9 January Clay Florida Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is Strong January 9, 2017 By Laura Pavlus General, News entrepreneur, pitch in the park, bob hawkinson, economic development, inventor, investment competition 0 Jacksonville Business Journal, by Jensen Werley, Jan. 9, 2017 - Full Article Here A Jacksonville company was one of eleven selected to participate in a national investment competition for businesses creating ways to eliminate or have more sustainable usage of plastic. Weed Recede, created by Bob Hawkinson, is a patented design for mulch bags that are biodegradable and provides a protective barrier against weeds. Instead of dumping mulch out and tossing the bag, customers open the bag up and spread the mulch over the bag. Now, Hawkinson is competing for the attention of investors at Think Beyond Plastics’ New Plastics Economy Investor Forum and Innovator Showcase on January 17 in New York. “This is a way to get investable capital to harvest solutions for plastics waste,” Hawkinson told the Business Journal. “It’s a good sized deal and a whole lot of big folks come out. It’s for products that are ready to go to market, like ourselves and others that are ready to launch. For us, it’s been a long road. There have been a lot of tech things and intellectual property to figure out.” For Hawkinson, the presentation is a big opportunity to be on the national stage, but he’s still focused on what he can do locally. When asked what he was doing to prepare for the event, Hawkinson said he was busy planning a “Pitch in the Park” event for Clay County companies, taking place January 21st and Town Hall Park. At that event, pitchers will have two minutes to present their ideas and the audience and judges will have two minutes to ask questions. “We’re trying to showcase North Florida as a really good place to own a business and live,” he said. “Most of us are in Clay County and started there or live there, so that was the goal.” Hawkinson said he will use the opportunity at the Think Beyond Plastics Event, which has members from Allied Capital, the Schmidt Family Foundation and Patagonia in attendance , to further Weed Recede. “Our goal is to get funding and help us get to market,” said Hawkinson. “We want to build out the business. We have patents in Canada and the U.S., but it’s a big industry that’s largely regional. Shipping dictates that you need regional manufacturers. Our idea is to get an investor that says “aha, we get this,’ and help us with marketing and licensing our product and getting retailers to say yes.” Related Clay EDC Awarded $89K as Gov. Scott Announces More Than $2.2M for Florida Defense Communities The Clay County Economic Development Corporation received an $89,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant to aggressively strengthen and diversify the non-defense economy while promoting the area’s military training operations at the Camp Blanding JTC and NAS Jacksonville. Business Leaders Get Glimpse of Florida's Aerospace Industry at Clay EDC Q2 Luncheon Presentation Frank DiBello, CEO of Space Florida, was the keynote speaker for the June 8 quarterly luncheon sponsored by the Clay County Economic Development Corp., which works to bring high-skill, high-wage jobs to Clay County. Tourism Remains Strong in Florida Visit Florida CEO sees no slowdown in tourism after record-breaking quarter. Manufacturers Join Governor’s Campaign to Save Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida JACKSONVILLE – In order to protect future jobs and to continue bolstering local economies through the recruitment of manufacturing, the First Coast Manufacturers Association has joined Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign to prevent the elimination of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida by the Florida Legislature. Clay Commission Discussing Rebranding County Image The Clay County Commission this month is expected to consider recommendations to showcase the county’s natural, historic and recreational resources as well as its communities to best attract tourism, new businesses and residents. Clay County School District Ranks 8th Best in Florida The 2017 Niche survey for best schools determined Clay County School District ranks 8th best in the state of Florida. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.