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Create Your Business

A truly prosperous community will not only attract new businesses and retain existing ones, but it will foster business creation. The Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) continues to expand current business creation efforts through our entrepreneurial programming, technical assistance, capital access initiatives, and the Power Plant Business Incubator.  We are committed to assisting existing and prospective entrepreneurs by providing the tools and resource to support them throughout the process from start-up through expansion.

6th Annual Marion County Youth Business Plan Competition

Flyer - Click Here

Application Packet - Click Here

Official Entry Form - Survey Monkey Link

Thank you to our 2019 Youth Business Plan Competition sponsors:

The CEP provides technical assistance to entrepreneurs to guide them in their efforts. This assistance includes areas such as business planning, market research, and financial analysis. Additionally, the CEP provides an ongoing program of training sessions to help entrepreneurs at every level. For more information on programs and assistance, please contact the Business Creation staff

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Are you working on an idea for an innovative new company? Are you open to receiving coaching and mentorship in a supportive environment? Then keep reading and see how the Power Plant Business Incubator can help!

Located: 405 SE Osceola Ave. Ocala, FL 34471

Energizing Entrepreneurial Excellence

The Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) believes in entrepreneurs. We believe in their ability to change the world and in the importance of their drive, vision, ambition, and success. The goal of Power Plant Business Incubator is to power these entrepreneurs: help them raise capital; hire great employees; gain access to strategic partners, customers, and mentors; provide them resources; help mitigate risks; and cultivate results.

The Power Plant Incubator offers early stage companies decisive advantages & differentiating solutions each step of the way. We power Entrepreneurship!

The Power Plant offers a wide array of programs to benefit everyone from first-time entrepreneurs to seasoned executives and savvy investors. Residents of the Power Plant work on a campus in the heart of downtown, adjacent to the CEP, a few blocks from the Institute of Human Machine Cognition on Innovation Way, and walking distance to a thriving downtown and a National Historic District.

The three building campus offers multiple office shapes and sizes, lends itself to flexibility and increased space as the firms grow.  

Mission & Vision

POWER PLANT MISSION: To provide a nurturing climate and a sustainable system that successfully attracts, grows and graduates early-stage companies with innovative ideas and scalable business models.

POWER PLANT VISION: The Power Plant will embody and serve as the hub for entrepreneurial activity in the region. It will be a lead contributor to the job creation goals set forth by the City of Ocala, Marion County & the CEP.

Residents

Currently, the Power Plant Business Incubator has seventeen resident companies. These companies have all gone through the Power Plant acceptance process which includes a presentation to a committee demonstrating 1) how they are innovative and 2) how they are scaleable. The current resident mix includes a strong emphasis on medical/health care, communications, and technology. 

Current Residents

(see current page)

Affiliates

Affiliates receive many of the same benefits of residents, but do not need to go through an acceptance process. Affiliate benefits include the following:

  •  Access to the Facility 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday
  •  FREE Wi-Fi Connection
  •  4 Conference Rooms Available, Seating 6 to 40+
  •  Shared Cubicle Workspace (Limited Number Available)
  •  A Physical Address
  •  Network During Weekly Resident & Affiliate Meetings
  •  Opportunity to Attend In-House Trainings/Workshops

Current Affiliates:

B&B Office Systems
Blue Cross Blue Shield, Jane Moerlie
New York Life, Edward Martinez
Prince Marketing & Education Consultants
Sage Marketing
Sunsure Insurance, Adriene Codelia
Quality First Home Care

Graduates

To date, twenty one companies have graduated from the Power Plant Business Incubator and nineteen continue to operate in the Ocala MSA. These companies have created more than 250 direct jobs.

(see current page)

 

More Information

To learn more about the Power Plant Business Incubator or to schedule a tour, please contact Ryan LillyVice President, Business Creation. 

As a program of the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups works with entrepreneurs, empowering them with the tools and resources to break down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses. Mr. Kauffman believed it was a fundamental right for anyone who had a big idea to be able to bring it to life—and we're here to fulfill that mission.

Click here for more information

Launching a new company in the Ocala area? Enroll in our Kauffman FastTrac course for new entrepreneurs. The course will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30pm-7pm for five weeks. Tuesday sessions will be held in-person at the Power Plant Business Incubator at 405 SE Osceola Avenue and dinner will be provided. Thursday meetings will be held online, via live and interactive Zoom Webinars. In addition to the course material and group exercises, successful and inspiring local entrepreneurs will be featured guest speakers.

Students who attend all 10 sessions will come away with knowledge on how to be a successful entrepreneur, a ready-to-implement business plan and business model canvas, and a course completion certificate. The course will be facilitated by Ryan Lilly, VP of Business Creation at the CEP, a consultant to over 1,000 entrepreneurs for nearly 10 years and a trained Kauffman FastTrac Facilitator.

To find out when the next class is starting, click here.

Since December of 2015, the CEP has Partnered with the Florida Angel Nexus (“Nexus”), a state-wide network of angel investment groups.

As of 2016, Ocala is now home to its own Chapter of Nexus!

Nexus helps organize angel capital deal flow throughout the state, coordinates due diligence, and streamlines portfolio management.

For those unfamiliar with angel investment, this source of capital is meant primarily for quickly-scalable (high growth), early-stage companies.

Visit the Nexus website here

Investors:
If you meet the SEC criteria for an Accredited Investor (see criteria here) and you’re interested in joining the Nexus Ocala Chapter, or visiting a future meeting, please have read this page and then contact Ryan@OcalaCEP.com or call 352-629-8051 x 125.

Entrepreneurs:
If you’re an entrepreneur who would like to present before this group, please have read this page and then apply here. If you would like, please discuss your application ahead of time with Ryan Lilly, CEP, Vice President, Business Creation, or call 352-629-8051 x 125.

The Chamber & Economic Partnership’s Business Services area provides a variety of Networking, Leadership Development, Training Workshops, and Marketing Opportunities designed to help small businesses succeed. In addition, we have pooled information from a variety of resources to provide you with advice and best practices.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Small Business Tools

Ready-to-use business tools to help you get the job done faster and easier, including: model business documents, financial spreadsheet templates, checklists, and official government forms.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Starting & Managing a Business

Resource center that features sections on starting and managing a business: Choosing Your Business Structure; Exploring Loans, Grants & Funding; Choose Your Location & Equipment; Hire & Retain Employees; Exporting; Running a Business; Healthcare; and Business Guides by Industry.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

Enterprise Florida

Start up a Florida Business

Small Business Assistance Programs, Financial Assistance, Assistance for High Tech Start Ups and Contracting Opportunities.

Florida Department of Financial Services

Small Business Owners’ Insurance: a guide for consumers

Florida Department of Revenue

Business Owners Guide to Sales & Use Tax

Start Up Kit for New Business Owners

Florida Trend

Florida Small Business: New Business Start-Up Guide

A small business toolbox featuring: 5 Tips for Creating Your Best Business Plan; Labor Laws: What You Should Know; Forms, Permits & Licenses; Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights; Financing Your Business; Taxes; Insurance; and Selling to the Government.