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Yes, it’s a nice problem to have and not a situation that we in the world of start-ups are accustom to figuring out. Thanks to the Dept. of Commerce and a program called the i6 Challenge, the Tampa tech community by way of USF Connect, TB Wave and others has won a $1M grant to prototype programs that accelerate technology commercialization, new venture formation, job creation, and economic growth in the Central Florida region. 

The key word behind this grant is “Challenge”. This is not philanthropic gift to any one program or organization, it is seed money to build and deliver resources that benefit the grass roots tech community and those would be entrepreneurs who are trying to build new products and start new companies. The programs can be any number of things including workshops, events, coworking, hack-a-thons and more. The challenge is to figure out what makes the most sense and what delivers the maximum amount of sustainable value.

Results matter. This is not a beauty contest. Deciding whether the final efforts were worth the investment (or as we like to say “will the dog eat the dog food”) will not be decided by judges on committee or a flowery, feel-good press release. Like any good “product”, the market decides. The market – that’s you! If you are a start-up founder, a freelancer or just someone that is passionate about solving problems, speak up and be heard. What do you want to see that will make central Florida a more start-up friendly place where tech companies can thrive and talented people want to live?

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