Group launches plan to boost ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem’

A group of Tampa Bay entrepreneurs has developed a plan they believe will lead to thriving entrepreneurial activity in the Tampa Bay region.
The “Tampa Bay 6/20 Plan” aims to give “a shared voice to the entrepreneurial leaders who are looking to develop Tampa Bay into one of the best regions in
the country to start and grow their businesses,” a written statement said.

A virtually non-existent seed and early stage equity capital pipeline in Florida, “combined with the latest economic downturn, have caused too much local talent to leave in pursuit of greener pastures,” the statement said.

Six regional business executives, academics and entrepreneurs with university and community ties researched and composed the plan. Rebecca White, Daniel James Scott, Marvin Scaff, John Morrow, Bill Jackson and Brent Britton studied critical elements that have been integral to turnarounds in dozens of entrepreneurial communities, the statement said. Their work has identified two specific ingredients that must be built upon to allow an entrepreneurial ecosystem to prosper: talent, measured by net new job creation; and capital, measured by net new equity investment.

“We simply cannot continue to ignore our privilege and responsibility of handcrafting a world-class community,” said John Morrow in the statement. Morrow is named in the plan as Tampa Bay’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence and charged with ensuring the success of the plan. “As entrepreneurs, we need to be the change that we seek,” he said.

The ultimate goal of the plan is provide a fluid, evolving framework for taking an ever-changing set of next steps as the community progresses, the statement said.