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Embarc Collective Accelerates Startup Programs With $100K from the Florida Business Development Corporation



3 min read · Nov 1

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Embarc Collective

The grant will support Embarc Collective’s mission to train and develop Tampa Bay’s Tech Talent

Embarc Collective, the startup hub helping founders in the Tampa Bay region build bold, scalable, thriving companies, today announced it received a $100,000 grant from the Florida Business Development Corporation (FBDC). This grant, its fourth from FBDC, will equip Embarc Collective’s entrepreneurs with the infrastructure and training necessary to succeed in today’s startup technology ecosystem. 

The region’s momentum as a startup ecosystem is continuing to accelerate. According to the Motley Fool, Florida is the #3 state for new small businesses while LinkedIn’s 2021 survey also reports Tampa as the third fastest-growing metropolitan area for entrepreneurs. Embarc Collective will use the FBDC grant to provide on-the-job training through tactical workshops that span the functional areas of business and 1:1 coaching support led by seasoned startup operators, who hail from organizations like Instagram, Zynga, Microsoft, and more. 

“We’re incredibly grateful for the continued support of FBDC this year. They’ve been critical in helping us deliver hands-on startup support to entrepreneurs from our organization’s start,” said Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of Embarc Collective. “With its help, Embarc Collective will become an even stronger partner for fast-growing startups across Tampa Bay.”

FBDC’s mission is to help businesses secure the long-term, fixed-financing and support they need to grow. With the FBDC’s support, Embarc Collective plans to accomplish the following over the next 12 month:

  • Lead 50 tactical, problem-solving workshops to help member startups and partner organizations level up their skills
  • Bring 35 national startup leaders to Tampa Bay to share their expertise with the startups it supports 
  • Organize bespoke programming to support underrepresented idea-stage startup founders

“Embarc Collective’s programs educate and train entrepreneurs to meet the needs of current and next-generation businesses,” said Bill Habermeyer, CEO of Florida Business Development Corporation. “Throughout its tenure, Embarc Collective has given startups the tools they need to be successful. We’re excited to continue this grant so they can continue to put Tampa Bay on the map for its innovative and highly-skilled workforce.”  

The FBDC grant is the latest in a series of milestones from Embarc Collective. Earlier this year, it hosted the 9th Annual Startup of the Year Summit, a national startup competition that attracts hundreds of startups and venture investors to Tampa. The organization also partnered with ReliaQuest, a global cybersecurity firm, to host its 3rd Annual Glaring Gap Summit and create a newly branded events space, ReliaQuest Auditorium @ Embarc Collective. Embarc Collective now has 125+ members, and startups affiliated with Embarc have raised $174 million in venture capital funding.

About Embarc Collective

Embarc Collective is a nonprofit startup hub helping founders in the Tampa Bay region build bold, scalable, thriving companies. Embarc Collective offers hands-on support driven by the unique goals and needs of each member startup. Member companies receive customized, ongoing coaching and support from startup veterans to help propel member companies’ growth.

Embarc Collective works with a growing roster of over 125 early-stage startups at its 32,000 square-foot office in downtown Tampa. Its partners include over 100 expertise-focused organizations and 160 early-stage venture firms across the country dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs. In 2021, Embarc Collective delivered 1,300 hours of one-on-one coaching to its members as well as 65 group learning sessions. For more information, please visit

About The Florida Business Development Corporation

FBDC is a private, non-profit Certified Development Company (CDC) established in 1989 to administer the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loan Program. FBDC assists healthy, growing companies secure long-term, below-market, fixed-rate financing for the acquisition and development of fixed assets. The SBA 504 Loan Program can also be utilized to refinance debt associated with fixed assets. Last year, FBDC was the most active CDC in the nation and has assisted in over $12 Billion of projects since being formed. In addition to this program, FBDC makes annual economic development contributions to the communities in which it serves. For more information, please visit

Meet Our Members

Meet the Embarc Collective member community of driven entrepreneurs who are building bold, scalable, thriving companies in Florida.