Amplify ClearwaterTourism

Amplify Clearwater Tourism Incubator

Do you have a Tampa Bay business that is based around tourism? Does your business highlight this area in some capacity? If so, you need to be part of AMPLIFY Clearwater’s Tourism Incubator.

“Tourism” is a broad term. If your business enhances the visitor experience, makes our area more attractive or sustainable, or brings people to the area for a product or service, that checks the box. Don’t disqualify yourself from this opportunity because you don’t think your business is tourism-based.

You have nothing to lose by applying and everything to gain if you want your business to be something much more than it is right now. The program is free.

On the heels of Clearwater being named #1 beach in the US again this year, Amplify Clearwater’s business incubator will further capitalize on what our community already does so well. Their goal is to focus on emerging trends and innovative ideas to guarantee a sustainable delivery and continued success.

 

The incubator is looking for motivated, experienced founders with promising tourism/hospitality ventures that are poised for growth. The incubator will provide the mentorship, resources, and environment to help scale the business.

INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE

Founder with 3-5 years of experience in the tourism or hospitality industry. They have worked in operations, marketing, or business development roles and understand the fundamentals of the industry.

GROWTH STAGE

Their business is in the growth stage, meaning it has an established product/service, initial customers and revenue, and is looking to scale.

PLANNING ASSISTANCE 

They are seeking help with strategic planning, marketing, technology implementation, talent recruitment, funding, and expanding to new markets.

CLEAR VISION

The founder has a clear vision for the future of the company and demonstrates tenacity and adaptability. They are open to mentorship and advice from the incubator.

VALUE OFFERING

The business has a differentiated offering in the tourism/hospitality space that provides value. This could be through technology, a unique experience, or serving an underserved segment.

MARKET POTENTIAL

There is a large addressable market opportunity for growth. The founder has done research validating the market potential.

ENTREPRENEURIAL EXPERIENCE

The founder has previous entrepreneurial experience or transferrable skills. They understand the fundamentals of business operations, finance, and management.

INITIAL FUNDING

Preferably the business has some initial funding or revenue to demonstrate traction and viability. There is a path to profitability.

TIME INVESTMENT

The founder must be able to commit up to 10 hours a week (2 hours in-person) to engaging with the incubator and working on the business. They cannot be stretched too thin.

 

As Seen on the News

·         83 Degrees Media

·         83 Degrees Media: AMPLIFY wraps first tourism incubator class

·         ABC Action News

·         ABC Action News Highlights a Cohort Participant

·         Action Zone

·         Bay News 9

·         Bay News 9 Interviews a Cohort Participant

·         Clearwater Beacon

·         Fox 13

·         St Pete Catalyst

·         St Pete Catalyst: Here are the winners from AMPLIFY Clearwater’s Pitch Night

·         Tampa Bay Business Journal

·         Tampa Bay Business Journal: Clearwater tourism-focused incubator awards $30,000 to startups in pitch competition

 

In 2022, AMPLIFY Clearwater was selected by the City of Clearwater Economic Development department to take over Clearwater Business SPARK, a small business assistance initiative. In less than a full year operating SPARK, AMPLIFY has immensely grown its footprint, hosting monthly “Get Connected” events to practice what the program preaches: resources shared with those wishing to start a business, but unsure how or where to find all the information and help necessary to their success.

As AMPLIFY looks to rebrand SPARK to fit more organically under its umbrella, we realized there was an existing gap in service. Clearwater Business SPARK helps aspiring entrepreneurs early on in the business development process, AMPLIFY Clearwater addresses the business’ needs after hanging the first shingle, leaving those in the ideation phase, or the growth phase of a venture without privately-led support in the North Pinellas region. AMPLIFY Clearwater is uniquely qualified to fill this gap, as it already leads the other two initiatives.

The incubator will offer a wide range of services tailored to the unique needs of tourism businesses:

  • Mentorship and Coaching: Experienced mentors will guide and advise entrepreneurs, helping them refine their business strategies and navigate the challenges of the tourism industry.
  • Access to Capital: The incubator will connect businesses with potential investors and tourism-focused funding opportunities to secure necessary capital for growth.
  • Shared Resources: Businesses will have access to shared office spaces, technology infrastructure, and networking events to promote collaboration and idea exchange.
  • Industry Partnerships: Strategic partnerships with tourism organizations, government agencies, and industry leaders will provide invaluable market insights and potential pilot opportunities.
  • Training and Workshops: Tailored workshops and training sessions will equip entrepreneurs with the skills needed to build and scale their tourism businesses effectively.

To ensure the incubator’s success and maintain a high standard of innovation, the selection process for businesses will be intake-based and reliant on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with tourism Focus: Businesses must demonstrate a clear connection to the tourism sector and offer solutions that enhance sustainable tourism practices, visitor experiences, or destination marketing.
  • Growth Potential: The business model and market potential of each business will be evaluated, prioritizing those with scalable and sustainable growth prospects.
  • Team and Leadership: Strong, adaptable, and dedicated founders with a clear vision for their business will be given preference during the selection process.

 

2023 AMPLIFY Clearwater Business Incubator participants and winners, CR World and Allori Blow Dry Bar:

   

 

Amplify Clearwater

Downtown Office
1346 S Fort Harrison Ave
Clearwater, FL 33756

Beach Office & Visitor Center
429 Poinsettia Ave.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Pier 60 Visitor Center
1 Causeway Blvd.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

727-447-7600

PR@amplifyclearwater.com

AmplifyClearwater.com

 

Photos courtesy of Visit St Pete/Clearwater & Guide to Greater Tampa Bay. Information courtesy of AMPLIFY Clearwater.

 

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Kelly Kelly
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