Gazelle Lab Offers Training, Funding for Local Business Start-ups

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 13, 2011) – Organizers of the Gazelle Lab, a virtual business accelerator program within the College of Business at USF St. Petersburg, will discuss the program’s training and mentoring opportunities for local entrepreneurs at an information session on Tuesday, June 21 at 8 a.m.

Local start-ups have until July 11 to apply for one of 10 spots in a three-month program that culminates with Demo Day on November 17, their chance to pitch their potentially high-impact firms to investors from around the country. Entrepreneurs selected for the Gazelle Lab will receive mentoring, a small cash infusion, and research and prototyping work from students in an entrepreneurship capstone course in the USFSP College of Business. The Gazelle Lab has approximately three dozen business leaders ready to help mentor new businesses regarding products, finance and business development.

“The businesses will benefit from the creativity and energy of our students, the wisdom of successful business owners and a supportive community seeking to build entrepreneurial success in the Tampa Bay area,” said Bill Jackson, professor of entrepreneurship in the USFSP College of Business and Gazelle Lab board member. “Future economic success rests with innovators driven to make local business thrive.”

The free information session will be geared toward entrepreneurs interested in the Gazelle Lab’s three-month business building program; experienced entrepreneurs interested in investing in the program or mentoring a new business; or potential program sponsors.

Gazelle Lab: Breakfast Networking and Information Session
Tuesday, June 21 | 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. | USF St. Petersburg | Davis Hall, Room 130
Event Registration

Gazelle Lab is a member of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Alliance in the USFSP College of Business and the national TechStars Network. The SEI Alliance seeks to build a community of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Tampa Bay area through an undergraduate entrepreneurship degree, the Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, a student club, the Gazelle Lab, monthly networking and educational sessions, and more.

A term coined by the Small Business Administration, a gazelle describes a high-impact business firm that doubles in size every four years. A story published June 10 in the Tampa Bay Business Journal highlights the SEI Alliance at USFSP and the Gazelle Lab program.

-USF St. Petersburg-