Research Park hires Director of Entrepreneurship to lead development of high tech incubator
The Leon County Research and Development Authority (LCRDA), the entity that governs Innovation Park of Tallahassee, is pleased to announce that Michael Tentnowski has become the organization’s Director of Entrepreneurship. Tentnowski began his duties on January 29th, 2018.
“I am excited to be joining an experienced organization that has a clear vision of where it wants to be,” states Mr. Tentnowski. “LCRDA and its partners are visionary in the continued development of entrepreneurial assets in the region. These resources will provide the tools necessary for building a thriving innovation community, while providing high-paying employment opportunities for area residents.”
As the Director of Entrepreneurship, Tentnowski will play a vital role in the design and construction of the new technology incubator planned at Innovation Park. He will work to facilitate initial program development at a temporary location in the Park, and will oversee the longer- term development of a new 40,000 sq. ft. mixed use facility to house business incubator and accelerator programs. This incubator will include wet labs, makerspace/prototype development, light manufacturing and assembly space, office and common area amenities. Additionally, Tentnowski will enhance existing programs, including the Entrepreneurial Excellence Program, and develop new programs based on the identified needs in the region.
Tentnowski brings with him over 20 years of business development experience in the high-tech arena, including working in university technology transfer environments, as well working with federal agencies, and national laboratories. He has developed and run several high technology incubators, including in his previous positions as the Executive Director at two Innovation Centers, along the I-95 technology corridor. In addition, he has attracted companies to incubators/accelerators as residents, virtual and collaboration hub members, has grant writing expertise with a history of successful proposals and has been a featured speaker and recurrent presenter to business and industry executives. He is a three-time entrepreneur and co-author of the book, “The Virginia Entrepreneur’s Guide.”
“We are extremely excited to have Michael join our team,” remarks Ron Miller, Executive Director of the LCRDA. “Michael brings with him a set of skills that can’t be found in Tallahassee. With his previous experience and knowledge, we believe he will be a great asset in moving our organization, as well as the Tallahassee entrepreneurial ecosystem, forward.”
The decision to create this new position comes after much research and planning to create an incubator/accelerator in Innovation Park as the need for these resources continue to grow. In 2017, the LCRDA Board of Governors approved the creation of the new position to expedite the process. LCRDA looks forward to developing a continuum of entrepreneurial education, incubation, acceleration, and graduate company support programs, which will foster the successful commercialization of new technologies created by local universities, the private sector, and the community.