Our Sponsors

Workforce Development

Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation specializes in assisting business expansion and relocation for companies that provide higher-wage jobs and that sell goods and services beyond the local market. Another essential role for the EDC is supporting and fostering an environment that enriches the workforce available to local employers. This involves facilitating connections between employers and educational institutions, as well as linkages to training and recruiting resources.

We invite you to explore this site and contact us to learn more about our community and how your business can grow here in Manatee County – where your employees want to live.

Industry Services

Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation develops and implements programs designed to attract new high-impact businesses and to assist in the retention and growth of targeted existing businesses in Manatee County. The EDC is funded by local businesses and government and is charged with the promotion of economic
stability in Manatee County.

Bradenton Downtown Development

The purpose of the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority (BDDA) is to spearhead the redevelopment of the Bradenton Community Redevelopment Agency (BCRA) and the (14th St. CRA) districts by aggressively assisting existing/new businesses, residential, sports performance and any other opportunities that will benefit the community. The BDDA will accomplish these objectives by providing consultant type advice in business, financing, construction, design criteria, public relations and any other support services. The Bradenton Downtown Development Authority will act as a liaison to creatively partner with the business community, local governments and any other agency to represent the interest of the businesses in the Districts and create an environment for regional development. The development process will always keep in mind the needs of the businesses, residents and market demands by keeping an eye on the future.

Bradenton is better than ever.

That’s why our celebrations of Bradenton continue to grow each year – because the City of Bradenton grows for the better each year.

This isn’t the same Bradenton that was merely a passing thought, a dot on a road sign that motorists glanced at on their way from Sarasota to Tampa Bay. Bradenton is no longer a “bedroom” community, a stop over on the way to somewhere else.

Bradenton is here, moving into the 21st Century with a bang. Not only one of the most beautiful cities on Florida’s Gulf Coast, but also home to nationally-known companies, a nationally-acclaimed neighborhood, and a growing downtown that’s home of the Bradenton Riverwalk. If you haven’t heard of it yet, give it time. You will.

Our neighborhoods are places like the Village of the Arts, once a crime-ridden neighborhood less than 15 years ago. An initiative led by City leaders, the Downtown Development Authority and local artists turned it into an arts colony which helped Bradenton earn recognition from Art Calendar magazine, a nationally-known business
magazine for visual artists, which called Bradenton one of the top cities in the country for working artists. ArtStyle magazine has ranked Bradenton as high as second place in its annual Top 25 destinations for public arts and cultural amenities.

The arts colony is located just south of the neighborhood we all share - downtown Bradenton, which sits along the south shores of the scenic Manatee River. The 1.5-mile park known as Riverwalk, a shining example of a
public asset created through the efforts of public-private partnerships, connects downtown Bradenton to the river with walking trails, a bike path, a boat dock, fishing pier, a very popular skateboard park, a botanical garden and other features.

Downtown is home to the South Florida Museum, which has a state-of-the-art planetarium, an aquarium with Southwest Florida’s most famous marine resident – Snooty, the world’s oldest living manatee born in captivity -
and a collection of artifacts that prompted a member of the Smithsonian to dub this museum one of the best small museums in the country.

Downtown also is home to the new Manatee Performing Arts Center, ArtCenter Manatee and the “Pink Palace,” a 9-story hotel currently under renovation that has withstood the test of time at the north entrance to Bradenton for nearly a century. Restaurants of various dining, pubs and other small shops abound downtown. Downtown is hopping on the third Thursday of every month (except July and August) with Main Street Live, the City’s largest “street party.” Other downtown events include the annual Hernando DeSoto Historical Society events hroughout
April, the Christmas-themed Winter Wonderland, Bradenton Beer Fest, the Halloween celebration called Zombie Fest, the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration and a pep rally for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Major League Baseball’s Pirates have trained at Bradenton’s McKechnie Field since 1969. Their Advanced-A minor league team moved here in 2010. McKechnie Field has been dubbed the “Fenway Park of spring training” because of its age, fan-friendly atmosphere. While it retains those qualities, it has added several new amenities
over the past several years including lights that make night games possible, new seats, an outfield boardwalk with a tiki bar and more.

Business matters and Bradenton knows it. We’re home to numerous businesses, including nationally-known Tropicana Products Inc., the famous juice maker; Champs Sports, and the corporate offices of Beall's Department Stores.

Bradenton is a growing city. But it has always maintained a gentle, southern atmosphere with a downright small-town feel that has rightfully earned it the nickname “The Friendly City.”

Visit this sponsor: http://www.cityofbradenton.com/

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The Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) is an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF).  The mission of FHTCC is to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship.

A partnership involving more than 20 local and regional economic development organizations (EDOs) and 14 community colleges, the Council is co-chaired by the presidents of UCF, USF and UF.  The Council includes the presidents of two of the community colleges, the president of the Florida Institute of Technology and representatives of high tech industry.

The unique partnership has resulted in a strategic approach to high tech economic development that supports matching funds research, marketing, workforce development and entrepreneurship leveraging governmental, EDO and corporate budgets on a regional rather than local basis.

For more information, visit www.FloridaHighTech.com.

Visit this sponsor: http://flvec.com.

The Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) is an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF).  The mission of FHTCC is to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship.

A partnership involving more than 20 local and regional economic development organizations (EDOs) and 14 community colleges, the Council is co-chaired by the presidents of UCF, USF and UF.  The Council includes the presidents of two of the community colleges, the president of the Florida Institute of Technology and representatives of high tech industry.

The unique partnership has resulted in a strategic approach to high tech economic development that supports matching funds research, marketing, workforce development and entrepreneurship leveraging governmental, EDO and corporate budgets on a regional rather than local basis.

For more information, visit www.FloridaHighTech.com.

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GrowFL, the program of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida is driven by one goal – to cultivate growth companies across the state. Working with statewide partners, GrowFL is committed to local delivery of services that help second-stage and emerging second-stage growth companies achieve their potential. Based on the philosophy of Economic Gardening – to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state – GrowFL is a critical component to the state’s economic development strategy and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Focused on second-stage growth companies that are beyond the startup phase and poised for growth, GrowFL provides strategies, resources and support to get them to the next level of success. By supporting companies with Strategic Research and peer-to-peer CEO mentoring and roundtables, GrowFL helps companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity.

A highly trained and experienced team of national certified Economic Gardening specialists function, not as consultants, but as an extension of the second-stage company. The Strategic Research Group uses high-end corporate level tools and cutting edge scientific concepts to help second-stage companies positively affect sales and marketing efforts which result in business growth and sustainable job creation.

Peer-to-peer learning comes in the form of events designed to provide confidentiality, discussion, support and referrals. CEO Roundtables bring groups of entrepreneurs together for collaborative problem-solving sessions that address issues important to business owners. CEO Forums are designed for experienced CEOs to share “lessons learned” as well as provide an opportunity to network with community leaders and build a stronger entrepreneurial culture in a community or region.

GrowFL hosts monthly free webinars that provide information and resources to CEOs and the annual Florida Companies to Watch event which celebrates 50 second-stage companies that are “worth watching”.

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Our mission is "To build a positive business environment while enhancing the community's quality of life."

Members of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce show a commitment to the community that is second to none. These businesses provide invaluable input on area issues and programs that support businesses and residents of Manatee County and the South Tampa Bay Area. With 46 committees and task forces, there is a wide range of opportunities for individuals to get involved in the area of their choice. And the 830+ member representatives who serve in these groups are the backbone of the Manatee Chamber.

Two offices - one in the heart of Bradenton and the other in Lakewood Ranch - ensure that we are nearby to assist any business. The Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the Small Business Development Council (SBDC) hold individual and group workshops designed to help startup businesses succeed. For an appointment to meet with one of these groups at the Manatee Chamber, call 941-748-3411.

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The Knight Community Foundations Program serves to advance informed and engaged communities by working in transformational ways with community foundations and their leaders.

The relationship we have with our network of partners in each of our 26 Knight Communities is invaluable. To date we have committed to giving at least $140 million to their community foundation endowments. The leadership behind these organizations is not only supported by our assets, but increasingly by our efforts to ease the flow of information between all of us so that we may learn and lead more effectively.

Activating this network in this way provides Knight an excellent platform for experimentation and learning.

Grant seekers within Knight communities are encouraged to contact their local community foundation and inquire about the Knight donor-advised fund which is dedicated to projects that inform and engage the community.

Grant seekers in the Bradenton area should inquire about funding by contacting Marilyn Howard at the Manatee Community Foundation, (941) 556-5444, and asking about Knight Foundation’s Donor-advised Fund. Visit MCF on Facebook.

New World Angels (NWA) is a group of private investors dedicated to providing equity capital to early-stage entrepreneurial companies in the state of Florida. NWA has chapters in South Florida and the Tampa Bay area and is typically a lead or co-investor in transactions totaling between $0.5 million and $2.5 million.
Members of NWA have extensive experience in founding, building, and managing companies in a wide variety of industries. In addition to providing funding, NWA members make their expertise and resource networks available to portfolio companies.
NWA works closely with other regional and national venture firms. In addition, it is supported by such leading institutions as The Enterprise Development Corporation, Florida Atlantic University, and Florida International University.

Realize Bradenton works with many different people and groups to make downtown Bradenton an outstanding riverfront community that offers a lively mix of art, culture, heritage and sports. We believe that when a community’s physical, social and cultural assets come together - magic happens. Everything we do is for the community, by the community. “This Riverwalk was really designed by you.”

At Sir Speedy we pride ourselves as a leader in the business services market by offering advanced technologies that help our customers reach their customers more effectively. From graphic design and printing to mailing services, promotional products, signs, posters, and banners, we provide quality in everything we do so our customers get noticed.

A locally owned franchise with a professional and experienced staff combined with exceptional customer service has helped us meet the needs of our loyal and growing customer base in the Sarasota/Bradenton area for the last 30 years. We look forward to continuing to offer the best in printing and marketing services to help your business grow.

If you don't see what's on the horizon, you won't know what course to steer.

In today's business environment, you can't spend all your time reacting to events. You've got to set goals for your company, for tomorrow and for three years down the road. But the future could hold many things—some expected, some surprises--with the potential to affect your ability to reach those goals. Which ones are likely? Which ones aren't? What should your business do to prepare for them?

Most companies say they can help you make sense of the tidal wave of business data that washes over your transom every day, and they can, to a point. But there's a difference between all of them and SouthTech: vision. Without vision, you can't see what's coming. We have it. They don't.

SouthTech, your IT Navigators, has been southwest Florida's leading provider of professional IT services since 1994, and recently was honored with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year award. We offer enterprise-level solutions to small and medium sized businesses throughout Florida, and we're ready to help yours too.

Our insight gives you the vital business intelligence you need, in a format you can digest quickly. Our philosophy is that an ideal IT infrastructure is one that you never have to think about, because it never gets in your way or demands your attention. Contact SouthTech to be your IT partner, so you can get back to the work you do best.

SP Hand & Associates, Inc. is in the practice of helping individuals and organizations transform their business performance by enabling consistent and successful navigation of an ever-changing business world.

Our value to you is not in how we are like any other company - our experience is across a wide variety of industries in both the public and private sectors. With significant involvement regionally in entrepreneurial support organizations and as innovative community leaders, our associates are distinguished as extraordinary in their fields.

Our approach is also unique:

  • Identify - your competetive landscape, key differentiators in your business, your unique value proposition, and potential new markets.
  • Inspire - we are experts in motivating you and your organization through the stages of team growth and development, and have a proven ability to inspire change.
  • Implement - focused on results, SP Hand and Associates is there to work alongside your team, managing as little or as much of the project necessary to move your business forward.

Whether you are looking for external, objective advice and access to specialized expertise for a one-time project or to provide resources for longer term engagements, SP Hand and Associates, Inc. is there to bridge the gap in growing and transforming your business.

“Because Your Success is Our Business”

SpringFin partners with companies to learn how they do business and then develops software to remove headaches and roadblocks. Our consultants are effective communicators who understand business, not just warm bodies who can code. We are aggressively looking to expand our customer base in the Bradenton/Sarasota area right now. That said, we are looking for new clients in the local area as well as local talent to add to our team!

Founded in 2002, SpringFin is not your average software development firm. We are professionals who are driven to help businesses perform their best. Any developer can write software. SpringFin analysts take the time to learn your business. Then, we use the right technology to custom write that fit your company like a glove, creating flexible and innovative solutions are what we do. You can’t afford to settle for anything less in today’s ultra-competitive environment. We invite you to learn more about SpringFin and if you want to be a part of the exciting things we’re doing! Phil Figgins 941-932-8086 phil@springfin.com

Stan Schultes is a community builder and Microsoft MVP who is Co-founder of BarCamp Sarasota, Founder of the Sarasota .NET Developers Group, Community Technical Liaison for the Gulf Coast Venture Forum, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Suncoast Technology Forum. By day, he is a Software Developer / Solutions Architect for a high-tech, entrepreneurial manufacturing company.

Sticker Mule makes ordering custom stickers as simple as possible. Choose a size and upload your artwork, and Sticker Mule will send you a free online proof. Free shipping in the US.

Custom Skins: www.stickermule.com/t/categories/custom-skins Custom Sticker Templates:http://www.stickermule.com/templates/custom-stickers 

Contact: 1 800 975 9465

At Suncoast Porsche, please review our extensive inventory of Porsche cars, and SUV’s, including the Porsche 911, Cayenne and Boxster. We work hard to get you into the vehicle you have always wanted. That new Porsche is waiting for you, and we work with a vast array of lending sources to make sure you will get the most complete and comprehensive financial package available.

Manufacturer recommended parts are an important part of maintaining your vehicle’s optimum performance. At Suncoast Porsche, we offer the same high quality parts your vehicle was built with, and we keep a large inventory of OEM certified parts in stock at our facility.

Suncoast Porsche Service Department strives for 100% customer satisfaction. From general maintenance such as oil changes to major repairs, let Suncoast Porsche service your vehicle. Our dealership is one of the premier dealerships in the country. Our commitment to customer service is second to none. We offer one of the most comprehensive parts and service department in the automotive industry.

At Suncoast Porsche, we strive to make buying or leasing a new vehicle a pleasant and rewarding experience. Our primary concern is the satisfaction of our customers. Our online dealership was created to enhance the buying experience for each and every one of our internet customers.

Founded in 2000, the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) is a non-profit membership association committed to connecting and growing the technology community in Tampa Bay. TBTF’s 300+ member companies represent technology companies, entrepreneurs, business and community leaders, investors, government representatives, researchers and educators. For more information, visit www.tbtf.org.

Tampa Bay WaVE is a “by entrepreneur, for entrepreneur” 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into growing tech ventures in Tampa Bay. Our vision is to support web and mobile app tech ventures with a BUILD-LAUNCH-GROWprogram framework that takes ventures from the idea stage through strategic planning and product development to a sustainable business building model. Visit www.TampaBayWaVE.org to learn more.

YTD Video Converter is a free piece of software that allows you to download and save videos from virtually any website. Its easy-to-use interface allows users to simply drop the URL of the video into the program and export the video from there. YTD is a great tool for use at home, in the office or in the classroom. It's available for both Windows and Mac. A Pro version is also available for purchase.

Ziggy Consulting is an Internet technology consulting firm based in Sarasota, Florida owned by Justin Scott which specializes in web application development, troubleshooting, training, and online business development and management. If you’re looking to build an online business or an Internet-based product or service, I can help. I have helped entrepreneurs and businesses take their ideas and transform them into thriving online businesses. Of course, if you have less adventurous needs, such as maintaining an existing web application or website, I can help you with that as well.

When you are building an online business you need to partner with a professional you can trust; someone who will deliver what they say they’re going to deliver when they say they’re going to deliver it; someone who will be up-front about any problems that are encountered; someone who will be a true partner in the process. Let me show you what it is like to work with an experienced Internet professional.

Contact me today for a free consultation.