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Economic Development Innovation Initiative (EDI2)
NEXT EDI2 Advisory Committee Meeting:
July 28, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.
601 E Kennedy Blvd. 18th Floor of County Center,
Planning Commission Board Room, 1842C

NEXT EDI2 Application Deadline:
July 10, 2015

The Economic Development Innovation Initiative (EDI2) is a comprehensive program to drive the growth of technology and innovation start-ups and small businesses. The Small Business Assistance Program has been a part of the County’s Economic Development Department work program for several years, however it is an opportune time to carry that program to a new level and to address segments of the small business ecosystem that have been neglected or under-served. EDI2 encompasses the need for financial, technical and infrastructure support, and addresses the mounting consensus by the technology and innovation community at-large that there needs to be greater appreciation, awareness, resources and coordination commensurate to their potential impact on the economic prosperity of the community.  This enhanced program will be built on a collaborative effort with non-profits, companies and other community partners specializing in this segment of the economy.

    Goals and Objectives of EDI2:

    • Increase recognition of the technology and innovation assets in the community and increased competitive positioning for attracting and retaining technology and innovation professionals, entrepreneurs and investors
    • Build the capacity of the local ecosystem of technical assistance resources, mentors, co-working locations, accelerators and incubators that are targeted for the unique needs of technology companies
    • Drive multiple opportunities and events for peer-to-peer connections to power innovation
    • Grow technology companies through increased survival rates, access to capital and connections to customers
    • Facilitate collaboration among existing organizations and resources available to assist entrepreneurs and start-ups and be a clearinghouse for them to navigate the resources available

    Program Summary

    The Economic Development Innovation Initiative (EDI2) program is focused in three strategic areas:

    • Sponsorship of events to increase awareness, attract new talent and provide networking opportunities; and industry promotion activities
    • Align county resources to be an advocate for the start-up community, facilitate coordination of existing organizations and industry resources, participate in ecosystem organizations; and support research efforts to provide on-going commitment to successful implementation of the EDI2 program
    • Support to non-profits engaged in incubation, accelerating, mentoring and networking to strengthen the technology and innovation ecosystem and leverage private sector resources and support

Note: When evaluating applications, the Advisory Committee will make recommendations based on the following County policies in addition to the review criteria listed in the policy document: 1) County does not fund food or drink; 2) County does not fund lodging for event participants; 3) County does not count “in-kind” services toward budget total; 4) In order to demonstrate proper leverage of public sector funding, County money will not exceed 50% of the total budget; 5) If an event is held multiple times throughout the year, only approve the occurrences of event held before the next funding cycle. (To avoid pre-approving a reoccurring event that might prove to be non-performing.)

Note: In accordance with the policy ED-14 governing the EDI2 Program, adopted by the BOCC on June 5, 2013, all applicants that receive funding are required to provide metrics, a performance evaluation and a final budget evaluation following the project based on the information provided by the applicant in the application prior to funding. Also, no entity currently funded by the BOCC for Economic Development oriented programs will be considered in the EDI2 program.

Contact Information
Jennifer Whelihan, 
Economic Development Manager 


County Center, 20th Floor
601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1110
Tampa, FL 33601

P: 813-272-6217

Monday - Friday
8AM to 5PM

* Please submit applications by email or mailing address above