TechFarms’ Graduate MSI Wins $10,000 in Florida’s Most Lucrative Business Plan Competition

Panama City Beach, FL, April 14, 2017 – TechFarms is pleased to announce that Mine Survival, Inc., a graduate of the technology incubator, has been awarded first place in the veteran category of the 2017 Innovation Awards. 

Designed to reward startups that demonstrate clear paths to profitability and local job creation, the Innovation Awards provide cash prizes to businesses located in or willing to relocate to Northwest Florida. This year saw a marked increase in submissions, with a total of 61 organizations entering, including companies from as far away as Colorado, New York and New Jersey. The competition was divided into four categories: student, veteran, pre-revenue and post-revenue. Just three entries in each category were selected as finalists.

At the two-day event in Pensacola Beach on April 12-13, finalists gave presentations before a panel of experts, and were then subjected to “Shark Tank”-style questioning by the judges. Rob Moran, president of MSI, presented his company’s emergency escape vest which provides coal miners with an emergency oxygen supply. In describing the experience, Moran says, “I was excited going into it, and only a little bit nervous.” He added, “I want to thank TechFarms – especially Steve Millaway – for all the assistance leading up to this event.” He also expressed appreciation to Innovation Coast for providing the opportunity to enter the competition.

Incorporated in 2014, MSI entered the TechFarms incubator to jump-start their development. The professional services, mentoring and other resources provided helped MSI to become a thriving, independent company, now employing five full-time staff. The $10,000 prize money, Moran says, will be dedicated to research and development of their second product.

About MSI: Mine Survival, Inc., based in Panama City Beach, is the premier manufacturer of cutting-edge surface rebreathers, devices designed to be used by miners in the event of a mine collapse or other emergency. More information is available at MineSurvival.com.

TechFarms and Domi Station Collaborate To Help Tech Startups

Panama City Beach, FL, December 2, 2016 –Representatives from Tallahassee-based Domi Station visit TechFarms to begin collaborative efforts to further expand entrepreneurship in Northwest Florida.

TechFarms CEO, Steve Millaway, gave Domi Station’s Executive Director, Lucas Lindsey, and Community Manager, Sabrina Torres, a tour of the TechFarms facilities as well as Gulf Coast State College’s Advanced Technology Center. Both TechFarms and Domi Station are technology incubators that help entrepreneurs turn ideas into successful, scalable business models.

Millaway said, “We visited Domi Station’s facilities a few weeks ago and were very impressed with their facilities, staff and the programs they provide. We’re searching for ways to extend and connect our ecosystems to help launch more tech companies. We’re confident that our efforts will help grow and diversify our economies in Northwest Florida.” The Domi Station members, young entrepreneurs themselves, are enthusiastic about the potential of expanding the technology industry in both Tallahassee and Panama City.

Lindsey and Torres met TechFarms’ current tenants and learned about new product developments. They experienced TechFarms’ prototyping lab, where teams of entrepreneurs are developing a variety of products including heavy lifting drones, products for the emerging hydroflight industry, and new high bandwidth Wi-Fi systems for condos, hotels and apartments.

In Panama City, Gulf Coast State College and the neighboring FSU Panama City are a resource of young intellectual capital. Tallahassee enjoys a much greater density of young talent with some 70,000 students attending FSU, Tallahassee Community College, and Florida A&M University. Both TechFarms and Domi Station offer coworking plans where members have access to high-speed Internet, other entrepreneurs and mentors, and lots of hot coffee. Incubator programs are available at both facilities for those ready to launch their startups.

Going forward, TechFarms and Domi Station will be collaborating to better connect the resources and ecosystems of Panama City and Tallahassee and will be looking for ways to assist entrepreneurs. One obstacle limiting nearly all startups in the region is access to capital. To help address this situation, Millaway is launching TechFarms Capital, an angel investment fund whereby accredited investors can pool their capital to invest in promising early stage ventures.

TechFarms Capital’s first fund will target startups in Florida, Georgia and Alabama and its second fund will target startups specifically in Northwest Florida. Both funds will target tech startups in areas such as hardware, software, medical devices, semiconductors, cybersecurity, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT). Millaway and Lindsey both expect that TechFarms Capital will assist many potential startups in the Tallahassee area given FSU’s preeminent status and its increased focus on entrepreneurs and innovation.

About TechFarms: Located in Panama City Beach, FL, TechFarms is a technology incubator that provides office space, prototyping equipment, business and technical mentoring, and other amenities to assist entrepreneurs. Visit TechFarms.com and TechFarmsCapital.com for more information.

About Domi Station: Located in Tallahassee, FL, Domi Station supports technology-driven startups engaged in developing and validating repeatable, scalable business models. Their programs accelerate startup growth by providing a network of mentors, investors, and collaborators. Visit DomiStation.com for more information.

TechFarms Attends ITEN Entrepreneurial Conference in Pensacola Beach

TechFarms’ CEO discusses entrepreneurial development, tech startup culture and new angel fund in Florida’s Great Northwest.

Panama City (Beach), FL, October 13-14, 2016 – TechFarms’ CEO Steve Millaway participated in the ITEN Wired Summit, an opportunity for entrepreneurs and business leaders to network with the Pensacola tech-startup community.

The ITEN Wired Summit is a two-day networking and educational opportunity hosted by IT Gulf Coast and the Florida West Economic Development Alliance. These organizations connect entrepreneurs, IT professionals, and tech industry specialists to discuss and promote technology development in the Northwest Florida region.

The conference featured keynote speakers and informational talks from industry leaders on cybersecurity, drone and robotics innovation, information technology leadership, and digital marketing. Invited speakers included Jamie Grant, Florida State Representative; Captain William Lintz, Naval Commanding Officer, Center for Information Dominance; West Florida and Gulf Coast State College faculty, and over fifty tech entrepreneurs.

In the closing keynote, TechFarms CEO Steve Millaway highlighted the importance of technology development and startup resources for entrepreneurs in Northwest Florida. The state of Florida currently has the highest density of startups in the nation. With the southeast U.S. expected to grow exponentially in the next few years, there is an opportunity to focus entrepreneurial resources and capital in northwest Florida.

Millaway introduced conference attendees to TechFarms and the TechFarms Capital Fund established in Panama City Beach to develop and fund tech startups in northwest Florida.

He said, “By helping tech companies succeed, the local workforce will benefit from their job creation. Successful small companies, in turn, make the community more attractive to larger tech companies and the next level of jobs they create.”

TechFarms is an integral and growing part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northwest Florida. Millaway hopes to one day make Northwest Florida a tech startup and tech company destination, like Silicon Valley.

About TechFarms: Located in Panama City Beach, FL, TechFarms is a technology incubator that provides office space, prototyping equipment, business and technical mentoring, and a host of other amenities to assist entrepreneurs. 

(RE) START BUSINESS EXPO

(Panama City, FL), November 1, 2016 – TechFarms, LLC, a technology and business incubator in Panama City Beach, in partnership with Panhandle Strategic Alliance, a local business-to-business networking group, is hosting the first annual (Re) Start Expo – Tuesday, November 1, 2016, from 4pm- 7pm. This FREE Expo will take place at 7506 Holley Circle, PCB, FL. 32408. If you are looking to start your own business or your existing business needs to be (Re) juvenated, the (Re) Start Expo is for you!

Laura Nelson, Operations Manager at TechFarms & owner of A-List Accounting, a participating vendor, commented, “The idea is to help those future entrepreneurs and existing businesses who may need (Re) juvenation with marketing, accounting, legal, IT, to name a few.”

Net proceeds from vendor participation benefit Girls, Inc. of Bay County, FL. a non-profit organization who provides mentors and educational programs to empower young girls to reach their personal and professional goals.

About TechFarms.
TechFarms’ mission is to help create more private sector technology companies for Northwest Florida. In the process, we’ll be creating more jobs, growing our workforce, and making our communities more attractive to larger tech companies that will bring even more jobs. Our goals are to expand the tech culture and entrepreneurial ecosystems in Bay County and Northwest Florida, to connect entrepreneurs to resources, mentors, and each other, so they can launch new products & services, and provide resources for entrepreneurs and startup companies, including capital investments, market analysis, mentors, networking events, tools for product development and shared work space.

New Angel Firm to Target Early-Stage Technology Startups

TechFarms Capital Management launches startup funds targeting select geographic areas in the Southeastern United States.

 Panama City, FL, October 3, 2016 – Today at the 2016 Gulf Power Economic Symposium TechFarms Founder and CEO Steve Millaway took the opportunity to announce the launch of a new angel firm targeting tech startups in the Southeast.  

Presenting this afternoon on the importance of entrepreneurial development in regional economic development planning, Millaway highlighted the dynamic role entrepreneurs can play and also, the importance of securing capital for them.

“Tech entrepreneurs play a vital role in economic development. The startups typically begin in homes, warehouses, and incubators, organically growing ecosystems that eventually attract larger tech and manufacturing firms,” said Millaway. “Without the skilled workforce these startups create, many cities and regions across the US have found it nearly impossible to lure larger firms. However, as these startups grow, they too can be lured away to more populated regions where capital is more abundant. Capital is vital to business survival. If the startups can’t secure it, they’ll leave. That’s why today we’re announcing TechFarms Capital Management.”

TechFarms Capital Management will focus on raising capital and investing in technology startups throughout the Southeast. The announcement of the new angel capital firm accompanied presentations by Florida Governor, Rick Scott, Chairman and President of Gulf Power, Stan Connally, Founder of Reinventors and former Managing Editor of Wired Magazine, Peter Leyden, and from ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond John. This new firm will target early-stage tech startups in three Southeastern states – Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.  A second fund will focus on startups specifically located in TechFarms’ home region of Northwest Florida.

The funds are modeled after the traditional limited partnership structure, and are open to accredited US investors, institutional partners including corporations, and university endowments. Investments will target innovative and scalable private sector tech startups in areas such as hardware, software, cybersecurity, medical devices, robotics, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The company will begin accepting investments for both funds and applications for funding from startups beginning November 1, 2016.

About TechFarms Capital Management: Headquartered in Panama City, FL, TechFarms Capital Management is an early-stage angel capital firm whose funds will target innovative tech startups in the Southeastern US. More information is available at TechFarmsCapital.com.

Media Contact:

Steve Millaway, Managing Director,

TechFarms Capital Management &

Founder/CEO TechFarms, LLC

c: (850) 896-2871, e: smillaway@msn.com

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TechFarms Celebrates Grand Opening Event

Panama City Beach, FL – June 23, 2016 – TechFarms celebrated the grand opening of its tech incubator today and attracted more than 175 attendees. The group consisted of business leaders, investors, potential entrepreneurs and others interested in touring the facilities and seeing the new products under development. The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce was on hand to perform the ribbon cutting ceremonies. Although the incubator officially opened in early 2015, the facilities have been under construction since then as new offices, prototyping labs, and a separate metal/woodworking facility have been added. TechFarms currently occupies two 5,000 sq.-ft. buildings and is planning to add additional space in 2017. Continue reading “TechFarms Celebrates Grand Opening Event”