TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Tampa takes the number one spot when it comes to female entrepreneurs, and it's no accident. Successful businesswomen will be the first to tell you that Tampa city leaders will do anything to help you cultivate your idea and take it to the next stratosphere.
"The ecosystem is truly inspiring for innovation and entrepreneurship. I won't have that anywhere else,” said the inventor of the hugely successful Nomo Nausea line, Dr. Jacqueline Darna.
When Darna introduced her idea to the Tampa Chamber of Commerce it earned her top spot as Tampa's start up entrepreneur.
"Believe it or not, this quick little three-and-one device has essential oil-infused accupressure - I can stop people from throwing up in about 30 seconds,” said Darna.
In three short years, her product line is now in 15,000 stores around the world including major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and CVS.
When it first launched on Walmart.com, Arkansas offered Darna hundreds of thousands of dollars to relocate, but she turned the money down.
"I actually said “ No” because I was afraid I wouldn't have that connectivity because the ecosystem is truly inspiring for innovation and entrepreneurship,” she said.
From fellow business owners to city leaders like Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Darna says the support in Tampa is never ending.
"Mayor Buckhorn always calls me the daughter of Tampa because I have been able to utilize any and all resources that have been provided,” said Darma.
Darna also pointed to leaders like University of South Florida's President Judy Genshaft and the Lowth family of the University of Tampa's Lowth Entrepreneurship Center for support and a tremendous crop of female entrepreneurs that are helping her continue to grow her line.
“And this is coming from a person in the medical realm, who's never taken a business class, a marketing class, or anything like that. I was able to grow and successfully build a multi million dollar grossing business here in Tampa and I'm staying here,” said Darna.
She believes anyone with a good idea will get the support they need in Tampa to launch their idea to the next level.