We work closely with our finance partners to help startups find financing and connect them to mentors and related business opportunities. The goal is to not only provide an environment that is beneficial for a business in the early phases, but to nurture an entrepreneurial ecosystem that encourages young companies to remain here as they grow.
Click on any of the below to link to valuable entrepreneurial resources:
- Domi Station
- AERO – Alliance of Entrepreneurial Support Organizations
- Small Business Development Center at Florida A&M University
- Florida Opportunity Fund
- Florida Growth Fund
- Florida Institute for Commercialization
- Florida Small Business Credit Initiative
- Florida First Capital Finance Corporation
- Florida Finance Network
- Score Tallahassee
Our business is building business. And building business is all about two things: people and process. It takes ambition, hard work, and relentless iteration. We get into the nuts and bolts of business models, market strategies, and value added products, but at the end of the day what we offer is more than that.
We invest in early stage entrepreneurs and accelerate their growth by providing access to a network of mentors, investors, and collaborators. When you get all the right people in the same room playing off the passion and momentum of each other, that’s how you build community. That’s how you accelerate impact.
Tallahassee-based AERO is a coalition of public agencies and community non-profit organizations united to provide current and new businesses with resources to aid in their success. AERO’s executive partners include:
- Access Florida Finance Corporation: The AFFC’s mission is to provide access to capital and technical assistance for black, rural, and small businesses throughout Florida and the nation. AFFC fosters economic development and job creation through federal, state, and private community-based programs, and in coordination with our strategic alliances.
Learn more about the AFFC.
- Big Bend Minority Chamber: The BBMC was created to promote a climate in which minority and women-owned businesses can operate in a productive and profitable manner and to stimulate grassroots economic growth and development throughout Leon, Gadsden, Franklin, Jefferson, and Wakulla counties.
Learn more about the BBMC.
- CareerSource Capital Region: Serving Gadsden, Leon, and Wakulla counties, CareerSource Capital Region provides comprehensive workforce services by connecting employers with talent and Floridians with employment opportunities. Employer incentives include recruitment assistance, skills assessments for applicants, customized training, and information on tax incentives. Employers and job seekers are matched through the Employ Florida Marketplace system and all services are provided at no cost.
Learn more about CareerSource Capital Region.
- City of Tallahassee: The City of Tallahassee provides an array of services and facilities to support the growth of a diverse local economy and high quality of life for its citizens. Various economic development programs, as well as numerous purchasing opportunities for those interested in doing business with the city are available.
Learn more about the City of Tallahassee.
- The Florida Small Business Development Center: The Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida A&M University provides confidential, no-cost professional business consulting services, technical assistance and training to small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business. Services include market and revenue growth strategies, financial analysis and capital access, government contracting and business certifications, marketing strategies and strategic planning.
Learn more about the FSBDC at FAMU.
- Florida State University Supplier Diversity Program: The SDP is administered by FSU Purchasing Services and focuses on three key areas: education and outreach, communications, and reporting and development.
Learn more about the Florida State University SDP.
- Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce: The Tallahassee Chamber’s mission is to enhance the business climate of Florida’s Capital city, while ensuring economic prosperity and improving the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens.
Learn more about the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.
- The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship:The mission of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship is to cultivate, train and inspire entrepreneurial leaders through world-class executive education, applied training, public recognition and leading-edge research. Learn more about the Jim Moran Institute.
- Leon County: Leon County is home to Florida’s capital city, Tallahassee. A political subdivision of the state, the county is guided by an elected, seven-member Board of County Commissioners. Five members of the Board are elected to serve specific commission districts and two members are elected at-large.
Learn more about Leon County.
- The Leon County Research & Development Authority: The Leon County RDA oversees Tallahassee’s Innovation Park. The authority hosts an annual competition for technology commercialization grants of up to $15,000 for each of two startup businesses, facilitates quarterly roundtables to present current R&D and technology commercialization topics, and offers office space for lease within Innovation Park.
Learn more about the LCRDA.
- Tallahassee Community College Workforce Development: TCC’s Division of Workforce Development offers the Big Bend community customized training and services that enhance employees’ careers, improve business effectiveness and support returning adult learners. Targeted workforce training is offered in numerous high-demand fields, such as information technology, manufacturing, business, and construction/trades.
Learn more about the TCC Division of Workforce Services.
The SBDC programs at Florida A&M University offer workshops to help entrepreneurs evaluate business ideas, develop business plans and explore financing options. Practical, convenient and concise, these group training programs cover topics from startup basics to marketing, accounting and record keeping, financing, and taxes. SBDC workshops are regularly offered at little or no cost.
Legislation passed in 2007 created the Florida Opportunity Fund. The fund was created to realize significant long-term capital appreciation by investing in high-quality venture capital funds that will focus on making investments in Florida.
The FGF is a venture capital initiative created to invest in technology and growth-related businesses in the state. The FGF seeks to make meaningful commitments to top tier partnerships in the technology, aerospace, renewable energy, medical and life sciences, and other related industries with a solid Florida presence.
Legislation passed in 2007 created the Florida Institute for Commercialization to stimulate growth of science- and technology-based companies in industries that drive the global economy. The institute showcases technologies and products developed by publicly supported organizations across the state and pairs commercially viable discoveries with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors to ensure their growth and success.
Created as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SSBCI was designed by the federal government to help states strengthen existing loan and equity programs and/or create new programs that support financing small businesses. The program provides such advantages to Florida’s small businesses as access to debt and venture capital financing that may not otherwise be available and a flexible, non-bureaucratic resource for funding.
FFCFC administers several government and private small business capital access programs; the most significant is the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loan Program. The SBA 504 program specifically exists to help small to mid-sized business owners acquire commercial property without the financial hassles and high cash outlay requirements often associated with conventional loans.
The Florida Finance Network is a group of nonprofit economic development lending organizations that connects Florida businesses with various federal, state and private financing programs to meet specific capital needs. Florida Finance Network members specialize in different areas, but collectively cover the majority of business financing needs. Florida Finance Network members are knowledgeable and well-connected to help your business determine its best funding options.
- Access Florida Finance Corporation (AFFC): Created to increase the number of qualified black business enterprises, which, in turn, will increase competition in the marketplace.
- Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC): Created as an issuer of bonds, both taxable and tax-exempt, to provide low-cost capital to Florida manufacturers. When more than a traditional loan is needed, this is a great resource.
- Florida Export Finance Corporation (FEFC): Created to expand employment and income opportunities by supporting the export of goods and services from the state.
- Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC): Its 504 loan program is vital for businesses investing capital in facilities and equipment. The program requires the company to participate by contributing a percentage of the amount needed, which often provides local financial institutions an opportunity to provide needed supplemental funding.
- Neighborhood Lending Partners, Inc. (NLP): Provides financing to developers of affordable housing and community revitalization.
Tallahassee SCORE mentors and deliver valuable, timely, and practical advice. Whether you are a start-up or an existing business, our mentors will help you and your business open new markets, reach new customers, and achieve new goals. They dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.