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Start-Up Circle

The Start-Up Circle is an energizing 9-session business and project planning course designed for aspiring and newly established entrepreneurs.

Classes are taught by local experts and cover the basics of starting or bolstering an independent business – from licensing to financial literacy, market research to cash flow and more. Participants leave the class with a completed business plan, a cohort of entrepreneurs in the Bradenton area, sources of small business capital, and the knowledge and confidence to take their ideas to the next level.

We are currently recruiting for the Fall 2022 Cohort. Interested participants must complete the application of interest by Friday, September 30, 2022 for consideration.


Timeline for The Start-Up Circle Fall 2022 Cohort
September 30: Applications of interest due
October 7: Notified of acceptance into program
October 11: Orientation at 6:30 pm at Manatee Chamber
Tuesdays, October 18 – December 13: Sessions at 6:30 at Manatee Chamber

For all questions contact Kristie Kindstrom at


Presenting Sponsors


Dine Bradenton

What do you do when you have 25+ places to eat & drink in less than 1 square mile and only one of those places is a franchise? Celebrate locally-owned, unique, original culinary treasures! 

What is Dine Bradenton?

In 2016, Realize Bradenton initiated a Dine Bradenton promotion to showcase the Village of the Arts, in downtown Bradenton. With many chef-owned restaurants and bakeries, Dine Bradenton was a tour of:

  • Sugar Cubed Bakery
  • Arts & Eats
  • Arte Caffe
  • Birdrock Taco Shack
  • Ortygia
  • Retrobaked.

Bon appetit!

To view the Dine Bradenton video playlist, click here or check out the video shown on this page.

Eager to visit some of these yummy spots for yourself? Navigate to on any device and filter for “Eat and Drink.” When you visit one of downtown’s restaurants or cafes, make sure to share a pic and tag #DineBradenton!

Thank you supporters

Thanks to support from the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, this campaign continues to grow to showcase locally-owned deliciousness from around Manatee County. To explore the #DineBradenton hashtag on Instagram, click here.


Back to all Realize Bradenton Initiatives.


Mainly Art

Local artists and creators featured at the Bradenton Public Market weekly to build their businesses and market their creations.
Due to the popularity of Mainly Art, it has become a weekly addition.

Enjoy examples from this Flickr Album.

Downtown Bradenton Market Analysis


Kennedy Smith of the CLUE Group completed the Downtown Bradenton Market Analysis in December 2020.

Full Downtown Bradenton Market Analysis Report

Recommendations from the Downtown Bradenton Market Analysis:

Recording of Kennedy Smith sharing the completed report on February 19, 2021.


The purpose of the video is to summarize responses from people who expressed interest in the Market Analysis, many of whom participated in a May 7 webinar that shared preliminary results. 

Below is a PDF link to more detailed results from the follow-up survey, including graphs, charts, and comments sorted by sections. 

Results from Market Analysis Follow-Up Survey

Work continues with CLUE Group on the Market Analysis Report for Downtown Bradenton. If you have any ideas, questions, see contact info at the bottom of this page.

With so much going on right now, thank you for staying tuned in to this project as it sets the stage for important recovery efforts and long-term progress. 


In the fall of 2019, Realize Bradenton together with partners City of Bradenton and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce engaged Kennedy Smith of the Community Land Use + Economics (CLUE) Group to conduct a market analysis for downtown Bradenton and to recommend strategies for strengthening the district’s retail/commercial/culinary composition, with particular attention on cultivating young entrepreneurial talent.

When this initiative began, COVID-19 was unknown. CLUE Group conducted market research just a few months before the pandemic began to unfold. While it is difficult to know what the mid- and long-range impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on downtowns throughout the country and around the world, it is clear that the retail, hospitality, and culinary landscape will be changed.


Rather than producing a comprehensive market analysis report based on downtown Bradenton’s pre-pandemic conditions, CLUE summarized some of the major findings from the market research in the May 7 presentation.

The May 7 presentation outlines eight recommendations. Here is a sampling of four:

This important study was funded by the Knight Donor Advised Fund at the Manatee Community Foundation. 

Interested in learning more? Contact Jodi Carroll at Realize Bradenton

Love This City Bradenton

Reconnect | Reimagine
Rediscover | Redevelop

Through Love This City Bradenton, Realize Bradenton will provide opportunities for the community to rediscover and reimagine Downtown Bradenton. By promoting these actions, we hope to increase awareness for local businesses and cultural assets, encourage entrepreneurs to start new businesses, and promote economic growth in Downtown Bradenton.

Quirky Snapshots of Bradenton’s Past

In honor of Bradenton’s 119th birthday, a fun history reading was performed at the Downtown Bradenton Public Market. Cast and Crew: Mayor Gene Brown, Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey, Ethan Bedell, Aaron Empsall, Simone Peterson, Marjorie and Bud Martini.

“Our Fair City” by Have Gun, Will Travel

Bradenton-based band Have Gun, Will Travel (HGWT) has written a song as part of Realize Bradenton’s Love This City Bradenton campaign. The new song, “Our Fair City,” takes the listener on a journey through Bradenton and what makes it a vibrant place to live, work, and play. 

Our Community Quilt

Local community members were given a small canvas and the prompt, “Why do you love this city?” These visual representations of love have been combined to create our community quilt.

Love Poem to Bradenton

During the fall of 2021, as a part of the Love This City Bradenton campaign, Realize Bradenton gathered input from a wide spectrum of people who live, work, and play in our City. With pages of your responses, poet Joanna Fox wove together a love poem to Bradenton. “To Realize Bradenton” was read live by Joanna Fox, Gloria Ferrer, and Travis Ray at the Downtown Bradenton Public Market on February 5, 2022.

Reasons Why We Love This City

The following videos share a few of the many reasons why we Love This City Bradenton! More videos coming soon!

Love This City Gift Guide

The Love This City Gift Guide will help you share your love of Bradenton all year long! When you shop local, you are not only showing your love to the person receiving the gift, but you are also supporting a local entrepreneur and the City of Bradenton. Click on the cover for the electronic version.

Love This City Events

Love This City Bradenton Kick Off Event
Saturday, November 13
9 am – 2 pm
Downtown Bradenton Public Market
Old Main Street

Valentine’s Celebration
Saturday, February 5
9 am – 2 pm
Downtown Bradenton Public Market
Old Main Street

Bradentown Birthday Bash
Saturday, May 21
9 am – 2 pm
Performance at 10:30 am
Downtown Bradenton Public Market
Old Main Street

Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that brings people together to build a vibrant, healthy, and strong community!

Love This City is made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Knight Donor Advised Fund at the Manatee Community Foundation and event support from the City of Bradenton Community Redevelopment Agency. 

Small Scale Real Estate Development

Small-scale real estate development or “incremental development” can revitalize an urban core in a  way that is accelerated, affordable, and sustainable compared to traditional large-scale  redevelopment. Think: food trucks, artsy walk-up apartments, unique small businesses, affordable /  walkable living, infill development, and live-work units. 

Through a partnership with the City of Bradenton, host Manatee Performing Arts Center, and funding  from the Knight Donor Advised Fund at Manatee Community Foundation, 77 participants from the  Bradenton area and surrounding region joined a full-day workshop with IDA faculty. 

There are no plans at this time to host additional workshops in Bradenton, but anyone interested in  this concept should reach out to the Incremental Development Alliance directly via their website:

“The workshop was valuable in learning the nuts and bolts of development as well as hearing what the workshop leaders had done in their communities.”

~ Bradenton-Based Workshop Participant


Back to all Realize Bradenton Initiatives.

Walk Bradenton

As a business development initiative, Walk Bradenton helps attract residents, visitors, and  businesses to downtown Bradenton to build economic development and enhance quality of life.

Check it out

Walk Beadenton Logo


Walk Bradenton is a mobile-responsive website, not an app to download and update. From Sarasota  Singapore, the detailed map showcases everything to see and do in downtown Bradenton. Realtors,  visitors, students new to the area, and even locals who have lived here for years have discovered  something they love about this community using Walk Bradenton (Like this Top 12!)


From mobile phones to tablet to laptops, the screen adjusts to highlight the assets of downtown  Bradenton, and encourage on-foot exploration of its many neighborhoods:  

In addition to neighborhoods, categories allow users to further customize their experience: places to  eat and drink, public art, shops and galleries, historical landmarks, hotels, public parks, parking,  health tips, and more. Walk Bradenton is a mobile-responsive website, not an app to download and  update.


Encouraging people to walk is about much more than just individual health. Studies reinforce links  between pedestrian-friendly cities and higher property values, increased consumer sales, healthier  residents, stronger social connections, and civic pride. 

From Sarasota Singapore, the detailed map showcases everything to see and do in downtown  Bradenton. Realtors, visitors, students new to the area, and even locals who have lived here for years  have discovered something they love about this community using Walk Bradenton. was developed by Realize Bradenton, in collaboration with the Bradenton Area  Convention and Visitors Bureau; Bradenton Downtown Development Authority; Mosaic; Florida  Department of Health, Manatee County; and Manatee County Historical Records Library. 

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