Entrepreneurial Excellence Program Continues at Innovation Park
Ten-class course offers entrepreneurs critical training on core business functions
TALLAHASSEE, FL – On Thursday, April 7, 2016 the Leon County Research and Development Authority’s (LCRDA) Board of Governors unanimously approved the transfer of the Entrepreneurial Excellence Program (EEP) from the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County, Inc. (EDC) to the LCRDA. The EDC launched the program in 2011 with Larry Lynch directing the program that provides valuable insights to early-stage start-up businesses and entrepreneurs as they navigate through the vulnerable stages of business development. Larry Lynch will continue to serve as director of the program for the LCRDA.
The 10-class program provides an interactive classroom setting where entrepreneurs engage with local business professionals who have expertise in a wide range of skills and experiences in the legal, marketing, sales, team-building, and financing areas. All the sessions are led by local business experts who share their knowledge, expertise and experiences with the class members.
“It is hard to believe that we have now conducted 11 sessions of EEP since 2011 with over 130 new business enterprises having gone thru the program,” Lynch says. “The type of business entity that will benefit from EEP is one that is either in the initial start-up phase or has recently started and wants to move to the next level of success. We have had all types of businesses attend EEP, from high-tech University research related startups to low-tech service related businesses and everything in between.”
Until 2014, the EEP was funded as part of a federal grant of $450,000 to assist and implement entrepreneurial activities in the local Tallahassee community. The EDC received a Knight Foundation Grant in 2014 for $50,000 that allowed the program to continue in 2014-15. The Knight Foundation awarded additional funding for the 2015-16 classes.
Ron Miller, Executive Director of the LCRDA, notes “the Entrepreneurial Excellence Program fits perfectly within our mission as it helps to nurture the growth of more local entrepreneurs, many of whom will be able to commercialize locally developed technologies, and create more companies and jobs. We are very excited about the opportunity to keep this valuable program alive in our community.”
The next EEP class, scheduled to begin in October, will be the first class managed by the LCRDA and Lynch. The program will be hosted at Innovation Park, a 208-acre research and development campus they manage in southwest Tallahassee. The campus is also home to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Danfoss, and others. Additional information, and an online application form can be found on Innovation Park’s website at http://innovation-park.com/entrepreneurial-excellence-program/