Through research, we have found that small business owners and entrepreneurs often struggle to find clear help and guidance throughout their journey. The Spring, with both a virtual home online and physical space at 220 West Garden Street, will serve as the front door to Pensacola’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Spring will operate as a triage that will channel entrepreneurs to the appropriate place within the ecosystem, no matter what their stage or current needs.
Then, by tracking different metrics, we will ensure the ecosystem is providing high-level service to these entrepreneurs, and that the entrepreneurs are a good fit to the ecosystem’s offering.
The Spring will also provide a vibrant place for entrepreneurs to gather, with member-based shared desk space and conference room access to local entrepreneurs.
Venture Mentoring Service (VMS)
The Spring VMS is based on the successful model used by the renowned VMS program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The MIT VMS is tailored specifically to communities looking to bolster entrepreneurship, and we have brought their successful program back to the Pensacola area.
A collaboration of organizations in Pensacola with missions to help small business co-sponsored this effort; The Studer Community Institute, FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance, The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, The Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Power, Pensacola State College and The University of West Florida Center for Entrepreneurship.
The program will offer confidential, team mentoring services to entrepreneurs across the community. By pairing entrepreneurs with 3-4 highly experienced mentors, their ventures are exposed to a variety of very skilled expertise and advice.
Gener8tor Accelerator Program
The Spring will also be partnering with one of the nation’s renowned small business accelerator programs, Gener8tor. Gener8tor offers a program called gBeta that works with 10 companies a year that have high growth potential. They will select 5 companies at a time, twice each year, and work with them to help scale their businesses, prepare their companies for investment and increase jobs. GBeta is currently located in 19 cities, with Pensacola being the first city in the Southeast and one of the smallest markets they have entered.