More than two-dozen local aspiring entrepreneurs graduated from a ten-week program sponsored by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the St. Pete Greenhouse. “We’re proud of our Entrepreneurial Academy graduates,” said Sean Kennedy, Greenhouse manager, “the rigorous curriculum is a challenge, but they come out of the program with a wealth of knowledge, resources, and connections to help them succeed.” The program is taught by legal professionals and experts in accounting and marketing in order to help future business owners learn and understand how to write a business plan, use social media to promote business and other key aspects of running a successful enterprise. The fifteen graduates met each week for ten weeks for dinner and training provided by several speakers. All graduates received a free one-year membership in the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce. “You are all leaders in this community now,” Chamber CEO Chris Steinocher told the graduating class. “I need your help to continue to make St. Pete the best place to live and do business.” Grads were able to spend the evening chatting with other business leaders in the area and representatives from the Chamber and Greenhouse. “What’s unique and ultimately so valuable about the Entrepreneurial Academy is it gives you a chance to build relationships with the community leaders who can ultimately help you get your company off the ground,” said Marcus Greene, Market President for BB&T Bank, which sponsors the Academy. The graduation reception was held at the St. Petersburg Museum of History Monday night. Graduates ranged in business interests from financial services and iOS app design to HVAC services and marketing. The Entrepreneurial Academy is design so that it doesn’t matter what industry a person is looking to launch a new business. Each individual endeavor requires a similar skill set in learning how to manage, operate and fund day to day operations. The Academy is a part of the St. Petersburg Greenhouse. That effort was launched by a collaboration between the Chamber of Commerce and the City in 2013 with the intention of helping local businesses grow and thrive in the Community.
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