Innovation is a one-way road to economic growth
It can be challenging to offer new ideas in this fast-paced society. Fortunately, The Greenhouse and the St. Pete community are dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs with impactful resources such as mentorship, community partnerships, workshops, and more.
For Tampa Bay Innovation Week, we are pleased to highlight entrepreneurs who have used their experiences to create a successful business through innovative problem-solving, like Mark Anderson, founder and owner of St. Pete Salt Works.
Innovators help drive our local economy by identifying problems, finding creative solutions, and creating jobs. This helps St. Pete grow as a community.
Meet Mark Anderson with St. Pete Salt Works
GH: Tell us a little about yourself and your business!
MA: My name is Mark Anderson and my wife, Amy, and I own St. Pete Salt Works Float Center. We are both St. Pete raised and love this great city. St. Pete Salt Works started as an idea over 10 years ago. We are trying to change St. Pete, one float at a time.
GH: What inspired you to start your business?
MA: Amy grew up surrounded by her family business, Brydebell Electric. We wanted to create something special for our community. Mental health and alternative options for self-regulation, sports recovery, pain management, anxiety, burnout, and creativity are all on the rise. We recognized the need for other ways to help people along the way. My passion and understanding for both educating and guiding our community on their float journey is really what we do here.
GH: What was your mentor experience like at the Greenhouse? Do you think it helped your business? If so, how?
MA: The Greenhouse was the first place I went to learn the ropes of starting a business here in St. Pete. I’ve gained a lot of understanding, utilized many of their resources, and still am. I’m grateful for the work they do there. We have had some interns come through, and that’s always exciting for me.
GH: What makes your business innovative?
MA: Flotation therapy is a unique environment for exploring the creative thought process and gaining the ability to hyper-focus on ideas and concepts so you can work toward developing them into actionable items. When you push those innovative concepts forward without distractions, it’s amazing what happens. It is in its simplicity that innovation can be seen.
The womb-like state that’s created here has been around since the 50s and was created by Dr. John Lilly while working at the National Institute for Mental Health. Flotation therapy can also be found at brain research institutes. They have been performing clinical studies for some time now. When I think of innovation, I look at how the Navy Seals use sensory deprivation combined with an audio/visual component for super-learning new languages before they go on missions. That’s what I am moving forward with creating here.
GH: What do you think the City of St. Petersburg needs more of?
MA: As a business owner, I’m always exploring opportunities to collaborate and partner to share ideas and opportunities with other business owners. It takes a village! I would love to see the innovation district tours start back up again or other ways to showcase all the brilliant minds we have here. One Million Cups was also a great event I enjoyed participating in.
GH: What advice would you give to other business owners who want to become more innovative?
MA: Creativity and the need for innovative ideas are so important in this fast-paced and connected world. I would recommend utilizing all available resources, learning from others, and using the knowledge you’ve gained from others.
MORE ABOUT ST. PETE SALT WORKS
Imagine being in a saltwater tub so dense with salt that the water will hold you in perfect alignment under zero gravity conditions. You can find this at St. Pete Salt Works- a float center designed to relieve external stimuli and stress.
517 Dr M.L.K. Jr St. N.,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701