TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) has signed a historic agreement with North Florida’s Domi Station, located at 914 Railroad Ave. in Tallahassee, to provide its students with a space to incubate their business ideas.
FAMU’s School of Business and Industry (SBI) facilitated the partnership with Domi Station. It offers incubator and co-working space with the goal of establishing a makers community and inspiring the development of high-impact startup companies among students. The incubator program invests in early-stage entrepreneurs and accelerates their growth by providing access to a network of mentors, investors, and collaborators.
Through the partnership, graduate and student entrepreneurs of all ages will be exposed to experiential learning and have access to the many services offered by Domi Station.
These services include four dedicated incubator spaces for FAMUans to house their businesses at Domi, where they will receive mentoring on the viability of their business models, and on the funding and staffing needs for their businesses, according to Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., dean of SBI.
“FAMU student entrepreneurs are offered a place to get started and a home base from which to launch and grow the companies of the future,” said Lucas Lindsey, the community manager of Domi Station.
According to SBI and Domi Station organizers, students get exposed to all sides of business administration as well as in-depth industry knowledge in developing a product or service. Additionally, they will be eligible for all the rights and privileges of any Domi member, including spending time with and having access to professionals with backgrounds in intellectual property law, strategic marketing, and venture capital.
Christine Urban, the incubator manager of Domi Station, said students would gain first-hand experience on the process of building a company from the ground up.
“Being a part of our community helps students decide if the entrepreneurial path is right for them and exposes them to the world off campus,” said Urban. “Students who decide that a more traditional route is more appropriate will have a greater appreciation for what it takes to start, grow, and maintain a business.”
Lindsey added, “They will learn the ropes of entrepreneurship not simply through classroom lecturing, but hands-on and experience-driven hustle. The goal is for the community to launch high-growth companies that diversify our economy and put Tallahassee on the map by attracting and retaining talented professionals.”
Looking to the future, Friday-Stroud said, “Ultimately, upon completion of their matriculation, our students should reach back to the campus and contribute through alumni engagement.”
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is one of the largest single-campus historically Black colleges or universities in the nation. The University blends a strong research focus on economic empowerment and community service.
The University was founded in 1887 as the State Normal School for Colored Students. Today, FAMU continues its mission to be a best-in-class, land-grant University with a global reach that focuses on science, technology, research, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics (STREAM).
FAMU contributes to a strong workforce by providing a high-quality, affordable education to students from diverse backgrounds. The U.S. News & World Report lists FAMU as the nation’s top public historically Black college or university (HBCU) for 2015. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report recognized FAMU as one of the “Best National Universities.” It is also listed among The Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast” colleges, as well.
FAMU is also one of the top universities for providing a high-quality education at an affordable price in Florida, according to The College Database (2013).
For more information about FAMU, visit: www.famu.edu.