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Economy / Business

Tampa Hosts National Startup Event

Port Tampa Bay

The hardest part of getting a business off the ground is finding resources and money.

Downtown Tampa will become a hub for creators and investors to meet starting Monday, February 8. The goal is to make launching a startup easier in the Bay area.

Tampa Bay Startup Week will host workshops, panels and networking events centered on entrepreneurship. 

Local organizer Gracie Stemmer says thousands of people are expected to attend.

In regions as sprawled out as Tampa Bay, Stemmer says that connecting entrepreneurs with each other and with resources is imperative.

“We will have mentors there, we will have investors there, we will have community leaders there, so it's really for all types of people that are interested in entrepreneurship,” Stemmer said.

Tampa Bay Startup Week comes as various city and county officials have begun reaching out to the startup community to improve resources and programming. Now in it's second year in Tampa, the week-long event is part of the national Startup Week hosted in other major cities such as Denver and Seattle. 

Ty Mathen is a young entrepreneur in Tampa.  He's spent two years on his startup called UpValet, a computer interface that can be used at car dealerships to streamline the process of buying cars.

If Mathen has his way, consumers could also soon be able to have a car salesman come to their door, or even purchas a vehicle on an iPad in the comfort of their living room.

He will speak at Tampa Bay Startup Week about business mistakes he’s made in the past. He says the startup community thrives on learning about the successes and failures of other entrepreneurs.

“It's all really just part of the journey and making the right intros or connections or hearing someone else's story,” he said.

A complete schedule of Tampa Bay Startup Week events can be found here.

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