Stephanie Ashley

Director, Business Incubation and Economic Development
University of South Florida CONNECT
Partners

At the University of South Florida there are countless resources to help entrepreneurial students succeed, one of them being USF CONNECT. Located directly on campus in the business park, USF CONNECT is part of the business and economic initiative that provides support for start-ups.

“We work very closely with our onsite [Florida SBDC business] consultants. Jim Taylor is a tremendous resource to not only our Student Innovation Incubator (SII) companies but also our Tampa Bay Technology Incubator (TBTI) companies,” Director of Business Incubation and Economic Development, Stephanie Ashley said. “He’s worked with more than 20 of these companies providing consulting services ranging from business planning to marketing to financing.”

USF CONNECT and the Florida SBDC at USF have teamed up to create a powerhouse of student and non-student entrepreneurs.  While the SII is still in its nascent stage, there has been rapid growth within its first three years.

“In our first year we had 14 student companies participating in the program, the second year grew to 24, and currently we have 39 student companies that are operating out of the incubator,” Ashley said.  “We see nothing but tremendous growth in 2016.

“It is an unbelievable opportunity for these companies to be able to come into their office space and know that they can walk across the hall or walk down the hall and have [the Florida SBDC at USF] right at their finger tips.”  Read Full Article

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