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FPL announces '35 Mules' Innovation Hub, calling on entrepreneurs to share their business ideas

Posted at 7:11 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 09:26:03-05

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — If you have the next game-changing idea in renewable energy, water, or technology, this may be your time. Florida Power and Light just announced it is looking for entrepreneurs around the world.

The innovation hub "35 Mules" will offer 20 entrepreneurs the chance to build their innovative ideas into real businesses right here in South Florida.

FPL is investing $2.5 million in the first year and offering each entrepreneur team $50,000 toward their venture. The entrepreneurs will have access to FPL's experts in solar, renewable energy, smart-grid, along with executive coaches and anything they need to make their idea a reality.

"We're going to help brand new ideas grow into that next tech company, next energy company, next water company and be able to plant them right here in Florida and grow," said Crystal Stiles, Senior Director of Economic Development.

Jessica Barnes' business 20Lighter took off because of an incubator opportunity at Florida Atlantic University like the one FPL is offering. She moved from Boston to Palm Beach County and says it made all the difference in creating an all-encompassing body weight loss program.

"We not only had access to some amazing experts that have been advisers for us, but it also opened up a lot of conversations with folks down here," said Barnes.

FPL is calling their innovation hub "35 Mules" to honor the history of how the company started small with an ice plant, a sponge boat, and 35 mules and blew up to lead the way in renewable energy.

"All growing economies have an innovation component and so for Florida to start to tell its innovation story, to have FPL and NextEra contributing to that, I think it is going to quickly elevate Florida to the level of Boston, New York, DC, and Silicon Valley, as the next area for entrepreneurs and innovators," added Stiles.

To be selected as an entrepreneur for the incubator which will last 12 to 18 months in Juno Beach, click here.