News & Media Center

Northwest Florida Is Flying High

by FloridaWest News




FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance serves as the marketing arm for economic development on behalf of the PEDC, the city and the county.

Its responsibilities also include running and managing a business incubator, Co:Lab, which is housed in downtown Pensacola in a building owned by Pensacola State College.

That is, FloridaWest is involved in “growing our own” in addition to recruiting businesses from afar.

Tenant entrepreneurs at Co:Lab pay a fee and typically stay for about three years. The lab employs a full-time director, part-time business coach and office manager.

Successful Co:Lab graduates include Dr. Sunil Gupta, who founded Intelligent Retinal

Imaging Systems (IRIS), an organization dedicated to eliminating preventable blindness through the early detection of vision-threatening pathologies including diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

“IRIS bought a building downtown and is a great, growing company,” Luth said, adding that Co:Lab has spawned companies that in total have accounted for $9.5 million in gross sales and created 38 jobs in the Pensacola metro area. Fifteen businesses in development are currently at Co:Lab.”
Read more at 850 Business Magazine.