economic development.
More than 40 participants joined Leon County District 5 Commissioner Kristin Dozier, who led the forum, in the Training and Community Center at the Historic Amtrak Station. Commissioner Dozier and participants inventoried the available services for startup companies, the obstacles and challenges they face in growing their businesses, and the unmet needs in our community to stimulate entrepreneurship. Those in attendance included representatives from The Florida State University, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee Community College, the Jim Moran Institute, the Economic Development Council, and the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Following the inventory and identification of gaps in services, numerous small businesses that have been spun out of the university system and the home garages of local residents, along with the educational and business leaders, offered creative suggestions to enhance the technology transfer process. Suggestions included efforts to attract more investment capital from outside the market and to create a better community awareness of the economic, scientific, and research value.
“We held the meeting in the heart of budding entrepreneurial communities, such as the All Saints District, Railroad Square, Gaines Street and College Town, in search of strategies to enhance the transfer of technology into the local marketplace,” said Commissioner Dozier. “Leon County recognizes that innovative products and services are the avenue toward a sustainable economic model for our community so it is critical that we serve as a catalyst to constantly review and evaluate the resources available in the local market.”
Together the participants identified several needs to foster business growth and stimulate entrepreneurship. These needs included access to capital and seed money, raising awareness of the community’s current resources, identifying business navigators or active business mentors, and retaining an educated workforce. The forum also identified the need for a user-friendly guide or website for entrepreneurial programs and services with a coordinated marketing strategy.
Forum participants also discussed potential incubator space and services in the Downtown and Gaines Street Districts.
“This meeting and others like it in the future reflect the County’s commitment to being a convener and a reliable partner in our community’s ongoing effort to attract talent and grow and diversify our economy,” said Vincent S. Long, Leon County Administrator.
Dr. Jim Murdaugh, President of Tallahassee Community College, discussed his plans to transform the TCC Capitol Center space into a business incubator in the Downtown District. In addition, Leon County is considering renovating its warehouse space in the Gaines Street District into a business incubator. The County owns approximately 6,700 square feet of warehouse space located in the heart of budding entrepreneurial communities such as the All Saints District, Railroad Square, Gaines Street, and College Town. This potential incubator space would focus on training, marketing, and writing a business plan for new business over short period of time.
For more information, contact Ken Morris, Leon County Director of Economic Development and Business Partnerships, at (850) 606-5300 / MorrisK@LeonCountyFL.gov or Jon D. Brown, Director of Leon County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 / cmr@LeonCountyFL.gov.