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ProQuestDocuments 2014-12-02

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 _______________________________________________________________  December 02 2014 15:07

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1. STARTUP..................................................................................................................................................... 1

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TRIGAUX, ROBERT ProQuest document link "There are lots of incubators, accelerators, tech transfer offices, meet-up groups and trade groups, but precious few successful entrepreneurs who have stepped up to lead the ecosystem," says Mike O'Donnell, a Seattle entrepreneur who briefly tried to inject new blood into the startup community here before relocating to Fort Lauderdale. "There are lots of people selling picks and shovels, but not enough miners mining gold." Money is a key. "We need more high net worth individuals to write more seed-stage (early) checks to our  startups," [Brent Britton] said. "Money is the oxygen in the room. Without more of it, our startup culture will wither and die." "The real progress will come when talk turns to action in our community, and we start to see the rise of multiple angel (early-stage investing) groups and funds - and active ones at that," [Linda Olson] says. "Personally, I'd be happy to see even one active group in Tampa Bay who is willing to go public." Check Document Availability (start'-up) n. 1. The earliest stage of a business launched by an entrepreneur armed with an idea and endless energy. 2. In Tampa Bay, an emerging culture of innovation trying to take hold as more people pursue their business dreams from scratch. *** Tampa Bay stands at an innovation crossroads. While its emerging startup community exudes enthusiasm, big concerns persist about the long-term viability of this r egion as a serious hub for entrepreneurs. For starters, let's come to grips with some basic rules of entrepreneurship: - Most startups fail - don't rue the losses. - Encourage risk. - Numbers matter - keep the innovation pipeline full. - Celebrate the innovative businesses that succeed. The Tampa Bay Times reached out this spring to the founders of more than 60 area startups and to dozens of  experts who live those rules every day. The idea was to capture a decent-sized sample to follow in the coming months and, for those that survive and grow, the years ahead. We also wanted to hear from enough entrepreneurs about how the Tampa Bay area rates as a place to start a business. Some startups listed here like Tampa's KiteDesk or Palm Harbor's Alorum or Marxent Labs were founded by experienced entrepreneurs. Others like Banyan (which started here but relocated to Tennessee), Refresh-aBaby, Check I'm Here and City Sleekers are startups by younger folk still getting their entrepreneurial feet wet. Still others like Tampa's AbleNook and Black &Denim Apparel or KeriCure in Wesley Chapel make physical products to sell, while Citizinvestor and Cartooga provide online platforms to help fund local public projects or  boost retailer sales.  And C2 Intel, an area startup that aimed to offer competitive intelligence to businesses, was pulling the plug when reached by the Times. "Unfortunately, my partner and I have just made the decision to shut our operations down," emailed Michelle Frome, who now works as a research manager at Catalina Marketing in St. Petersburg. What do all these innovators think is holding back the area's burgeoning startup community? Four hurdles came

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