There are shared spaces... and then there are shared communities. Spaces, while important, are will not yield results such as innovative products/services, new grant funding, or joint ventures unless you spend dedicated time building a community within the space. Connecting those in the space to each other and to those in other organizations is not a small feat. Our community is the most important part of the HUB. We talk about it a lot and reference it as if it is a living, breathing entity.
Over the last two months, the HUB hosted four events that illustrate the idea of community. The first was a tour with the International Marine Mineral Society. As part of their annual conference at the Vinoy, attendees learned about the technology being developed at the HUB and discussed future opportunities with HUB tenants.
The second event was a social as part of the annual program review for USF's Center for Ocean Mapping and Innovative Technology (COMIT). Members of the COMIT team, NOAA, and their partners had a chance to informally come together and continue to explore the future of ocean mapping.
The third was a Coastal Community Happy Hour. Sponsored by Integral Consulting Inc, it brought together 100+ individuals from the Tampa Bay Area Marine Science Networking Happy Hour, St. Pete Ocean Team, HUB, Innovation District, and entrepreneurial community. Over beverages at the beer bus and in the food truck lines, they were able to meet people they didn't know, talk about projects they were working on, and imagine collaborations.
The most recent event was held last evening as part of the Florida Coastal Mapping Program Summit. Sponsored by Woolpert, this social brought together private industry, academia, and government representatives. This informal time created connections, allowed for informal discussions about the day's meetings and set the stage for today's workshops.
Last week St. Pete Innovation District hosted its 6th State of Science and Innovation. This event highlights innovators who are doing creative, thought-provoking, and impactful work. This is always a favorite event of the year and once again the event didn't disappoint.
The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida name Alison Barlow - Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District - as one of their 2024 Woman of Distinction.
For entrepreneurs, this network of support organizations can be challenging to navigate. The hope is that this map helps direct entrepreneurs to the best possible resources.