If you live in the Tampa Bay area and are an aspiring entrepreneur, you may think that there aren't that many local resources at hand for information or inspiration. Thankfully, that couldn't be further from the truth. You probably didn't know that Tampa is one of the top 25 cities for small business activity according to the Kauffman Index. The city's entrepreneurial ecosystem is growing fast, and next week, Tampa Bay Startup Week will take place to celebrate the community's successes.
The folks that run Startup Week don't play around when it comes to choosing the cities they're going to visit. They do their research and make sure to select only cities that have the potential to make for a successful startup. Well next week they're heading to Tampa (a good place to be in February), for the second year in a row.
We've previously mentioned that there are a few key attributes that draw Startup Week to particular cities: density, government regulations, culture, talent, and access to said talent. Tampa must have all of these attributes or it likely would not have made the Startup Week list.
Not only is Tampa hosting its second Startup Week, but it is also one of 8 cities' conferences that Chase chose to sponsor this year. They will help host local events designed to help veterans start and grow businesses, or fuel the next gulf coast startup to be featured on Shark Tank. Chase for Business thrives on helping local businesses grow. The bank works with 4 million businesses nationwide, more than 260,000 in Florida— where they approved $800 million in loans in 2015.
From February 8-12, there will be over 70 events hosted all over the city. A lot of the events will highlight Tampa's unique culture and what sets it apart from other ecosystems. Here are just a few of the events spotlighting local businesses that will be taking place over the 5 day conference.
- February 8th: Exclusive Print Drop – Join Cass Contemporary, a Tampa-based art gallery focusing on modern, collectible art pieces from local, regional, national and international artists , as they premiere an exclusive art drop at Le Meridien. Grab lunch and a new print piece while learning about the awesome things Cass Contemporary is doing around the community.
- February 9th: Celebrating Social Media at Ferg's Live presented by Reeves VW & JJ Taylor – This event will bring together local sponsors (Reeves VW, JJ Taylor Distributing, and local nonprofit Where Love Grows) and lovers of all things social media, for food, drinks, and great conversations.
- February 10th: Tidal Boar Ginger Beer Signature Cocktail Tasting – NHIE (Never Have I Ever) Tampa is partnering with local brand Tidal Boar Ginger Beer and Roux, a local restaurant and bar, for a one-of-a-kind mixology experience. There will be three cocktail recipes for attendees to sample, all made with Tidal Boar Ginger Beer. The crowd will get to vote on their favorite cocktail to determine a winner that will be featured on Roux's menu.
- February 11th: Startup Tshirt Swap @ Geek Breakfast -#tampageekbreakfast is a monthly meetup where geeky enthusiasts come together to discuss new media, podcasting, blogging, programming, open source, social networks and more. This will also be an opportunity to purge your startup t-shirt collection, or collect more.
- February 12th: Everything Local Market – Another event by NHIE Tampa Bay, they are hosting their first Everything Local Market. It's a chance to meet local entrepreneurs and check out everything they're creating, innovating, producing and selling. Think of it as your opportunity to help out the local Tampa economy, which will help keep these businesses thriving.
Still don't think you have a comprehensive idea of what goes on at Startup Week and why you should attend? Check out some things learned from Seattle Startup Week to get a feel for the vibe.
Editor's Note: This article is part of a Startup Week content series brought to you by Chase for Business. Startup Week is celebration of entrepreneurs in cities around the globe. Chase for Business is everything a business needs in one place, from expert advice to valuable products and services.