COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Governor Rick Scott today signed into law a State budget appropriations bill that included $2.5 million in state funds to help develop a Soft-Landing Business Accelerator project in Collier County.
The Business Accelerator Project is designed to help existing domestic businesses grow and develop while also providing a “port of entry” for international businesses seeking to expand into the U.S. market. This one-time state funding award will be combined with local public and private sector funding to establish facilities and business support services designed to spur economic development and create additional high wage jobs.
The Accelerator seeks to attract second stage innovation companies that have very specific development needs such as venture capital, customized business plan development services, joint venture partners and regulatory, licensing, visa, tax, and marketing assistance. Accelerator plans include having two fully staffed locations that serve different business sectors in the county. One urban area Innovation Accelerator will offer businesses an office style incubator with media center and global conferencing capabilities, while the other will feature a Culinary and Food Innovation Accelerator in Immokalee.
A primary goal of the Soft-Landing Accelerator, which is expected to be operational this fall, is recruiting companies that create high value employment opportunities for citizens and encouraging them to expand operations in Collier County. In addition, the county’s public/private partnership efforts will strive to attract foreign direct investment, improve exports from Florida companies, extend and expand the brand recognition of the region, and build new futures for young persons in the community who aspire to launch their careers in the region.
The Soft-Landing Accelerator Project will supplement and complement the Florida Gulf Coast University Emergent Technologies Institute which is engaged in research and development. The Accelerator is designed to recruit and mentor companies that are beyond the research and development stage and already have marketable products or services, and seek to expand their business in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S.