Station 2’s Tuesday night speakers hit the ball out of the park Tues., Dec. 8th at their facility in Bradenton, FL. Station 2, which opened this year, is a business incubator located at 912 7th Ave East designed to be a catalyst for business growth in the Manasota (Manatee and Sarasota counties) region. They bring together people to work in a shared space and host events to educate, empower, and develop entrepreneurs. It was the brain child of Spark Growth headed by Sara Hand and Stan Schultes with an impressive group of corporate and governmental sponsors.
Micro-lenders presenters were Emilo Santandreu of OUR Micro-Lending from Miami and Wes Benham of the local Hancock Bank. Both participate in Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership between business and the state of Florida. It is the principle economic development organization for Florida. EFI’s activities champion Florida as a premier location for business expansion and relocation. They have three state offices, one in Orlando, one in Tallahassee, and a third in Miami.
While Emilo handles short term loans under $50,000 to low and moderate income entrepreneurs Wes and Hancock Bank begin about $50,000 up to $2 million amounts. Hancock’s program is under the SSBCI or State Small Business Credit Initiative which has easier requirements than a SBA loan. Both provide a needed place in the startup loan world.
Tuesday night is community education night at Station 2. Some of the upcoming talks are feature Katie Krismitos from TBBO (Tampa Bay Business Owners) on Building a Rockstar Business (12/15), and An Overhaul of Your Online Presence (12/29).