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For a struggling entrepreneur, there is nothing worse than having an idea and not knowing where to turn for help, encouragement, and resources. StartupMonkey was created to help the founders of early-stage companies in the Tampa Bay area who need a peer support group of like-minded individuals that have been down the path of startup success and failure.

StartupMonkey discussions focus on the fundamental challenges of being a startup and how to efficiently work through the issues of turning your idea into a product. You will not find advice on writing a business plan or silver bullet short cuts to venture funding. You will find brutally pragmatic advice on the planning and preparation it takes to build and launch a product into a very competitive marketplace.

Our secondary mission is to challenge the conventional thinking of old school economic development and create an active discussion about the new business and jobs opportunities enabled by homegrown, high-growth start-ups. By taking a bottoms-up approach to understanding and addressing the barriers that impede innovation and new company success, we can change the economic climate of Central Florida from one that is overly dependent on tourism and construction to one that is a balanced and sustainable portfolio of economic activity.

Among other things, StartupMonkey is a catalyst for Coworking. Unlike incubators, entrepreneurship programs, or business plan contests, coworking creates an environment for organic collaboration within the tech, scientific, and creative communities. Providing space to work, think, and interact is the best way to engage and measure the true (but sometimes hidden) potential of an area’s skilled workforce and innovators. This type of grassroots economic development is a cheap but often overlooked source of new jobs and great PR for a region. Over the past several years StartupMonkey has worked to give the start-up community a voice in economic development discussions so that eventually Tampa Bay can become a place where geeks, freelancers, and aspiring tech entrepreneurs can participate in an honest discussion about the challenges of starting and building emerging companies.