News Release     

Board of County Commissioners
Leon County Courthouse
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
(850) 606-5302

Leon County Logo

_________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/21/2014

CONTACT: 

Mathieu Cavell
Public Information Officer

(850) 606-5300


Business Incubator Keeps Bright Ideas in the Community

Business Incubator Keeps Bright Ideas in the Community
Domi Station business incubator to open doors to talented entrepreneurs

 

For many years, college graduates from Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and other schools have taken their expertise and moved elsewhere to pursue their dreams of starting a business.  That changes tomorrow at 6 p.m. when Domi, in partnership with Leon County Government and in affiliation with Florida State University, opens a newly renovated business incubator and co-working space at the Leon County Historic Amtrak Station, 918 Railroad Ave.

 

At the County Commission Retreat in 2011, the Board of County Commissioners identified business incubation as a key missing piece in our local economic offerings. Commissioners directed County staff to further explore the possibility of establishing an incubator. Two years later, after exhaustive analysis and active engagement with community partners, the County is now poised to hand over the keys to Domi, a private partner with ties to venture capital.

 

“The incubator will lead to new opportunities with our universities, business community, and entrepreneurial support organizations,” said Kristin Dozier, Leon County Commission Chairman. “The County’s repurposing of this historic property is an investment in local businesses and entrepreneurs to stimulate long-term sustainable economic growth.”

 

Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long added, “This project represents real progress in our economic development efforts as a community. Capturing the ideas born here and keeping the jobs and the talent in our community is what it’s all about.”

 

Leon County Government's community-driven visioning process helped develop the urban business incubator in a former warehouse, where it will become the catalyst for idea exchange. Domi Station will help entrepreneurs in Leon County develop their companies through mentorship and business support resources.

 

“As a business incubator, we’ve got a lot work to do, but opening the doors is the first step,” said Micah Widen, Domi Ventures, LLC. “A significant number of entrepreneurs are ready to begin work on projects ranging from hurricane software to streamlining shopping with Google Glass. This demonstrates the abundance of human capital available and ready to turn their ideas into successful business ventures.  These entrepreneurs could be somewhere else doing great work, but they chose Tallahassee.”

 

Through an affiliation agreement between Domi and Florida State University, a special Florida State "pod" has been designated within the business incubator. This pod will feature the same technology resources, mentoring capabilities and other support mechanisms available within the incubator, but will be available exclusively for use by Florida State faculty and students who successfully apply. The Florida State pod supports a co-working office environment for up to eight startup business entities.

 

"As an entrepreneurial-focused research university, Florida State University is committed to finding new ways to help our students and faculty develop their business ideas into successful products and companies," said Gary K. Ostrander, Florida State University's Vice President for Research. "Domi Station will give us access to an exciting new resource that will expand our ability to move promising research efforts and business ideas off our campuses and out into society where they can have a greater impact on our lives."

 

Domi Station will offer opportunities for entrepreneurs of all ages and will partner with the Economic Development Council to host a number of social, community and training events each year to help acclimate entrepreneurs with some of the community’s most successful and established business leaders.

 

“This incubator offers the next step in the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the graduates of our Entrepreneurial Excellence Program which include recent college graduates, young professionals, and mid-career entrepreneurs,” according to Sue Dick, President/CEO of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council. “Fostering entrepreneurialism is one of the EDC’s main areas of focus, and we look forward to being a key partner and resource for Domi Station and its members.”

 

For more information about the grand opening event, contact Ken Morris, 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 .

 

To apply to the incubator and co-working space, contact Micah Widen, CEO of Domi Ventures, LLC, at (812) 322-9117 / micah@domiventures.co .

 

###