Our staff has worked with hundreds of technology start-ups. Their unique mix of business, economic development, and defense acquisition experience allows the Tampa Bay Innovation Center to develop a customized growth strategy for each client.
Ms. Elmore is the founder, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Innovation Center. The Innovation Center, an accelerator for early-stage technology firms, is a regional, national and international known success story that has been in operation for more than a decade and continues to build momentum in Pinellas County, Florida. The Center opened a new incubator/coworking space in downtown St. Petersburg - TEC GARAGE in October 2014. Tthe Innovation Center has twice been the recipient of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum’s Excellence in Service award and was recognized by Entrepreneur.com among the top 10 roundup of international business incubators.
Tonya holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and an executive MBA from the University of South Florida. In 2007, Tonya was among the first graduating class to receive a professional designation as a “certified incubator manager” from the National Business Incubator Association.
Ms. Elmore served as a vice-chair for the Florida Business Incubator Association for several years. She has been named as among the top twenty technology leaders in the Tampa Bay region. Tonya has participated in numerous media appearances and interviews, including Fox 13 Good Day Tampa Bay as an expert on entrepreneurship and early growth strategies. She currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the USF Center for Entrepreneurship and St. Petersburg College-College of Business. Ms. Elmore previously held a Top Secret Security clearance.
JJ Roberts is a serial entrepreneur with three successful technology startups to his credit. Each of these startups utilized proprietary imaging technologies for industrial automation and quality improvement. Some of the technologies developed are still in use at some of the leading companies of the world including Procter & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, First Quality Products, and 3M. Two of his startups were members of the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech, one of the earliest business incubators in the country.
After selling his final technology startup, JJ began mentoring and coaching at Georgia Tech with ATDC and the Georgia Tech Research Institute in 2010. During this time, he directly assisted over 20 young startup companies and worked with numerous additional entrepreneurs and their technologies at the earliest stage of conception. With two graduate companies (1989 & 2001) in his portfolio, the opportunity to work with these startups and understand the process from both sides of the equation proved particularly beneficial to the clients and the Center alike. Recently, Mr. Roberts participated in the prestigious Y-Combinator, located in Silicon Valley, with one of the incubator companies from ATDC that had been accepted in the Y-Combinator program.
JJ received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science Degree in Decision Science from Georgia State University. JJ was a scholarship athlete at Georgia Tech, Pole Vaulting for four years. Additionally, he became a cheerleader for his final two years, earning 6 varsity athletic letters while at Tech. He is certified as a Professional Business Coach and has served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Tech Business Network. Most recently, he completed a children’s novel which he hopes to have published and on the shelves in 2014.