SMARTStart Pasco | Pasco Economic Development Council | 16506 Pointe Village Drive, Suite 107 | Lutz, FL 33558

SMARTstart to Host Fourth Annual GROW Pasco Event for Entrepreneurs

January 22, 2024


Day-long event will feature 15 breakout sessions led by over 25 business leaders and a keynote presentation by Tampa Bay Wave COO, Colonel Jay Powers.

PASCO COUNTY, FLORIDA (January 22, 2024) — SMARTstart is hosting GROW Pasco to help educate business owners throughout Pasco County and provide an environment to network with like-minded entrepreneurs. The event will take place on Thursday, March 14, 2024, at the brand-new Saint Leo University Wellness Center in San Antonio, Florida. The event will feature 15 breakout sessions led by over 25 business professionals. The speakers will be covering a wide variety of session topics on areas such as marketing and social media, artificial intelligence, and valuable local resources for businesses. TECO Energy is the Title Sponsor of the event, click here to view all event sponsors.

The Pasco EDC entrepreneurship program, SMARTstart, is Penny for Pasco supported and features an innovative suite of programs that provides the tools growing businesses need for long-term success in areas like funding, education, guidance, collaboration, and workspace. SMARTstart has helped create over 500 jobs and currently has 54 incubator members. The members’ businesses vary from multiple types of food businesses cooking in the commercial kitchen in Dade City to 3-D printing and technology companies at The Grove in Wesley Chapel. All members have access to the three Entrepreneur Centers across Pasco County to provide opportunities to best suit their needs. The event is hosted in partnership with the Pasco Enterprise Network (PEN), a group of resource partners involved in the SMARTstart program who provide valuable guidance to entrepreneurs as they navigate the business landscape; there will also be a panel discussion at the event to highlight these PEN Partners.

“GROW Pasco provides engaging opportunities for entrepreneurs that are looking to start or grow a business in Pasco County. The session topics are hand-picked from input previous attendees have shared to cover the wants and needs of local businesses,” shared Bill Cronin, Pasco EDC President/CEO. “We are especially excited to host this year’s event at the recently opened Saint Leo University Wellness Center. This state-of-the-art facility is beautiful, and the event is a perfect opportunity for the community to see the facility and learn more about their entrepreneurial journey.”

The lunch session will feature keynote speaker Colonel Jay Powers, COO of the Tampa Bay Wave. His presentation is titled “Lead Your Way to Entrepreneurial Success” and will discuss how leadership and self-care underpin organizational growth and success.

“GROW Pasco provided me the opportunity to gain knowledge, network, and create meaningful connections in an environment with leaders and decision makers that impact our community,” shared Sandra Daniels, Evolve Enterprises, LLC Owner/Founder and a 2023 GROW Pasco attendee.

To learn more about the sessions being offered at GROW Pasco and to register, visit The cost is $45 per person and includes a continental breakfast and seated lunch.  


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About Pasco Economic Development Council
The Pasco Economic Development Council is committed to developing Florida's most competitive climate for business growth by providing businesses, that seek to start, move, or grow in the North Tampa Bay area, a comprehensive suite of programs that can help them to reach their full economic potential.  Since 1987, Pasco EDC has fostered a strong partnership funded by corporate and public investors focused on the economic vitality of Pasco County.  Discover more at