The Tampa Bay Innovation Center says it is launching its next startup accelerator, which will focus on innovations in climate technology, sustainability and resilience.
The center says it will be working with early-stage tech ventures as it develops new products "that unlock the environmental and economic potential of clean-tech and climate-tech innovation."
Among the first corporate supporters are ARK Invest, Duke Energy and PODS Moving and Storage, the center says. The companies will assist the center by providing industry insight and resources, including domain expertise, customer contacts and mentors, innovation center officials say.
The accelerator program will begin in late February. It is the second such climate-tech accelerator and will be the eighth one overall, center Managing Director Ken Evans says to the Business Observer.
The previous three-month program, in early 2023, drew 200 applicants. Only eight were chosen. Evans expects the same number of applicants, and, again, only eight get chosen.
It will consist of weekly group workshops along with one-on-one mentoring to help early-stage ventures with customer discovery, product strategy, pricing, go-to-market skills and putting systems in place that are essential for success, the center says.
With help from corporate and industry partners, the center will be recruiting early-stage startups in the following sectors:
- Smart buildings and low-impact development
- Smart cities and transit
- Acceleration of digital transformation
- Sustainable sources of power generation, such as solar and wind
- Marine science, monitoring, protection and restoration
- Weather monitoring and impact modeling
- Supply chain and retail waste reduction
- Agriculture tech
- Low-waste manufacturing
- Tech involving clean water and water conservation
The program is being done in conjunction with the city of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County government.
Evans says water-adjacent cities and counties have motivation to see green tech grow.
"Climate tech is very important to the people of Florida," says Evans. "It's in everyone's best interests."