North Florida Innovation Labs Announces New Educational Accelerator Program for Small Businesses to Help Bring Research Dollars to the Big Bend Region

Tallahassee, Florida – March 5, 2020 – North Florida Innovation Labs at Innovation Park of Tallahassee announces that they are a recipient of a Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality’s (OEV) 2020 Elevate Your Workforce Grant.

The $25,000 funding will be used to develop a new Accelerator Program to increase Small Business Innovation Research/Small business Technology Transfer Research (SBIR/STTR) awards in the region. The SBIR/STTR Accelerator Program will provide important assistance to science, technology, and engineering entrepreneurs within Leon County through a 4-week (16-hour) accelerator and mentorship program.

Up to twelve companies will be able to join the cohort at no cost, as a result of the Office of Economic Vitality’s grant. The program will educate participants on utilizing this non-dilutive funding source to support proof of concept and prototype development with the goal of moving successful technologies into the commercial marketplace. Curriculum for the cohort will include a full cycle of finding solicitations to submitting proposals.

The instructor is Michael Tentnowski, Director of Entrepreneurship for Innovation Park. Michael is an SBA Certificated SBIR/STTR instructor and has 17 years of experience mentoring small businesses through the SBIR/STTR grant process. Michael’s knowledge and success in business development in the high-tech arena is a vital component to the SBIR/STTR Accelerator Program, as his advisership will provide critical assistance to small business participants.

“This generous grant from OEV allows Innovation Park to provide much needed assistance and guidance to those seeking some of the $3.7M in federal grant dollars available each year. The SBIR/STTR program is very competitive, so understanding the requirements, complexities, and tips and tricks would be most beneficial to increasing the odds for regional applicants”, stated Michael Tentnowski.

The Elevate Your Workforce Grant allows OEV to support innovative organizations like North Florida Innovation Labs, which are actively engaging the community to attract start-ups who can create high wage jobs in Leon County.

“It is an honor to be a part of an initiative supporting entrepreneurs right in Florida’s capital,” said OEV Director Cristina Paredes. “There is no shortage of talent in our region, and by making sure that innovators and entrepreneurs are provided with necessary technical assistance through the SBIR/STTR Accelerator program, we can achieve economic growth and create jobs within our targeted industries.”

The first cohort will begin on April 7, 2020. To learn more, and to apply to be in the program, contact Innovation Park’s Director of Entrepreneurship, Michael Tentnowski via email at or by phone at (850) 575-0343.

North Florida Innovation Labs is a non-profit organization that believes in helping companies develop their ideas and grow in the Tallahassee/Big Bend region. For more information about North Florida Innovation Labs, please visit:

About Innovation Park of Tallahassee
Innovation Park of Tallahassee is a unique community collaboration of FSU, FAMU, TCC, County, City and private sector leaders charged with driving innovation based economic development to recruit, retain, and develop organizations which capitalize on the distinctive Innovation Park research assets focused on magnetics, aero-propulsion, materials, energy, health, and life sciences. The mission of Innovation Park is to work in affiliation with these partners to promote our region’s research and development assets, and to foster the attraction, startup and growth of private innovative companies that create high wage jobs in Leon County. Learn more at