Gazelle Lab, the brand-new Tampa Bay-based TechStars Network member which just held its first Demo Day in November, is expanding its operations. The accelerator has just announced the opening of second location in Orlando, Florida, where it will be working with local academic institution Rollins College.
The Orlando team will be led by founder Richard Licursi, CEO of Florida’s Spectrum Bridge, Inc. You may remember hearing about that company as being the first to win the FCC’s approval to manage a database in the newly-opened “white space” spectrum. Licursi will be responsible for leading the fundraising for the Orlando crew, along with three other founders and support from the original St. Petersburg team.
In addition to Lucursi, Orlando’s Gazelle Lab founders include Allen Kupetz, Executive-in-Residence, Crummer Graduate School, Rollins College; Pete McAlindon, Ph.D., CEO of Blue Orb, Inc.; and Pat McNair, CPA, Interim CFO, at RowShamBow.
This is only the second TechStars member to open an additional location. TechStars proper, of course, has multiple locations across the U.S. while network member Startup Bootcamp is live in a few cities in Europe.
As to why there’s a need for more locations so early into the group’s founding, Gazelle Lab founder Daniel James Scott explains that the team feels that the region deserves a statewide effort.
“One of the biggest lessons we had during the first cadre of Gazelle Lab is that if we are going to accomplish our missions of building community and a true seed-stage funding pipeline, these would have to start happening at the state level,” he says.
Scott says there’s been demand for even more Gazelle Lab-branded programs across the state, but Orlando had the right mix of founders, investors and partners that Gazelle could plug its support, mentors and application pipeline into. With this announcement, the group is hoping to tie together all of central Florida into a cohesive early-stage funding scene, while tapping into the talent from area universities like Rollins, USF, and others.
Florida entrepreneurs are invited to apply to program via the Gazelle Lab website. The group is also supporting the new acelerato.rs application system, which lets you send in your application to multiple accelerator programs at once.