Published: August 10, 2021
TD Charitable Foundation Grant Again Benefits Spartan Incubator Program at UT
The Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at The University of Tampa has again received a grant from the TD Charitable Foundation for its Spartan Incubator Program, which will assist more low- to moderate-income (LMI) individuals in advancing their early-stage businesses.
Since 2015, the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, which is part of UT’s Sykes College of Business, has offered the Spartan Incubator Program to early-stage Tampa Bay businesses. The program is a free service that allows business owners to receive guidance from faculty, investors, entrepreneurs and experts both in the Tampa Bay region and beyond. The overall goal of the program is to provide support for local business owners to progress in the Tampa Bay ecosystem and determine what they need to work on.
The program selects several companies each year to participate in the 12-month program. In the past, industries have included medicine, horticulture, food service and technology. Business owners accepted to the program are typically working full-time to launch their startup, and at least 80% of them fall into the LMI category.
With the continued help of the TD Charitable Foundation grant, the Spartan Incubator Program is able to increase the number of participants in the program. The Lowth Entrepreneurship Center will also be able to ensure that LMI companies are included in the program.
"TD is always looking for opportunities to support our local communities including startups and small businesses. TD is a long-time supporter of the University of Tampa and thanks to the TD Charitable Foundation, we're excited to expand our work with the Spartan Incubator program to help assist more entrepreneurs in low-to-moderate income communities. As the Tampa Bay area continues to grow, programs like the Spartan Incubator will help to strengthen the local economy and support the success of our growing startup community," said Mike Nursey, Managing Director Middle Market Florida at TD Bank.
The grant from the TD Charitable Foundation will mainly fund the cost of bringing in consultants, subject experts, coaches and training sessions to enhance the program.
“The Spartan Incubator program is an important component in our offerings at the Lowth Center. Our programming is not only designed to educate and support UT students who wish to pursue an entrepreneurial dream, but to also help launch regional companies. One of the key benefits is that in doing so we not only support the Tampa Bay ecosystem, we also give our students the chance to work alongside these companies and to gain apprenticeship experience,” says Rebecca White, the James W. Walter distinguished chair of entrepreneurship and the director of the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center.
When the program begins, certain milestones are set as goals to meet over the course of the 12 months, and businesses regularly meet with mentors to track their progress. Goals are achieved through weekly seminars, coaching, mentoring and peer-to-peer learning. Since most companies are in the early stages and may not have an adequate number of employees, UT students often intern for the companies.
For more information on the Spartan Incubator Program, contact the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 257-3702.