A diverse group of five businesses have been selected to participate in PowerUP's inaugural 2017 class. PowerUP is a 12-month long incubator program for local entrepreneurs who are ready to expand the market footprint of their existing small business by delivering new products and scaling-up operations. The program is made possible by a partnership between Domi Station and First Commerce Credit Union. 

A committee of seven small business and entrepreneurship experts reviewed PowerUP applications and selected a highly-competitive cohort of five local businesses. The businesses were selected based on key criteria, including existing revenue, potential for economic impact, and capacity for innovation. Domi and First Commerce Credit Union are excited to announce that the 2017 PowerUP class includes Nic's Toggery, Chop Barbershop, Catalina Café, the FL Aviation Center, and Secure Records Solutions.

"We are impressed by the strength of PowerUP's first class," said Cecilia D. Homison, CEO of First Commerce Credit Union. "Our city has many strong entrepreneurs, but there are some of the best. They run well-known companies with a proven track record, and they are ready to be leaders in the growth of Tallahassee's entrepreneurial ecosystem."

PowerUP offers a chance for local business owners to look at entering a growth phase and reinvest in their company's future. The 2017 class will meet quarterly at Domi Station in a facilitated, peer-to-peer environment, and have monthly meetings with experienced consultants and advisors. 

"It's exciting that our entrepreneurial ecosystem is growing and finding more resources for second stage communities that are looking to simplify, scale, and re-invent themselves." said Dominick Ard'is, Domi's Director of Incubation Programs. "Selecting these companies was extremely difficult but we are confident that we have a diverse group of companies, ranging from retail to fashion to technology, that have collectively served our community over 75 years."

The program aims to bring a fresh set of eyes to existing businesses by connecting them to an experienced group of program facilitators who act as objective consultants. Participants can explore the launch of a new product, the viability of entering a new market, or make plans to expand existing operations. 

More information about PowerUP can be found here: www.domistaiton.com/powerup

About Domi

Domi is on a mission to educate and empower entrepreneurs. It offers incubator program, mentorship resources, connections to capital, and community events at Domi Staiton, a 8,000 sf warehouse turned coworking space. Over the last year, Domi has worked with 43+ different early-stage startup teams through competitive, cohort-based incubator programs. 

About First Commerce Credit Union

First Commerce believes in The Power of Yes! It's the power to realize your business's dreams. The power to fuel our local economy. The power to improve our communities. That's why First Commerce looks for ways to say yes to local businesses. That's what we call local strong! First Commerce makes local decisions on loans, has deep knowledge of the local economy, offers local advice on growing a business, and provides local service by local people. First Commerce Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA and is an equal housing opportunity lender. 

About Entrepreneurship in Tallahassee

Tallahassee continues to gain momentum toward building a thriving environment for startups and small businesses. In July, the city was named a Top 50 City for Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur Magazine. Local officials and economic development related organizations increasingly recognize that the future of our region hinges on empowering entrepreneurs to take bold, calculated risks, build high-impact companies, and diversify the economy. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, startups that survive their first five years often turn into growth phase companies that account for a significant number of new jobs, making the expansion of existing firms an important emphasis for successful economic development. (http://www.nber.org/digest/feb11/w16300.html)

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