Make us your home page

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.


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

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

  1. Who's best global airline? Qatar Airways takes No. 1 spot but Delta tops U.S. carriers


    The good news? Delta Airlines tops all U.S. airlines in a new Skytrax global airline passenger satisfaction survey of the world's best airlines. The bad news? At No. 32, Delta still ranks behind dozens of Middle East, Asian and some European airlines. For Tampa International Airport and the major airlines that operate …

    Southwest Airlines, the biggest carrier at Tampa International Airport, improved its customer satisfaction rating among global airlines in a recent survey.
[Times file photo]
  2. Vinoy resort will ask St. Petersburg voters to approve new parking garage (with tennis courts on top)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment and part of that plan calls for building a new one-story parking garage over eight existing tennis courts.

    The Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment. The Vinoy wants to build a one-story parking garage as part of that project, in place of eight existing tennis courts. The tennis courts would be moved on top of the garage, which would hold 270 parking spots. But the Vinoy needs St. Petersburg voters to approve the project in a November referendum. This is an artists' rendering of the new garage from the street. [Courtesy of Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club]
  3. House committee passes Florida-sponsored flood insurance bill


    The House Financial Services Committee pushed through a Florida-sponsored bill intended to cut flood insurance costs. If passed, the bipartisan bill would help create a marketplace for private flood insurance.

    A House committee passed a Florida-sponsored bill meant to lower flood insurance rates.
[Times file photo]
  4. 3 new restaurants open: Deccan Spice Indian food, Farmacy Vegan Kitchen, the Cake Shop

    Food & Dining


    Deccan Spice has opened at 2325 Ulmerton Road, in what used to be the elegant and vast Grand Siam space in Feather Sound. It's getting high marks so far for its traditional Indian lunch buffet, and offers a range of southern Indian dishes (vadas and dosas and idlis, oh my) seldom seen …

    Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery serves wraps, acai bowls, smoothies and juices and plant-based baked goods like strawberry cupcakes. Photo courtesy of Charles Rumph.
  5. The driver who died in a Tesla crash in Florida using Autopilot ignored 7 safety warnings


    When Joshua Brown's Tesla slammed into the side of a tractor-trailer last year at more than 70 miles per hour, the fatal accident became the world's first known car crash involving a partly autonomous vehicle.

    Tesla requires its drivers to keep their hands on the wheel even when Autopilot is engaged. A crash in Florida showed that the driver was warned to keep his hands on the steering wheel.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) TXTG101