Our Community is spurred by people with a drive to get things done, and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is made up of thinkers and doers, companies and organizations, institutions and community champions. The platforms are ever changing and the rigorous work being done to support the system are involved.

As an entrepreneur, it is crucial to know there is a plethora of support. The following offers an insight into some of the offerings available.

Community Partners

The BIC connects clients with a strong network

The BIC connects clients with a strong network of economic development organizations that collect and gather demographical information essential to a startup’s decision process. The most current information is available for Northwest Florida in the links below. The BIC also provides links to resources that can assist in other topic areas important for start-ups.

To make strategic decisions about product development, marketing, human resources, production, and expansion, these resource’s will help startups analyze the most current information available.

Regional Resources

Career Source Gulf Coast
Gulf County EDC
Gulf Power
Opportunity Florida
Northwest Florida Forward
Tech Farms
Florida's Great Northwest

The Bay Economic Development Alliance (EDA) supports economic growth for business expansion and business development in Panama City and the surrounding area. The Bay EDA is staffed to assist you with business strategy, tax incentives, workforce training, and help finding sites and buildings for your business relocation. Our EDA provides economic development services for Callaway, Lynn Haven, Mexico Beach, Panama City, Panama City Beach, Parker, Springfield.

CareerSource Gulf Coast offers job search and an employment career center for Florida jobs. Our workforce services include career counseling & job search.

The vision of the Gulf County Economic Development Coalition is, in collaboration with its stakeholders, to create diverse, stable, and consistent employment opportunities that build wealth and provide better economic conditions for Gulf County.

Gulf Power recognizes that small businesses make up the backbone of our community. They dream big, take risks and create value for their customers and their employees. As part of our effort to support business, Gulf Power Small Business Connect contains a database of free resources and organizations located here in Northwest Florida that can help you succeed.

We are an economic development organization made up of nine rural counties in the heart of Northwest Florida. The nine counties are Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla and Washington. We work with the counties, cities therein and the various local economic development organizations to market the many resources offered by this region.

Northwest Florida is home to six major military installations, all with aviation/aerospace-related missions, which have a huge impact on the industries, R&D and talent pool in the region. Defense contractors, manufacturers, and high-tech businesses located in the region benefit from the skills of the 6,000 service members that separate each year.

A Regional Strategy for Economic Transformation offers a candid evaluation of the region’s economic development challenges and opportunities, informed by quantitative analysis, reviews of national best practices, and qualitative input from across the 13-county region.

TechFarms is a technology incubator located in Panama City Beach, Florida. We provide innovators and entrepreneurs with office space, coworking space, equipment, prototyping facilities, business & technical mentoring, and much more. TechFarms is closely affiliated with TechFarms Capital, an angel investment fund targeting technology startups in the Southeast.

Statewide Resources

Career Source Florida
Florida DEO
Enterprise Florida
Florida SBDC

CareerSource Florida is the statewide workforce policy and investment board of business and government leaders charged with guiding workforce development for the state of Florida. CareerSource Florida provides oversight and policy direction for talent development programs administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards and their 100 career centers. Together, the CareerSource Florida network connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity.

Welcome to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Our agency works across the state to support Florida’s strong economy, robust and talented workforce and local communities. We support Governor Rick Scott’s business-friendly priorities to ensure our state stays competitive and attracts new businesses to provide more opportunities for Florida families. We want Florida to be the best state in the nation to get a job, start a company, expand your business and live the American dream.

Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a public-private partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for Florida. EFI’s mission is to expand and diversify the state’s economy through job creation. In pursuit of its mission, EFI works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.

The Florida SBDC Network has access to robust databases, business research resources, and knowledgeable experts who can help you successfully navigate the obstacles that come with the stages of the business life cycle.

Teach. Coach. Share..

Having someone to advise an entrepreneur or to counsel and monitor progress is crucial for a startup. Mentors have real-world experience, understand the business needs and want to help to avoid the pitfalls they’ve already encountered. They also have access to people and resources an entrepreneur may not have.

A mentor is interested in helping a business succeed, is honest in critiques and generous with his/her time. A mentor can offer networking opportunities, instruct a startup regarding things they might not understand, and provide heads up about questions they would not even consider.

Get Involved as a Mentor

Business Growth
Business Planning
Legal Counsel
Account Resources
Human Resources
Government Contacts
Marketing PR
Grant Preparation
Risk Management

An important part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem

The BIC believes that students have innovative ideas and are in a position to grow professionally. Welcomed both formally and informally, students can become an intern in the BIC, enter as an entrepreneur with an idea, or attend BIC networking and educational events.

Internships are defined as arrangements in which students lend their talents to organizations/companies for an opportunity to develop business acumen and gain valuable experience needed to succeed in the workplace. The BIC welcomes interns and may also provide networks to companies requiring interns. Students who are looking for expertise in areas such as business plan development, marketing, communications, and event planning may be a perfect fit for a BIC internship.

Students who are ready to work on their Big Idea and establish a plan for their start-up can make an appointment for a Discovery Session. This session is a no-cost service.

The BIC is a part of Gulf Coast State College and welcomes all GCSC students to participate in the activities held on campus. In most cases, the events are free for students or will have a student rate available. Attending these events give opportunities to meet the dynamic innovators and business leaders that are shaping the economic future in Northwest Florida.