Make us your home page
Instagram

New Port Richey entrepreneur moves into new SMARTstart incubator

Gregory Smith of Savealator LLC, right, posing with SMARTstart’s Krista Covey and New Port Richey official Mario Iezzoni, says that he is thrilled to be joining the business incubator.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Gregory Smith of Savealator LLC, right, posing with SMARTstart’s Krista Covey and New Port Richey official Mario Iezzoni, says that he is thrilled to be joining the business incubator.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Longtime New Port Richey resident Greg Smith cannot believe the business opportunity that landed just steps from his back yard.

Smith has lived in the city for 25 years and built a career in the health care business, but now he wants to focus full time on his latest entrepreneurial endeavor. For years, he has been developing an app providing digital inventory tracking services to clients.

As he grew the idea, a partnership between the city and the Pasco Economic Development Council emerged to open a business incubator that provides office space, Wi-Fi connections, mentorships and training to start-ups.

Smith's Savealator LLC computer apps business is one of the first to be accepted to move into the PEDC's emerging New Port Richey SMARTstart. It's modeled after an incubator in Dade City that has proven successful in creating nearly 30 new jobs and is already in need of more space, according to Krista Covey, the PEDC's director of both programs.

Smith said he is thrilled to be moving into the incubator that officially opens with a ribbon-cutting on June 26 in downtown New Port Richey. A bonus for Smith is the 9,000-square-foot incubator, at 6347 Grand Blvd, is within walking distance of his house.

"It's really great to see this excitement in New Port Richey," Smith said. "I'm really looking forward to co-mingling with the other businesses in the building and bouncing ideas off of people. I really believe it's going to open up so many opportunities."

The incubator is a win for the city as well. The property served as a post office until the 1970s and was later owned by First Baptist Church. New Port Richey bought the property in 2005 as part of a push to redevelop the city's downtown. But it has remained empty through the recent economic downturn and the City Council's wrangling over what to do with the property.

As the city's financial outlook has brightened in the last couple of years, the city hired the PEDC to help with spurring economic growth. Opening an incubator in the heart of the city caught on with the council.

In recent months, the city has put more than $40,000 into sprucing up the building with new paint, carpeting and doors. The PEDC has been instrumental in getting the program ready to launch this month, hopeful that many of the businesses the incubator cultivates will eventually relocate to sites in the city, said New Port Richey economic development director Mario Iezzoni.

"The PEDC has really done so much to help us get this launched. I really think it's going to be great for the city," he said.

In addition to Smith, SMARTstart's advisory board, which is made up of members of Pasco's business and educational community, has accepted another business to move into the New Port Richey incubator and several others have applied to present ideas, Covey said.

Costs are low to take part in the program once a business-owner is accepted. There is an upfront $85 membership fee and office space is free for the first six months. After that, members pay $200-a-month, then $300-a-month after the first year, then $400-a-month after 18 months.

The structure provides the businesses time to grow but later allows members to experience dealing with overhead costs every business faces, Covey said.

"Starting a business is challenging and we know that. I'm just so excited to work to help our members grow and succeed," she said.

The New Port Richey SMARTstart incubator is still accepting applications. For more information on the program, log onto smartstartpasco.com.

New Port Richey entrepreneur moves into new SMARTstart incubator 06/05/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 5, 2014 3:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. After Irma, nursing homes scramble to meet a hard deadline

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities find themselves in an unfamiliar place this week — pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott's administration over new rules that require them to purchase generator capacity by Nov. 15 to keep their residents safe and comfortable in a power …

    In this Sept. 13 photo, a woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma in Hollywood. Nine have died and patients had to be moved out of the facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong and who, if anyone, was to blame. [Amy Beth Bennett | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  3. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst

    Business

    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  4. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette

    News

    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.

  5. Another Hollywood nursing home resident dies. It's the 9th in post-Irma tragedy.

    State Roundup

    The Broward County Medical Examiner's office is investigating another death of a resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills — the ninth blamed on the failure of a cooling system that became a stifling deathtrap three days after Irma hit.

    Carlos Canal, pictured at 47 years old, came to Miami from Cuba in 1960. Above is his citizenship photo. [Courtesy of Lily Schwartz]