Laura DiBella, the immediate past Secretary of Commerce, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, and now President of Business Development at FloridaCommerce, will be the keynote speaker for day 2 of Jacksonville Venture Competition (JVC) 2024. JVC is happening on March 12-13th at Club West in EverBank Stadium. The sole purpose of the March event is to enrich the local economy and community by bridging the gap that exists between investors and entrepreneurs. Laura DiBella has played a key role in expanding commerce, cultivating new industries, and improving quality of life for the State of Florida, making her a valuable player in our state, our city, and now JVC.
JVC drives important innovation and collaboration in Northeast Florida by bringing together thought leaders, investors, and start-up companies. Start-ups looking for a place to thrive will soon view Jacksonville as one of the best cities in the Southeast to base their business. Access to early-stage capital is vital for any growing startup ecosystem and crucial for a thriving community of founders and investors.
Laura DiBella now serves as President of Business Development at FloridaCommerce. FloridaCommerce is the chief economic development agency charged with retaining and recruiting high-impact industries to the dynamic state's 67 counties. Laura served as the first-ever, full-time Executive Director of the Florida Harbor Pilots Association, the statewide organization that represents the ~100 most highly skilled mariners that navigate nearly all vessel traffic in and out of Florida's seaports.
Laura also served as the Executive Director of the Nassau County (Florida) Economic Development Board, as well as Port Director for the Port of Fernandina, Ocean Highway and Port Authority of Nassau County. While serving both roles she oversaw several high-profile recruitment and expansion projects encompassing manufacturing, corporate headquarters, healthcare, and logistics, coupled with many millions in grant funding awards. She was also instrumental in the Federal Marine Highway designation awarded to the Port of Fernandina in 2019.
Laura has experience expanding industries, commerce, and logistics in Florida’s economy which has helped create a thriving ecosystem in cities across the state. Jacksonville’s future is prime for being a hub for startups and venture capital. Laura has been crucial in driving the mission to build a world-class startup ecosystem in Florida, and JVC is honored to have her address the community in Jacksonville.