INITIATIVEs

AMPLIFY's tourism incubator

AMPLIFY'S TOURISM INCUBATOR

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

INCUBATOR

Why AMPLIFY?

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.

Why Now?

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.

Mission and Objectives

The mission of the incubator is to cultivate a vibrant and sustainable tourism ecosystem by:

  • Identifying and nurturing promising existing growth stage tourism companies
  • Providing comprehensive support and resources to accelerate business growth
  • Facilitating collaboration and knowledge-sharing among entrepreneurs, industry experts, and investors
  • Fostering a culture of innovation and sustainability within the tourism sector
  • Driving equitable and inclusive economic development in the Tampa Bay region

Services and Offerings

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.

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION FOR THE NEXT COHORT IN SPRING 2024!

Selection Criteria

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.

Ideal Candidate Profile

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.