A Flood of Entrepreneurs, Backers and Supporters Attend
MELBOURNE, FLA (March 24, 2017) –More than 400 people attended Groundswell Startups grand opening in Downtown Melbourne’s Tech Village last Friday. The newly-renovated, 24/7 access startup incubator hosted leaders from several startup communities, venture capitalists, and startups across the State of Florida.
The 11,300 SF former indoor skatepark represents the largest nonprofit high tech incubator in the State of Florida. Graffiti on the walls and a riverfront view helped to set an exciting tone for people seeking to grow high tech companies using the nonprofit’s free mentorship and resources to scale their business.
Groundswell CEO, Jenna Buehler, announced three new endeavors as part of the grand opening main event. She said the incubator will host the University of Florida’s cybersecurity conference this Nov 2. Second, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast will support in marketing Groundswell’s early-stage microgrant program, or “Moonshot Innovation Series,” this May. As a second strategic partnership with the EDC, the incubator will serve as a strategic partner to the NASA technology docking program and offer resources and mentor opportunities for advanced manufacturing and technology development.
“Today’s global innovation market demands high-impact partnerships,” Buehler said. “It is because of our existing partnerships that we’ve helped nine companies to secure funding since June 2015. We’re very much look forward to what’s next.”
Following the announcements, Buehler recognized Novel Engineering for its 3-year sustaining partnership with the incubator. The key to perpetuating early success for startups, she said, is to have serial entrepreneurs like CEO of Novel Engineering, Misty Marot, engaged and involved in helping to scale models for future community growth.
Local philanthropist and co-founder of Groundswell Startups, Bud Deffebach, shared why it is that the Deffebach Family put more than $1M into the renovation, then donated the building for the benefit of high tech startups at the startup incubator.
“The Space Coast will change,” Deffebach said. “And it’s serial entrepreneurs, active mentors and sponsors who will play a leading role in helping to foster an attractive culture for this next wave of talent.”
Groundswell will host its first free coworking Wednesday this April 5 from 8AM to 7PM. Guests will be invited to attend the “Ask a VC” happy hour and Q&A session with Groundswell Startups co-founder, John Vecchio beginning at 5:30PM. Vecchio is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and managing partner at one of the most active early-stage funds in the southeast, Mosley Ventures.
For more information on coworking for remote workers and high tech startups, or to register for the April 5 “Ask a VC” session, please visit www.swellstartups.com.
Photos of the event available here.