At the January 28th meeting, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners voted to accept the Domi’s Entrepreneurial Community Impact Report for the fiscal year 2019. Per its agreement with the County, Domi is required to submit an annual report detailing the incubator activities, programs, members, and businesses of the previous fiscal year.
The relationship with Domi Education Inc. is a continued effort to further the Board’s Economy Strategic Priority which is a part of FY2017-2021 plan. This priority “support programs, policies and initiatives to attract, create, and promote expansion of business, entrepreneurship, and job creation” in Leon County.
Domi Education Inc. is a non-profit startup incubator and co-working space supporting entrepreneurship as a means of encouraging business and job development in Leon County. In 2013 the incubator company set up shop in a County owned warehouse, which at one time stored election equipment.
Domi offers many workshops, educational programs, workspaces, and resources to help entrepreneurs to start and maintain sustainable companies. In addition, Domi offers a regional network to help new entrepreneurs engage with experienced mentors, as well as, meet potential business investors.
Since Domi’s launch in 2013, Leon County has invested $343,000 in the advancement of the incubator and co-working space. Some of the investment by Leon County went to the improvement of the warehouse space and to support events and educational programming. As a result of the County’s investment Domi has helped over 150 business start-ups and has served 400 coworkers. One of Domi’s business success stories is Vale Food Company, which now has three store fronts in Tallahassee, Tampa, and Gainesville.
Domi’s economic impact on Leon County’s community from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019 is 118 jobs created and retained, almost $9 million in yearly revenue, and over $5 million in capital investments. Over the last year Domi reports 141 active co-working members, over 110 community events, and 30 companies involved in the incubation program.
In FY 2019 Domi restructured its entrepreneurial educational program by launching Gear Up and Ascend The Gear Up program targets entrepreneurs who are ready to launch their business and the Ascend program is geared for those businesspersons who are actively working to maintain and progress their company.
Furthermore, Domi continued to grow its mentor-ship program by networking with FSU’s Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship, FAMU, Innovation Park, and TCC. This platform allows budding entrepreneurs to make appointments with mentors and also an online platform for them to engage.
Lastly, Domi created the Third Act Senior Entrepreneurship Program which contributes to Leon County’s efforts to engage it’s retirees ages, 50 and up, to begin companies, mentor newer businesspersons, and invest in start-ups. Domi was awarded $25,000 by the Office of Economic Vitality to continue the Third Act initiative.