JAX CHAMBER CREATES VENTURE SERVICES TO FOSTER INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM FOR BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA

JAX CHAMBER CREATES VENTURE SERVICES TO FOSTER INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM FOR BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA

Carlton Robinson promoted to Chief Innovation Officer and will lead these important efforts.

Published Wednesday, October 14, 2020 10:30 am

JAX Chamber executive and entrepreneur Carlton Robinson has been named JAX Chamber’s Chief Innovation Officer and will lead the Venture Services Division that has been revamped to better reflect into role in fostering an innovation ecosystem in Northeast Florida.

Robinson founded and launched the Chamber’s JAX Bridges program, an entrepreneurial education program that has served 1,800 business owners in its six years of operation and is used as a model by other Chambers and organizations across Florida. As the Chamber continues to offer new programming and assistance for employees and businesses of all sizes, the shift to Venture Services better describes the work being done.

“This is the next step as we continue to build an innovation ecosystem in Jacksonville,” Robinson said. “By expanding to offer programs for companies to send their employees to learn new, valuable tech skills, we are helping our members grow and compete in the global economy.”

One new offering will be the Bridges Work and Learn Program, initially funded by a contribution from AT&T. The Bridges Work & Learn Program allows employers of large and small businesses to offer a valuable work-and-learn opportunity. This skill-building program provides employees with a pathway to “work” towards obtaining technical skills and entrepreneurs with an opportunity to “learn” new skills that help address customers’ needs.

The program will consist of six technology sessions focused on SQL Server Database, Data Visualization, and Data Storytelling. Entrepreneurial participants are exposed to proven methods highlighted in JAX Bridges models.

“AT&T is excited to support the Bridges Work and Learn Program which helps develop creative solutions to foster economic growth and innovation within our communities,” said Kevin Craig, regional director, external and legislative affairs, AT&T Florida. “One key area we hope the program will impact is participation among underrepresented minorities in the tech sector. Through the upskilling of under employed and IT entrepreneurs, the Chamber can improve the quality and diversity of Jacksonville’s workforce.”

This shift into Venture Services will also address how businesses can access capital, foster innovation in their own companies and grow talent from within by adding critical skills needed in this digital economy.

“Our Chamber is driving innovation in our economy and Carlton’s entrepreneurial mindset keeps pushing the Chamber to look for new ways to help our companies thrive,” said JAX Chamber Chair Henry Brown, CEO of Miller Electric. “Programs like Bridges Work and Learn will be a tremendous asset for our members and I look forward to the other offerings as Venture Services grows to serve more members.”

About JAX Chamber

The JAX Chamber is the business membership organization dedicated to driving quality economic growth in Northeast Florida to make this region the best place to live, work and play. Membership provides the opportunity to connect with and buy from other Chamber members. The connections result in business growth and a more prosperous economy.

CONTACT: Matt Galnor: (904) 472-4196, matt.galnor@myjaxchamber.com

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The JAX Chamber Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1978 and serves Northeast Florida in funding workforce development, leadership and entrepreneurial education programs in support of long-term regional prosperity.

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