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North Florida Innovation Labs expanding capacity, will hold 100 high-tech businesses

Posted at 7:09 PM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 19:16:01-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Russ Forstall runs Slash Pine Tech, a custom software company that's run out of the business incubator Domi Station on Tallahassee's Southside. Domi has helped Forstall learn the in's and out's of running, and growing, his business of now five people through training and mentor ship programs meant to help new business owners.

"I didn't really know how to build a company, but being in the atmosphere and talking to mentors and things like that I've learned how to grow and scale my company and that's kind of what we're doing now," said Forstall. "I know how to write code, I know how to build software, I didn't really know how to build a company."

Business Incubators like Domi Station are meant to help build small businesses build from the ground up. Executive Director Robert Blacklidge says in their seven years of operating, they've already seen the economic impact of their work.

"A little over 300 companies, we've helped create over a thousand jobs, we've helped generate over $300 million in economic impact from companies we've served and supported."

On a larger scale, North Florida Innovation Labs will help create over 600 high-paying jobs in Tallahassee when their new $24 million dollar facility is completed in about two years.

Bill Lickson, Director of North Florida Innovation Labs said the building will be home to Chemistry, Construction, Biology and other high-tech industries.

"Once filled, it will support over 100 high technology entrepreneurs simultaneously," said Lickson.

Offering jobs from Lab techs, Machinists, and circuit board printers just to name a few. Some can even pay around 50,000 to 60,000 dollars a year.

Lickson added that the new facility has the potential to impact the area positively over the next ten years.

"We anticipate that this facility will directly contribute over a billion dollars in regional economic impact over the next decade," said Lickson.