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“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.� ~ HELEN KELLER

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I ALWAYS BELIEVED THERE WAS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL ABOUT GAINESVILLE’S ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEM.” — PABLO CASILIMAS, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER; CEO, ROOTEX; CHAIRMAN, ONESIXONE GROUP; CO-HOST, ART OF BIZ PODCAST

I felt confident that I knew of everything the Gainesville region had to offer, so I embarked on this quest to make INNOVATE® Gainesville come to life. Little did I know, this was only the beginning of my journey to get to know Gainesville and its unique individuals. I always believed there was something very special about Gainesville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem—now we have a 298-page case study of it. Over the past 12 months, I have had the great privilege to sit down with the Mayor of Gainesville, Lauren Poe, the President of UF, Kent Fuchs, and numerous community, business and academic leaders including Karen Zadarej, Sue Washer, Mark Long, Dr. Jeff Citty, Duncan Kabinu, Phoebe Miles, Joe Cirulli, Jill Nash, Eric Godet and many others.

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From all of these meetings, I have 3 takeaways.

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this strong sense of community and caring culture -- that people are willing to take time out of their days, and put competition or any ulterior motives aside, to simply lend a helping hand to others. It’s individuals like Rich Blaser, who has built one of the most successful companies to come out of our city and has mentored more local founders than you and I can count on both of our hands combined. It’s individuals like John Spence, who typically travels over 200 days a year and charges big bucks to speak, but comes back and gives his time generously to his community. It’s individuals like Martin Schaffel, who founded AVI-SPL, built it to over 2000 employees and sold it, and now, 40 years after graduating from UF, drives up from Tampa every week to mentor and teach student entrepreneurs at the University of Florida. It’s individuals like Dan Rua, who has helped back and build over 40 early-stage tech companies, but you’d never know it because he is typically working long hours at UF Innovate | The Hub on growing his current startup, Admiral. It’s individuals like Merrie Shaw, who has spent the past 15 years helping propagate biotech startups at Sid Martin biotech incubator, here in our backyard. It’s individuals like Aidan Augustin, who’s company Feathr has been on its steepest growth curve over the past 2 years, and yet he has made time to serve as president of StartupGNV, helping numerous local startups thrive. It’s the people who are out there working their tails off so that they can collectively build a better Gainesville for you and I.

In order for Gainesville to continue to evolve and thrive, it will take collaboration amongst our city, our county, our chamber and our business leaders. The city and county will need to offer meaningful incentives to attract more growth stage startups and investors to our region. In addition, it will take the support of community business leaders to get the Gainesville flywheel working, by supporting earlier stage startups and entrepreneurs. Lastly, it will take unification and short term sacrifices amongst our community leaders, facing current challenges head-on, in order for our city and its unique individuals to reap large rewards in the long term. Gainesville is unique in that you have a wide array of workplaces across a variety of industries, from collaborative co-working spaces and wet labs, to private offices and production studios, beautiful parks and nature preserves, great K-12 schools, a plethora of ethnic food options, from Indian and Thai to Cuban and Southern cuisines, captivating entertainment, from comedy shows to live music, enchanting artistic murals and a top 10 public research institution & university, all within a 15 minute driving radius.

Pablo Casilimas donpabllo Onesixeone Report Art of Biz

My final takeaway, and what truly makes Gainesville such a special place, is 2


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The “INNOVATE® Gainesville” Team would like to give a special thanks to all the participants and the following companies for their support and assistance in making this project a reality.

Meet the people that are building a better Gainesville for tomorrow Wordmark

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INNOVATE® GAINESVILLE: A MULTIMEDIA EXPERIENCE AND MORE.

SVEN BOERMEESTER, FOUNDER/CEO, INTERNATIONAL GROUP PUBLISHER Sven Boermeester, Founder/CEO, International Group Publisher with Callie Van Graan, Global Village COO

INNOVATE® Gainesville showcases the best of the city’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Embedded in its pages, you will find augmented reality videos that accompany nearly every feature, and when you use the free GLOBAL VILLAGE AR app, the world of the future will open up before your very eyes.

transpired in the Gainesville ecosystem, and who play or want to play an active role in its growth and development. This inaugural edition of INNOVATE® Gainesville is just part of a global series. We are currently launching volumes in cities throughout the GlobalVillage.world publishing partnership network.

But “INNOVATE® Gainesville” is far more than a tech-enabled publication; it is a multimedia experience centered around the deluxe hardcover coffee-table book you are now holding, which includes AR videos, an online web platform, and multilevel social media networking. Online, the full e-book will be viewed in the millions through the InnovationsoftheWorld.com online library.

By experiencing INNOVATE® Gainesville, you are part of our Global Village network, and we are happy to have you. I trust you will join us as we continue the journey of the INNOVATE® series. Sven Boermeester Founder/CEO International Group Publisher

This publication aims to celebrate those involved in the Florida ecosystem, but it is also meant for all business leaders and decision-makers who can effect change in their industries throughout the US and throughout the world. We publish INNOVATE® Gainesville for the open-minded folk who want to know more about the exciting changes that have recently

Belinda Van Graan CMO

Meghan Tear Percy Managing Editor

Sarah Nieman Production Manager

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Ravi Handve Art & Design

JR Giggs Web Development Partner


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CHAPTER ONE

THOUGHT LEADERS

175 CHAPTER NINE

EDUCATION & TRAINING

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CHAPTER TWO

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CHAPTER THREE

FUTURE CITIES & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

BUILDING, CONSTRUCTION & MANUFACTURING

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HEALTHCARE & HEALTH TECH

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PRODUCT & SERVICE INNOVATIONS

LEGAL & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

ENTREPRENEUR ORGANIZATIONS

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CONTENTS Global Village CEO Sven Boermeester

Publishing Partner Pablo Casilimas

Global Village COO Callie Van Graan

Project Manager Sarah Nieman

Global Village CMO Belinda Van Graan

Art Direction & Design Ravi Handve

Managing Editor Meghan Tear Percy

Production Team Sarah Nieman Meghan Tear Percy

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Research & Selection Pablo Casilimas info@globalvillage.world www.InnovationsoftheWorld.com www.GlobalVillage.world © Global Village Ventures LLC ISBN: 978-1-949677-12-6


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EVENTS

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FOOD & BEVERAGE

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AEROSPACE, ROBOTICS & TECHNOLOGY

SOFTWARE & APP DEVELOPMENT

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ADVERTISING, MARKETING & MEDIA

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CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

LIFESTYLE IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC...

DOWNLOAD THE GLOBAL VILLAGE AR APP TO VIEW 100 AUGMENTED REALITY VIDEOS IN THIS BOOK!

To experience the future of print, download the Global Village AR App from the IOS or Android App stores. Open the App and hold it about 30cm above any page that contains an image with the “play” Icon.

Make sure your back camera is pointing at the page. Click the Play button that appears onscreen and immerse yourself in the latest updated content with reference to that page. Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in The “INNOVATE® Gainesville” vol 1. Neither “INNOVATE® Gainesville” nor Global Village assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. All rights reserved: No part of this publication shall be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adapted, or modified in any form or by any means. This publication shall not be stored in whole or in part in any form in any retrieval system.

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“The unreasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” — GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

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OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH UF CONTINUES TO FLOURISH AND TOGETHER WE ARE FINDING NEW WAYS TO COLLABORATE AND INNOVATE FOR THE BETTERMENT OF OUR COMMUNITY. ” – LAUREN POE, MAYOR, CITY OF GAINESVILLE

neighborhood preservation and community health. When we work together, we do great things! Since its earliest days, progressive thinking and entrepreneurial gusto have defined Gainesville. Innovation in the early 1900s gave rise to electricity, brickpaved streets, telephones and a modern public water system well before many of its neighbors. Today, that same forward-thinking spirit persists. The city is pursuing opportunities to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions through its electrical vehicle program, and we are working to reduce waste by supporting policies and lifestyle choices that minimize litter now and for future generations. What truly drives people to love where they live is their perception of a community’s aesthetics, social offerings and openness. Perception is reality, and the reality is that Gainesville is known for its vibrant music scene, startup culture, signature events, incredible parks and magnificent tree canopy. It’s a magnet for new neighbors looking for a special place to visit or call home. Public programing including fitness classes, live music and special events are happening, on average, 6 days a week at the city’s Bo Diddley Plaza. Depot Park, one of our hallmark accomplishments and the epitome of a vision come to life, has been nationally recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the Top 10 Repurposed Railroad Depots in America. Public/private partnerships are thriving in our Innovation District and companies continue to call Gainesville home, creating new jobs in our community.

The City of Gainesville is a unique and opportune place, characterized by its commitment to lively civic spaces, a strong offering of vital public services and opportunities for economic and social resilience for all of our neighbors.

In Gainesville, our purpose is our people. I welcome all of you, from the life-long resident to the newly relocated snowbird, students and visitors alike; take part in Gainesville’s story of greatness and take advantage of the countless opportunities this great city has to offer.

Over its rich history this city has grown from a small rural farming society to a bustling commercial and industrial center that is home to one of the nation’s most prestigious public research institutions —The University of Florida.

City of Gainesville 200 East University Ave, Gainesville FL 32601 +1-352-334-5000

Our partnership with UF continues to flourish and together we are finding new ways to collaborate and innovate for the betterment of our community. By harnessing the power of university research and ingenuity, we have been able to make significant strides in critical areas including roadway safety, 9

GainesvilleGov gainesvillefla cityofgainesville.org


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UPPING OUR GAME IN GAINESVILLE.”

– ERIC GODET, SR., PRESIDENT/CEO, GREATER GAINESVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

It has been about a year since I joined the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce as President/CEO. Having served both business and the Chamber in various capacities over the years, I have the professional experience for this job, but what I really bring to the table is passion—we can be a game-changer for this community at a very timely juncture of our history. In five years, our Chamber will be 100 years old. When we get there, I’m looking forward to reflecting on how this community worked together to transform the meaning of opportunity for all people in our region. I am excited about upping our game—working as conveners to unify the community around transformative opportunities. We have a strong history of success here—Go Gators— and combining a cooperative spirit with mutual respect, we can make great things happen. A transformation is already underway—just look at our flourishing startup community and the outstanding retail, cuisine, housing, and entertainment options across our region. I see great potential with the Chamber’s Collaborate 2025 economic development strategy as well as our community’s Smart Cities initiative, our launch of autonomous vehicles, and the growth of medical tourism within our worldclass healthcare system. We can also make great strides developing more family-supporting jobs, improving our infrastructure, and revitalizing both our urban core and our rural communities. But first, we must acknowledge that all voices matter. Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” I’m passionate about engaging every individual who loves this community. I want to help people look beyond their differences and focus on the positives we can all agree on. One point of commonality, however small, gives us something to build on, and together we can only win. 300 E. University Avenue Gainesville, Florida, 32601 +1-352-334-7100 GNVChamber Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce GainesvilleChamber gainesvillechamber.com

Eric Godet was named President/CEO of the Greater Gainesville Chamber in December 2018. Eric has served our community for many years, working as vice president of organizational advancement for Haven Hospice and as a founding member of RTI Biologics. His previous experience includes work for Johnson & Johnson and IBM. 10


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WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY OVER THE NEXT DECADE TO BECOME A CENTER FOR INNOVATION, A LEADER IN EDUCATION AT ALL LEVELS AND AN EXAMPLE IN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY.” – DR. W. KENT FUCHS, THE 12TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

To get there, we at UF will continue on our path to the nation’s top-5 public research universities, including through growing our faculty, increasing research productivity and striving to make our undergraduate education even more meaningful. We will redouble our focus on addressing the challenges of our community, state and world, from pre-K through PhD-level education, and from a healthy environment to an economy that provides opportunities for all. Our research spending soared to $929 million for the 2019 fiscal year – a new record, and another step toward our goal of $1 billion. We remain laser-focused on accelerating commercialization of our technologies and ideas through UF Innovate. UF technologies are at the heart of over 200 startups creating 7,600 jobs. Last year’s billion-dollar acquisition of a company that began as a UF startup was a both a milestone and a harbinger of things to come. Our rise as a nationally preeminent university city depends not only on research, technology and jobs – but also on creating an even more attractive, livable, equitable, culturally rich and diverse community. UF academic leaders, faculty, staff and students are dedicated to that progress, from contributing to transportation solutions such as the newly operating downtown autonomous shuttle, to the flowering of the Cultural Plaza, to early childhood and other research that benefits local schools and local students. With so much achieved in recent years, our university city has strong forward momentum. I can’t wait to join in creating what’s next.

Dr. Kent Fuchs has been President of the University of Florida since 2015. He has set the university on a path to the top five and becoming the number one university for comprehensive excellence. Previously, Dr. Fuchs served in academic leadership positions and as a faculty member of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell, Purdue and the University of Illinois. 

The University of Florida is one of the nation’s very best public universities. Our home of Gainesville is a beautiful, thriving university city. Yet what truly sets us apart is our shared promise for the future. We have the opportunity over the next decade to become a center for innovation, a leader in education at all levels and an example in environmental sustainability. We can be known for nurturing local startups and established businesses, for attracting top talent and industry from afar and for being a beacon of arts and culture.

University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611 +1-352-392-3261

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uflorida UF universityofflorida president.ufl.edu


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BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL CULTURE IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH ACHIEVING “SAMENESS,” WHERE EVERYONE LOOKS, ACTS AND THINKS ALIKE. ” –JUAN SEGARRA, CONSTRUCTION EXECUTIVE, ENTREPRENEUR, INVESTOR

Building a successful culture is not to be confused with achieving “sameness,” where everyone looks, acts and thinks alike. At our firm, Foresight Construction Group, our team is comprised of a very diverse group of people that are driven by the same passion and rally around the same set of core values. Our core values tie our culture together. At Foresight, our unified passion is to build a great company marked by a culture of service that improves the lives of others. Our core values are the principles that guide us toward realizing this purpose.

Our core values are: Can-do Attitude - Having a willingness to accept and overcome challenges Ownership Mentality - Having a sense of personal responsibility toward the greater cause Spirit of Excellence - Being unsatisfied with mediocrity  Responsiveness - Being positive, engaged and available to meet the needs of others Our core values permeate everything we do, from how we engage with our clients, how we build our projects, to how we hire talent. Innovation is the natural result of a team driven by this clearly defined combination of vision and values. Juan Segarra is an accomplished construction executive, entrepreneur, investor, purpose-driven leader, devoted family man and lifelong learner. He founded Gainesville-based Foresight Construction Group in 2008 and as President/CEO has grown it into a multimillion dollar firm with international reach. Segarra believes in leading the organization through clarity of purpose and a set of well-defined core values that all team members share. He is passionate about building people, families and strengthening communities. His philanthropic efforts are focused around children and family services, education, humanitarian relief and ministry-related causes. Segarra has personally been recognized by Engineering News-Record as one of the Southeast’s Top Young Professionals for his contributions to the construction industry as well as to the local communities Foresight serves.

Innovation Starts with Culture-Building The greater Gainesville area is abuzz with growth, development and activity. From the expansion of major entertainment, restaurant and retail hubs, to the launch of technology start-ups, to the relocation of major biotechnology and life science firms to our area, it’s an exciting time. Innovation is at the very core of this growth. Area firms are innovating to solve problems. They are working to bring new, life-changing products to market. They are creating process efficiencies that reduce waste, lower costs and increase customer satisfaction. Local firms are even innovating the way we shop, eat, and are entertained.

He is a University of Florida graduate, avid Gator fan, and proud Gainesville resident for the last 20+ years.

One of my personal passions is to develop and lead a people-focused culture that in-turn promotes this type of innovation. I believe that a firm’s internal culture is the very cornerstone upon which innovation is achieved.

Foresight Construction Group, Inc. 3917 NW 97th Blvd. Gainesville, FL 32606 +1-352-335-6352 12

info@foresightcgi.com foresightcgi foresightconstructiongroup Foresight Construction Group foresightcgi.com


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Learning “I want to make sure that what we do and utilize in the classroom has long term value for all the students” It was my second to last semester at the University of Florida when I got kicked out of the University’s MBA program. I was enrolled in Macroeconomics, where I would see my professor transcribe extensive mathematical equations on the board indicating that we would utilize in executive positions in our future careers. After the 10th-11th time I raised my hand in class questioning if we would truly utilize these equations outside of the classroom, the professor failed me in the course which dropped my GPA below the required 3.0. The Dean at the time allowed me to leave the University’s MBA program to get a job, and, in return, I would be rewarded a second bachelor’s degree in business. I accepted. In my own course at UF, I ensure that my students are aware that at any point they can stop lecture and ask when something being taught would be applicable to the real-world.

Earning “You can either start at the bottom and work your way to the top, or you can start at the top and build the bottom” Several months out of college, I began selling the Kroy lettering machine. I remember writing a check that I couldn’t cash in order to get inventory, but I managed to sell the first ten machines I received within 48 hours. Within a matter of time, Audio Visual Innovations (AVI) expanded to include movie projectors, slide projectors, overhead projectors, and overhead equipment. As the company grew, I realized that I needed to reinvent myself, as well as the company. I transitioned from selling equipment to consumers, to selling a vision of success and opportunity to my employees. “I realized that if we could do a small service for a company and do a great job, it would become a lot easier for us to land a larger contract with them.” When sitting down with a potential client, I would ask them about their frustrations and listen closely. After hearing about some of their pain-points, I would ask them if they would give my company a chance to solve it for them. This was how we landed our first major client, as well as several other large clients. “If you’ve got a viable business and you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you better be solving somebody’s needs or problems or it’s not going to last very long”

Returning “I knew that if I helped other people be successful, I would be successful” Although I miss mentoring my employees and helping them become successful, I have now filled this void by driving to Gainesville—two hours each way, every 13

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week—to help young students find their way and be successful. I strive to make it a course like no other, offering optional dinners after class so students have the time to cultivate meaningful relationships with one another that endure post-graduation. My courses typically contain many lifelong friends that serve as guest speakers to students. They fly in from many parts of the country to share their experiences and advice to young entrepreneurs that want to start their own business one day. I will continue to inspire and impact the next generation of world-changers.

“I was hyper-ventilating, I couldn’t breathe… I was literally laying on the floor of my hotel room, gasping for air. It wasn’t a heart attack, it was a panic attack, cause all I could think about was ‘That’s it, it’s over. The company’s dead, I don’t have the money… I have to go back and fire all my employees and… it’s done.’”

This is an example of the type of content you can expect to hear on my new podcast, called the Art of Biz, co-hosted by Pablo Casilimas. I also bring in other world class entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds and ask them questions to share their stories, including their successes, failures and the lessons they’ve learned along their journeys.

I sat back, recalling one of the scariest moments of my 30-year career as an entrepreneur, when I had 3 days to get $100,000 or I’d be out of business. I then went on to explain how I navigated the situation and managed to make it out alive.

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WE’RE PROVIDING A PORTAL FOR OUR CLIENT STARTUPS TO ACCESS UF’S PLETHORA OF SERVICES AND EXPERTISE.” – MARK LONG, DIRECTOR OF INCUBATION SERVICES, THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

dollars, and networking with support businesses to promote startup company growth and success. The Hub is 106,000-square-foot space, midway between campus and downtown that has served a variety of companies, plus hosted programs and events, including our “3rd Thursdays @ The Hub,” a networking celebration on the third Thursday of each month that brings together entrepreneurs, clients, support groups, and area service organizations. As a mixed-use incubator (one of the largest in the Southeast United States), The Hub can host 40-60 companies at any given time, and I’m proud to say that it won the InBIA’s Global Mixed-Use Incubator of the Year in 2018. Sid Martin Biotech in Alachua is a full-service incubator, with greenhouses and laboratories for biomedical/biotechnology startups. The incubator twice earned the title Best Global Incubator of the Year by the International Business Innovation Association, in 2014 and again in 2017. Sid Martin has served more than 100 startup companies since it opened, and its companies have attracted more than $8.5 billion in capital investment and merger/acquisition dollars, most of that in the past 10 years. UF has been a leader in business incubation, and the UF Incubation Services is one of the largest incubation systems in the United States, providing outstanding advisement and mentoring through the Advisory Boards at both incubators. These advisors represent a broad cross-section of individuals with specific sector and general business experience. All the advisors volunteer their time to assist our startup clients in the growth of their companies. UF Innovate’s Incubation Services provides a portal for our client startups to access UF’s plethora of services and expertise, from the equipment labs to the research facilities to faculty experts. Of course, UF isn’t alone in its support of entrepreneurship in the Greater Gainesville area. The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce just released its “2025 Plan,” and entrepreneurship is a huge part of that. Efforts are underway to continue to build on the amazing foundation in the area for startup companies in information technology, biotechnology, and food sciences.

When people ask, “Why Gainesville?” I want to tell them the real question is “Why not Gainesville?” The city and surrounds has an amazing array of talent, an outstanding entrepreneurial support network, award-winning incubators, a Top 10 landgrant university, and tons of regional assets in the world of startups. I think of the Gainesville airport, currently undergoing expansion, and of the Gainesville Innovation District, whose development I have the privilege of directing alongside my colleague Jim O’Connell. This is where UF Innovate’s The Hub is located, but soon there will also be a food-truck park, a boutique hotel, condominium housing, student housing, parking garages, and other amenities. This is all to enhance the entrepreneurial atmosphere that The Hub first established when it opened its doors in 2011, following in the footsteps of its sister facility, Sid Martin Biotech, which opened in 1995.

UF Innovate’s Incubation Services is just one answer to the question, “Why Gainesville?” But again, I think the better question is, “Why not?”

UF Innovate +1-352-294-0885

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Main office: 747 SW Second Avenue Gainesville, FL 32601 Linkedin.com/school/uf-innovate @UFInnovate innovate.research.ufl.edu


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THIS MUST BE THE PLACE.

– MERRIE SHAW, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, SID MARTIN BIOTECH

Since it opened in 1995, UF Innovate’s Sid Martin Biotech companies have raised more than $8.6 billion in funding. More than 80% of that funding—a full $7 billion of that sum—has been raised in the past 10 years alone. To this I like to say: We grew up! We were one of the first incubators, certainly in the area, and we had to educate not only the entrepreneurs but also ourselves on the types of companies that would succeed, the need for seasoned CEOs, and how to obtain investments. With the successes of our companies and the fact that Sid Martin has won Best Global Incubator of the Year twice, I think we’ve succeeded. Now … to the next level. The Alachua community is really motivated to diversify the economy to provide greater opportunity to its residents, which means that Alachua hits well above its weight as a startup community. By continuing to make the right decisions to compound its streak of wins, The City of Alachua has developed a core competency in collaborating with industry. Currently, 46.1% of Alachua County’s biotech startups are located in the City of Alachua. The city’s mentality is what makes Alachua such a good home for Sid Martin Biotech’s 44,000-square-foot location in Progress Park. With the completion of the San Felasco Parkway, convenience of access to Progress Park will only increase. I’m also looking forward to the growth of San Felasco Tech City; the continued success and growth of local publicly traded companies such as Axogen, RTI Surgical, and ThermoFisher; and the graduate companies such as Lacerta Therapeutics, Applied Food Technologies, Encor, and MLM Biologics, that have decided to stay and grow locally. In addition to the San Felasco Parkways, more land is now available for development, and I hope we can recruit and secure an anchor tenant for the Progress Park area, which would enable this area to continue to expand and thrive. That’s my vision for Alachua and North Central Florida. But for a period of time, I felt like we—Gainesville and Alachua—were just running in place. That’s changed in the past four or five years; now there’s an energy, a collaboration of entities that want to make this area the area to live, work, play, and grow your company. It’s exciting. I have great faith that this will continue to be the place for bioscience entrepreneurs feeding, fueling, or healing the world to grow their company. To me, that is the next level, and we’re rising to it.

UF Innovate +1-386-462-0880

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WE’RE HARNESSING THE WEALTH OF EXPERTISE AND VAST EXPERIENCE IN THE COLLECTION OF ENTREPRENEURS WHO LIVE AND WORK IN GAINESVILLE.”

–JIM O’CONNELL, ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMERCIALIZATION, THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

And our two business incubators—Sid Martin Biotech in Alachua and The Hub in midtown Gainesville—are both places and programs that greatly enhance the likelihood of a company’s success. They provide high-quality space for companies, whether they license UF tech or not, and more than 60 companies grow within the nearly 150,000 total square feet of space the two incubators provide. UF Innovate is driving the entrepreneurial ecosystem in ways that benefit all of North Central Florida and beyond. In addition to what the UF Innovate ecosystem does as a whole, we’ve started the Innovation NaviGator program, which assists any individual who wants to start a business—no UF connection needed. The “Innovate Community Give & Take” is a sharing platform for entrepreneurs, intended to give us all a place to request help or advice as well as a place to offer it to others. Clearly, Gainesville has a wealth of expertise and vast experience in the collection of entrepreneurs who live and work here. We are also trying to harness that by enhancing the efforts of GEAR.

The University of Florida’s massive research enterprise is the catalyst for Gainesville’s innovation ecosystem. We are approaching $1 billion in total research, and UF Innovate manages the end products of that research—the patents, copyrights, licenses and new startup companies.

GEAR is the Gainesville Entrepreneurial Area Roundtable, which meets quarterly and includes leaders from various entrepreneurial support groups and organizations in North Central Florida, including representatives from Santa Fe College, the Cade Museum, SCORE, the Small Business Development Center, the City of Gainesville, Alachua County Economic Development, the Working Food Incubator, The UF Warrington School of Business, and StartupGNV. These UF Innovate assets, coupled with the research power of UF, the regional outreach of all the entrepreneurial support organizations, the terrific quality of life in the area, and the vibrant startup companies in Gainesville make this an outstanding place to start—and grow—a business.

As part of UF Research, UF Innovate helps integrate new inventions from faculty into the local, state, and regional economies. It is the umbrella organization that includes Business Development (corporate engagement), Ventures, Tech Licensing, and two business incubators, The Hub and Sid Martin Biotech. In turn, those entities take care of all parts of the commercialization continuum: Business Development (corporate engagement) acts as the front door for UF commercialization; it is industry’s concierge, which directs them to relevant university units and encourages a broad relationship across all parts of the UF. Ventures supports the development of “venture quality” technology deals, interfacing primarily with early-stage investors and helping build strong startups. It includes a statewide Entrepreneur-In-Residence program and a Venture Fund, investing in UF’s faculty startups.

UF Innovate +1-352-294-0885

Tech Licensing is a US Top 5 technology transfer office. UF makes more than 320 deals a year, consistently running “in the black” as a true profit center for the State of Florida. 17

Main office: 747 SW Second Avenue Gainesville, FL 32601 Linkedin.com/school/uf-innovate @UFInnovate innovate.research.ufl.edu


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REINVENTING THE SUNSHINE STATE.”

– PHOEBE CADE MILES, CO-FOUNDER, THE CADE MUSEUM FOR CREATIVITY AND INVENTION

In 2004, I helped my father, Dr. James Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade, to establish the Cade Museum. Sixteen years later, it is inspiring the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. The Gatorade story had a huge influence on my life. I saw first-hand how inventions can transform communities and also witnessed the incredible development of Florida’s innovation economy. Gatorade’s invention in 1965 helped change Florida from an exporter of produce to an exporter of ideas. Royalties from Gatorade helped jump-start the University of Florida’s new medical school into a research power-house, and continue to provide seed funds for innovative medical research. After a change in US patent law in 1980, partly inspired by Gatorade, Florida’s universities quickly landed among the top patent-producers in the nation. As a child, I had a proverbial seat at the table and I observed my father’s inventive mindset. I learned that problems don’t overwhelm an inventor, but instead spark curiosity. I want everybody to experience the wonder of life with an inventor, and so every weekend, the Museum features a living inventor, entrepreneur, or visionary to explain their ideas and inventions to whomever walks through the door. Many of these inventors are drawn from the Cade Prize for Innovation. Now in its 11th year, the Prize’s past winners are drawn from Florida’s vibrant research and innovation economy.

At the Cade, we also want to connect people that don’t normally work together. Just as my dad thought of Gatorade while having coffee with a security guard at Shands Hospital, we want to connect Gainesville’s world-class talent with the underserved and overlooked in Alachua County. Just as one drink brought enormous benefits to people suffering from dehydration, just one creative individual in a community can make a huge difference to the world. We’re here to make that happen. 811 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601 +1-352-371-8001 info@cademuseum.org thecademuseum Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention cademuseum.org

Having witnessed how a single invention transformed an entire industry, I want the Cade Museum to transform the entire community. We are made to create, and the Cade Museum is here to help provide the basic mental tools, knowledge, and inspiration to think creatively.

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He faces many challenges as the new president of Santa Fe College. Limited funding from the state legislature, full and part-time faculty pushing for higher salaries and more benefits, and a moral imperative to increase enrollment and workforce development opportunities in a service district that is tainted with unethical levels of poverty and disparity. But Paul Broadie walked onto the job eyes—and heart—wide open.          Dr. Paul  Broadie  II became president of SF in February of 2020, after his celebrated predecessor, Dr. Jackson N. Sasser, transitioned from 19 years of leadership at the college into a well-earned retirement. Out of a national pool of candidates,  Broadie  caught the attention of SF’s Board of Trustees with his experience serving as president of two colleges (simultaneously) and his track record of strengthening fundraising  efforts  as he balanced historically challenged budgets. His passion lies in partnering with local employers to create employment pipelines for students.     “What I’m most excited about is the new Blount Campus expansion in downtown  Gainesville,”  Broadie  says, referring to  a  new  86,311 square foot facility planned for the corner of University and NW 6th Street that will house many of the college’s  business and IT  programs,  as well as business incubation spaces. “It is here that the challenges faced by our citizens in East Gainesville will be addressed and turned into opportunities.”    Creating opportunities for underserved populations became a mandate for the college under Sasser’s leadership after the “Friendship 7,” a group consisting of leaders from  Alachua  County, the city of Gainesville, University of Florida, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, UF Health,  Alachua  County Public Schools  and  Santa Fe College, commissioned a disparity study for the area. It showed  alarming and disparate poverty levels in the county, as well as substantial barriers that blacks and Hispanics face  in the areas of education, health, law enforcement, housing and transportation.  Broadie  intends to address these issues with innovative programs that will train people so they can enter the careers of tomorrow.    As its president,  Broadie  ran  a  successful  advanced manufacturing  certificate and job placement  program  at  Housatonic Community College in  Connecticut. He  plans to  integrate his  experience  in this growing field with  an  additional  expansion on  the Northwest Campus in Gainesville.  In 2015, his efforts in  advanced manufacturing education  earned him a place in the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame. 

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ANYTHING THAT IS CLOSED CAN BE OPEN AGAIN. THAT’S WHY WE’RE NOT GOING TO CLOSE EQUITY GAPS—WE’RE GOING TO SHATTER THEM.”  – DR. PAUL BROADIE II, PRESIDENT, SANTA FE COLLEGE

3000 NW 83rd Street Gainesville, FL 32606 +1-352-395-5000 19

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THE COMPANY LIFE CYCLE OFFERS MANY POTENTIAL COMMUNITY INTERACTIONS. THIS CYCLE INCLUDES THE STARTUP, GROWTH, PUBLIC OFFERINGS, AND MERGER AND ACQUISITION PHASES. – JAMIE GROOMS, CEO, THE FLORIDA INSTITUTE FOR THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF PUBLIC RESEARCH Mr. Grooms is a co-founder of Seaventure Clam Co and has served as Executive Chairman since October 2017. He is committed to making shellfish aquaculture crucial to the food industry and has partnered with Florida Atlantic University/ Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, Florida. Mr. Grooms has served as Chairman of the Board of Regenx Science Inc since December 2016. Mr. Grooms is a co-founder of NeXtGen Biologics Inc, a medical device company specializing in manufacturing extracellular matrix, and has served as Chairman of the Board since January 2015. Mr. Grooms is a co-founder of AxoGen Corporation and has served in the following positions: Director from September 2011 to August 2019, Chairman of the Board from September 2011 to May 2018, Chief Executive Officer from 2002 to May 2010, and Chairman of the Board from inception to September 2011. Mr. Grooms served as CEO for the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research from 2012 to 2016. The Institute’s mission is to identify support and fund companies that commit to commercialize technologies that were supported by public research funds. Mr. Grooms served as the founding Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Regeneration Technologies, Inc from 1998 to present. He coinvented the primary value-added technologies that formed the basis of RTIX’s product line. In addition to his executive management experience, he has extensive experience in many areas of medtech business operations, including Research & Development and laboratory and manufacturing operations. He has developed state-of-the-art medical processing and manufacturing systems, robotics, and other technological innovations, and has held various leadership positions with Virginia Tissue Bank (now LifeNet Health), Osteotech, Inc., and CryoLife, Inc. In addition, Mr. Grooms has served as Director of the University of Florida Tissue Bank from 1992 to 1995. Mr. Grooms holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Old Dominion University. These companies for the most part have been part of the Gainesville/ Alachua community and have employed many of the Gainesville residents. Over the years, I have considered the following questions: Did we as a community get the most out of this relationship? What does the community want from these companies? How does the community interact with these companies to achieve these goals? These questions put to the community could generate some interesting opportunities. The company life cycle offers many potential community interactions. This cycle includes the startup, growth, public offerings, and merger and acquisition phases. Each phase offers unique community opportunities.

will benefit the most. So, the lead for this fund should be The University of Florida. Followed the by the Chamber, real-estate developers, service providers, and an open door to Gainesville residents. This fund should not be limited to local investments. It needs to thrive and network nationally to bring investment dollars here for local company growth and bring back returns from good investments outside of Gainesville. University of Florida Innovation Academy 280 Fletcher Drive, Suite 321 PO Box 117545 Gainesville, FL 32611 +1-352-294-1785

My primary conclusion is Gainesville needs a professionally managed investment fund. This fund needs to be meaningful to allow Gainesville to be recognized as a player in the investment community. That number begins at $25 million. The key factor is that it needs to be professionally managed. The funding of this fund should come from the stakeholders that 20

UFInnovationAcademy ufinnovationacademy UF_IA UFInnovationAcademy innovationacademy.ufl.edu


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ONE OF THE KEYS TO SUCCESS IS TO BE SO GOOD THEY CAN’T IGNORE YOU.” — JOHN SPENCE, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, KARMA GROUP

For nearly 30 years I’ve traveled all over the world to help businesses and people be more successful. I’ve worked for top tech companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Motorola, and Apple and have traveled to Palo Alto, Seattle, New York, Boston, Amsterdam, London, Singapore and many other cities that are recognized as the most innovative and entrepreneurial on the globe. Yet every time I come home to Gainesville, I am amazed and excited about the wonderful things happening right here in our community. We are a small town with big ideas. In working as an executive coach and advisor to numerous companies in our area the thing that strikes me is the quality of the talent we can attract. Of course, we have an amazing group of extremely bright students coming out of Santa Fe College and the University of Florida, but I find it fascinating to see people from all over the world traveling to Gainesville to do cutting-edge research and create successful businesses. In my line of work, I could live anywhere on the globe that I want to, so people often ask me why I picked Gainesville. The answer is straightforward, here you have access to all the perks of a major city; arts, sports, world-class healthcare, and a strong educational system while still being affordable and maintaining a small-town feel. I am especially pleased that one has the ability to make a significant positive impact on our community as an individual. In a big city your efforts can be lost, but in Gainesville you can make a real difference in the lives of others and actually see the results of your effort. I love New Zealand, Vancouver is beautiful, the people in Kuala Lumpur are incredibly warm and welcoming but there is no place else on earth with the magical mix of such a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem supported by a closeknit community which is why I am so proud to call Gainesville my home.

+1-352-339-0142 info@johnspence.com AwesomelySimple John Spence johnspencespeaker johnspenceleadership johnspence.com 21


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HOW DO WE INCLUDE AND SUPPORT MORE WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN THE INNOVATION LIFECYCLE?” – JANE MUIR, FOUNDER & CEO, MUIR & ASSOCIATES CONSULTING

of tenured faculty are women. And, these women faculty are not participating proportionally in patenting their research discoveries. Only 12% of US patent holders in 2016 were women. Osage University Partners conducted research on 6,000 university-based startups and found that, in 2016, only 11% of these had a female scientific founder or co-founder. That same year, $69 billion of venture funding was invested in startups, yet only 3% went to women-led businesses while minority-founded companies got less than 1% of investment dollars. This is despite the fact that when women are involved in managing startups, the overall rate of return for the investors was significantly greater. Even though some progress has been made, at the current pace, gender parity in innovation will not be achieved in our lifetime. And, while this is certainly an ethical dilemma, it is also an economic dilemma. The lack of opportunities for women in innovation translates into lower earnings directly contributing to the gender wage gap and earnings inequality. If women were paid the same as men across Florida, it would mean $28 billion in additional income and spending power for women and their families. Parity nationally could contribute $12 trillion to US GDP. The benefits of diversity are proven—new ideas, better results, and greater profitability. According to a Dow Jones study, a company’s likelihood for success increases with the more female executives it has at the VP and Director levels. MIT economists reported that shifting away from an all-male or all-female office to a more gender-diverse group increases revenue by up to 41%. According to OECD, more gender-diverse companies performed 53% better than less diverse companies. A report by Blue Wolf Capital notes that inclusive cultures result in a 31% increase in responsiveness to customers’ needs, which allows organizations to better support and attract new markets and consumer segments.

During my 25-year career in technology commercialization at the University of Florida, the UF innovation ecosystem made significant advances in bringing together the core elements needed to start and grow companies emanating from university research discoveries. We paired entrepreneurs with opportunities and introduced them to investors. We built incubators with office and lab space. These initiatives attracted an array of service providers who set up offices in Gainesville supporting and complementing the existing resources. We grew licensing of patented research discoveries to startups tenfold from just a couple per year to a record year of 20. More than 200 companies were created that garnered hundreds of millions of dollars of venture funding and generated thousands of high-wage jobs, a true testament to the innovation capacity of our community.

Recognizing the lack of diversity and inclusion in our innovation ecosystem is the first step toward changing the paradigm. We must then embrace the challenge and ensure that we leverage ALL the talent that resides in our amazing community which will not only help us fortify our reputation as an innovation hub but as a diverse and inclusive innovation community. I welcome the opportunity to dialogue with anyone interested in embracing this challenge and taking deliberate action to make change happen.

The progress we achieved in just two decades convinces me that our community can tackle our current innovation challenge: How do we include and support more women and minorities in the innovation lifecycle? Of the 200 companies that spun out of the university, only a handful were founded by women and minorities.

You can choose to do something, or you can choose to do nothing. Either way you are helping shape the future.”

Even though women are completing undergraduate and graduate degrees at a greater rate than men, and make up almost half of the workforce, women are woefully underrepresented in all stages of the innovation lifecycle. Women are entering academia at approximately the same rate as men, however, only 38%

Muir & Associates Consulting Janemmuir@gmail.com +1-352-316-0839 Jane M. Muir RTTP

—Unknown

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GAINESVILLE OFFERS A COMBO OF INNOVATION, TALENT, ENERGY AND QUALITY OF LIFE THAT SIMPLY CAN’T BE MATCHED.” – DAN RUA, CEO, ADMIRAL

Dan Rua, Runnin’ Down a Dream in Hogtown I remember my first day in Gainesville, move-in day at Hume Hall in the summer of 1986. I was an “Apple kid”, dreaming about Apple’s startup story, moving in with my Apple II+ and I was lucky enough to land the same dorm as my seventh grade friend, high school best friend, and eventual wife, Melissa.  After some crazy years at UF -including toga, a serial killer lockdown, an APPLE IIGS upgrade, and too many hours in the Union game room and computer lab -- we graduated in 1991 and got married at the Herlong Mansion in Micanopy.  We left Gainesville behind us to learn from a tech leader (IBM) in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. Little did we know at the time how our dreams would come full circle to Gainesville, for us and so many families like us, hooked on technology and startups. While in RTP I was impressed with its growing entrepreneurial community, driven by Fred Hutchison and so many others via CED, UNC and more.  In fact, startups are what drew me to UNC Chapel Hill for graduate school, focused on entrepreneurship and venture capital. Upon graduation I connected with Silicon Valley venture capital fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and founder Tim Draper who had the crazy idea that entrepreneurs can come from anywhere; so the money should go to where the entrepreneurs are.  We moved to Northern Virginia — another entrepreneurial hotbed — to help Tim launch Draper Atlantic, investing in high-growth technology companies up and down the East Coast from Florida to New York. We backed and built over 30 companies, with me leading investments across the Southeast — a greenfield for national quality venture capital. After getting lucky with some big exits, I had the opportunity to continue my dream, moving closer to Florida family, raising our young family and starting the first institutional VC fund based in Gainesville, Inflexion Partners.

young daughters in Gainesville’s supportive and innovative culture -- plus some back-to-back Gator championships -- has been a blessing. In the process, we’ve met amazing innovators and made lifelong friends. That said, my family’s story is just one of many “runnin’ down a dream” in Hogtown. Now more than ever, you don’t have to live in San Francisco, LA, Boston or New York to chase your startup dreams... Gainesville offers a combo of innovation, talent, energy and quality of life that simply can’t be matched.

Fast forward a couple decades and the move back to Gainesville was the best decision Melissa and I ever made. Backing Florida companies like Grooveshark (music streaming pioneer), IZEA (influencer marketing pioneer) and CallMiner (speech analytics pioneer) has been a thrill, and current company Admiral (getadmiral.com) has the potential to be the most exciting of all.  Raising two

Admiral GetAdmiral getadmiral.com 23


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FOSTERING INNOVATION THROUGH DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION.” – CHRISTINE E. SCHMIDT, J. CRAYTON PRUITT FAMILY CHAIR & DEPARTMENT CHAIR OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING One of the most important jobs of any leader is to create a vision for what they want to accomplish and to implement a realistic plan to realize that vision. It was fundamentally important to me in executing my vision to identify what voices were not being heard and to actively create an environment in which everyone can meaningfully participate in the conversation. When I started in my role as Chair of the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at UF in 2013, there were 16 faculty members, two females and 14 males. My hire by the Dean was strategic. My research expertise in tissue engineering and my role in helping establish the biomedical engineering department at the University of Texas were an excellent fit to diversify the college from the top down.  Since 2013, we have hired twelve female faculty and strengthened our minority hires to ensure our faculty reflect the student population we serve. Research has shown that diverse teams make better business decisions and approach problem solving from various angles. This enhances innovation and creativity. Our students need to see diverse role models and there is no doubt that diversity is the key to the future of biomedical engineering to advance healthcare technologies for everyone.

Christine E. Schmidt, Ph.D., Professor, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Chair & Department Chair, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering Research focus: Biomaterials for neural tissue regeneration and neural interfacing

Exciting changes are happening: our department has risen in U.S. News and World Report’s Public Graduate School rankings, climbing 20 spots since 2012, and our undergraduate and graduate diversity numbers have simultaneously increased (undergraduate: 34% URM and 58% women; graduate: 19% URM and 51% women).

These are exciting times both in the field and our department. I see more innovative and exciting research and technology development from BME than ever before. Combined with the growth our department has achieved over the past several years, we are genuinely broadening the impact of biomedical engineering activities locally, nationally and internationally. Diversity and inclusion are core to these successes.

As leaders, we must accelerate the pipeline of diverse talent for the future of our innovation ecosystem. I am passionate about educating the public and give presentations to schools, community centers and civic groups. I enjoy mentoring younger generations, particularly women and girls, not only through my role as Chair but also through outreach activities and national mentoring programs. I have mentored over 45 graduate students, 14 postdoctoral fellows and hundreds of undergraduate students in my 23 years in academia.

As thought leaders, I encourage you to: Make diversity and inclusion a regular part of the conversation Organize events focused on professional development, diversity, and mental health Restrict meetings to regular working hours to allow for family needs Create a diversity officer and empower them with a meaningful budget Put women and underrepresented minorities in visible positions that have an impact Recruit with the intent of recruiting a partner and family

It’s important for me to be a voice at the national level, too. I am currently past President of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), which represents the top 2% of biomedical researchers and is the nation’s authoritative voice and advocate for biomedical research. Key accomplishments during my time as President include dramatically increasing the diversity efforts and advocacy within AIMBE by forming a Diversity and Inclusion committee to represent additional aspects of diversity. A concerted effort by committees within AIMBE and dedicated AIMBE Fellows have resulted in 3X more nominations of minorities and a 10% increase in female nominees.

As leaders, we must create a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone is heard and respected. Let us raise a collective voice and inspire a positive impact on innovation in the workplace. 1275 Center Drive, Biomedical Sciences Building JG56, P.O. Box 116131 Gainesville, FL 32611-6131 +1-352-273-9222 24

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– DUNCAN KABINU Duncan Kabinu is a serial entrepreneur and CEO and co-founder of Gainesville Dev Academy, a coding school started in 2015. GDA continues to make a lasting impact in Gainesville technology circles with its comprehensive curriculum and experiential teaching methods. Its real-world dev skills and techniques prepare graduates for careers in web, mobile, and desktop application development. Graduates are also well positioned to start and operate their own entrepreneurial ventures—and many do so by leveraging Gainesville’s existing entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems. Duncan also helped co-found Starter Space, a business incubator based in Gainesville, Florida. He studied Computer Engineering at the University of Florida and spent 17 years working for the State of Florida developing and managing enterprise database applications designed to manage various state programs to protect and enhance Florida’s multibilliondollar agriculture industry. Duncan is passionate about entrepreneurship from a young age; he started his first business—a construction cleaning business—while still in college. His involvement in anything to do with entrepreneurship is extensive; Duncan was part of a patented EEG invention of a product for EncephaloDynamics, and he worked as a Project/Program Manager for IngagePatient (formerly known as RegisterPatient) in helping the company attain Meaningful Use Certification. Duncan has also served as CTO of Lucravalde, a Gainesville-area startup company, as well as Vice President of Technology for a software health company. Duncan serves on the board of Project YouthBuild, is Fractional CTO to SPECT by Leaderlync and has served on the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Council, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Human Capital Foundation, Institute for Work Innovation, Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN), and Editorial Board of Advantage Publishing, Inc, Chaired the Chamber of Commerce Strategic Planning 202025. He has helped organize and participate in events such as StartupWeekend, has served as a mentor at StartupQuest, and continues to mentor numerous entrepreneurs and innovators in the Gainesville area.” 25

Gainesville Dev Academy +1-352-658-3733 hello@gainesvilledevacademy.com gainesvilledevacademy.com


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BRINGING TOGETHER ACADEMIA, INDUSTRY AND THE START-UP COMMUNITY IS A RECIPE FOR MEANINGFUL ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR GAINESVILLE, THE STATE FLORIDA, AND THE WORLD.” – JEFF CITTY, ED.D., UF INNOVATION ACADEMY DIRECTOR

One of the strongest competitive qualities we possess as Americans is our ability to innovate and develop creative solutions to complex problems. The University of Florida’s (UF) Innovation Academy (IA) facilitates innovative student thinking, creativity, and the creation of student partnerships with start-up businesses and other entrepreneurs. The goal of the IA is to prepare students for the challenges of living and working in the 21st-century economy, in a future where the nation continues to hold its competitive advantages in science, education, art, medicine, and business solutions in a global marketplace. In 2012, we had not enrolled students in the program as we were putting the final touches on the curriculum and building the student experience. We have come a long way in our seven years: Enrolling over 1,967 students Producing between 50-70 prototypes annually Sending 15-20 students on study abroad trips every fall Enrolling 25+ students in the local internship program Graduating 564+ students with the exclusive Innovation minor IA has built a signature program for UF students interested in innovation. We are gaining a reputation with local start-ups, and small and large corporations for producing students who find solutions and generate new ideas.

Dr. Jeff Citty serves as the founding director for the Innovation Academy and has over eighteen years of experience in higher education in building programmatic solutions to help solve issues in higher education. Dr. Citty provides vision, leadership and strategic direction in the development and attainment of the Innovation Academy priorities. As the founding director of the program, he oversees all curricular and co-curricular aspects of the program as well as building the institutional infrastructure for the program. Dr. Citty teaches the Creativity-in-Context and Senior Project courses and continues research in retention and advising.

Bringing together academia, industry and the start-up community is a recipe for meaningful economic growth for Gainesville, the State Florida, and the world. Part of our vision continues to include preparing our students for the 21st-century economy and opening up the innovation ecosystem that exists here in Gainesville so students can leverage all the best resources to meet their challenge(s). We remain one of the most exciting initiatives at the University of Florida that continues to grow and it is critical we keep the momentum going. We continue to focus on providing excellent student learning and high impact experiences inside and outside of the classroom to produce the best innovators who tackle the tough challenges and produce results. We are always looking for forwardthinking students who want to explore innovation and take advantage of the entire Gainesville innovation ecosystem.

University of Florida Innovation Academy 280 Fletcher Drive, Suite 321 P.O.Box 117545 Gainesville, FL, 32611-7545 +1-352-294-1785 26

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AS GAINESVILLE CONTINUES TO EMBRACE INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY, WE MUST BE MINDFUL OF HOW IT WILL IMPACT OUR CULTURE. – VIRGINIA GRANT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GAINESVILLE BLACK PROFESSIONALS INNOVATE is a verb and it means to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. It is often thought of as it relates to technology, inventions, manufacturing, and business development. It is less often thought of as it relates to culture, social development, diversity, and inclusivity. So, I would like to take a moment and change the conversation. As Gainesville continues to embrace innovation and technology, we must be mindful of how it will impact our culture. As we invest in technology and economic development, we must invest in creating diverse and inclusive spaces. In order to be innovative and protect our culture, we must be willing to make changes by introducing new methods, ideas and sometimes products. We must be willing to do things differently. Gainesville is an extremely diverse city but does not always feel inclusive to those who need it the most. As a city there are a few things we can do to create a sense of belonging for all residents. BE INTENTIONAL. We must be intentional when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Being intentional means that we purposefully welcome others to the table. We go out of our way to extend an invitation to others. For example, an HR manager might consider placing job posting ads in nontraditional mediums in order to draw more applicants.

TALK ABOUT IT. We must be willing to have the difficult conversations. Be willing to ask others what would make them feel more welcome? And be willing to openly and honestly share thoughts, ideas and concerns. Gainesville is established and it’s time for us to make changes. We must introduce new methods and ideas. As a community, we must be culturally innovative, we must look for ways to create a city where everyone feels a sense of belonging. We must be intentional in our efforts, be honest about our current limitations, and be willing to step out of our comfort zone to meet others in their spaces. If we do, we will create a community that is inclusive, diverse, and innovative.

TAKE AN ASSESSMENT. We must be willing to take a true assessment of our professional and social spaces. Look around your workspace and see how many people are from different cultures, races, ethnic groups, religious beliefs, age groups and genders. EXPAND YOUR NETWORK. We must be willing to step out of our comfort zones and visit other groups in their spaces. Go to networking events hosted by different groups, attend cultural events or festivals, visit a different church.

Gainesville Black Professionals PO Box 140371 | Gainesville, FL 32614 +1-352-208-4894 | info@gbpinc.org gbpinc.org

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FOR ME, THE QUALITIES WHICH MAKE GAINESVILLE SO SPECIAL ARE ONLY PRESENT BECAUSE OF THE COMMUNITY AND ITS LEADERS. – CHAD PARIS, CEO OF PARISLEAF

I can vividly recall the moment I realized how special Gainesville is. I was in Mexico for my sister’s wedding and feeling homesick for a place I’d only called home for a short time. Beyond the confusion of feeling such a strong connection to a city I barely knew, I was also aware of how different Gainesville is from the place I had always considered to be my real home: the big city of Atlanta. With a lifetime of connections, memories, and family tied to Atlanta, why was I yearning for Gainesville? More specifically, what was making me yearn for Gainesville? As I stared across the vast horizon of the Pacific Ocean, determined to pinpoint exactly what was so special about this city, I kept coming back to the people. Every city has people, but not every city has community, and even fewer cities authentically reflect and defend the values and characteristics of its residents. For me, the qualities which make Gainesville so special are only present because of the community and its leaders. Like many who have grown into adulthood in Gainesville, I have struggled with our city at times. As with most other college towns, we experience issues with parking, traffic, infrastructure, and dissenting opinions regarding development. Gainesville is a notorious revolving door city, a trap even my wife, Ali, and I have almost fallen into over the last ten years. There are times when local politics are hairy, and I question if the cost of living is really that reasonable…but my mind always comes back to the unique people who make this city what it is. People who are kind, giving, and caring. People who are unique, intelligent, and innovative. People who are progressive, people who are conservative, people who are young, and people who are old, all living within a city which is also all of those things. There are many things that Gainesville doesn’t have, but Gainesville will always have people; the question is, what kind of people will make up our city as time goes on? How do we continue to attract the best people for Gainesville, to Gainesville? And how do we encourage them stay?

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Gainesville Innovation Enablers Ken and Linda McGurn have helped finance and mentor tech companies since the mid-’90s. They opened the Downtown Tech Center in 2003, Founders Pad in 2011, and Hacker Space in 2012 helping create hundreds of high-tech jobs and a thriving tech community. They were instrumental in the redevelopment of downtown Gainesville and were included as two of “50 People Who Made a Difference In North Central Florida Over the Last Century.”

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Energy. Their solar projects generate almost 2 million kWh of electricity. Both have been honored by the Chamber of Commerce for their volunteer work, including Linda for her work as co-chair of Innovation Gainesville which was dedicated to expanding high-tech industry in Gainesville. Linda is a past chair of the UF Foundation Board of Directors. She was cochair of UF Women, which worked to engage women in leadership and philanthropy and was named a Santa Fe College Woman of Distinction. Governor Lawton Childs recognized her as One of Florida’s Finest.

Both served on the University of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisory Board and the UF Business School Dean’s Advisory Board. Ken served as Entrepreneur in Residence, mentoring students and helping to create startup ideas. He and Linda are the first couple in the university’s history to be named Distinguished Alumni at the same time and are UF Foundation Life Time Volunteers. They were named Entrepreneurs of the Year.

She earned a BSBA in accounting and a JD from the University of Florida. Dr. McGurn has chaired many private and public boards including Gold Standard Multimedia, Integrated Medical Curriculum, Florida Museum of Natural History, UF Center for Real Estate Studies, multi-county WorkForce Board, City Redevelopment Agency, County Housing Finance Authority, State Home Builders’ PAC, and the Apartment Association as well as chairing committees for the Plan to End Homelessness. He has a BSBA in Management, a Masters in Real Estate and Urban Land Planning and a PhD in Real Estate, Finance and Economics. He is a Vietnam veteran and was a spy, paratrooper, Jungle Expert, and the youngest Captain in the military at age 22.

They have been recognized for their environmental work including being named Alachua County Conservation Stewards, receiving a number of energy awards from the National Home Builders, a Sustainable Florida Award by Governor Bush, and recognition by the National Alliance to Save

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I REALIZED I NEEDED TO AUDIT WHO I WAS SPENDING MY TIME WITH.” —COLLIN AUSTIN, FOUNDER, NEW SCOOTERS 4 LESS

Collin Austin founded New Scooters 4 Less at the age of 21, which has gone on to become one of the top scooter dealerships in the country. In the last two years he’s also founded Repaint The Wall, a digital media “un-agency,” and WHOA GNV, a podcast dedicated to build Gainesville.

WORDS OF WISDOM At this point in my life, I’m making a point of surrounding myself with people who are extremely positive and, ideally, further along in their journey than me. As businesspeople, we need to be in good company. A while ago, John Spence, a world-renowned business leader based in Gainesville, said something that really stuck with me: you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I started thinking: Who am I surrounding myself with? If you want to grow spiritually and as a husband and father and as a business leader, you need to be surrounding yourself with the type of person who will foster that growth. The influence of these people bleeds into you. I realized I needed to audit who I was spending my time with. In January 2019, I took a road trip that really cemented the importance of this for me. Two of my friends and I decided to lock ourselves away and dive deep into our businesses and family lives. We decided we would question each other and tell the hard truth because we knew others wouldn’t. We would hold each other accountable not only then but moving forward to ensure we always had our priorities in order.

collinaustin.tv collinaustin ns4lcollin realcollin collinaustin.com

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IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL YOU HAVE TO DO IT THE WAY EVERYBODY DOES IT AND DO IT A LOT BETTER -- OR YOU HAVE TO DO IT DIFFERENTLY.” – COACH STEVE SPURRIER

In his 12 years at Florida, the Gators appeared in the National Championship twice and won once, they won the SEC Championship 6 times, averaged more than 10 wins per season, appeared in a bowl game every eligible year, and coach Spurrier was named SEC coach of the year 5 times, to name a few. To this day, Coach Spurrier is the winningest coach in UF history and while at UF became the only coach in history to win the Heisman Trophy as a player and then later coach a Heisman Trophy winner. In his first year as the head football coach at South Carolina, Coach Spurrier went 7-5 and was named the SEC coach of the year. In 2010, Spurrier’s Gamecocks won the SEC Eastern Division Championship for the first time in the history of the school’s football program. Over the course of 11 seasons, he became the winningest coach in South Carolina football history. After resigning from South Carolina in 2015 coach Spurrier took some time off. In 2018 he accepted the head coaching position for the Orlando Apollos in the newly formed Alliance of American Football (AAF). It was another clean slate for coach Spurrier to do what he does best, create and innovate. Even though the 2019 season was cut short due to the financial collapse of the AAF, the Orlando Apollos had a 7-1 winning season and they were honorarily and unopposedly given the unofficial title of “Regular Season Champions” by Fanduel.com.

COACH SPURRIER: INNOVATION OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL OFFENSE In Coach Spurrier’s 41 years of coaching, he was always the one that chose to do it differently. On the matter, he is quoted as saying, “If you want to be successful you have to do it the way everybody does it and do it a lot better -- or you have to do it differently.”

In 2016, Coach Spurrier was given the role of ambassador to the University of Florida athletic program and the stadium was renamed Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium” in honor of his achievements as the head ball coach. He uses his new role to continue to inspire the athletic program and it’s coaches to innovate and win.

When Coach Spurrier accepted the head coach position at Duke University in 1987 the program was well known for many things and winning seasons was not one of them. In the course of 3 seasons, Coach Spurrier led his team to break school and conference records for scoring, passing yards, and total yards and in 1989 his team won the ACC title, which Duke had not accomplished since 1962.

The latest of Coach Spurrier’s endeavors is a new restaurant in Celebration Pointe named Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille. The first of it’s kind, it will highlight his entire sports career including his achievements as a player and coach. The restaurant will include menu items inspired by his most outstanding Gator coaching memories and the centerpiece of the restaurant will be his 1966 Heisman Trophy which he earned as the quarterback at UF during his college football playing days. Just like his college football career, this restaurant is destined to be the epicenter of Gator Nation.

In 1990 Coach Spurrier accepted the head football coach position at his alma mater, the University of Florida, and he made immediate changes. He sent shockwaves through all of college football as he introduced a new and innovative pass-oriented offense that would soon be nicknamed the “Fun ‘n’ Gun.” With the offensive style he developed, the Gators went on to have the best record in the SEC in his first year as head coach. In college football prior to 1990, football teams would throw because they couldn’t run or they needed to make up a deficit. Coach Spurrier’s new offensive style put up passing yards as a primary offensive that left his opponents in the SEC scrambling to adapt. His crowning achievement as head coach of the Florida Gators was the program’s first National Championship in 1996.

Make It Happen Consulting Freddie@Wehbemarketing.com

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TO GROW A COMPANY, THE NUMBER ONE THING YOU NEED IS TALENT.” – RICH BLASER, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-CEO, INFINITE ENERGY

And the cities and towns around us are part of that growth, building their own platforms for new businesses to flourish. I’ve lived here since I was 5 years old, and I’ve seen Gainesville evolve. When I was growing up, we didn’t have a mall or North Florida Regional hospital or a lot of the other landmarks we have here now, but Gainesville is set up to encourage advancement, and that’s exactly what’s happened. I’m amazed by all the new construction we have around us— not just offices or retail spaces, but parks and schools and homes. But despite that, Gainesville remains one of the most livable cities I’ve experienced. It’s a great place to raise a family, and a great place to live at every stage of life.  I have a 10-minute  commute  to work. And there are so many avenues here for culture and entertainment that I have access to the best of bigcity amenities. Plus, as a designated “Tree City,” Gainesville is a beautiful place. We live in this jewel, with rivers and prairies and world-famous springs. As other innovation-focused cities like Silicon Valley  get oversaturated, companies will need to look elsewhere, and I expect a lot of them will recognize the value of  putting down roots here. With no state income tax, a steady population growth and  a low cost of living, Florida is a natural choice. And Gainesville’s strong entrepreneurial bent means companies can take advantage of the networking, mentorship and resource sharing we enjoy here now.  Our community works. I’ve seen companies go from small, struggling start-ups to thriving multi-million-dollar companies, and I know that’s at least in part because of the network they can lean on here.  Like so many business owners here, I believe in paying it forward. I made mistakes along the way on my professional journey, and if I can help other entrepreneurs learn from my experiences and avoid those pitfalls, they can get to where they’re going a little faster. 

I can’t think of a better place to start a business than Gainesville. When my business partner and I started here more than 25 years ago, it was the location that drew us. Geographically we’re at the hub of a wheel--just two hours from Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa--so we had easy access to a large part of the state.   But that practicality aside, the reason we’ve stayed is the people. To grow a company, the number one thing you need is talent. And we have an incredible world-class talent pool here, with University of Florida and Santa Fe College. We’re lucky to be in a city so focused on education and research, and that translates directly into the caliber of candidate we get here. 

When I think of Gainesville, I think of what Sister Hazel native Drew Copeland sang: “Where I come from, it’s a little like heaven.”  I’m in love with this place.  

Rich Blaser is the co-founder and co-CEO of Infinite Energy and a partner with Mitch Glaeser in creating a sustainable live-work-play community called the San Felasco Tech City.

Plus, the support for our businesses here is tremendous. When we began our business, Gainesville didn’t have a lot of resources for entrepreneurship, but that’s all changed.    There’s a huge  start-up community here, and it’s just continuing to grow. 

InfiniteEnergy.com

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HERDING CATS & CODERS This is not a book for programmers. This book is for those who have to work with programmers and programming teams to get software built for their businesses.

Most people responsible for software projects are CEOs, marketing directors, project managers, and entrepreneurs. Not being on the same page as your development team leads to poor products, cost overruns, and project failures. Herding Cats and Coders will put you on the same page as the techies. This is the perfect book for a non-technical manager, whether working with an outside developer, a development team, or an agency. And to avoid boring you to death by turning this book into a dry, technical treatise, I’ve kept things lighthearted—and irreverent at times. If you are a non-technical user or manager who either works with developers or plans on engaging with software engineers to build something, Herding Cats and Coders will help you succeed. gregrossmunro gregdrm

Get it on Amazon today!

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DISRUPTING THE GLOBAL BOOK BUSINESS

SVEN BOERMEESTER, FOUNDER, CEO, INTERNATIONAL GROUP PUBLISHER, GLOBALVILLAGE.WORLD “With personal contact at an all time low in the world our book gifting business model is growing, we are a conference in a book. Books are the new business card that people do not throw away. They establish your expertise, credibility, and educate, which attracts clients and business opportunities.” How is the commercial book publishing world being disrupted? Some clients joke with us that we are bringing back a dying art form as books are cool again. The business model however has changed completely, gone are the days of pay to play by selling advertorials or advertising. A great book on an ecosystem or industry needs to be authentic and all encompassing of all the major players sharing their story, not just whoever paid to be in there. To finance that we moved to a crowd funded book buying model where the market and the participants buy the books in bulk to use as gifts to clients, visitors, investors and employees. You also need to add technology to the printed book by embedding augmented reality videos into its pages, we do that by hiding QR codes behind the images that a mobile phone can read to activate a video. The books also need to be available online as ebooks, a blog and ultimately a forum where all the participants can communicate with each other.

How do you set up your business in new cities and countries? We look for skilled marketing professionals in each city that know their community well and form 50/50 partnerships with them where they collect the stories and we design and print book. We are a fast growing tribe of fun and energetic publishing entrepreneurs, partners and friends. We all share a passion for innovation, beautiful places and cultures that we want to embrace, share and showcase with the rest of the world. We are always looking for marketing entrepreneurs to join our team, please reach out to me on LinkedIn or info@globalvillage.world.

Sven Boermeester is a global publishing entrepreneur with a career that spans over 20 years with stops in more than 100 countries. He was born in Antwerp, Belgium and grew up in South Africa. After completing his business studies in Cape Town, he opened his first media company and started publishing the trade and industry directories for South Africa followed by the launch of the Best of the World publishing series in Dubai. Fast forward 20 years and 183 ‘Best of’ editions across 60 countries, Sven now lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and young son. He is working on disrupting the publishing business by mapping out the Innovation ecosystems of every major city, in the U.S. and around the world, through his latest Innovation books and augmented reality video series.

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FUTURE CITIES & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT “Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~ HELEN KELLER

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — MARGARET MEAD

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Igniting The Creative Spark Dr. Cade, a professor of renal (kidney) medicine at the University of Florida, is perhaps best known as the lead inventor of Gatorade, a global beverage that is indispensable in hospitals and sports arenas alike. Dr. Cade was a man of many parts—scientist, inventor, musician, and philanthropist—whose life was a testament to his belief that each of us can make the world a better place.

The mission of the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is to transform communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. Cade Museum exhibits, classes, and programs are designed to engage visitors of all ages in the purposeful creativity that stimulates innovation.

A Future Inspired by the Past

Driven by curiosity and a commitment to the greater good, Dr. Cade was a lifelong inventor and inveterate tinkerer. In addition to leading his team to the creation of Gatorade in 1965, he also invented the first shock-dissipating

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football helmet, developed a high-protein shake used by surgical patients, athletes, and cancer patients, and created a nutrition-based treatment for autism and schizophrenia.

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The Cade legacy endures, through ongoing research, and through the scholarships, endowments, and foundations that bear the name of this remarkable humanitarian and innovator. The Cade Museum Foundation was established in 2004 and is headed today by Phoebe Cade Miles (Dr. Cade’s youngest child) and Richard Miles. The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention opened its doors to the public in May 2018, and within the first 18 months welcomed more than 80,000 visitors.

Dr. Cade also helped blaze the trail in bridging high-level research with the innovation economy. For communities like Gainesville, this too is his lasting legacy of bringing important ideas to market to help elevate a community in countless ways.

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Form Follows Function

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the museum’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide spectacular views of newly restored Depot Park, now teeming with commercial and organic life.

The newly constructed Cade Museum building, measuring over 25,000 square feet, combines the inventor’s journey, applied creativity, and the entrepreneurial spirit that exemplifies the Cade legacy. The award-winning museum design drew inspiration from the Fibonacci sequence that is a fundamental geometry of nature, the logic of neural networks, and the interconnectedness of our universe.

The choice to make Gainesville’s historic Depot Park the Cade’s permanent home punctuates our belief in coming together to revitalize our community. Once the transportation hub for northern Florida, the Old Gainesville Depot was built before the American Civil War. When the train depot relocated in the 1940s, the abandoned rail yard became home to other industrial concerns, including a cement plant, a gas station, and a manufactured gas

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plant. By the end of the last century, it had become a blighted 32-acre tract of contaminated terrain.

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With vision, community spirit, and creative collaboration, this historic spot has since been transformed into a vibrant contemporary public outdoor space, a thriving ecosystem that welcomes residents, visitors, and businesses alike ‌ very much like the adjoining Cade Museum itself.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Building equity and vibrant neighborhoods

Gainesville is defining a new kind of city, a New American City. Our shared vision is to serve as a model for communities nationwide by applying novel solutions to critical issues, including access to quality housing, health care, transportation and safety. We do this through strategic collaboration and intentional design. In Gainesville, our sights are set on creating a brighter, more equitable future for all of our neighbors.

From new construction to historic preservation, Gainesville strives to create pathways for regular information sharing between community builders and neighbors. The city has developed a partnership program that aims to help neighborhood residents connect and communicate with city planners and staff about concerns related to comprehensive planning, zoning and land use. We understand that individual neighborhoods have unique challenges and strengths and we want to ensure those dynamics are thoroughly considered. As we work to create a housing action plan for Gainesville, our strategy is to build strong neighborhoods while focusing on inclusive development, displacement prevention and community preservation.

OUR STORY So where do we begin? By leveraging partnerships, innovative policy development and technological advancements all aimed at fostering greater equity and improving residents’ experiences with government.

Creating space for ingenuity and partnership to thrive Gainesville is home to one of the nation’s leading public research institutions, the University of Florida, an outstanding state college, Santa Fe College and the renowned University of Florida Academic Health Center. Cross-disciplinary connections, like these, produce breakthrough

Our city is well suited to pursue such an ambitious vision, thanks to the many business leaders, advocates, educators and neighbors that are committed to working together for the greater good of Gainesville.

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Goodbye Manatee Springs - Rich Denmark

Helix East - of Carl Henriksen, Jr.

Shaping a bright futures for all

ideas and continue to serve as a catalyst for civic innovation. Significant advances in the areas of roadway safety, waste cycles, community health and public transportation have resulted from our forward-thinking spirit and collaboration. Aligning with our community partners, Gainesville has become a living laboratory — bringing together great minds and various viewpoints to create a community where decisions are data-driven and reflect the needs of our neighbors.

Becoming a New American City requires thinking beyond immediate impacts and making policy decisions that have lasting implications for future generations. The fact remains that while we strive to place our neighbors at the center of all we do, certain areas of our community continue to face persistent barriers and challenges. Bright futures start with solid foundations and equitable access to resources and enriching activities. By investing in afterschool enrichment programs, restorative justice protocols and fair-pay practices, the city is working to eliminate the underlying social issues that keep vulnerable residents in the perpetual clutches of poverty. Our goal is to ensure that our youngest neighbors have access to the structure, support, security and stability they need to thrive.

Cultivating job diversity and economic vitality We are helping to foster a community that is inclusive and resilient by putting people at the center of our services, strategies and investments. Gainesville continues to rank among the top 100 places to live in the United States — recognized for its thriving economy, recreational spaces and educational opportunities. Small business entrepreneurs can find support in our community through the Opportunity Loan Program, designed to help visionaries close the gap between dreams and opportunities. An online business portal, virtual inspections and digital permitting are just a few examples of city services that are revolutionizing business development— reducing start-up times, creating jobs and strengthening our economy.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Infinite Energy is a multistate energy provider and one of the largest privately held companies in Florida. With a focus on customer service, the company has a 4.9/5-star rating on Google. It has also been recognized several times among the best workplaces in Florida and in the nation.

Unburdened by experience with the old processes, the pair thrived, and it wasn’t long before they decided to go into business on their own. But as they tried to find a credit backer for the new business, they met with rejection after rejection. Each time, they used the feedback to improve their business plan.

OUR STORY

In 1994, after two years of rejections, they got a backer and founded Infinite Energy. They began operations in an office above Gainesville’s Main Street and hadn’t even unpacked yet when they got their first sale—they had to write the order on the side of a cardboard box.

In 1992, Rich Blaser and Darin Cook were two young energy buyers working for their local utility. Energy choice had just come to Florida’s wholesale natural gas market, transforming the industry and creating an entirely new set of rules.

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From there, the company became profitable within the first three months of operations and has continued to grow ever since.

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However, of the slew of providers that entered the market with them, many soon went out of business because they didn’t have the operational ability to support taking on so many new customers. Some didn’t even have a billing system in place.

New Markets For a while, Infinite Energy operated as a wholesale provider, serving utilities and large industrial customers in Florida. But as more markets began opening for energy choice, Darin and Rich set their sights on expansion.

Because Infinite Energy entered the market with full functionality, it was able to offer products competitors couldn’t yet match, such as long-term rate plans and group billing.

First, they began offering retail service in Florida, where some businesses are eligible to choose their own suppliers. Then, in 1998, Georgia opened its natural gas market for choice. Infinite Energy was among the providers serving the market on day one.

These provided a springboard to enter other retail markets: New Jersey for natural gas service, and then Texas, which marked the company’s first foray into electricity service. This year, Infinite Energy began serving the Ohio market as well.

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Customer Experience Darin and Rich’s philosophy is that investing in employees is the best way to invest in customers. Infinite Energy is a service company first and foremost, and its employees have designed a great customer experience. Energy can be a big part of monthly expenses for both homes and businesses, so Infinite Energy works to help customers get the best plan for their usage. They offer a wide array of rate plans for homes and create custom plans for every business.

Throughout, Infinite Energy has continued to provide wholesale natural gas. With an in-house trading department, the company transports natural gas on more than 28 pipelines and serves 22 states.

Company Culture

Because the company does almost everything in house, it has the flexibility to quickly update products and services to meet customers’ needs.

With a company of more than 300 employees, Darin and Rich have worked to cultivate a strong company culture with people who share the same values. And they wanted to create an environment where people would want to spend their workdays.

To give customers the best experience possible, the company focuses on easy energy management tools such as an online account, mobile app and emailed usage reports.

That starts with a fair living wage—since 2016, Infinite Energy has ensured a $15 per hour minimum wage for all full-time and part-time positions.

And the company offers additional resources to help save customers get even more from their Infinite Energy service. That includes renewable energy options, home protection plans and discounts on Google Nest products to save customers time and money.

And the company offers a number of perks for employees to use both in and outside of the office. That includes free financial planning courses, executive mentorships, paid volunteer time and a 24/7 on-site gym with an additional permanent pass for a plus one.

On the Horizon This year, Infinite Energy will tear down one of its office buildings in order to construct a new, larger building in its place.

And every year at the company holiday party, they hold a $100,000 giveaway to give 11 lucky employees prizes ranging from $2,500 to $50,000. Instead of giving every employee a small year-end bonus, Darin and Rich chose this system because it can make a substantial difference in someone’s life.

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incubator for energy-related start-ups. The pair says they’d love to see Gainesville become a center for energy, and they want to do their part to make that happen. Infinite Energy has also been supporting a constitutional amendment to bring choice to Florida’s electricity market. In addition to saving the state an estimated $5 billion every year, choice would allow renewable energy to flourish and give consumers more control over this essential service.

Infinite Energy +1-877-483-4684 InfiniteEnergy InfiniteEnergy.com

Today Darin and Rich continue to work together as co-CEOs, and they own 97 percent of the business, which gives them the freedom to be as innovative as ever. Both also mentor other local entrepreneurs in Gainesville’s burgeoning start-up scene. The pair recently celebrated 25 years in business together, and they can’t wait to see how Infinite Energy will continue to grow. 46


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Beyond LIVE WORK PLAY. A place where minds are open, creativity is unleashed, and startups and entrepreneurs thrive all within a sustainable community. bicycles, a community center, public art, basketball and tennis courts, and so much more.

With plans of building one of the most sustainable communities designed with entrepreneurs in mind, the San Felasco Tech City has begun to flourish as one of the top spots for companies to grow. You hear a lot about the live-work-play concept, but never before have there been so many connecting characteristics that combine a robust community of entrepreneur’s with so many of the enjoyable aspects of being close to nature. San Felasco Tech City will combine 270,000 square feet of tech space, drive-thru cafe, preschool for 75 children, a fire station, 252 homes, a community clubhouse, walking and jogging trails, over 500 on-campus

All of these amenities are adjacent to the 7,200-acre natural preserve, known throughout the world to cycling enthusiasts; as the San Felasco Hammock. The Hammock boasts over 30 miles of bike trails and many more miles for horseback riding. The Hammock is scheduled to get a new public access point next to the San Felasco Tech City once a pedestrian flyover is completed.

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Beyond Unparalleled Sustainable Living. The project was created by co-founders Mitch Glaser, CEO of Emory Group Companies, and Rich Blaser, CEO of Infinite Energy. Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Alachua county that motivated them both, the two sought to build a community of collaboration unlike any other, cultivating an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and environmental responsibility. Combined with five first-of-their-kind solar trees and the world’s largest array of bifacial solar, Tech City is sustainable like none other. In addition to office space, Tech City will offer a range of single-family, modern homes that will each come with a bike for all residents to promote healthy living. Residents will additionally have access to a pool and 30 miles of trails. Our onsite preschool for children 6 weeks to 5 years will provide professionals with young families quality educational care right where they work and live. Tech City is working to develop a multi-use, 200-foot tower, which would house the world’s tallest indoor rock-climbing facility, a restaurant, and a banquet center, with the model design pictured below. Other anticipated projects include a coffee shop, gym, bike shop, and brewery to elevate the “play” aspect of Tech City.

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Tech City’s First Resident: Fracture Co-founded in 2009 by CEO and University of Florida graduate, Abhi Lokesh, Fracture is a fast-growing, direct-to-consumer e-commerce company that allows customers to print digital photos directly onto glass. After outgrowing their facility in downtown Gainesville, Fracture now occupies a 30,000 square foot space in Tech City, giving them plenty of room to accommodate their growing team and business. For Lokesh, Tech City’s genuine commitment to innovative, sustainable business practices, as well as its collaborative community of entrepreneurship, make it the perfect place for Fracture to continue to grow into the future.

Beyond

Focusing On Entrepreneurship Our community celebrates the importance of protecting the environment and uses this core value throughout all stages of development. In addition to the solar trees, buildings are lined with solar panels to help fuel the community. Our other sustainable initiatives include composting and recycling facilities, a community garden, and more. Surrounded by the San Felasco Hammock Preserve, our commitment to the environmental assets offered in Alachua is embedded in our community and our culture. For more information on the San Felasco Tech City, feel free to contact Mitch Glaeser at 352.538.0072 or visit our website at SanFelascoTechCity.com

San Felasco Tech City 13900 Tech City Circle Alachua, FL 32615 United States San-Felasco-Tech-City.Business.site

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BUILDING, CONSTRUCTION & MANUFACTURING

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“What is now proved was once only imagined.” — WILLIAM BLAKE

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Improving the Lives of Others Through a Culture of Service

ELEVATOR PITCH Foresight Construction Group, Inc. is a fullservice firm providing design, construction and consulting services for government, institutional, healthcare and commercial clients throughout the Southeastern United States and Caribbean. Based in Gainesville with offices in Tampa and Jacksonville, we build new buildings and renovate facilities that require the highest standards for operation, including airport, military, medical and research facilities. Some of our repeat clients include the University of Florida, UF Health, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa International Airport, NASA, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Navy and Air Force.

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OUR STORY When Juan Segarra first launched Foresight in 2008 at the age of 29, he envisioned a different type of construction firm than the status quo. He found most construction firms to be operationsfocused; operations people leading operations people to meet specific project goals. Segarra’s approach was to instead focus on purpose-driven leadership with the goal of creating a culture of service that would ultimately impact and improve the lives of others – clients, employees, subcontractors, and other partner firms. Individual project goals and operational efficiencies would be accomplished while also focusing on the quality of experience for all involved. The level of service provided along the way was just as important as the final product.

and guide the team, Foresight continues to earn repeat business with its clients and attract top talent. Foresight has won multiple awards and recognitions, including Florida Trend’s Best Companies to Work for in Florida (2019) and Business of the Year by the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce (2017).

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A Culture of Innovators As a next-generation construction firm, Foresight has been quick to adopt emerging technologies to better perform the planning, design, management, scheduling and cost estimating functions of a construction project. Further, Foresight has invested in leadership and professional development platforms that deliver educational content to our team members in a fresh and convenient manner. However, the true impetus of innovation within the business is a culture that inspires people to be creative and solve problems. As Segarra puts it, “We focus on building the best people so that they can build the best buildings.” Creating an authentic culture where people can thrive, grow and make a long-term commitment creates space for innovation to occur. Foresight is very clear on “why” we are in business; “how” 55


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we will operate; and “who” our clients are. This clarity allows our team to be laser-focused on developing and tailoring processes around specific challenges that our set of clients have. Within this framework, our team can craft a targeted approach to executing on client needs instead of a one-sizefits-all plan.

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The Building: The Arch of Life, the Hub of Renewal

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all remember that we come away from each new experience … a different person? We are changed by each experience just as each person we react with is changed by us; that each new encounter frames the arch through which we see our world and therefore shapes what we will do and become.” —Dr. James Robert Cade

The vision and passion of Dr. James Robert Cade, the namesake of The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, continue to guide the museum’s mission and breathe new life into historic Depot Park and downtown Gainesville.

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The Sum of its Parts The team that brought the Cade Museum to fruition seemed philosophically and creatively made to order, headed by Board President/CEO Phoebe Cade Miles and co-founder and Board VP Richard Miles. A nationwide search was conducted to find the firm that could represent creativity in a building structure, which could build upon the Cade vision. I am part of all that I have met; yet all experience is an arch where through gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades forever when I move.” —Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson GWWO’s award-winning design merges two important Cade themes: the interconnectedness of all things, and the Fibonacci sequence. Evident in the elegant spiral of the nautilus shell that inspired the soaring heights of the museum’s main hall, the Fibonacci sequence and arc form the framework of this museum of creativity and invention. The Fibonacci also extends beyond the museum walls through Florida’s innovation corridor, key cities of innovation, and then embarks on a path that touches upon many underserved areas of the world. This too seems prophetic given the Cade’s passion for outreach and mission to transform communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. The building itself is organized around the main rotunda where all experiences converge, drawing visitors in from Main Street with views into and through the museum. An oculus to the sky, symbolic of Tennyson’s arch, opens the space to the sky, while a prominent link to a generous outdoor plaza connects with the verdant natural beauty of newly revitalized Depot Park.

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The Cade Museum has received numerous awards in Recognition of Design Excellence.

AIA Baltimore Honorable Mention (Unbuilt), Design Award

City Beautification Board Outstanding Institutional Award

Engineering News-Record Southeast Best Small Projects Award (Under $10M)

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The team was made complete with the selection of Gainesville builders Oelrich Construction, who swiftly executed the ambitious design with precision and professionalism. Construction was planned around building phases that would allow for ongoing fundraising and partial space utilization. Ground was broken in 2016, and the museum opened its doors to the public in May 2018. From that moment until today, The Cade Museum continues to distinguish itself as the vibrant hub at the center of a city that is continually reinventing itself.

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The Cade Museum design was conceived as a metaphor for the human brain. As experience fosters creativity, and creativity leads to invention, neurons in the brain grow and make new connections—in new and different ways— with every new experience.” —GWWO Architects Or, in the words of Dr. James Robert Cade: “Each new encounter frames the arch through which we see our world and … shapes what we will do and become.”

Bound for Glory The Depot Part Redevelopment project is the centerpiece of the Downtown Gainesville Redevelopment Plan, which includes design and sustainability guidelines, economic development initiatives, and affordable housing additions.

The Cade Museum is a shining example of a true collaboration, where an entire community came together for a single purpose. Without generous support and funding from the state, Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, Gatorade, the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, the Cade family, plus other corporations, private foundations and thousands of individual supporters, construction of the Cade Museum would not have been possible.

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce designated the Cade Museum as key in attracting tech industry and light manufacturing to the city center. Recent rehabilitation efforts by organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency have coordinated community planning with public investment in new affordable housing stock, stormwater capture and treatment, and ongoing green space improvements.

811 South Main Street Gainesville, FL 32601 +1-352-371-8001 info@cademuseum.org thecademuseum cademuseum Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention cademuseum.org

Community stakeholders such as the Community Reinvestment Area continue to support the success of Depot Park and the visionary museum at its center by making significant investments to surrounding neighborhoods including South Main Street. Some recently completed improvements include increased parking and enhanced pedestrian paths, bike lanes, tree planting, and greenspace expansion. 60


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ON TIME. ON BUDGET.

Employee break room in the 800 Second at Innovation Square Building

title insurance, our team of experts have the combined accomplishment of over 7-million square feet of construction and development projects throughout the Southeast.

ELEVATOR PITCH Concept Companies is a full-service real estate development and construction company bringing your projects to the next level with ease and consistency. Specializing in build-to-suit development, we provide everything from site selection and due diligence, to turn-key design and construction services. Our services are fully customizable to compliment your team, ensuring your project is finished on time and on budget.

In 2015, Concept Companies expanded its development and construction services into the biotech arena with Foundation Park, helping to implement the University of Florida’s vision for a regionally integral life sciences business park for companies ready to graduate from the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator and occupy custom lab and office space. To further cater to companies built on the technical prowess of the University of Florida, Concept Companies recently unveiled a state-ofthe-art, Class-A, office, retail, and laboratory space called 800 Second at Innovation Square. Located in the heart of Gainesville’s Innovation Square, 800 Second aligns with the goals of the City of Gainesville and the University of Florida to create a livable, walkable, adaptable, and sustainable urban research district that gives Gainesville a competitive edge in attracting and retaining the best minds and companies in research. With even more biotech projects on the horizon, including a new location for Lacerta Therapeutics in Alachua’s Copeland Park, Concept Companies is proud to invest in Gainesville and surrounding areas as it continues to grow as a leader in innovation.

OUR STORY The first division of Concept Companies was founded in 2004 by CEO Brian Crawford as Concept Construction. What began as a single-family residential construction company is now a multidisciplinary firm focused on commercial construction and development. Now comprised of six independent divisions, Concept Companies’ portfolio of brands demonstrates our range of expertise, while each brand shares our total commitment to excellence in serving our clients. Providing services from pre-design and architecture, to site development, engineering and 61


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Groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of Lacerta Therapeutics in Copeland Park

Brian Crawford, CEO of Concept Companies

Concept Companies +1-352-333-3233 3324 West University Avenue PMB #151, Gainesville, FL 32607 ConceptCompanies concept-companies conceptcompanies.net

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HEALTHCARE & HEALTH TECH

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“The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life. The ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician.” — WILLIAM JAMES MAYO

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UF Health is home to the state’s No. 1 research hospital and unique in its diverse constellation of health colleges, research centers and institutes, hospitals, faculty practices, and patient care programs. Academic health centers make discoveries that lead to breakthroughs in patient care, and our patients are at the heart of everything we do. 65


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Each day, more than 33,000 employees of the University of Florida, UF Health Shands, and UF Health Jacksonville set out to make life better for people in Florida, the Southeast and beyond. Their shared vision and commitment to excellence informs everything they do, from advancing medical research to easing the suffering of all of our patients, including our loved ones who have more than two legs.’’ - David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health

UF Health is an integral part of the University of Florida, ranked No. 8 among the nation’s public universities by U.S. News & World Report.

impact the centers: The Emerging Pathogens Institute, The Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute, the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the UF Diabetes Institute, the UF Genetics Institute, the UF Health Cancer Center, the UF Institute on Aging, and the UF Institute for Child Health Policy.

In Gainesville, UF Health encompasses the colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine. Leading-edge research focusing on key areas that 66


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UF Health attracts skilled health professionals from across the country. The dynamic university environment encourages business and community growth and development and offers innumerable career opportunities. UF Health is poised to expand as a preferred destination for health care, education and training, and scientific research in the health sciences. We invest in our colleges, research institutes, and hospitals while enhancing UF’s reputation as a preeminent research university.  Our success is predicated on a multidisciplinary approach, which leads to major advances in health care across a wide range of fields. UF Health is at the forefront of institutions that can advance discoveries along the full continuum of translational science—from laboratories to clinics to public health and policy arenas. A key player in Florida’s overall economy, UF Health contributes more than $4.6 billion through direct and indirect expenditures, according to the most recent economic impact study conducted by the University of Florida. The clinical enterprise’s direct employment and indirect spending account for 33,000 jobs. UF Health also contributes to UF’s ongoing recognition as a leading research institution. With more than $410 million in National Institutes of Health awards and other grant funding to support ongoing research, UF Health physicians and faculty are training the next generation of scientists and advancing new discoveries to impact health care locally, nationally and around the world. 

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ELEVATOR PITCH The brain is an incredibly complex organ best studied from multiple angles. At the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida MBI, teams of neuroscientists from across campus unite to form one of the nation’s most comprehensive and diverse neuroscience and neuromedical research programs.

The MBI vigorously promotes education and outreach activities through training enhancement opportunities, presentations by visiting preeminent scientists and new communications platforms that greatly increase the visibility of members’ research. Through these efforts, the MBI aims to help broaden the understanding of many neurological and psychiatric disorders and change them from untreatable to treatable, incurable to curable and inevitable to preventable.

OUR STORY University of Florida faculty members from a wide array of departments, centers and programs collaborate on multidisciplinary teams under the umbrella of the McKnight Brain Institute to better understand how the brain works and how various diseases alter brain function.

“I have never approached another scientist at the McKnight Brain Institute who wasn’t open to collaboration,” said MBI Executive Director Todd Golde, MD, PhD. “It’s that kind of spirit and a willingness to think outside the box that make the MBI a wonderful place to work and strive to make the discoveries that will really help people one day.”

Each year, more than 50 graduate and several hundred undergraduate students, dozens of medical residents, numerous postdoctoral fellows and hundreds of staff scientists pursue these efforts.

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Research Areas of Focus at the MBI Addiction

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Cognitive Aging

Addiction is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Multidisciplinary experts at the MBI are investigating the mechanisms behind this devastating disorder to find novel ways to treat it at the molecular level, via behavioral neuroscience and through human laboratory studies and epidemiological approaches.

Our researchers work to speed the progress in treating cognitive deficits associated with the normal aging process, specifically the progressive decline in memory function that affects virtually everyone who reaches advanced age.

Mental Health, Neurobehavioral Sciences and Psychiatry

Brain Cancer

Our researchers work to understand the causes of neuropsychiatric illness and to improve the lives of those suffering from these brain disorders.

Each year, more than 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. Our researchers seek to increase survival rates and develop curative treatments.

Pain and Sensory Physiology

Sensory system disorders—including trigeminal neuralgia, migraine, and the inability to smell—significantly impact health and quality of life. Our researchers are focused on discovering ways to reduce or block neuropathic pain and to help those who have lost, or never had, the sense of smell and/or taste.

Breathing Research and Therapeutics

With most forms of neural injury or disease, people suffer from inadequate breathing, swallowing difficulties, and the inability to prevent aspiration. Our researchers are developing new therapies to enhance breathing and swallowing ability for those with neurological disorders.

Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury

Chronic Neurological Diseases

Concussions can upend lives, and more severe traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can devastate them. Our researchers seek new therapies to restore function and improve quality of life for those suffering from these injuries.

Millions of Americans battle neurodegenerative diseases—such as Parkinson’s, ALS, and Alzheimer’s—and our researchers seek new approaches to develop the next generation of therapies to combat them.

McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida 1149 Newell Drive | Gainesville, FL 32610 +1-352-273-8500 UFMBI mbi.ufl.edu

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ELEVATOR PITCH The Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health is home to scientists and clinicians discovering breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of neurological and neurodegenerative disorders that affect millions of people across the globe.

OUR STORY In addition to 28 exam rooms and seven therapy rooms, including three clinical-trials rooms and a telemedicine room, the Fixel Institute incorporates indoor and outdoor rehabilitation, spaces to meditate, a clinical trials center and five laboratory spaces for researchers.

In July 2019, the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health opened a new state-of-the-art clinical care and research building, which houses the UF Health Neuromedicine—Williston Road practice. This marked UF Health’s latest step in the pursuit of providing the nation’s most comprehensive and advanced care for dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders.

“We sometimes forget that it’s not just the medicines and therapies, it’s patients and families who need to heal, and we need to have the right team members to help them live happy and meaningful lives despite the presence of neurological disease,” said Okun.

The $9 million world-class facility—which features some of the foremost experts in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, dystonia, Lewy body dementia, ALS, and concussions—was made possible by the generous support of many donors, including the Lauren and Lee Fixel Family Foundation and Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure.

Since opening, the Fixel Institute has further expanded its team of renowned neuroscientists with the recruitment of four prominent investigators from leading research institutions: Matthew Farrer, PhD, from the University of British Columbia; Malú G. Tansey, PhD, from Emory University School of Medicine; Matthew LaVoie, PhD, from Harvard Medical School; and Stefan Prokop, MD, from the University of Pennsylvania.

The institute expands upon the interdisciplinary service and science hub model started by Fixel Institute Executive Director Michael S. Okun, MD, and Fixel Institute Co-director Kelly D. Foote, MD. Under the groundbreaking hub model, a care team including neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and swallowing specialists, nutritionists, psychiatrists, and social workers all work together under one roof to foster collaboration.

“When you get a lot of smart people in the same room trying to solve similar problems, really good things happen,” said Foote. “And we will make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people suffering from these complex neurological disorders.” 71


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Centers of Excellence at the Fixel Institute

Tyler’s Hope Center for Comprehensive Dystonia Care Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence Research Center of Excellence Cure PSP Center of Care Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence Tourette Association of America Southeast Regional Center of Excellence

Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health 3009 Williston Road | Gainesville, FL, 32608 +1-352-294-5400 fixel.UFHealth.org

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ELEVATOR PITCH The work done by the entities under UF Innovate has transformed the entrepreneurial landscape and culture of Gainesville and Alachua County. The incubators are recognized as major catalysts in helping propel the university city toward becoming one of the top energized tech communities in the Southeast.

UF Innovate supports an innovation ecosystem at the University of Florida that moves research discoveries from the laboratory to the market, fostering a resilient economy and making the world a better place. Based at one of the nation’s leading research institutions, UF Innovate comprises four organizations: Tech Licensing, Ventures, and two business incubators, The Hub and Sid Martin Biotech.

These are a few of the companies birthed out of the university and incubated at one of its incubators:

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NanoPhotonica: This company provides innovative nano-materials and fabrication techniques that enable electronic displays to have highresolution, pure, vivid colors and high efficiency at significantly reduced manufacturing cost using Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diodes (QLEDs).

Tech Licensing has earned its reputation as a leader in commercializing discoveries that cure diseases, create efficiencies, improve quality of life, and create jobs. The Milken Institute ranked UF third in the nation for its technology transfer prowess.

Banyan Biomarkers: With the support from the US Department of Defense and researcher partners all over the world, Banyan Biomarkers makes a blood test to rule out the need for a computed tomography (CT) scan in adults who have a suspected head injury.

The Hub and Sid Martin Biotech both nurture startups with the resources and expertise they need to thrive, thereby creating jobs and economic prosperity. Companies that get their start in an incubator increase their chance of survival by more than 80%, compared to companies that don’t.

AGTC: This company develops genetic therapies to treat patients with inherited eye conditions, such as blindness.

UF Innovate | The Hub, which is also home to Tech Licensing and Ventures, is located in the Gainesville Innovation District, midway between the university campus and downtown Gainesville. UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech is located in nearby Alachua.

AxoGen: AxoGen is a biomedical company developing and commercializing technologies for peripheral nerve regeneration and repair.

The International Business Innovation Association has twice named Sid Martin Biotech the best global incubator in the world. In 2019, the InBIA named The Hub the best mixed-use entrepreneurship center in the world.

Shadow Health: Shadow Health offers healthcare simulation software that allows students to practice on virtual patients, providing conversationbased learning opportunities with a cast of virtual patients.

Ventures, the newest branch of UF Innovate, will source new venture investments, prepare in-depth financial and data analyses for potential investments, work closely with angel groups and other investment funds, and develop entrepreneurs.

Sharklet: Sharklet is a sharkskin-inspired surface texture that inhibits bacterial growth. Its products are used in the healthcare industry to prevent infection without the use of chemicals or antibiotics. UF Innovate +1-352-294-0885 747 SW Second Avenue | Gainesville, FL 32601 uf-innovate UFInnovate

Organized under UF’s Office of Research umbrella, this quartet forms a comprehensive commercialization system that brings together five critical elements: facilities, capital management, talent, intellectual property, and technology-transfer expertise.

innovate.research.ufl.edu

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ELEVATOR PITCH Antibiotic Adjuvant, Inc., dba SmartSteward™  (the Company) is part of a new wave of technology companies that improve patient outcomes by transforming the way healthcare data is recorded, analyzed, shared, and reported. The Company is dedicated to improving clinical outcomes by reducing the misuse of antibiotics and providing real-time analytics of infection events. SmartSteward™, the Company’s software platform, combines informatics with appropriate and precise communication to create a coordinated, continuous improvement culture that includes physicians, nurses, and administrators.

OUR STORY

The SmartSteward™ software and protocol was developed over 24 months working side-by-side with doctors and nurses.  By automating most of the infection control and antibiotic stewardship processes, SmartSteward™  improves patient health and eases the workflow burden routinely associated with healthcare institutions.   The Company is incorporating machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the latest medical knowledge into the platform to deepen the automated processes which prescribe antibiotics and review dispensing records, as well as predict readmissions. SmartSteward™ gives administrators, doctors, nurses, and patient-safety advocates the ability to monitor and continuously improve the core care of their patients. The unique infection control and antibiotic stewardship reporting and feedback system is displayed in a simple dashboard that is updated in real time and includes clear quality improvement action items. The system has five vital modules that facilitate patientcentered proactive infection control and antibiotic stewardship programs. SmartSteward’s™ real-time analytics and custom authoritative knowledge base helps doctors and nurses  improve patient health  and provides a comprehensive foundation for establishing antibiotic 75


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stewardship and infection control programs. In addition to enhancing patient health, the system delivers meaningful benefits to the healthcare team— administrators, doctors, nurses, and infection control and prevention officers. The SmartSteward™ Prescriber Engine is a critical component of the Company’s cloud-based software platform. It delivers, in real time to the prescribing physician, AI-powered prescription recommendations based on patient medical data and local environmental information. SmartSteward™ coordinates antibiotic prescribing among providers, controlling resistance and minimizing complications. SmartSteward™-enabled facilities achieve superior financial results while experiencing improved patient health and a continually evolving facility treatment culture. The SmartSteward™ platform simplifies and standardizes infection control, antibiotic stewardship, and regulatory compliance. The Company will initially target Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), and later expand into outpatient clinics and hospital environments. The Company has spent two years developing the product and has a passionate team and expert advisors in place.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Phlex is a tech company focused on bringing innovation to the sport of swimming. Founded by four elite swimmers, the passion and insight into the sport is the driving force behind the business. Phlex’ ultimate mission is to highlight the benefits of swimming and improve swimmers’ awareness and engagement worldwide.

The story starts with founders Luke Torres (CEO), Ryan Rosenbaum (CMO), Marcin Cieslak (CPO) and Harrison Gibson (COO). Although from a range of different backgrounds, they were all avid swimmers who went on to become teammates at the University of Florida. Considering the amount of time spent training in the pool, they were amazed by the lack of tracking available to swimmers. For example, at that time, the only way to check your heart rate was by placing your fingers around the neck and counting each beat over six seconds (as wrist-based devices are inaccurate in water), to then derive the popular beats per minute metric.

OUR STORY Like many other startups, Phlex originated from the realization of a problem people were complaining about: Swimming lacked effective tracking and engagement. There was nothing out there built specifically for swimmers and most importantly, no tool that provided meaningful feedback in an unobtrusive way.

Although originally thinking of the problem from a competitive swimmer’s point of view, the team quickly realized this was a much more widespread issue, extending all the way to fitness swimmers. “With the ongoing 77


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boom of the fitness and wellness industries, tracking and overall body awareness have become much more critical for measuring improvement and developing smart training plans. We’ve seen big players such as Orangetheory gyms adjust to the market demand by introducing custom heart rate trackers to not only increase engagement, but to also deliver a more detailed breakdown health-wise to their members. We intend to bring this same level of engagement to swimming”, adds Luke Torres. With a sizeable and growing market in mind, the founders began building the team necessary to bring their vision to life. The two core additions to the team were Eric Donnelly and Justin Correll, both UF grads who had proven their talents through high caliber jobs and PhD programs within the machine learning and hardware fields. Phlex attributes a lot of its early progress to the Hatchery program, led by Nola Miyasaki, for helping them build a strong foundation around the vision for the company. Medalist), Alia Atkinson (World Record Holder), Calvyn Justus (Olympian and YouTube Sensation), Jazz Carlin (2016 Olympic Double Silver Medalist), Dan Wallace (World Champion), amongst many more.

Phlex then set on a mission to bring a “designed by swimmers”, unobtrusive tracker to the market. That’s when the EDGE was born. Driven by machine learning technology, the EDGE is a goggle-worn tracker, which provides not only heart rate feedback, but all of the most meaningful metrics a swimmer could want. These extend from splits, stroke count, set detection and professionally written workouts, all available on the Phlex Swim app (iOS and Android).

Today, Phlex is leveraging their momentum to keep on further revolutionizing the space. For all of you swimmers, triathletes or fitness enthusiasts, buy your EDGE today at www.phlexswim.com!

As soon as Phlex launched the EDGE, ambassadors from all over the world joined the team to help spread the word of a new generation of swimming. Phlex has backing from athletes such as Elizabeth Beisel (USA 2016 Team Captain alongside Michael Phelps), Dara Torres (5-Time Olympian, BestSelling Author, Motivational Speaker), Cody Miller (2016 Olympic Gold

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ELEVATOR PITCH Located in the San Felasco Tech City, Research Blocks is a software company focused on creating transparency and credibility in various health-related industries. We are implementing a patent-pending duel ledger system to track and timestamp the manufacturing process and openly share that process with consumers via the first scannable certification mark. This will verify the quality of products in the market and give those products labeled with the Research Blocks’ mark a competitive advantage.

CBD, and food industries. These three industries are paramount to health and are filled with regulatory “gray areas” which leads consumers to view even the most quality manufacturers as untrustworthy. With Research Blocks’ software, manufacturers can openly share and verify the sources and purity of ingredients, certificates of analysis, quality checks, and related scientific facts. Consumers will have the option to scan a QR code embedded in a certification mark that shows the decrypted timestamped data about their purchased products. Furthermore, the blockchain application behind the software ensures that the data was documented correctly and has not been altered, meaning quality can be ensured. Instead of manufacturers saying they have quality products, Research Blocks makes them prove it.

OUR STORY It is well known that the FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplements before they go to market. This means dietary supplements are safe until proven to be unsafe and the general population is used as guinea pigs. Furthermore, it has been found that four out of five dietary supplements do not contain what was claimed on their label. Some have even been found to be tainted with germs, pesticides, and toxic heavy metals leading to over 23 thousand emergency department visits per year.

Not only will the utilization of blockchain technology ease the concerns of consumers but it will also allow manufacturers to easily stay FDA and GMP compliant. By taking advantage of this immutable ledger system, manufacturers will find it easy to document and audit the production process in real-time, clearing up regulatory concerns.

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At Research Blocks, we understand that the future of manufacturing is rooted in transparency and how important your health is to you and your family. This is why we are doing what we can to ensure quality and safe products enter the market.

OUR TEAM 1. 2. 3.

Chris Jones: BS Microbiology 2016, MS Management 2019, former Quality Assurance Specialist at ExacTech Justin Kim: MS Management 2019, UF MD Candidate 2021, former Technical Services Analyst at Epic Tim Ahart: 30+ years of software development experience, former Software Solutions Architect at IBM

AWARDS 1. 2.

Recipient of the Technology Impact Award from the UF Big Idea Competition Semifinalist in the 2019 Innovate for Good Challenge

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ELEVATOR PITCH Clear Care Products, Inc. is dedicated to creating and innovating new therapeutic products to dramatically improve the quality of care for patients suffering from chronic wounds. Our Clearikon Therapy™ treatment system offers new plant-based organic treatment alternatives to reduce pain and accelerate wound healing without the need of prescription drugs and antibiotics.

based organic crème, to soothe the wound and promote healing. Finally, a nonstick bandage is used to enclose the wound and protect it from the outside environment.

CASE STUDY

The Clear Care team is currently working closely with several veterinarians in Marion County to treat horses with chronic leg wounds. Each veterinarian is asked to follow our treatment plan and protocol. One of our first success stories from Ocala involved a horse with a severe hock wound. The wound was so chronic that the horse was not able to train the previous 12 months. The horse was previously treated with several traditional as well as new therapies including stem cells with no success. We introduced the horse’s veterinarian to the Clearikon Equine Therapy™ on June 10, 2019, and documented excellent progress after just two weeks of treatment. She decided to put the horse back in training 30 days later. The horse was completely healed within 8 weeks. The owner who had given up on complete wound healing was thrilled. With this kind of success, a second thoroughbred with a chronic leg wound was also treated with equal success.

For over four years, our team has been working diligently with veterinarians, nurses, and physicians to help create Clearikon Therapy, a system of products designed to work in synergy with the body to treat and accelerate wound healing for both people and animals.

OUR STORY Clearikon Equine Therapy™ uses a proprietary three-step treatment plan to reduce the healing time for chronic wounds. First, a veterinarian sprays ClearSpray™ solution, a proprietary technology, onto the wound area. Next, the veterinarian covers the wound with ClearGel™, our proprietary plant81


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KEY PERSONNEL Karl R. Zawoy, CEO

Elaine T. Buice, President

Karl has thirty years of experience in business development and product commercialization for Fortune 100 and early stage startup companies. He developed and launched products for multiple medical device companies including CD Medical, Johnson & Johnson, Novoste, and Biofield. He currently serves as the Director of the Santa Fe College Innovative Product Development Center in Gainesville, Florida. Karl holds a MS degree in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University and a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida. He is an inventor on 13 patents and a Registered Technology Transfer Professional.

Elaine is a registered nurse and horse owner. She has been practicing wound care for 26 years. In 2002, she was awarded “Nurse of the Year” for District 11 in Georgia for Wound Care Innovations. She is a member of the Nursing Association of Georgia and holds a MS Degree of Esthetician, BSN, BS in Psychology, and is an inventor on 6 patents.

Dr. Stephen Larner, COO Dr. Stephen Larner, PhD, CPA, MMgmt, is the founder of BioRegency, Inc., a company dedicated to developing and validating biomarkers for liver injury and sepsis and continuing to research potential sepsis treatment. The company is also discovering and validating potential biomarkers for TBI. Stephen has a Master of Management from Northwestern University, a PhD in Neuroscience from University of Florida, is an inventor on 5 patent applications, and has over 20 years of business experience.

THE FUTURE

The Clear Care team has worked with veterinarians, physicians, and nurses to research and develop revolutionary new wound-care products based on principles of simplicity and ease of use. It turns out that animals and humans have many similarities when it comes to wounds and treatments. Horses and human diabetic patients suffer from leg wounds due to poor circulation. Both bruise and tear easily and can develop infections from a contaminated environment. In the future, Clear Care will offer Clearikon Therapy Products to treat chronic wounds in humans. Foot ulcers and pressure ulcers are very common in patients with diabetes. Lack of effective treatment can lead to chronic infection and gangrene, often resulting in toe, foot, or lowerextremity amputation. Clear Care will offer our combined therapy solution targeting chronic, difficult-to-heal wounds with a plant-based therapy system to reduce pain and accelerate healing without the need for prescription drugs and antibiotics.

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Axogen is revolutionizing the science of nerve repair.

ELEVATOR PITCH Axogen is the leading company focused specifically on the science, development, and commercialization of technologies for peripheral nerve regeneration and repair. We are passionate about helping to restore peripheral nerve function and quality of life to patients with physical damage or transection to peripheral nerves.

OUR STORY The nervous system is the main control center for your body. It makes your muscles move, helps you feel sensation and monitors your organs. Your nervous system runs on signals transmitted between the peripheral nerves of the peripheral nervous system and the brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system. Peripheral nerves are thin threads of axons grouped together in bundles (fascicles) and wrapped in connective tissue (epineurium). These nerves provide the pathways for both motor and 83


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sensory signals throughout the body. Outside the body, heat, cold, touch, sound vibrations, and other sensory stimuli trigger electrical signals that travel through the neurons of the peripheral nervous system to the brain. The brain also sends electrical signals through the peripheral nerves to the muscles and organs to signal them to function.

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a peripheral nerve, can result in the loss of muscle or organ function, the loss of sensory feeling, or the initiation of pain. For example, a nerve that is cut in the arm as the result of trauma may make it impossible for a patient to feel or use the arm. Nerve damage to the face, lip, and mouth as the result of nerve injury during dental procedures may make it impossible for a patient to feel, smile, talk, or eat normally. When breast tissue is removed during a mastectomy, the nerves that provide feeling to the breast are severed and the nerve signals are disrupted, often resulting in numbness and loss of feeling in the breast area. Avance Nerve Graft can be used to help repair the severed nerves in all of these situations.

Damaged peripheral nerves can be surgically repaired, however the window of time for the best surgical outcome can be limited, so expertise from a nerve specialist should be sought quickly. There are many potential causes of nerve damage. Every day, people suffer traumatic injuries (auto accidents, power tool mishaps, household accidents, etc.) or undergo surgical procedures that inadvertently impact the function of their peripheral nerves. Axogen’s flagship product is Avance® Nerve Graft, a biologically active off-the-shelf processed human nerve allograft for bridging severed peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves have the ability to regenerate and heal themselves, and Avance Nerve Graft acts as a scaffold to guide the regenerating nerve fibers as they grow. Avance Nerve Graft can be used to help repair nerve damage anywhere in the body but is most often used to treat traumatic injuries in the hand and upper extremities.

At Axogen, our mission to improve patient outcomes has been at the core of our business since the Company’s founding, and today fuels our innovative technologies, physician education initiatives, clinical research, and patient awareness campaigns. Axogen is committed to continuing to innovate and explore surgical solutions for peripheral nerve repair and regeneration where we believe we can make a meaningful difference for millions of people who suffer the effects of peripheral nerve damage. 13631 Progress Blvd, Suite 400 Alachua, FL 32615 Axogen axogeninc.com

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Created in 2015, BLUEWAVE Technologies is a health-tech startup that started out of the University of Florida’s Innovation Hub.

ELEVATOR PITCH

OUR STORY

BLUEWAVE Technologies is a healthtech startup and the creator of the BLUEWAVE, a device that can deodorize items with its proprietary ozone infusion technology in as little as 5 minutes, without using any water, detergents, or added chemicals. The device is completely closed loop and filters out all of the excess ozone at the end of the cycle, making it safe to use anywhere. It has achieved kills against MRSA and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in independent lab tests – not only on hard  surfaces, but also through porous materials – and the company is currently working to complete their antibacterial efficacy claims.

BLUEWAVE Technologies is headquartered in New York City, and has its own manufacturing facility near Orlando. They are a portfolio company of Morgan Stanley and Jacksonville’s PS27 Ventures. They are currently in Orthotic & Prosthetic clinics and are now expanding to orthopedics, physical therapy and sports medicine. The BLUEWAVE device can quickly deodorize items in these markets that other solutions cannot treat, leaving both clinicians and patients ecstatic with the results. “Since using BLUEWAVE, we’ve been able to make even some of the more odorous patients items look and feel like they are brand new. Also by making things smell better patients are not self-conscious and they are more inclined to improve their compliance and not feel like they dislike the

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orthosis because it smells. Prosthetic patients always comment about the smell of liners or their prosthesis so it’s great to be able to freshen everything and make them feel better and less self-conscious,” said Brittany Stresing, Owner of Limbonics. BLUEWAVE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. +1-352-474-5489 info@mybluewave.com mybluewave.com

BLUEWAVE Technologies’ goal is to revolutionize the way clinicians can treat orthotic and prosthetic devices to increase the quality of the work environment and patient satisfaction.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Shaping a global profession with OPIE Software

Gainesville Prosthetics is a locally owned patient care clinic that cares for the needs of those in the community who have experienced limb loss or have limb differences. The company also provides custom orthotic devices for those with complex orthopedic impairments. The practice shares a common location and ownership with OPIE Software and was founded by Paul E. Prusakowski, Certified Prosthetist Orthotist (CPO) in 1999.

Gainesville Prosthetics is the clinical testing ground and inspiration for OPIE Software. The software company was founded in 1995 to serve the Orthotics & Prosthetics profession globally. OPIE is a practice management software that supports the comprehensive business needs of a modern O&P practice. The clinic tests new business and care delivery models, shaping future advances in the software by providing valuable real world guidance daily. New data informed decision making processes for better clinical and business outcomes are being developed at Gainesville Prosthetics, and then shared with thousands of other software users around the world. We truly are changing the world in Gainesville!

Caring for the Community Every person who comes to Gainesville Prosthetics has unique needs, personal goals, and physical challenges. The Gainesville Prosthetics team is committed to enhancing rehabilitative care in our community through education and partnership with each patient, physician, therapist or allied health care provider. Together, we transform the lives of our patients and the health of our community.

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recent graduates of orthotics & prosthetics training programs, mechanical and biomechanical engineers, business analysts, and individuals with an interest in future careers in prosthetics have all participated in the evolution of this practice. Gainesville Prosthetics 3870 NW 83rd St. Gainesville, FL 32606 +1-352-331-4221 info@gainesvilleprosthetics.com Gainesville Prosthetics gainesvilleprosthetics.com

Clinical Innovation Advances in prosthetics technologies constantly provide new opportunities for those who rely on them to live their daily lives. From high tech to low tech, we focus on what is right for each patient individually and create custom solutions for each and every person. 88


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OUR STORY Most people know NFRMC as Gainesville’s community hospital, but it is so much more. It is an advanced tertiary level medical center providing high quality care to patients in North Central Florida and beyond. In 2020, NFRMC will be a leading innovator in cardiovascular, oncology, and women’s and children’s services with a nationally recognized TAVR program, newly instituted HIPEC program, and the development of a Level III NICU as a result of the $90 million South Tower Expansion project. NFRMC’s cardiovascular program has continued to grow throughout the hospital’s history. With this growth comes the desire to continuously improve their care and to tap into innovations to ensure the care they provide is always the best option for the patient. One example of that advancement is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, also known as TAVR. Previously, open-heart surgery has been the standard-of-care for aortic valve replacement in low risk patients. The invasiveness of this

North Florida Regional Medical Center (NFRMC) is a 432-bed, full-service medical and surgical acute care center serving North Central Florida and offering comprehensive cardiovascular care, oncology, orthopedics, neurosciences, minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery, weight loss surgery and treatment, women’s health, and wound therapy, among other services. By the end of 2020, NFRMC will have 510 beds in the facility with the scheduled completion of the South Tower Expansion Project. This project will add three additional floors to the hospital in an effort to provide additional postpartum and Intensive Care Unit services, a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and expanded orthopedic services. NFRMC is a member of the Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services. HCA Healthcare is comprised of 184 hospitals and approximately 2,000 sites of care, including surgery centers, freestanding ERs, urgent care centers, and physician clinics in 21 states and the United Kingdom. 89


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even cure them of their cancer. Patients now do not have to leave the North Central Florida area to receive this life changing cancer treatment. Most people who have been raised in Gainesville or reside here, can say that they’ve had their children at NFRMC, or were born there. Each year, 3,300 babies are born at NFRMC, and some of these babies are in need of the most advanced care. As a result of the South Tower Expansion project, NFRMC is expanding their Level II NICU to a Level III NICU in 2020 so that they can care for the smallest and sickest of babies. They believe it is important to continue to elevate this care for all of their patients so that the Gainesville community doesn’t have to look elsewhere for their healthcare.   As their mission statement says, “Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.” In doing that, NFRMC will continue to look at ways they can provide innovative and compassionate care to the Gainesville community.

procedure has a hindrance on the patient’s recovery and comes with some risk of potential serious complications. However, for appropriately selected patients, TAVR is an even more minimally invasive procedure with a much quicker recovery process for the patient. TAVR patients become mobile hours after the procedure, and over 90% of patients are discharged home the following morning. The TAVR team at NFRMC is proud to have top quality metrics of exceptionally low mortality and morbidity, stroke, Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) rates and discharge time that place the program as one of the top in the country.   Cancer is a disease that affects our society on a global level, and the oncology team at NFRMC is dedicated to providing the most cutting-edge technology and procedures to their patients. An example of this is the HIPEC Procedure (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy). Dr. Francisco Macedo of North Florida Surgical Oncology performed NFRMC’s first HIPEC procedure in December 2019, which resulted in a potential cure for a stage 4 metastatic cancer patient. There are several complex and advanced abdominal cancers that can now be treated with the HIPEC procedure that were previously considered fatal. Because of the aggressiveness of these cancers and their inability to respond to traditional chemotherapy, they are considered a terminal disease. The HIPEC procedure now gives these patients another treatment option to consider that can improve and extend their life, or

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APPLYING 21ST CENTURY APPROACHES TO TREATING RARE INHERITED DISEASES

IDENTIFY ENDPOINTS THAT ARE MEANINGFUL TO PATIENTS AND REGULATORS

Patients, companies and regulatory agencies are in a race against the clock. Many serious diseases and medical conditions progressively worsen over time. This creates an unavoidable tension between the need for new therapies that can halt or potentially improve patients’ lives and the critical requirement to ensure the safety of every person who volunteers to help advance clinical research.

Our most advanced programs are designed to treat Inherited Retinal Diseases (IRDs). Because rare IRDs occur relatively infrequently, their biology, pathology and patterns of progression may not be as well characterized as common diseases such as diabetes and other prevalent health conditions. This often creates a challenge in identifying clinical trial endpoints that are both informative about the impact that an investigational therapy has on the underlying disease biology as well as how it can improve patients’ lives. Despite the challenges, we see an opportunity to lead the industry in incorporating new scientific information into our trials as they are identified and validated. Such advances may occur more slowly in rare IRDs given the limited number of patients from whom data can be collected, but we are poised to move rapidly once new discoveries have been made.

At AGTC, our work with patients who are living with rare inherited diseases has given us a deep appreciation for their sense of urgency to gain access to new therapies that have the potential to maintain or improve their lives. As a company committed to making such therapies a reality, patients need, and safety are critical factors that drive development of our clinical and regulatory strategies. We are acutely aware that our success depends on achieving balance between the two. Toward this end, our trials are designed with outcome measures that enable a straightforward regulatory pathway but also have clinical relevance to patients.

Scientific research is an essential component of advancing how new therapies for rare IRDs are developed and evaluated in clinical trials. At AGTC, we know the critical importance that speaking with rare IRD patients and their families and supporters plays in our development and clinical strategies. Through our conversations with an advocacy group representing 91


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patients we were able to identify light sensitivity as one of our most critical trial endpoints for one of our product candidates.

SMALL PATIENT POPULATIONS MAY LEAD TO BIG CLINICAL TRIAL CHALLENGES Despite learning more about a rare condition from past trial protocols and patient conversation, developing innovative gene therapies for people with rare IRDs can be challenging due to the small patient population. It’s critical to have a certain number of participants in each trial in order to ensure that safety and efficacy outcomes are properly evaluated. One way to gain insight into how the presentation, progression and symptomatology of a rare IRD can differ from patient to patient is through natural history studies. Such studies, which enroll patients with a particular disease and then follow them over time but do not include therapeutic intervention, can provide data that helps to identify or define specific disease stages and may shed light on how the timing or severity of a particular symptom reflects or relates to the underlying disease. AGTC is conducting several natural history studies in order to characterize patients’ condition, measure testing variability, and estimate rates of progression of clinical parameters. In addition, at AGTC, we encourage those who feel they may have or know someone who may have a rare IRD to undergo genetic testing and counseling to ensure correct diagnosis of the disorder. In addition to empowering patients to be informed about the genetic cause of their disease, genetic testing information could help inform the design of future clinical trials evaluating novel therapies with the potential to advance the care and outcomes of patients with rare IRDs.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE… Companies developing novel therapies for rare diseases, including rare IRDs, often compete with one another for intellectual property, clinical investigators and clinical trial participants. However, it is important for each of us committed to improving the lives of patients with these diseases to recognize the need for collaboration – among ourselves, academic researchers, clinicians, patients and regulators. Success in advancing new therapeutic approaches requires that all stakeholders in the medical research ecosystem work together to balance the urgency of now with the critical need for long-term safety and efficacy that can truly transform patients’ lives.

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“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” —ARTHUR C. CLARKE

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ANGELA RENICK – A`VIE EVENTS, OWNER Angela Renick has been planning events in Gainesville for 30 years. She began in 1996 with a part-time wedding coordination business, which has continued to expand over the years. She has planned many events along the way during these years. In 2005, she opened up A`vie Events and built it up, with a team of planners, assistants, coordinators, and interns to plan multiple types of events from weddings and birthdays to anniversaries. She also coordinates to help school events and local non-profit organizations raise awareness and funds for their organization.

Mission Our mission is to provide the highest level of event planning services while dramatically impacting and building relationships within the community and our clients one event at a time.

Our Vision To become North Florida’s most desired event planning company by creating the ultimate event experience for each client.

In 2009, she stepped back and took some time out of the industry to raise her growing family. Now that they are mainly out of the house, she is coming back into the industry. She has experience with planning events from 10 to 10,000 people. She has experience in doing events for Corporations, Grand Openings, Charities, Birthday parties, Weddings, Rehearsal dinners, Showers, Anniversaries, Vow renewals, Fall Festivals, Spring Flings, Vacation Bible School, Back to School Bash, Music Concerts, Ribbon Cuttings, Dinner Parties and so much more. This is only a tip of what she has planned and coordinated for.

Elite Event Planning and Coordination Services That’s what we feel every client deserves, and that’s why we offer nothing less! We specialize in perfecting the event planning and coordination process. We plan and coordinate events of all types and with many years of experience. Over the years, we have molded our process into the ultimate customer experience for our clients. Just like you, our planners pay attention to detail and work with an open mind. With us, the sky is the limit for your upcoming event! Whether you need help with decor and setup, a guiding hand to take you through the entire planning process, or someone to be there to make sure the day-of runs as smoothly as possible, we are the ones to call. We can plan events for thirty people to over one thousand people, and we love to take on new challenges and create amazing experiences.

A`vie Events as a whole does a mix of events as her passion will always be in overall planning. She has a strong desire currently to plan events for nonprofits and corporations to allow her to stretch herself and grow as a planner and business owner. Bringing some new freshness into what she has been doing for so long. Connecting with clients and vendors is a burning desire and passion for her as well. 95


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Experience speaks louder than words!

Our Team is a Family

Angela Renick has been planning events in Gainesville for 30 years. She knows the ins and outs of the event planning world, and she’s always thinking of those last-minute details! Her hand-picked team of planners will confidently take your event from start to finish!

The key to successful events is a strong team of people, dedicated and skilled enough to pull it off. At A`vie Events, each one of our staff members is unique and brings something special to the table. Meet the team behind your next celebration! Every member of our team joined the A`vie Events 96


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family because of a shared passion for event planning! Whether big or small, our team can plan any type of event. We handle weddings, corporate, non-profit, and social events with skill and drive. We strive to be creative and bring to life our client’s vision, allowing our diverse backgrounds to serve us as we move through the planning process.

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you through the booking process and coordinate with all your vendors throughout the planning process if you need it! We make sure your whole team is ready to go on the day-of.

Budget-friendly Linen and Decor Rentals

Unparalleled Vendor Assistance

First, ask us about our inventory of beautiful decor items! Our catalog has so many options to meet your needs! After that, check out our wide array of standard and specialty linens. There are so many colors and fabrics for you to choose from, and we even offer napkins and chair covers. If you don’t see the color you love, we will even go out and get it for you. (Psst… our clients get a discount too!) These are only some of the ways we provide elite event planning and coordination services!

Here at A’vie Events, our vendor contact list grows every day! We love talking to our clients about what they truly want, so we can match them with the perfect vendors. Don’t spend valuable time sifting through websites trying to find the right people to email and call. Let us point you in the right direction! Once you find the right fit, our team will guide

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Ways to Learn More From our website’s Gallery to our Instagram and Facebook pages, we love posting pictures of our events! Our Facebook features videos of our team working hard and executing beautiful wedding decor. On top of that, we love sharing insights and advice about the world of event planning on our Blog! With weekly updates on topics ranging from “Getting Engaged” to “Wedding Day Drama,” we love offering our brides the inside scoop. Not just for weddings, either! We dive into suggestions for “Holiday Party Planning” and “Adding Experiences to Your Event” for our Non-Profit, Corporate and Social Events.

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Developing leaders for generations to come. Tommie Bost, age 11, runs 50k for PACE & raises $20,000 over two years.

AMP is a boutique marketing agency. We started bringing leadership events to our community because we realized a good marketing campaign was only part of a successful organization.

ELEVATOR PITCH How would your organization be different if every employee was fueled with passion for your mission? Do you have a meaningful and clearly defined vision and mission that your employees know and buy into? Does your company have the right culture to succeed in today’s business climate?

Leadership is a key factor so in 2011, we decided to host a live leadership simulcast of world-renowned speakers hosted in over 600 locations around the world called Chick-fil-A Leadercast.

With every leadership event or private training Advantage Media Promotions (AMP) creates or hosts, we believe the answers to these questions will help you and your organization with greater success and longevity. We have a people-first mentality and we believe when you invest in yourself and your employees personally and professionally, you set your business up for favorable results.

We treated the event as if it was our own live event and partnered with local business leaders to create a memorable local experience in addition to hearing the speakers including live MCs, sponsors, activities, entertainment, and networking. We started with 140 leaders and quickly grew to be in the top 5 host sites out of 600 host sites globally. After nine years of hosting, we decided it was time to transition to creating our own live leadership event designed specifically to help communities around the world starting with Gainesville. We want to raise the leadership IQ in our city because we believe training generations of leaders will be the beginning of transforming communities. Within two years, our plan is to grow our leadership event to the Exactech Arena.

OUR STORY When you develop leaders for generations to come, it will transform our communities. Our events are designed to help your employees become the best version of themselves. In the words of Tony Dungy, “If we lose sight of people, we lose sight of the very purpose of leadership.”

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We’ve been doing this together a long time.

Team Building can be fun!

The Gainesville Chamber of Commerce has been a valued sponsor since the beginning.

differently even though your vision remains the same. Our vision remains to transform communities through developing generational leaders, but our vehicle changed to a live leadership event due to the needs our local organizations communicated to us.

Congressman Ted Yoho joins us for breakfast.

Our hope is to create a leadership event that everyone wants to come back to and bring a friend because they are inspired to action and equipped for their personal and professional journey. Leadership training is a continuing process, so for each event we plan to bring new speakers and ideas to build upon what was learned from the previous year.

We have taken what we learned from hosting a simulcast and have created a model that will help businesses and organizations to grow beyond a one-day event if they choose to do so. We are partnering strategically with national coaches and trainers so that businesses can continue the conversation after the event, whether it be for specific training opportunities for their business or to work with their staff personally through their own specific challenges and helping them to grow.

Milestones 2011: Leadercast Gainesville begins with 140 leaders 2012: Leadercast Gainesville grows to 500 leaders 2015: Leadercast Gainesville is in the top 5 host sites out of 600 host sites globally 2016: AMP is hired to consult with Leadercast to help host sites globally with best practices, aid in the growth and retention for all host sites 2018: Help with creating an advisory team and the first Leadercast staff/ Advisory Team meeting 2020: AMP decides to create a live leadership event with opportunities for organizations to continue to grow after the one-day event

Because of the talent, commitment, innovation, and collaboration of individuals and organizations in our community, AMP can be a catalyst for other communities to also develop leaders for generations and bring transformation to their community. Going forward, we are most excited about the value and impact we can have on people in both our for-profit and nonprofit organizations, but especially the opportunity to engage more high school and college students since they are our future. Our theme this year is Vision 2020. We will host lunch & learns around this theme throughout the year leading up to our live event in September where we have speakers & coaches who will be with us from all over the country to help organizations develop their vision for 2021 and beyond.

Advantage Media Promotions Jill@advantagemediapromotions.com +1-352-577-LEAD (5323) 100

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Unlike most artists, Cacau had achieved both fame and fortune doing what he loves to do, and when he uprooted his family from Brazil, Cacau was at the height of his career. He was the official photographer for singer, songwriter, and actress, Ivete Sangalo, whom Forbes named one of the 20 most influential women in Brazil. His work had appeared in publications such as Vogue and Rolling Stone. He traveled the world and had every outward mark of success: a large home, nannies, a chef, housekeepers, and more.

“I love that we can walk freely outside here.” That was his oldest daughter’s reply when asked what she likes best about life in Gainesville. As he tells the story, you can see Cacau Mangabeira’s warm smile glow, only affirming that his decision to move to the US, and to the Gainesville area in particular, was not only the right choice, it was the necessary one.

The fairy tale life, however, cost him more than he wanted to pay. He wanted freedom, not just from the grind that accompanied the lifestyle of a renowned celebrity photographer, but also the freedom to live without fear. 101


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“I love Brazil,” Cacau says, almost with a sad smile. “But it is so dangerous. When we went outside, we had to hide our phones, watches...everything.” The sadness fades to relief as he remembers what life was like before. Having visited Gainesville at the start of his career nearly 25 years ago, he remembered the beauty of the area, the graciousness of the people, and the overall feeling of tranquility. He longed for peace from “the hurricane,” as he referred to life in Brazil, and he knew that he would find it there. And indeed, he did. Life in Gainesville is a good type of quiet. There is no fear, no danger. His children enjoy all of the goodness that nature has to offer and they play with friends from around the globe, many of whom also love living in a place where they can “walk freely outside.”

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Anna and her husband, Alex, grew up together in Miami and then moved to Atlanta weeks after graduating from UF.

“Two years. That’s the maximum I’m willing to stay.” Those were Anna’s words when, in 1998, her husband was recruited back to Gainesville to run the company he had interned for while they were in college at the University of Florida. Although living in Gainesville had been wonderful as a student, Anna couldn’t imagine living there as an adult. Today, she can’t imagine living anywhere else in Florida.

“I’m a big city person and wanted a big city life. The thought of living in Gainesville made me shudder,” she says. At first, being the trailing spouse was very difficult for her.

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“I didn’t have friends here, I didn’t have a job, and I didn’t know my way around the non-student areas of town. I felt really lost.” To make matters worse, Anna had been working in marketing and business development in the tech industry in Atlanta and had no idea where she could get a tech-related job in Gainesville. “It was 1998, and Gainesville was still on dial-up!” she says. Fortunately, a couple of months after relocating, Anna saw an ad for an opening in the marketing and public relations department at Shands Healthcare at the University of Florida. Little did she know then how taking that job would completely change her life. It wasn’t the job itself that made the impact. It was the person who hired her, Angela Foote, as well as the people she met while she was there. Anna and Angela, whose husband was then a medical resident, immediately bonded and a friendship bloomed. Today, they again work together. Except instead of marketing the hospital system they market greater Gainesville and everything that it has to offer, all while helping to make the transition from relocation to resident as smooth as possible for those moving to the area. “I’m very passionate about helping others find their place in Gainesville because I remember how challenging life was for me when I moved here,” says Anna. “Relocating to a new city is daunting, particularly if you’re the one being dragged along. It’s great for one partner because he or she has a job and is excited about a new beginning, but it’s terrible for the other because that person doesn’t know what his or her future holds.” After working at Shands Healthcare for a little over a year, Anna finally found a tech company in Gainesville, and it’s there that she worked as project manager for interactive media until she had her daughter in 2001. “After becoming a mom, everything was a blur for a while,” says Anna. “Fortunately, that’s when I found my support network and made some of my very best friends. That’s also when my daughter made some of her very best friends, and this year they will be graduating.”

“There is a tremendous amount of talent coming into the area in the form of trailing partners, and they need for us to support them, whether its by helping them find their tribe or by helping them find a job,” Anna says.

“It’s very emotional because it’s the end of a chapter and the beginning of an exciting new one,” she continues.

So these days Anna is also in transition, not to a new city but into a new chapter, where one of her top priorities is to harvest the knowledge and relationships that she’s gained as a businessperson, parent, and community volunteer to help connect those who are relocating with those who already live and work in the area.

That’s the beauty of Gainesville. Everyone here is in transition: new students, graduates, newcomers, and those who reluctantly leave. Mostly everyone in Gainesville comes from somewhere else, so friendships are strong because friends become family.

“I always say, ‘Put them in my car and they’ll be convinced to move here!’” She continues with a laugh, “Then we’ll become friends and they’ll never want to leave!”

Throughout the 20 plus years of living in Gainesville, Anna has found a family not just of friends but also of business partners. As a serial entrepreneur who has started many businesses ranging from a corporate marketing, communications and event management company to a real estate group, Anna strives to use those invaluable connections and to help others do the same.

If nothing else, two years here won’t be enough.

AnnaAlonsoOlcese annaolcese.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH The Inspiring Women Leaders Conference (IWL) is designed to inform and transform the way we think and respond to women in leadership positions, as well as opportunities to discuss and examine the critical issues of the day, in order to give future generations of women in the workforce the tools and skills necessary to conquer barriers and challenges and fulfill their dreams.

After conducting some research, we noticed there was not a women’s leadership conference in the surrounding area offering the type of professional development event we envisioned, so we decided to create a conference that would offer interactive professional development with a larger scale event. After forming a committee of dynamic and intelligent women and a year of planning, the UF Office of Professional and Workforce Development launched the first annual Inspiring Women Leaders Conference on International Women’s Day for a 2-day conference on March 8-9, 2018.

OUR STORY The inspiration for IWL was a result of the huge popularity and demand from a series of leadership workshops for women, offered through the University of Florida Office of Professional and Workforce Development in 2016.

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The attendance for the 2018 event was 150 participants, ranging from eight states and two countries and representing a wide array of industries, professions, ages and roles. In 2019, the event saw an increase in attendance by 100, with eight states and four countries represented. This year’s conference brought together over 300 participants from the local, state, national, and international communities to participate in interactive learning platforms with pre-conference workshops, keynote speakers, concurrent breakout sessions, and panel discussions related to leadership, diversity and inclusion, and wellness and work-life design. The University of Florida Office of Professional and Workforce Development Inspiring Women Leaders Conference

The IWL Conference is unique from other leadership conferences as it is an action-oriented event, with many opportunities to exchange ideas and learn from the knowledge and expertise of highly talented speakers. Participants are challenged and inspired to become authentic leaders, sharpen their skills, interact with others, and leave this event energized and eager to share their new learnings, so they can make a positive impact on their community, career, and home.

lpbrown@ufl.edu 352-294-0856 Inspiring Women Leaders Inspiring Women Leaders (IWL)

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OUR STORY “I always wanted to make sure my brand encompassed all genres of music, not just Latin music,” Elio says. “I didn’t want to limit my chances of bringing a great experience to an event. The only thing that I am afraid of is that I am not afraid of anything.”

Elio is North Central Florida’s premier entertainer. No matter what kind of event you’re having, Elio brings the fiesta to you! He is passionate about creating experiences for people to dance, laugh, and let loose. He doesn’t want to give the message; he wants to be the message.

The concept of fine-tuning his brand was one Elio learned from his mentor Freddie Wehbe, whom he met in 2017. Over time, people started to recognize Elio Piedra. Today, Elio is one of the top entertainers of Gainesville, putting on shows for organizations like the Gainesville Country Club, Mi Apa, Gainesville Chevrolet, Arch Management Associates, Bridge Management AMC, Hard Rock Cafe, Bahama Breeze, Florida Bridal Expo, and more. He’s collaborated with over 10 Grammy Award–winning artists, and his talent has taken him to 20 different US states.

ELEVATOR PITCH Elio began entertaining at 9 years old in Pinas del Rio, Cuba, where he specialized in percussion and playing the piano. At age 19, he emigrated to the US and landed in Gainesville, Florida, without money, a car, or the ability to speak English. He washed dishes at a restaurant in order to get by. After a year and a half of working at a restaurant, he entered the world of entertainment by teaching students percussion and drums at Ancient Rhythms drum shop. At this point, Elio began to invest aggressively in his entertainment company, working with big names like Jennifer Holiday and Chichito Valdez early on to help grow his brand.

“I hate the concept of killing time,” Elio says. “We like to keep the thermostat at our events all the way up. We’ve been blessed to work with over 25 companies from all over the US over the last 2 years, including radio stations, magazines, universities, and more from North Carolina to New York, Georgia to Florida, and many others.” 107


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Now that people are more aware of the value that Elio brings to their events and businesses, Elio’s projects are only expanding. Recently, he launched Morning Coffee with ELIO, a weekly morning television show with the mission of inspiring others to live their dreams, not their fears. On the show, Elio’s participants share incredible stories of success and struggles in life. The show also promotes local and national businesses, helping them to expand and grow their brand.

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“People can feel the energy mixed with the passion I have,” Elio says. “I’m passionate about this and I think it’s impossible to fake that. I want to bring the best entertainment experience that I can to each event.”

“The Elio Piedra brand is just a case study of what we can do for your brand,” Elio says. “We now have Platinum, Gold, and Silver sponsors that benefit from being on our ads, radio shows, website, podcast, and our live entertainment events!” But at the heart of Elio’s success—beyond even the energy and investment into equipment and technology—is his love and respect for others. At his events’ end, no matter how tired he may feel, he is always committed to making sure everyone leaves feeling they had a great time.

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ELEVATOR PITCH AY-Production is a full-service production company that takes on challenges for a hobby. Eagerly working hand-in-hand with clients, the AY-Team helps envision, build, and curate unforgettable events. Blending custom visuals, lighting, and special effects into an attractive symphony of color, mastering an unforgettable time.

OUR STORY Founders Daniel Wood and Travis Lindsay felt their initial spark as collaborators back in 2013 while creating audio tracks and music videos for various bands in the Gainesville music scene. Where else would they meet but at The University of Florida? Daniel Wood was one of the founders of the UF Wakeboarding house named “The Dojo,” a very popular spot for parties in 2014, eventually this is where Lindsay and Wood crossed paths. When Wood was throwing parties, the demand grew too high and he needed an extra hand with the events. There was no better man than Travis so, Wood put his camera and marketing skills to the test to promote their parties. These early passion projects soon evolved into a thriving entrepreneuring venture, and in early 2018 AY-production began. Delighting all the senses, this company will add fun to anything between corporate celebrations, to music festivals. “We live to create memorable moments,” Wood says, “and we love the look in people’s eyes when they experience something that they’ve never seen before.” Always thinking outside of the box, Dan and Travis are currently developing nuanced production equipment that creates one-of-a-kind effects. The two are even willing to tailor to the client’s specific needs 109


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and desires, utilizing: pyrotechnics, cryo, fog machines, hazers, snow effects, LED walls, and state-of-the-art speaker and lighting systems. AY production offers diverse options of special effects to choose from that can be experienced limitlessly through Wood’s craft of video and audio production. From live streaming epic concerts with pristine sound, even shooting and editing striking marketing videos in 4K definition, you’ll never be unsatisfied. Why would they choose Gainesville to start a business? AY believes “Gainesville is unique [and] has big opportunities,” and will refer to it as “home base” because they see it as “it’s the beginning of a new adventure.” Every adventure is shadowed by a challenge. Owning a business in a college town can be challenging because it’s “...a famine in the summer,” when students leave for break. But through the famine the AY-Team thrives, beautifully organizing over 150 annual events in Gainesville. The two even offer to bring their skills across the state for you.

Travis Lindsay - Co-Owner

Daniel Wood - Co-Owner

providing the protection of Asian elephants. One step at a time, and together AY wants to “help make the planet better” by advertising and supporting these organizations.

After their founding, AY-Production has had the joy of doing business with names such as; TEDx, Jim Beam, the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, the City of Gainesville, the Florida Conference of Young People in A.A., and the North Central Florida Apartment Association. The perfect mix of passion and knowledge, with degrees in engineering, marketing, and business; these guys will stop at nothing to make every occasion unique and memorable. Already aware of the already-thriving local music scene, they hope to attract larger and diverse groups of touring artists to both entertain this eager community and to draw crowds from around the world. One of their greatest desires as a company is to “expand [their] business and offer unique production and opportunities for different events and parties.” The two want to place Gainesville on the map as a prime destination for unmatched festivities and developed charities.A desire to expand and get into Festival Production brings alive one of their proudest work, Brainquility. A threeday camping, music and arts festival, also created by local Gainesville residents. Their skills are put to the test when they’re given their own stage to freely decorate. Why try to explain the exhilarating experience when you can just see for yourself? Sharing all the wonderful experiences they create on their social media pages, Facebook and Instagram.

Southeast Depot Avenue, Gainesville, FL, 32601, United States +1-352-354-2107 info@ay-production.com partAYproduction theayproduction ay-production.com

The Ay team tries to be as productive as possible and continue to help place a thumbprint where they can. In their free time, Wood and Lindsay work alongside charities like, K9cares Inc and The Conservation initiative for Asian elephants. Giving a hand to companies that dedicate their life to preserving the safety and health of victims to child abuse, rape, and 110


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ELEVATOR PITCH Guts & Glory GNV is a live storytelling organization who helps people from the Gainesville community put their personal stories on the stage in a polished, curated, and fun way. Guts & Glory Creative Consulting offers creative communication strategies to businesses and organizations.

OUR STORY We help people present themselves and their ideas to the world through building creativity, connection, and confidence. Guts & Glory GNV was born out of the idea that everyone should have a voice and get to share their stories with the world. Mainly a comedic space for performance, GGGNV builds a cast around a monthly theme to be performed at great Gainesville venues. The consulting work we do is based on creative communication. We know that communication is hard. But it’s also an essential part of being human! Communication happens on a variety of different levels: face-toface interaction, public speaking engagements, pitches and presentations, conflict resolution, and branding. Even self-evaluation and reflection is a form of communication.

SERVICES WE OFFER Team communication training: storytelling/improv/public speaking Individual coaching Storytelling coaching In-house storytelling events for your employees or leadership team Keynote talks for events Design thinking inspired problem solving sessions Emcee services for events

There are a lot of tips and tricks and rules out there for how to native communication. But what really works? What if we could take a more expansive look at what communication is? We think it’s more than a PowerPoint or a business pitch or a keynote speech. We think communication is all about presence. It’s the way we present ourselves to the world. Whether it’s putting a true, personal story on stage in front of an audience, helping businesses identify their passion, or how to or helping scientists translate their data and research into a compelling story to share with the public, we’re here to help.

We have proudly worked alongside a wide variety of clients all over the country. We’re proud to work with people from all walks of life, from

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Gainesville community members to clients like Capital One, Exactech, McKinsey, The University of Florida, and NCAA sports teams. Taylor is a GNV native who went away to train and learn comedy, writing, and performance in NYC and DC before settling back into Gainesville to do the work she loves. She loves teaching undergrads and graduate students at UF. She holds degrees in business administration and counselor education and a certification in design thinking. Guts & Glory GNV Taylor Williams, Creative Director & Lead Facilitator gutsandglorygnv@gmail.com gutsandglorygnv gutsandglorycreativeconsulting.com gutsandglorygnv.com 112

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CREATING AMAZING EVENTS DCE PRODUCTIONS SINCE ITS INCEPTION JUST FIVE YEARS AGO, DCE PRODUCTIONS LOOKS AT THE WORLD OF LIVE EVENT PRODUCTION THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS.

Dissatisfied with the status quo of audio visual services received for events they were managing in hotels and convention centers, DCE’s founders decided they could do the job better on their own. With no prior A/V production company experience, they applied professional strategic planning and execution skills and started investing in equipment and people. And one event at a time, DCE Productions began delighting meeting and event planners with technically sophisticated shows. Today, DCE has produced some of the most spectacular events in the Florida region and has a hand in producing more than 450 events a year for hundreds of customers. According to CEO Paul Harris, their work begins months, or even years, before the event. “One of the key differentiators of DCE vs. the alternatives is our involvement in the planning process. The sooner we can start brainstorming and collaborating with our client’s event team, the more dynamic the end-product. We tend to cause our clients to raise their goals and elevate their game when it comes to events.”

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DCE Productions is dedicated to developing, designing, planning and producing successful events for organizations across the country. They pride themselves on helping companies and organizations communicate their message using technology in both live event environments, in creative video production projects, and with hybrid in-person / remote attendee events using the latest in live streaming and web conferencing. Their resources include the sharpest, technically savvy producers, videographers, video editors, graphic artists, event experience designers, technical directors, project managers, audio engineers, video engineers, lighting directors, IT specialists, audience response technicians, webcasting technicians and digital signage technicians. “We roll up our sleeves early and develop concepts that ensure memorable experiences for each events’ attendees,” said Harris. A key to DCE’s formula is rooted in one of its founding tenents: Become a vital part of the customers’ event

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management team. Most AV companies serving live events begin by compiling a detailed list of equipment and seeing how fast they can inflate a number on the bottom line of a price quote. DCE approaches each project asking “What is the objective of this event?” By assuming an interest in the overall success of each event, they become accountable to their customers on a different level than in-house AV providers or momand-pop AV companies. “It’s all about providing an event experience that motivates and inspires the audience while maintaining the integrity of the event,” added Harris. Regardless of the scope of the event or the size of the audience, DCE applies its formula for success. From a meeting for 25 people to a keynote for 10,000. And based on overwhelmingly positive customer satisfaction, Florida-based DCE Productions has clearly succeeded in re-inventing the live production business. 114

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ELEVATOR PITCH qualifiedMEETINGS builds strategic inside sales and sales development programs, specializing in IT software & IT services companies. Whether you’re looking for QM to host your sales team in Florida or help you build your own internal team based on our proven proprietary process and methodologies, we work as a partner to help your organization achieve its sales objectives.

OUR STORY

With our trained, experienced teams of Sales Development Representatives, we  are able to rapidly increase our client’s sales pipeline with highly qualified opportunities that reduce sales cycles, provide valuable lead source  data intelligence, and provide a high return on marketing investments. Our ‘23-52 Touch educational outbound process’ which utilizes the  7 Pillars of Communication,  and our  expert sales professionals have allowed qualifiedMEETINGS to build a proven track record of achieving superior results for our clients. 

This proprietary process has been developed, tested, and applied by the founders over the past 13 years after careful analysis of the marketplace, building a more modern and streamlined approach to connecting organizations to buyers. These processes are scalable because they are repeatable, predictable, manageable, and results-driven. This has enabled QM to deploy its sales development teams into a variety of industries with great effect and has contributed over $1B in qualified sales pipeline that has led to over $250M in closed-won-new customers in tech.  

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QM is built on the philosophy of ‘high velocity with intelligence’. We believe that highly skilled and fully trained humans using the right technology and tools can drive and improve outbound performance much more aggressively and successfully than the majority the market which relies heavily on automated engagement. While qualifiedMEETINGS  employs the latest sales technology and processes to enhance performance, the QM’s true strength lies in its people. We recruit, hire, train, and develop the highest quality sales  teams  to serve our clients. Our talent development program is focused on developing  professionals with sales acumen, hunter instincts, and the skills, abilities and attributes that drive positive inside sales outcome for our clients .   QM is the #1 outbound company for target account acquisition. If your company is looking to open markets, expand markets or go after strategic accounts, QM is your team.

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“The future lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” — JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES

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ELEVATOR PITCH Rootex is a content marketing agency that is made up of a blend of talented creatives and marketing experts in order to give their clients the highest return on their marketing dollars.

OUR STORY Pablo Casilimas founded Rootex in late 2015 while he was an undergraduate student at the University of Florida. He started it because he had an undying curiosity to answer the question: What makes a business succeed rather than fail? He knew that if he could figure that out, he could help numerous other businesses thrive while growing his own. From the start, he had a conviction that video-content was an extremely powerful medium for a brand to tell their story, and that it was only becoming more relevant. He bought his first camera with $1500 he had saved up during an internship and started creating videos for non-profits and UF departments to build his portfolio and brand.

“If you help as many people as possible be successful, then you’ll be successful.” -Marty Schaffel In 2017, Pablo met his mentor Marty, who taught him the importance of being a great leader and the power of being a great listener. Pablo used the principles he learned from Marty to assemble a team of the most talented creatives and marketers he could find in the area. Pablo and Marty now have a podcast together called the Art of Biz, where they share the stories of distinct entrepreneurs, their successes, failures and the lessons they’ve learned along their journeys.

“Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve their problem. Marketing involves very little in the way of shouting, hustling or coercion. It’s a chance to serve instead.” -Seth Godin At its core, Rootex operates on the principle that if they can help their clients serve their respective target audiences, their clients will thrive and they will too as a result. If you’re in business, it’s because you’re either fulfilling a need or solving somebody’s problem. At Rootex, it’s our mission to help your organization connect with as many of those people as possible. 119


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Our Services Rootex helps its clients grow their businesses through content creation, social media management and publications. They assign a team member to manage accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. They help build your brand by curating content and engaging with your target customers. In addition, they work with some of the top content creators in North Central Florida to produce videos that will get your ideal customer excited about trying your product or service.

According to Pablo, Rootex follows the same advice they give to their clients: “Building a brand is a long-term game, and we’re not looking for quick, easy wins - we’re looking for long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships.” The reason most of Rootex’s business comes from repeat clients and referrals is because they always make an effort to over-deliver for their clients. Even with all of the growth Rootex has experienced, Pablo still makes room on his schedule to give free consultations to businesses in need of direction, and they continue to sponsor community events because they believe in giving back.

Why Rootex is different?

“I wanted to be so close to my clients that if they even thought about hiring my competition, they would feel like they were cheating on their spouse.”

The team at Rootex does not focus on the surface level tactics of trying to get you more followers or simply releasing cool content. They dig deep, to understand what is your brand identity, who is your target customer and what is the best way to effectively reach them. Only after conducting the proper research, will they form a strategy and begin to execute.

-Marty Schaffel Rootex is thriving today because it consistently helps its clients cut through all the noise. Rootex has worked with UF, Santa Fe College, the City of Gainesville, Infinite Energy, SharpSpring, OPIE Software, InfoTech, StartupGNV, Gonzalo Law, Lendio North Florida, GNV Entertainment, Boys & Girls Club of Alachua and many more. Rootex’s clients are like family, and after hiring them once, the chances are you will come back for more at some point.

+1-954-849-4130 pablo@rootexcreative.com rootex__

rootexcreative rootexcreative.com

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PURPOSE MAKES BRANDS MATTER ESSENTIAL BRANDING Through the study of behavior and spirit, we help clients discover and display their purpose. From that foundation, we create communication tools that pay dividends. Design, word, and image simply happen to be our means. Unlike agencies who only offer surface-level decoration, we dig deep to uncover your brand’s essence, and then we create the form and voice it deserves.

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OUR STORY Founded in 2010 by husband and wife team Chad & Alison Paris, Parisleaf started with a vision of building a state-of-the-art design agency. Before starting Parisleaf, Chad worked at a number of places, ultimately unsatisfied with all of them for one reason or another. He desired to work somewhere that would help him fulfill his purpose—somewhere that would make a difference. He craved a work environment with an authentic culture of compassion and responsibility reflected not only by those at the top but in every employee. With a clear vision of what this should look like, what does one do when a place like that cannot be found? The obvious answer to Chad was to create Parisleaf. Since its inception, Parisleaf has evolved from a generalist creative practice to a dedicated brand strategy and design company. From the beginning of our nine years of operation, Parisleaf has focused on building and supporting brands for purpose-driven organizations. Through the study of behavior and spirit, we help clients discover and display their purpose. From that foundation, we create communication tools that pay dividends. Design, word, and image simply happen to be our means. Unlike agencies who only offer surface-level decoration, we dig deep to uncover your brand’s essence, and then we create the form and voice it deserves. We call this Essential Branding. But, a brand is much more than a logo. Without strategic foundation, visual identity is mere wallpaper. Why do we do it? Because purpose makes progress matter. Purpose makes profit, product, and

Main Office 107 Southwest 7th Street Gainesville, FL 32601 info@parisleaf.com +1-352-377-5560 parisleaf.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH What comes first, branding or marketing?

was community involvement expressed through cause-related marketing,” in addition to selecting and retaining talent.   

According to Freddie Wehbe, President of Wehbe Marketing and Make It Happen Consulting, the most common oversight business owners make is not fully understanding  the difference between branding and marketing. Branding is the foundation that all marketing efforts are built upon. 

Even before making his first pizza, Freddie fell in love with Gainesville and found he could not turn down local schools and charities when asked for pizza donations. Before he knew it, Freddie was participating in fundraisers almost weekly.  

OUR STORY

Freddie borrows the term “cause-related marketing,” or “cause marketing” for short—first coined by American Express in 1983 to describe its campaign to raise money for the Statue of Liberty’s restoration—to describe his secret weapon.

Branding is the expression of the essential truth about an organization. It’s the  unique story. Once the consumer—or community—understand the story, great marketing can begin.   Freddie Wehbe has been a fixture in the Gainesville area since leaving his job as an aerospace engineer with NASA in the 1990s to become one of the most successful Domino’s franchisees in the world.

In fact, Freddie feels so strongly about the benefits of cause marketing that he requires all his clients to practice a “cause-centric” marketing plan. “The community supports businesses that support the community,” he continues. “It’s as simple as that.”

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In marketing studies, 87% of consumers said they would switch brands if the product was associated with a good cause. Cause-related marketing is the mechanism that lets the consuming public know that your company shares the same social goals.

industry. In 2019, all of Wehbe Marketing’s clients took home a cumulative 31 awards at the annual Gainesville People’s Choice Awards. Freddie is also the business manager for several NCAA football coaches, including Hall of Fame and Gator legend Steve Spurrier.

What’s more, the Cause Marketing Forum released a study that said 72% of American consumers avoided purchasing products from companies with disagreeable practices. In other words, consumers want to use their purchasing power to help shape social issues.

What is in the future for Freddie and his team at Wehbe Marketing and Make It Happen Consulting? Freddie sees his company remaining streamlined and specialized, focusing on core clients and fine-tuning the connections of cause marketing and all innovative avenues of which to spread his clients’ message.

With cause marketing at the forefront, Freddie grew his pizza business from 1 to 11 locations—in addition to locations at Ben Hill  Griffin Stadium, Exactech Arena, and Mckethan Stadium—and sold more pizzas than any other Domino’s franchise in the world, right here in Gainesville.

Since the fall of 2019 Freddie and his team have launched 3 new sports podcasts, Inside the Huddle with Coach Steve Spurrier, former Gator QB Shane Matthews, and local sports personality Steve Russell, Pod Up with Matthews in the Morning with football great, Shane Matthews, and Hoop There it Is with ESPN’s Mark Wise and Steve Russell. Freddie is also excited to be a managing partner in the new Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille restaurant, which is coming to Celebration Pointe in the fall of 2020. The footballthemed restaurant is inspired by the legendary sports career of local legend and Florida Gator “Head Ball Coach” Steve Spurrier.

Before selling his restaurants  in 2016,  Freddie was the first Domino’s operator to win three National Manager of the Year awards, competing against over 5,000 other managers nationwide. He is also a six-time International Gold Franny winner, an award given to the top 1% of Domino’s franchise operators. Almost immediately after selling his restaurants and retiring from pizza his phone began ringing off the hook. All questions were similar: “How did you make your businesses so successful?” and “Can you help me market my business?” Later in 2016, Freddie founded Wehbe Marketing and Make It Happen Consulting. The company focuses on branding, marketing, and consulting, servicing a multitude of clients in a variety of industries, including automotive, sports, and of course, the restaurant

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Freddie resides in Gainesville with his wife Daurine and two boys, Ronnie and Dany. Wehbe Marketing Freddie@Wehbemarketing.com +1-352-284-3733 WehbeFreddie freddiewehbe WehbeMarketing.com

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OUR STORY

ELEVATOR PITCH Three Five Two is an innovation and growth company based in Gainesville. They help companies find, build and grow their next big thing. They do that through innovation services, digital development, and growth marketing.

Geoff Wilson, the president and founder of Three Five Two, is a serial entrepreneur. “I love starting and growing businesses,” he says. He’s started a number of different startups and been involved in coaching and mentoring other startups. One of the companies he started, out of a fraternity house room at the University of Florida back in 1997, was Three Five Two, which began by designing simple websites for small businesses in Florida.

Did You Know: Three Five Two’s largest client is Nationwide Insurance. Nationwide has a goal of creating billions of dollars in new revenue by spinning up new businesses within the company, particularly digital products like apps and websites that would offer customers new services. With more than ten employees who work exclusively for Nationwide, Three Five Two acts as their team to find, build, and grow these new business concepts.

Over the years Three Five Two grew to work on increasingly large, complex digital projects, such as apps and functionality-heavy websites. They then expanded into providing digital marketing services to help their clients grow what Three Five Two built for them, and innovation services to help their clients find new ideas and revenue opportunities. “Our team helps clients find what’s next,” says Wilson. “So we work with clients in the early stage to help them discover their next big product idea or service or business model.” Wilson explains that in addition to digital 125


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development and marketing, Three Five Two provides services like idea generation, user and market research, prototyping, and market validation.

“Over the last three years,” says Wilson, “we’ve built them a cutting-edge digital platform to support their awards and their growth.”

Wilson explains that big companies need innovation services because in the current environment, many larger companies are getting disrupted by startups. This is because it’s easy for a startup to grow, because they have nothing to lose. “They don’t have an existing brand,” says Wilson. “They don’t have an existing customer base or partnerships or distributor relationships they have to worry about—all these things that can end up causing red tape and complications when it comes to doing something totally new.”

The quality of Three Five Two’s improvement is shown nowhere more clearly than during voting period itself. In the ten years prior to working with Three Five Two, every single year during this period, the Webby Awards website crashed from the millions of voting visitors. “Since working with us,” says Wilson, “it hasn’t crashed once during voting.” Wilson credits Gainesville itself with a good deal of its success. “Time and again we’ve found smart, driven talent coming out of both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College,” says Wilson. “And we’ve been able to mentor them into being true professionals in their field.”

Where startups have complete flexibility, big companies don’t. This is because as a company grows, the general inertia of the company protects the company’s core business, but by doing that, the company also stymies innovation. “They need to protect their brand, protect their relationships, protect their core product lines. They have things to worry about like security and infrastructure and compliance and regulations, and so as a result they typically find it really difficult to innovate.”

Having grown tremendously in the last 22 years, including expansions into Tampa and Atlanta, Wilson sees no end of growth, due to the everincreasing need for companies to innovate. In Wilson’s words, “the sky’s the limit.”

“With the speed of innovation increasing at a dramatic pace, a lot of well established companies struggle to innovate,” says Wilson. “So our innovation services are built to give them the boost and agility they need.”

For more information, visit threefivetwo.com.

Three Five Two is particularly proud of working with the Webby Awards— the internet’s largest and most prestigious awards program—that, in 2016, chose Three Five Two to redevelop all their technology and rethink every part of their business process, from how people enter their awards, to how judges judge the awards, to how the awards are chosen, and how the awards are voted on and announced.

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Helping Clients Be A Light

ELEVATOR PITCH

Our Mission

Our mission is not solely built around our services or core competencies. Rather, we’re motivated by how our expertise and culture can impact our communities. We’re passionate about three things: our people, our clients, and the world.

PHOS is a creative digital marketing agency that designs purpose-driven brand systems that fuel the bottom line.

Our mission is to be a company that team members never want to leave, clients can’t do without, and the world is better for and, in so doing, exemplify the love of Jesus Christ.

OUR STORY PHOS is a strategic digital agency that helps businesses identify and invest in opportunities for growth through strategic consulting, branding, web design, and digital marketing.

Every vision we have for our company is built around these three things. By keeping our core values as our guides, we’ve seen an amazing amount of success around employee engagement, client satisfaction, and company giving initiatives. All of which showcase our mission in action.

In 2013, Brandon West founded the business after seeing a need in the market for a reliable partner who could deliver next-level results and dependable communication. The company was initially design-focused. Though, as more projects were completed, larger numbers of clients were returning to ask for assistance in building their bottom line through marketing strategies.

Our Difference

Our clients love working with us because we’re committed to moving the needle, staying accountable for our actions, and having a lot of fun while doing it. The marketing industry is saturated with agencies whose expertise is an inch deep and a mile wide. It’s also filled with agencies who are best at selling

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Brandon West, CEO and Founder

themselves. Many of our clients approach us burned by past experiences with what has largely become the stereotype of the marketing agency: overpromising and under delivering.

We’re encouraged to have our client work recognized by the American Advertising Federation of Gainesville, receiving multiple ADDY awards including the 2019 Best of Show.

PHOS is the Greek word for light. It describes both who we are and what we help our clients do - to stand out and be a light in a saturated digital space.

And lastly, we’re fulfilled seeing the remarkable impact we can have on the world through the clients we serve, the organizations that we support, the thought-leadership we provide, and the culture we cultivate.

We practice that by being highly committed to our values, our process, and our relationships. Customer service isn’t a department at PHOS, it’s a commitment made by each member of our team, and that dedication ensures the ultimate customer experience is felt at every point of our process.

Over the past six and a half years, we have learned a lot about what fires us up, who we want to serve, and how we want to be remembered. PHOS represents everything the company has grown to become: an industry-leading, team-driven, local-but-global, strategy-focused digital marketing agency.

Since September 2016, PHOS has maintained its status as the number one highest-rated marketing agency in North Central Florida, with 82 five-star reviews from our clients.

PHOS Creative 2131 NW 40th Terrace, Suite B Gainesville, FL 32605 +1-352-505-3626 hello@phoscreative.com phoscreative.com

We’re proud to see our commitment to our people honored by being the 2016 Best Tech Company and the 2018 Employer of the Year, awarded by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

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We grow companies using digital marketing. ELEVATOR PITCH Most marketers approach digital marketing knowing what “should” be done, but not knowing “how” it should be done. Businesses know their customers well, but the rapidly changing pace at which advertising platforms change makes them hard to use effectively. This has led to the rise of thousands of digital marketing agencies over the last decade. And while many agencies – especially the big ones – are adept at planning beautiful, creative, and compelling campaigns that sound amazing… they fall flat when it comes deploying the campaign at scale in a competitive, global environment. Even worse, they often have little to no idea how to prove the return on investment (ROI) of their work. Crimmins knew there must be a better way. After experimenting with Facebook & Instagram ads and the Facebook Pixel, he found it wasn’t hard to track marketing campaigns and measure ROI, it just required some know-how and, at times, a little code. Owning two small businesses based in Miami – ANNEX Miami and The Speaker Boyz LLC, John started building digital marketing solutions for his own businesses… and quickly found that fellow business owners needed help with theirs as well.

OUR STORY Digital Key Marketing takes a more engineered approach. In fact, the agency was created by a marketing-engineer: John Crimmins, a UF Industrial & Systems Engineering graduate with a focus on sales engineering. After suffering a neck injury while working in tech in 2018, he was bedridden for 4 months and had to find a way to continue to support himself from his parent’s house. Adept at using social media and technology, he started by managing social media campaigns for his doctors in exchange for medical services.

After freelancing for months and uncovering more and more demand for the service, Crimmins grew frustrated with how much opportunity businesses were leaving on the table when it comes to social media.

Early on, Crimmins noticed that very few companies engaging at the time in social media knew how to measure or prove ROI; the other agencies he spoke to only talked about Reach, Impressions and Followers. As a small business owner himself, Crimmins knew marketing efforts must be tied to the top or bottom line; it doesn’t matter how many followers you have if it’s not increasing sales or decreasing expenses.

“Since I was a kid, I have always been obsessed with efficiency. To me, the process is everything. I do not like inefficiency, and it made me uncomfortable how much money businesses were wasting on poor performing ads with minimal conversions – which only upset customers – when all they often needed were small changes to start seeing the 3X, 5X, even 10X returns they saw others getting on social media.” 129


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In this competitive environment, it’s important to know what the competition is doing. Pioneering an emerging trend can boost market share gains and generate outsized returns – quickly providing the fuel rising stars need to get ahead. Digital Key helps clients avoid “reinventing the wheel” with an in-depth competitor analysis and by reverse engineering what top competition is doing. The firm identifies nearly everything behind the digital presence of top competitors in any space: from revenues and sales figures on Amazon, the ads competitors run and why they work; even identifying actual customers, and can produce a diagram detailing their entire marketing technology stack. They leverage this to direct marketing strategy and identify where clients can compete and overtake. Of course, in order to reverse engineer what the competition is doing and identify gaps between clients and their competition, it is critical to deeply understand the client’s business. Their onboarding process, while considered a bit intensive to some, provides a strong foundation and firm understanding of who the customer is and how to serve them.

He realized he could help more businesses achieve more online with a team around him – a digital marketing agency – and together they could solve the problems which were creating so much inefficiency and frustration. In October 2019, Digital Key Marketing was born.

Digital Key Marketing is based in Gainesville, FL but they serve clients worldwide. More info can be found at digitalkeymarketing.com.

Nowadays, marketing is completely driven by data. Those who have not adapted are quickly waning away. Instead of spending time obsessively designing the perfect campaign and hoping it boosts sales, Digital Key Marketing focuses on first deeply understanding the client’s business and customers. They then A/B test a wide variety of messaging, creative content, and offer types across diverse customer audiences, generating data. Then they analyze the data to decide what ads to scale and what to cut. In this way, they always know exactly what variables customers respond most favorably to online. On the backend, they use proprietary in-house strategies and software to optimize ads on a minute-to-minute basis, keeping advertising costs low and ROI high.

Digital Key Marketing

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Evan Worth, President

ELEVATOR PITCH Worth Advertising Group (WAG) is a leading automotive advertising and dealership marketing company. WAG provides email marketing solutions, social and ad display re-targeting, along with consulting services to OEM’s, dealer groups, and dealerships throughout the United States. WAG’s approach to digital will help drive more leads and traffic for your brand, resulting in more bodies in your dealerships.

OUR STORY WAG’s origin dates back to the University of Florida campus where Evan Worth graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising in 2003. Evan quickly learned the meaning of hard work while working for the Arena Football League in New York City and then the Long Island Ducks professional baseball team on Long Island. From sales calls, conducting telephone interviews with players and sitting in on meetings with NBC executives, to running on-field promotions and writing post-game summaries published on the team’s website, Evan soon learned the true meaning of “Heart” and “Hustle.” With the digital marketing space booming, Evan decided to leave New York and take the trek to South Florida after landing a good position with a large publicly traded company. After four years of learning the digital marketing world, Evan took an opportunity with a much smaller agency with a focus on automotive brands. After four successful years there and making a

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Our successful campaigns and ideas have led WAG to be Ranked #42 on the 2019 Gator100. The Gator100 recognizes the world’s 100 fastestgrowing Gator-owned or -led businesses and serves as the University of Florida’s premier entrepreneurial awards program.

name for himself in the industry, Evan took the leap and opened Worth Advertising Group in 2012. Over the past several years, WAG continues the motto of “Heart” and “Hustle” first learned way back as a wide-eyed twenty-two-year-old. In 2016, WAG expanded, opening an office in Innovation Square in Gainesville, Florida. Evan soon fell back in love with the city of Gainesville, so much so, that he made Innovation Square WAG’s corporate office. He and his wife Lindsey and their three children call the city home.

Worth Advertising Group, Inc. 625 W University Ave, Gainesville FL 32601 P: +1-352-519-5852, F: +1-352-474-2101 worth@worthadv.com worthadv.com

WAG has now forged relationships with some of the largest advertising agencies in the country helping to provide online marketing solutions for their top-tier clients in the automotive industry. We take pride in creating the right automotive advertising message specific to the brand and location, on the right medium, and at the right time. In this new age of advertising, a new breed of agency is what brands are looking for. WAG is and will always be a no fear agency with new age ideas. 132


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ELEVATOR PITCH

Researching and building B2B prospecting lists

The power of our model ensures that companies:

Where students learn, entrepreneurs grow, & companies thrive. The Selling Factory is a sales training and development company that recruits high-level students from the University of Florida and teaches them B2B sales development skills. Companies around the world hire our teams to replicate the job function of Sales Development Representatives to build a sales process, fuel current sales team and do market research.

Reduce Impact of Employee Departures Our team strategy eliminates internal turnover, which costs companies millions in lost productivity. Increase Productivity through Micro-Work Working 2 to 4 hours per day, 4 student interns replicate 1 full-time internal employee.

To help companies reach and surpass their growth goals, our teams perform: Inbound lead nurturing calling campaigns Outbound calling to set demos and meetings LinkedIn profile growth campaigns Consulting and implementation with CRMs and marketing automation platforms Driving sales traffic for pre and post trade show

Receive High-Caliber Talent at an Affordable Price Elite students work part-time to perform the tasks of full-time internal employees at more affordable rates.

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OUR STORY Our Beginnings After two years of mentoring and coaching all types of businesses, both large and small in the field of sales development, Brad Gamble found that most companies do not have the experience or knowledge to build and manage a high-performing selling environment within their company. With his 15 years of experience at Infinite Energy, eight of which as VP of Sales & Marketing, managing the sales and marketing team of ~100 people, he understood the challenges and sought to create a new solution. In a serendipitous conversation with Adam Grossman, the CEO of non-profit organization focused on engaging college students, the idea of The Selling Factory was born. In October 2016, The Selling Factory opened its doors, and as the organization grew, the co-founders sought an additional partner to join the team. Ian Massenburg moved from VP of Partnerships with a B2B SaaS product to head the sales operations team at The Selling Factory. As visionaries and implementers, this founding team has the tools and expertise to transfer this business from a lifestyle to an enterprise.

Why The Selling Factory is Unique

Future Plans

Strategically located next to a top-ranked academic university, The Selling Factory (TSF) supplements a company’s end-to-end sales process by teaching highly qualified, talented students and recent graduates to replicate the sales functions of full-time sales employees. With a leadership team experienced in building, growing and coaching sales teams, TSF partners with companies to become their Sales Development Representatives (SDR), Account Executives (AE) and Sales Management (SM) team. This solution eliminates the expenses forfeited with current options, so that small and medium businesses can access top talent to implement growth strategies, save time and energy on managing teams, and eliminate sales turnover, all at a much more affordable price than hiring full-time, risky employees.

Over the course of 2019, The Selling Factory team supported 23 clientcompanies with B2B lead-generation, list-building, email campaigns, and phone campaigns. We closed over $1.6 million in new business for our clients, booked approximately 900 sales meetings and demos, and built B2B lead lists of over 70,000 contacts and decision-makers. While most of our clients are based in Gainesville, we also worked with clients in Chicago, New York, Denver, and Tampa. Since its founding, The Selling Factory doubled revenue from 2018 to 2019, and for 2020 the goal is to nearly double again. However, not at the expense of controlled and profitable growth. The dream is to launch The Selling Factory concept in other top 25 college towns across the country. Go Buckeyes! Go Bulldogs! Go Aggies!, Go Badgers!, Go Buffaloes!?

The costs associated with sales volume, budgets, time and energy prevent small and medium size businesses from hiring highly talented sales professionals to expand their business and increase market share. While many options exist to streamline sales operations, most prove ineffective. Businesses need a better option.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Imprint Genius is a marketing startup that offers promotional items and custom apparel.

of the blades of the fan to use as a promotional item. This sparked the idea of taking this gadget and introducing it into the promotional item industry.

We work with clients to develop innovative solutions in a market saturated with boring campaigns and giveaways. With industry-first carbon-neutral solutions, exclusive product development, and physi-digital campaigns, we’re leading the industry toward the next generation of promo.

The product blew up, and we were receiving dozens of requests for the fan, as well as other cool gadgets. That’s when it struck: “Why do promotional items have to be so boring?” We go to events, get an entire bag full of boring items, and throw most of it in the trash once we get home.

OUR STORY

That’s when we decided to start Imprint Genius, a company focused on disrupting the boring and outdated promotional item industry. Imprint Genius is 100% student-run, with a 12-person team that works out of our office in UF Innovate | The Hub.

Simply put, we owe the start of our company to the invention of the iconic cellphone fan. What started out as a simple side hobby of selling cellphone fans on college campuses and parties, eventually turned into Imprint Genius.

Imprint Genius has grown rapidly over the past four years. With sales to hundreds of different companies, Imprint Genius has become prominent on a national level within the promotional item industry. Our specialization is the variety and diversity of our products. With thousands of different promotional items – custom selfie drones, smart water bottles, pulse balloons, a whole line of LED-backlit item logos and much more - every company can brand their logo the best with Imprint Genius. The idea is

We began as a team of five college students, across the nation, selling hundreds of cellphone fans on our college campuses. Word got around town and we suddenly became the “fan guys.” As the fan guys, we bought cellphone fans in mass quantities and sold them each for a couple of bucks. Everything changed when someone had asked us to put their logo on one 135


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ultimately this: If you get people branded goods that they actually want, or will actually wear, you will have a higher return on your marketing spend. So, what makes us different from every other promotional item company? We use a direct shipment model from China, instead of going through US suppliers as our competitors do. The advantages of our shipment model are the best pricing and product options out there. Because of our unique model, Imprint Genius is a leading company on orders over 2,000 pieces- in comparison to our competitors. Additionally, we’ve recently introduced our Promo Done Greener sustainability initiative to tackle the environmental inefficiencies of the industry. We’ve created the best eco-promo catalog in the industry, and we developed the industry’s first carbon calculator and offset program for our client’s orders. Starting in 2020, we’ll be donating 1% of all sales to environmental causes. Our goal is to push the rest of the industry to adopt similar policies in order to really cause a shift toward environmentalism in the industry.

Jack Reinke Director of R&D

Isaac Hetzroni +1-954-798-0367 isaac@imprintgenius.com Imprint Genius 747 SW 2ND AVE GAINESVILLE, FL. 32601 imprintgenius.com

From fan guys to imprint geniuses, our company is growing onwards and upwards. Our pride stems from our dedicated team of students, our passion to add a special twist to the industry, and the fun along the way. In terms of the future, our goal is to become one of the largest suppliers of custom branded goods in the country.

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SHARPSPRING’S HOMEGROWN CULTURE HAS WORLDWIDE REACH The company, built in Gainesville, is committed to fueling growth and deepening roots in its hometown

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OUR STORY When SharpSpring CEO Rick Carlson gets questions about moving his growing tech company to a larger, more metropolitan city, his answer is always the same. “We have no plans to go anywhere. The talent coming out of the university is fueling the emergence of a true tech center in Gainesville, and we’re in it for the long-haul,” says Carlson, who earned his MBA from the University of Florida. After working for 10 years in the private sector, Carlson moved back to Gainesville to raise his family and follow his dream of starting a company that provides powerful, affordable marketing and sales automation designed specifically for agencies. What started as a team of four in the downtown Sun Center has grown over the last six years into a staff of more than 200, who now call Celebration Pointe their home. Over the years the company has also built its customer base and now serves more than 2,000 marketing agencies and 10,000 businesses worldwide as a publicly-traded company (NASDAQ: SHSP). “The best part of working here is a strong sense of community—everyone is here to make a difference, not just a paycheck,” says SharpSpring’s VP of Client Services Jason Stankevich, who has been with the company for more than five years. “I feel proud that I’m working with so many driven people to deliver an incredible product and experience.” Beyond their dedication to changing the way digital marketing is done, SharpSpring employees are also passionate about giving back to the Gainesville community. In 2018, the company gave $35,000 in support of local initiatives, events, and organizations, and logged 500 hours of volunteer work. ”As SharpSpring has grown, our support of the Gainesville community through volunteering, collection drives, and donations has been able to grow with us,” said Alana Christou, SharpSpring’s Director of HR and Recruitment. “Gainesville has allowed us to thrive as a business, and it’s important to us that we do as much as we can to give back and help it continue to thrive as a community.”

Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2018 When Work Works Award, for the company’s commitment to exemplary workplace practices. “As our company has grown, we’ve stayed committed to maintaining the same sense of openness and community that we started out with,” Christou explains. “We want SharpSpring to continue to be a great place to work for years to come.”

SharpSpring also hosts its Buzz networking event at a local bar or restaurant every month. The event is hosted so Gainesville tech professionals can get to know each other in a relaxed, laid-back environment. That environment is similar to SharpSpring’s offices where suits and ties are definitely not the norm. Food trucks bring lunch to the office regularly to feed the team and help support local businesses. A local massage therapist and car detailer are also regular visitors at the office.

SharpSpring 5001 Celebration Pointe Avenue Suite 410 Gainesville, FL 32608 sharpspring.com SharpSpringInc sharpspring sharpspring.com

It should be no surprise that the SharpSpring team, working and innovating in this supportive and inclusive environment, has earned multiple awards over the years. These accolades have ranged from awards for the SharpSpring platform itself—including a 2019 Most Revolutionary Software Award on the B2B technology review platform TrustRadius—to awards like the Society for 138


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WHO IS ACCELERATE? Accelerate is a digital marketing agency that was started in 2019. Our pricing model and services are designed to be outcome-based. We design our workflow to be centered around the customer. We specialize in social media and content creation. Our focus is to engage and grow our clients’ customer base to create meaningful interactions that benefit both parties. Accelerate is passionate about making an impact in our local community and give employees days off each year to donate their time to causes that are important to them.

OUR STORY Our focus and ability are to tell your story. Each client that comes to us for help is unique in their own way. As people push for automated posting software and generic content posts, consumers and potential clients are quickly becoming immune to the oversaturated blah that is pushed in front of them. Intelligent, thoughtful, targeted content is more important than ever to gain attention as the digital airwaves are flooded more and more with generic, useless content every day in hopes of hacking social platform algorithms and getting a few more likes. Accelerate moves in a different direction altogether and our results speak for themselves.

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Noah Wilburn, Creative Director

Gainesville is a small city that thinks big! It offers top-tier sports, a nationally renowned university, and world-class healthcare system that is beyond the average city of our size. Throw in a pinch of young talent and add in the flavor of the family dynamics and you have a melting pot of opportunity for young professionals eager to make their mark on the Greater Gainesville area and the world.

Alden Graetz, Operations Manager

When starting a small business, consistency is key. Accelerate came into existence to be the constant presence that small and medium-sized businesses need in order to grow their digital presence. Whether you are starting a podcast, growing on Instagram, building a mailing list for your company/blog, or trying to engage more on your Facebook posts, the one thing that will ultimately win the day is a strategy of consistent, long-term value and engagement. Most people stop 80% of their social media activity or quit altogether within 6 months of starting a business, which is why so many organizations have a hard time driving ROI on social media.

Accelerate Digital Agency +1-352-53-85-387 adaofficialmedia@gmail.com adagainesville

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Sami Kattan, CEO, Creative Director

OUR STORY Nomad was founded by CEO and Creative Director Sami Kattan. Born to a Syrian father and Irish mother and raised in Saudi Arabia as a child, he was brought into the world with a diverse background - and being immersed in travel from an early age has irrevocably created a global perspective in Kattan’s life. After graduating from the University of Florida with dual degrees in Anthropology and Psychology, Kattan embarked on a two year ‘nomadical sabbatical’ in Central America, where he found himself swimming alongside a 40 ft whale shark in crystal blue Caribbean waters. Using the original GoPro camera, he was able to capture that divine, mindblowing experience and share it with the world. In doing so, he found his true calling as a storyteller and committed his life to sharing the beauty and perfection of the natural world, with the goal of helping humanity realize the irreplaceable value of the place we all call home. Guided by this unshakeable drive, he continued to produce and share videos on social

ELEVATOR PITCH Nomad Creative is a digital storytelling agency focused on partnering with brands and organizations dedicated to passion and purpose. With film as our medium, we move audiences in a way that allows them to understand the mission and vision of our clients in an authentic, emotionally impactful manner. 141


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media that attracted the individuals that reverberated with his message who would become his first clients.

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cross the width of Costa Rica in three days to raising money for children in Baja California in need of life-saving cardiac surgery to leaning out of a safari Jeep to capture hyenas battle wild dogs in Richard Branson’s private game reserve - we go the distance necessary to tell the story and get the shot. With clients ranging from Beneath The Waves, Maverick1000, BBC, Virgin Group, National Geographic, and Spartan Race, Nomad’s media pieces have garnered millions of views across social media platforms, achieved impactful outcomes for businesses, raised millions of dollars for non-profits, and have been featured on Forbes, Virgin Group, Insider, Lonely Planet, Yahoo, and beyond.

Working primarily with non-profits committed to environmental conservation and social impact in the early days shaped his mission to communicate the unseen and help raise critical support for impactful causes. Fast forward to today and Nomad has grown into a full-fledged digital agency hosting a team of creatives that guide a range of clientele to realize and communicate their true purpose and move forward with more clarity, decisiveness, and drive to achieve their goals. Whether producing media for an established global ocean conservation non-profit working to save sharks or a CEO new to digital storytelling looking to bring more meaningful impact to their organization, Nomad is committed to telling powerful stories using the latest, cutting-edge film technology and a team of world-class talent. From filming mountain bikers

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ELEVATOR PITCH WHOA GNV is a podcast hosted by Collin Austin and Michael Dees that celebrates Gainesville by bringing you “businesses and individuals that make you go ‘WHOA!’” With an episode every week since early 2018, WHOA GNV is on a mission to connect everyone in Gainesville’s vibrant up-and-coming entrepreneurial community.

As a business owner, it was hard to sit there and wait for things to unfold. So Austin thought, “what can I do now? What can I do to get this community one step closer to a unified vision, to keeping our talent, to creating a larger impact?” So, in 2018, Austin created WHOA GNV.

Collin Austin is always telling people, don’t be afraid to tell your story, to share your content, because you don’t know who you’re impacting. WHOA GNV has come to impact lives in ways Austin never dreamed of—you never know who your story may touch.

“I try to see where help is needed and then execute,” says Austin. “There was an opportunity to highlight what makes Gainesville so great, its people, and I had the ability to do it, and so I did it.” Austin explains that the podcast has three core missions. The first is to help Gainesville as a community keep more of the Top 7 talent that graduate from the University of Florida.

OUR STORY When Collin Austin started his first business (NS4L) at the age of twentyone, in 2004, he and his business partner had to figure everything out on their own. As far as they could tell, there was no help in Gainesville for a couple of young entrepreneurs. Austin even thought about moving his company somewhere else—building it in Gainesville just seemed too hard.

The second is to recruit experienced talent and investor capital to Gainesville. “So many startups go to bigger cities after they’ve hit a certain point, because they have to follow the money. So we’re trying to attract investor capital, and the experienced talent that comes with it.”

Flash forward sixteen years, and all that is changing. Gainesville is becoming an entrepreneurial hub, and Austin successfully runs two businesses (and the podcast).

The third mission of the podcast is to connect the Gainesville business community. “I can’t tell you how many messages I’ve got on LinkedIn where someone says ‘I had no idea that business even existed in Gainesville!’ And that’s really satisfying.”

However, Austin knows that it’s still not always easy for entrepreneurs in Gainesville, and, as a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, he experienced meetings with many of the city’s large institutions coming together to create a unified vision for the city. “I’m honored that I get to play a role in those discussions as a board member for the chamber,” Austin said.

It’s a video podcast, so you can also watch it on Facebook or YouTube, or you can listen to it on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify—anywhere you listen to podcasts.

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“We’ve done 95 episodes, 95 weeks in a row,” says Austin. As an entrepreneur himself, Austin lets his own interest guide his questions, which leads to a wide range of topics, and because of the transparency of the guests, the conversations seem to resonate with other entrepreneurs. For example, WHOA GNV had a local Instagram influencer on, Kristin Coffey Pressley, and at one point Austin realized he really wanted to know how much money she was making. And he just asked (she said between $80k-$100k that year). People were surprised he would ask that, but, says Austin, “me asking about what I’m actually interested in is what makes the show interesting.”

“Hearing something like that,” says Austin, “you can’t put a dollar value on it.”

The most memorable WHOA GNV response, though, involved two different episodes. The first was the Kristin Kozelsky episode. Kozelsky is a business owner and talked about struggling with depression. Austin was supportive of her sharing her story: “People need to know they’re not alone as entrepreneurs. You feel like you don’t have support.”

For more information on WHOA GNV, visit whoagnv.com.

Austin is proud that WHOA GNV has already impacted Gainesville business owners, but he sees it impacting the community as a whole. “That’s what drives me,” he says.

WHOA GNV Podcast whoagnv whoagnvpodcast WHOA GNV Podcast whoagnv.com

Three months later, a guy named Drew Stuerman was on the show, the owner of Halo Potato Donuts. At the end of his episode, he said he’d watched the Kozelsky episode and got help because of it. 144


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“There’s a way to do it better. Find it.” —THOMAS EDISON

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ELEVATOR PITCH the UF Office of Technology and Licensing entrepreneurship program. After completing the program, they founded Altavian in 2011 and the US Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville became the company’s first customer.

Altavian is an aerospace and defense company headquartered in Gainesville, Florida. Founded in 2011, Altavian grew out of its startup stages into a small company of over 40 employees. We design, build, and fly small drones (under 25 pounds). Our engineering team is a multidisciplinary group with expertise ranging from aerospace, to avionics, software, mechanical design, and electronics. We are a privately held and funded entity with a long track record of success in both the commercial and defense spaces.

ESTABLISHED IN GAINESVILLE Not only is Gainesville Altavian’s birthplace and home, it’s one of the best places for small tech companies in the country, with a low cost of living and high quality of life. We are fortunate to have talented individuals with a wealth of experience working at Altavian and in the Gainesville area. Altavian enjoys a remarkably low turnover rate compared to other small defense contractors in other areas of the country.

OUR STORY ORIGIN AND FOUNDING

COMMERCIAL AND DEFENSE

Altavian was born out of a special project in the Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) Lab at the University of Florida. Wildlife biologists were working on nonobtrusive ways of monitoring various species of wildlife, including Florida manatees. The co-founders of Altavian worked jointly on innovating a drone that fulfilled the wildlife biologists’ needs efficiently and without disturbing wildlife. Shortly thereafter, drone design in hand, they entered

Altavian is unique as a small tech company as we often stand at the intersection of the commercial and defense industries. We are first and foremost a defense contractor. However, our systems have flown for agronomists on the Great Plains, researchers in Mississippi studying the Pearl River Delta, biologists in the Everglades, disaster response teams in 147


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that collects data in the real world can be augmented and improved by drones. Our collective vision is a world where drones can identify and help solve problems in real time, without the need for extra and unnecessary resources or putting a person in harm’s way. That’s the future we want to be a part of, and the one we’re helping to build.

Utah, Army Core groups throughout the Southeast, and surveyors from the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. As part of its DOD contracts, Altavian is now developing new systems and components for small reconnaissance drones to keep operators safe in hostile environments. Our goal is to develop the best technology possible to support and protect operators—all while competing with giants like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed, and AeroVironment.

TEAM AND CULTURE One of Altavian’s strengths is the mix of entry-level positions and veteran, experienced roles throughout the company. There is opportunity for anyone at any stage in their career to carve out a unique role and set of responsibilities in this growing company. We regularly offer engineering internships to students at the University of Florida—and some of our top engineers rose from an entry position as an intern.

Altavian 606 SE Depot Avenue Gainesville, FL 32601 +1-855-325-8284 altavian.com

As a team, we believe in the power of engineering. The persistent theme behind our design efforts is constant and continuous innovation and improvement. We believe any industry or endeavor, commercial or defense, 148


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21 successful dives, and has garnered the support of Santa Fe College’s Innovative Product Development Center, which is helping to spread word of the Hyper-Sub and its uses.

In three words: Speedboat. Submarine. Awesome. The revolutionary Hyper-Sub is a long-range speedboat that is also a true heavy-lift utility submarine. It looks more like a watercraft from the cover of a Clive Cussler novel than it does the product of a 12-year-old’s mind. Actually, it’s both—and the book cover came second.

“We’ve been approached by governments from around the globe who see a real need for the Hyper-Sub for coastal and port security,” Reynolds says. “We have been approached by leading defense contractors as well, conversations with which are constant and ongoing.”

“I started designing the Hyper-Sub when I was 12,” says Reynolds Marion, inventor of the Hyper-Sub and founder of Hyper-Sub Platform Technologies. “I stayed awake almost every night building it piece by piece in my mind, hoping to one day have a chance to build it.”

The attention is not surprising. Hyper-subs are designed to be high-speed surface craft that are also deep-dive submarines that can quickly and conveniently deploy from any dock, and so the craft is all but destined to be a rare multi-market vertical machine—as was the helicopter. Industry leaders in government, military, oil and gas, research and salvage, and tourism acknowledge that the design is easier, more economical, and safer to use than anything that has come before.

That chance came in 2002: “My wife said to me ‘we have been broke before and we can be broke again, but I think God gave this vision to you, and I don’t want to die wondering What if?’ So, we closed a perfectly good business, invested the last money we had to our name, and started building it.”

“It will revolutionize the economy and the ease with which we can now access a subsea environment,” Reynolds says.

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Though the Hyper-Sub made history when it proved, over the course of 21 dives, to be the first vessel capable of performing as a true surface vessel that could transition into a true, dry (pressure boundary) cabin submarine, it also demonstrated to be the first submarine capable of parking in waters as shallow as three feet deep after cruising fully submerged in waters as shallow as only 15 feet deep. “You can step off of a dock, travel anywhere you want to within a 500-mile radius, and then dive with only a throw of a few switches,” Reynolds says. In concept and in addition to the standard surface range of 500 nautical miles, Hyper-Subs should have rough sea safety features, and onboard dive-system recharge capabilities, which will allow for autonomous open sea operation. As a result, the cost and logistics normally associated with subsea-capable systems for their transport, deployment, and deployment support (as with work-class ROVs or other manned submersibles) is no longer a required penalty for subsea access.

Hyper-Sub Platform Technologies, Inc. +1-386-227-6573 rmarion@hypersub.com hypersubtech hypersub1 hypersubfounder hypersub1 Hyper-Sub Videos TeamHypersub.com

“It’s the world’s first, practical, subsea work truck,” Reynolds says. “Unlike any min-sub before, the Hyper-Sub provides a more practical, versatile, and inexpensive way to access, and work in, the sub-sea environment.”

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paracosm

ELEVATOR PITCH Paracosm develops the PX-80: the world’s first fully colorized, handheld 3D-mapping system. The PX-80 is used by professionals worldwide to create 3D-maps of their environment, ranging from construction sites here in the US to forests in Japan, and all the way to underground mining operations in Bulgaria.

In 2013, Amir co-founded Paracosm, along with Ian Taylor and several other engineers, with a vision to “3D-ify” the world. By 3D-ifying—that is, capturing and digitizing reality—Paracosm hoped to enable a new generation of software and robots to understand and interact with the physical world. The Paracosm team, who call themselves the “Parakeets,” raised $3.5 million of venture capital and began working closely on Google’s Project Tango (an Android smartphone with 3D-sensing capabilities), as well as with iRobot (who was an early investor) and the Roomba team to map people’s homes. Interestingly, every time the Paracosm team presented these early results, construction and engineering companies would call asking if the tech could be applied on job sites.

OUR STORY Amir Rubin graduated UF’s computer engineering program in 2003 and helped start several other tech companies in Gainesville, including Prioria Robotics and Shadow Health (both UF research spin-offs). 151


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In 2016, Amir decided to pivot the company to develop a new product specifically designed to 3D-map construction sites and industrial facilities. Coincidentally, around this time a new 3D-sensing technology called “LiDAR” began emerging for use in the self-driving car industry. LiDAR uses lasers to sense distance and objects, useful for self-driving cars to avoid accidents and collisions.

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In 2017, Occipital Inc., an industry-leading spatial computing and 3D-sensing startup, acquired Paracosm. Occipital’s offices are in Boulder, Colorado, and San Francisco, but Paracosm continues operations in Gainesville. Paracosm regularly collaborates with UF students and professors across the colleges of engineering, building construction, and geomatics. Customers who come visit Paracosm enjoy the springs and natural beauty of the area. Gainesville has proven to be a wonderful home for Paracosm and the Parakeets, and we are proud to be here!

Paracosm’s engineers recognized the power and versatility of LiDAR as a 3D-mapping sensor, and began work on a handheld 3D-mapping system built around this technology. After several years of R&D, Paracosm launched the PX-80—the world’s first colorized handheld LiDAR mapping system.

Paracosm +1-352-505-1971 12 South Main Street | Gainesville, FL 32601 paracosm3d Paracosm 3D paracosm.io

The PX-80 is now used by land surveyors, facility managers, construction site supervisors, and geospatial professionals in over 15 countries.

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Weaver Gaines, Cofounder & CEO

Stimulating change. Evren is advancing the treatment of PTSD through bioelectronic medicine. Our flagship device, the Phoenix™, delivers Vagal Nerve Stimulation (taVNS) in an innovative, discreet earbud design. We aim to be the first medical device for the treatment of PTSD and the first wearable taVNS device in a consumer wireless earbud design.

Four Pillars of Evren Strategy Bioelectronic Therapy: Providing non-invasive, non-pharmacological neuromodulation solutions for neuropsychological disorders. Human-Centered Design: Leading the taVNS market by developing an easy-to-use, wearable, consumer-facing device that looks and feels like a consumer electronic wireless earbud. Personalized Medicine: Each patient’s disorder presents as a unique combination of symptoms. We offer solutions as unique as our patients, putting the consumer at the center of our strategy. Therapy Optimization: Big data collection through our products will create opportunities for further therapy optimization. We will refine our algorithms and improve the product, detect and recognize real-world clinical and outcomes, develop clinical insights and trends, and potentially develop predictive capabilities. 153


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Stimulating change.

Our Technology The Phoenix™ system includes not only the earbud, but an advanced algorithm that provides personalized therapy by adjusting stimulation based on indicators of stress for the user. The device will be controlled by an app and also include a PTSD symptom journaling component, a clinician portal to monitor patient progress, and the ability to collect (de-identified) big data for future therapy optimization. Although the Phoenix™ is targeted at PTSD, we expect to use the taVNS technology to treat other indications for a wide universe of complaints including depression, epilepsy, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, insomnia, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and autism spectrum disorder. In addition, preliminary studies have shown promise for VNS in treatment of inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis as well as stroke or stroke recovery, partial spinal injuries, autoimmune diseases, obesity, and pain management.

How it all started Blythe Karow and Weaver Gaines met through the entrepreneurial community in Gainesville, FL. Blythe grew up here and, after about 20 years of working in medical device industry, decided to move back to her home town after realizing what a budding biotech area Gainesville had become. Weaver is a serial entrepreneur who founded multiple companies, most recently OBMedical which sold to Philips in 2018. When Blythe and Weaver finally met, they decided to look together for a technology that could be a passion project for both of them. Blythe was introduced to the inventors of Evren’s licensed IP from the University of Florida by UF Innovate Tech Licensing and, after hearing about the inventor’s ground-breaking research on taVNS and PTSD, introduced them to Weaver as a potential project.

How Evren got its name Blythe is a mentor for a local program out of UF Innovate called EWITS (Empowering Women in Technology Startups) that helps women become comfortable with entrepreneurship though a 10 week intensive course. This course uses IP from UF and Blythe suggested her team use the IP that Evren now licenses. Through the course, the team working on the project decided to name the product the Evren, which is NERVE backwards. The name was so good, we decided to use it for the real company! 154

Blythe Karow, Cofounder, President & COO

Our Local Partners Another close entrepreneur to the Evren family is Neil Euliano, PhD, founder of Convergent Engineering just down the road from Evren. Neil worked with Weaver and OBMedical on their maternal/fetal heart rate monitoring technology and will be leading the development of our closed-loop algorithm as Chief Technology Officer. Slidewave, a FL based development company, will be developing the apps, clinician portal, and backend system to support our system while Triple Ring Technologies, with a satellite office in Orlando, will be working on the industrial design of the earbud itself.

Our Future 2019 was our founding year, where we saw the establishment of our company, growing our ranks by adding financial, project management, quality, and marketing personnel, finding amazing partners for our product development, being accepted into multiple regional pitch competitions and into the first Guidewell accelerator focused on female-led healthcare startups, putting together extremely supportive and excited Patient and Clinician Advisory Boards, and completing our first round of funding! We look forward to 2020, in which we will complete our product development, including industrial design and full miniaturization into the wireless earbud design, and kick off our FDA Clinical trial. Look for us in the market in 2021!

Evren Technologies 404 SW 140th Terrace, Suite 50 Newberry, FL 32669

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SOFTWARE & APP DEVELOPMENT

“The history of innovation is the story of ideas that seemed dumb at the time.” — ANDY DUNN

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ELEVATOR PITCH GHST (pronounced “ghost”) Development creates software for fast-moving companies that need technical expertise and don’t currently have it. We like to say that our partners are renting a CTO to be on their team. Our team clarifies our partners’ business goals and converts them to user-acquiring and revenue-generating mobile and web apps. We move as fast as possible to bring the best product out to market. Since we often work with startups, moving fast isn’t a nice bonus—it’s a necessity. Having founded startups ourselves, we know how tough it is. Which is why we are partners with our clients, not just developers that are hired to create software.

Ryan, Co-founder

OUR STORY A little more than a year ago, founders Siddha and Ryan noticed a large inefficiency in the way local software startups ran. Most companies would get software outsourced, and wouldn’t know what they were getting made for them until they actually got the software back. Largely, the software would be buggy and not functional at best, so these companies would then look locally for better developers. Why not just develop software with fully transparent technical partners to begin with? Siddha and Ryan founded GHST Development to solve this exact problem. GHST Development is a massive innovation enabler. The products that we create enable solutions to real problems that our client businesses are 157


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BRINGING STARTUP SOFTWARE MISSIONS TO REALITY THROUGH COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY.Â

Siddha, Co-founder

fixing. All the software we create enables our partners to succeed and grow their business, and in turn, create massive innovations in society. At GHST Development, we also have innovated the process of being transparent with our clients. From the beginning, we provide them with not just software, but business consulting and sample work before we even start. We want our clients to be valued even before they become partners. We do all of this because we want to work with companies that trust our vision, just like we trust theirs.

better idea of the current startup and business landscape as a whole, which helps our other clients in the future. We want to build a community of companies who can reach out for technical and business expertise exactly when they need it. We want GHST Development to be the enabler of innovation for the world.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Advanced Digital Marketing is an agency that created a new methodology to advertise on Facebook and Instagram. This original method replicates Charles Darwin’s natural selection, but instead of individuals, it focuses on evolving the performance of their ads and their results.

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OUR STORY The method initially required extensive manual work and long hours from marketers in order to succeed. That is why they developed Artificial Intelligence to reduce their workload, clearing a path with more speed and better decision-making processes. After helping companies to achieve returns of up to 17.2 times their ad spend, ADM decided to add more functionalities to its technology, adding more weapons to its arsenal. Some of the most popular marketing AI agents built are: Hercules: Artificial Intelligence–based technology that assists marketers in obtaining better performance on their ads. Hercules analyzes all ads and tells the marketer which ones are most profitable and which are least profitable. It also determines which ads will get late attribution from Facebook, a big but difficult-to-solve problem for digital marketers related to receiving conversion data in time from Facebook. Because marketing decisions rely so heavily on data, it is crucial to receive the data in time; however, current advertising platforms make this intentionally difficult. Influencer Finder: A tool that identifies and tracks hashtags and influencers on Instagram. After being activated, it checks Instagram for potential influencers based on the list of hashtags provided. Any time someone uses that hashtag, the tool scrapes publicly available information and uses it to decide whether or not the influencer is meeting the requirements of the brand or not. Hater Blocker: Hater Blocker reads all the comments on your posts and uses natural language processing, a form of AI, to analyze the emotional sentiment—whether it is positive or negative—of the comments. If the comment has strong negative connotations, it automatically hides them, and only those who posted and their friends can see it. This is particularly useful when rogue users spread hate or misinformation on a brand or campaigner’s post, blocking the damaging words before other users can see or be influenced by it. The tool can be applied not only to paid advertising, but also regular page posts.

The Team Gaba: Gaba has a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the University of Florida. He has 15 years of digital marketing experience and created the first version of the methodology and automation for Facebook ads. Guilherme: Gui has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Florida. He became the lead marketer in the company after beating Gaba in a marketing challenge. Heavily invested in data analysis, he automated reporting and developed the late-attribution model. Dany: Dany is known as the Rockstar programmer. He is an ex-Microsoft and ex-Tesla employee who uses his expertise to bring fresh ideas and technologies to ADM’s ever-evolving set of Artificial Intelligence–powered software. Dany’s passions also extend past tech; he has a love for altitudes as a skydiver and used to be a highly competitive swimmer. Eddie: Eddie is a Computer Science major from Santa Fe College and is a Software Engineer at ADM. He built the entire frontend for the web-app, contributed to the creation of the backend, and helped populate and maintain the database in his first three months of hire.

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OUR STORY

ELEVATOR PITCH What started in Paul Prusakowski’s apartment almost 25 years ago has become the most recognized practice management software in orthotics and prosthetics. But OPIE has evolved to be more than just software on a screen – it’s an organization designed to support all aspects of an O&P practice. This means providing key education to practitioners through the OPIE Choice Network, creating tools for better practice workflow through business intelligence consulting, empowering our customers with dashboards & analytics tools, and staying on the cusp of evolution through cloud-based practice management software like OPIE Anywhere.

This Gainesville-based organization serves the global medical community by constantly evolving, and one of the ways it does this is by employing some of the best that our local community has to offer. With over 80 employees from the central Florida region, OPIE Software has created its own microcosm of healthcare software innovation. We’re lifelong learners at OPIE, which means we’re always iterating, always innovating, and always improving. From being a fully Agile software company, to working on projects in conjunction with the University of Florida, to recruiting some of the brightest young minds through internship programs, OPIE does what it takes to ensure that we’re always getting better.

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Real advancement stems from staying true to our mission: pioneering industry-leading software, proven clinical management best practices and customized training and service solutions to improve outcomes for patients, practices, and policy makers. OPIE sees a future where advanced technology, data-driven decisions, and shared best practices empower orthotic and prosthetic experts around the world to deliver the highest level of patient care and receive the highest level of professional reward.

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and never forget that delivering our best every day means bringing our best - every day. At the end of the day, OPIE Software is the culmination of many years of research, development and refinement that has led to a seamless experience for orthotics and prosthetics practices. We’ve been providing online resources and practice management software tools since 1995 and will continue to be a leader through innovation in the O&P and physical rehabilitation sectors.

Being data-centric means OPIE knows its numbers. We collect meaningful data and use it to make more impactful decisions. Everyone at OPIE knows what it means to build, measure, and learn. At OPIE, we hold ourselves and each other accountable for delivering high quality software and services,

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INFOTECH Not Many Tech Companies Have Led Two Industries for 40+ Years. Then again, not many have been around for 40 years in the first place. Founded in 1977 by two University of Florida professors, Infotech develops infrastructure construction software solutions and provides expert statistical and econometric consulting. We’ve maintained our reputation in two complex industries by making constant innovation a priority. We view innovation as a way of moving down a path toward our goals. By honing in on incremental innovation—small, focused improvements—we continue to build the momentum that has powered us forward for decades. And will for decades to come.

Fast Facts • 300+ employees and growing • Average employee tenure of 10 years • LEED Gold certified headquarters in Celebration Pointe Where Are All the Best Tech Companies Founded? Garages, of course! In 1977, Dr. Jim McClave started Infotech in his garage as a legal consultancy. As a side hustle, Dr. McClave authored introductory statistics textbooks that are still in use today. Meanwhile, co-founder Dr. Tom Rothrock was just finishing up his PhD thesis on the statistical analysis of sealed bid markets. After several successful collaborations, Dr. McClave invited Dr. Rothrock to join Infotech and the rest, as they say, is history. Two Businesses, One (Solar-Paneled) Roof Our Systems and Consulting businesses may be distinct, but we’re united by the dual spirit of integrity and innovation present since our founding. Tapping into Expansive Human Potential Like all tech professionals, we’re obsessed with playing around with new tech, ideas, and concepts. So much so, we built it into our corporate calendar. Regular hackathons bring teams together to demo new product or process concepts, while Project Launch ensures our best thinkers can pitch new ideas year round— because innovative ideas come from every corner of the company.

“How often have you failed? How often has an idea been brought to the table and you did something about it, then threw it away? It may not work, but you learned from it. Having those results is how you put innovation into practice instead of just talking about it.” —Will McClave, President of Systems 163


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A History of Innovation 1977: 1981: 1982: 1985:

1991: 1997: 2002: 2007: 2012: 2017: 2019:

Founded in Dr. Jim McClave’s garage Helped win $30 million bid-rigging case for Florida DOT Started developing software for analyzing bidding activities Sold early software to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) beginning a partnership that still exists today Continued to break settlement records with ~$100 million infant formula price-fixing case Developed software for estimation and online bidding that are still in use today Developed construction administration software Appia® to open new markets Celebrated 30th anniversary shortly after hitting $20 million in revenue Launched a number of apps that introduced mobile tech to job sites Moved into new corporate headquarters in Celebration Pointe Earned LEED Gold certification and launched new company brand

“Treat people right. The rest will follow.” —Dr. Jim McClave, CoFounder

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“Diversity without inclusion is merely a catchphrase.” —Usha Suryadevara, Director of Product Development Innovation is a People Business Our strategy for giving back is simple—we believe in effectively using our time and resources to better our community. We might be a tech office, but our volunteers are out there swinging hammers for Habitat for Humanity, our house band hosts fundraising concerts, and we’ve been known to judge our neighborhood science fairs from time to time. We’ve even started a local startup support program to share our talent with some of the best ideas in town. Gainesville is bursting with new ways for the community to rally together and Infotech is always searching for local innovation to sponsor in as many ways as we can.

it’s a place we’re proud to call home—Monday through Friday from 9 to 5, of course.

Creation and Recreation Go Hand-In-Hand To promote innovation, it’s necessary to cultivate an environment where free thought thrives. Our LEED Gold–certified headquarters includes a roof garden, white noise generator, and retro arcade room to keep good ideas flowing. And with solar panels, low-flow fixtures, and Florida-friendly landscaping,

An Empowered, Diverse Workforce We believe that diverse teams produce diverse thinking, so we make it a priority to hire the best minds from different cultures and backgrounds. And with a tech stack that’s as diverse as our workforce, our developers benefit from ample choice, as well as a stipend for investing in new technology.

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“Identify your customers’ needs, and work with them to develop the initial version of your product. Keep it small, keep it focused, and get it out there.” —Dr. Tom Rothrock, Co-Founder

“Innovation is a way of moving down a path towards a goal. Every now and then, world-changing ideas come up, but just as important are the small, incremental things that make a user experience better. Those are the ones that add up.” —Bob Dehoff, Associate Vice President for Strategy and Innovation

Infotech InfotechFL infotechinc info-tech

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OUR STORY

ELEVATOR PITCH Admiral is The Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) Company, helping digital publishers grow relationships with their users. Pioneered by Admiral, VRM promotes intelligent targeting, engagement, and communication with multiple segments of a publisher’s audience to maximize ARPU/ROI for each visitor. Our modules solve challenges from adblock recovery to GDPR/ CCPA privacy consent and enable paid subscriptions, email acquisition, social growth and more—all through a single tag. Admiral is saving the free Internet, one publisher at a time.

Whether it’s business or personal, strong relationships are the foundation for achieving the best life has to offer. This is the driving principle behind Admiral and the methodology we employ within our products. For the first couple of decades of the Internet, publishers got away with little or no thought to their relationship with their visitors because the “free content for advertising impressions” value exchange was never truly challenged. This led to abuse from both sides: 1) publishers abusing visitors with bad ad experiences and 2) visitors abusing publishers with ad blockers. Early anti-adblock attempts went out of business because they exacerbated the problem by trying to jam ads past the blockers via surprise ad reinsertion, annoying visitors by actively discouraging engagement, consent, and relationship-building. Admiral took the opposite path, pioneering engagement and consent-based access control—allowing both sides to protect themselves and grow a trust-based relationship. 167


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Admiral team shopping spree to benefit Toys for Tots

VRM is focused on respecting visitors as people, not numbers and statistics. Relationships matter, and relationships drive revenue and sustainability, for individual publishers and the Internet as a whole.

In the process, we found that visitors want to reward the sites they visit— via whitelisting, custom ad experiences, email subscription, privacy consent, social follows, paid subscriptions for premium content or ad-free experiences, and more. Although Visitor Relationship Management began as a solution to adblock recovery by offering alternatives to adblockers, it’s now grown into a relationship-focused approach that can be applied to ALL segments of visitors. VRM is focused on respecting visitors as people, not numbers and statistics. Relationships matter, and relationships drive revenue and sustainability, for individual publishers and the Internet as a whole.

Our Mission Admiral’s mission since day one has been “saving the free Internet, one publisher at a time,” but what are we saving it from and why? The Internet’s core ad-supported business model is crumbling before our eyes, leading some of the world’s largest, best, and oldest publishers to shrink, consolidate, or simply go out of business. A new and creative value exchange is critical to sustaining the Internet’s ability to inform, educate, and empower the world around us. We believe relationships are the key to ensuring the free Internet has a strong, fair, and sustainable business model for future generations to come.

Our People Although the team has grown to span the country and serve customers around the globe, Admiral’s Gainesville roots run deep, including Gator’s from the class of 1991 to the class of 2021. In fact, each of Admiral’s founders was integral in building one of Gainesville’s largest tech startups; music streaming pioneer Grooveshark. Like a phoenix from the ashes of Grooveshark, Admiral was founded in 2015 around a couple of old desks in the Grooveshark offices, grew its seed story in the Sun Center, and expanded to the UF Innovation Hub after securing a Gainesville SaaS seed funding record of $5+ million. A love for the excitement and unpredictability of startups permeates the Admiral culture, with more than half of Admiral’s employees having been involved with starting a company of their own in the past.

If you’d like to help or want more info, check us out at getadmiral.com

Admiral GetAdmiral getadmiral.com

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After a successful crowdfunding campaign and two failed rounds of beta testing their business card solution, they were approached by the organizers of the TEDx UF conference in Gainesville to build a custom version of the Feathr app which would contain speaker profiles and allow TEDx UF attendees to connect with each other before, during, and after the conference. “We ended up with a much more practical app, as well as a new business model” said Levental.

Feathr is a software startup with over 100 employees all based in Gainesville, FL. Feathr provides a suite of digital marketing tools specifically tailored for the needs of professional associations and conference/exhibition organizers, enabling them to grow attendance, membership, and sponsorship revenue through modern online channels such as programmatic advertising and influencer marketing.

Feathr fully pivoted to focus on providing white-labeled mobile apps to conferences and events. The new direction led to a $150K seed investment from angel investors in Florida in 2013 and modest revenues over the next year and a half as Feathr built apps for over a hundred conferences, but the founders saw the writing on the wall. “We were failing in slow motion” said Augustin. “We had over 80 direct competitors in what was already a fairly niche category, and our original differentiation of being networkingfocused quickly become commodified.”

Did You Know: Feathr recently became the first software startup in Gainesville to ever raise a Series B round of venture capital funding ($11M led by Fulcrum Equity Partners). Feathr began as a “digital business card” mobile app while co-founders Aidan Augustin and Aleksander Levental were still undergrad students at the University of Florida. First pitched as “CardSync” at a Startup Weekend event in late 2011, Feathr incorporated shortly thereafter and was one of the first companies to move into UF’s then-brand-new “Innovation Hub” incubator (now UF Innovate | The Hub).

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Besides their commercial success, Augustin is especially proud of how Feathr gives back to the local community. For example, Feathr holds the annual “Wintr Ball” event which just had its fourth iteration and raised thousands of dollars for charity, and gives all employees a fully-paid “service day” to spend with the cause of their choosing. Another way Feathr gives back is by sponsoring community organizations such as startupGNV, Gainesville Black Professionals, the Cade Museum, and the Collaboratory for Women Innovators. there in the first place. Conference organizers needed help navigating the increasingly complex maze of digital marketing channels as their traditional methods such as direct mail campaigns or advertising in trade publications were losing efficacy. That pitch led to another $100K seed investment plus an invitation to Capital Factory, a renowned startup accelerator in Austin, TX.

Augustin emphasizes just how important Gainesville’s community has been to the company. “The tech startup scene in Gainesville certainly smaller than Austin’s, but it is tight-knit and extremely supportive.” Augustin says the company, and he personally, received a lot of mentorship and help when they were first starting out, and he feels strongly about paying it forward to the next wave of Gainesville entrepreneurs. Simply put, as Augustin says: “We love this city.”

“The old saying of “third time’s a charm’ held true in our case” said Augustin. After sunsetting the mobile app product and launching an early version of Feathr’s current digital marketing suite, business immediately took off. After absorbing the mentorship of Capital Factory for a year, Augustin and Levental concluded that the cost of living, talent pool, and culture of Gainesville provided a better environment for Feathr to scale up. Feathr returned to Gainesville in 2015 as a team of two, and now “The Flock” is over 100 strong, all based out of Feathr’s office in the Gainesville Innovation District. The company was recently recognized as #8 in the Gator100, UF’s list of the fastest-growing Gator-owned or Gator-led companies in the world.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Access to a high-paying coding job anywhere in the world is just a keystroke away, and the Gainesville Dev Academy is empowering Gainesville’s workforce with skills to both compete globally and dominate locally. “IT jobs will grow by 22 percent through 2020. Currently, there are half a million tech jobs in the U.S. awaiting fulfillment, and as part of President Obama’s TechHire initiative, we look to fill those gaps by providing superior training,” said Duncan Kabinu, co-founder of the Gainesville Dev Academy.

OUR STORY The Academy is the brainchild of Kabinu and other Gainesville entrepreneurs, who are all leaders in the area’s tech sector. It specializes in helping developers become better at making world-class web, mobile and desktop applications. In turn, area tech companies that need top-notch programmers will benefit from having a more robust workforce to choose from instead of having to search for talent outside of Gainesville. “We’re excited to provide the level of immersive developer education needed to Gainesville residents who are pursuing careers as web or mobile developers on the global stage but want to remain in the region.”

skills that they can immediately put to use in their careers. However, the education goes beyond teaching students how to program; at the Academy, students are also taught to think like experts and to seek answers to tough questions.

Students at Gainesville Dev Academy learn what it takes to build entire applications on multiple platforms and are taught real-world developer

“There’s a difference between knowing how to code and being able to

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produce the types of applications that are so highly sought in today’s market,” Kabinu said. “Our training is focused on helping you become a great developer, not just someone who understands the basic lingo.”

Additionally, the Academy offers graduating students free job placement assistance services through over 20 local tech companies. The Academy has partnerships with Santa Fe College and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Council for Economic Outreach, regional workforce board and many others.

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ELEVATOR PITCH That’s why we created LiveGreen. LiveGreen is on a mission to empower everyone to do their part in reversing climate change.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, growing concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere have led to an increase in the average global temperature by about 0.8°C. What may seem like a small change is already deeply impacting the world and the United States. Hotter and drier summers in California are causing wildfires to become larger and longer, and here in the State of Florida, the economy has been deeply affected by more frequent hurricanes and coral bleachings on the Gulf of Mexico. If left unchecked, damages of climate change will exceed 10% of the US GDP or upwards of $1.9 trillion by 2100.

Our proprietary app allows people to track their daily emissions from food, purchases, transportation, and utilities and helps them reduce those emissions. We took an additional step and partnered with four reforestation projects at American national parks to give our users the opportunity to offset what they cannot reduce by automatically planting trees through our carbon neutral subscription. Our users not only get to see their trees on a map but also receive pictures and seasonal updates of all trees they plant. We strongly believe this creates more of a personal and physical connection to their emissions than traditional carbon offsets.

However, there’s still hope. According to the recent report from the IPCC, we can still prevent irreversible damage by reaching carbon neutrality within every sector of the economy in the next 30 years.

LiveGreen’s first public version was launched on the iOS App Store at the beginning of 2019 and without any major marketing, we have reached over 20,000 users and helped saved 3.8 million pounds of CO from the atmosphere. We are currently operating on the voluntary offsetting market, which includes businesses and individuals voluntarily offsetting their carbon emissions without being required by governments.

OUR STORY Climate change is the biggest issue facing our generation. We are the first generation to see its effects and the last that can stop it. Fortunately, we are up for the challenge, for the third year in a row, “climate change” has been ranked by Millenials as the most serious global issue. 83% of Millennials are willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment. However, at the moment, there are no accessible ways to fight climate change as an individual. We live our everyday lives without understanding how our actions impact the environment and what we can do to truly make a difference.

Since 2010, this market has seen a 37% year over - year growth and shows no sign of slowing down. Within the next five years, LiveGreen aims to acquire 10% of the quick-growing $820 million voluntary-offsetting market. However, that market is still small compared to the $82 billion Global Emissions Trading market, which includes mandatory carbon offsets and serves as our Total Addressable Market. 173


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actions or contributions. This is what differentiates us from the competitors; LiveGreen is the first platform that shows people the impact of all their daily choices, tells them specifically how they can improve, and provides an easy way to automatically offset all the emissions they cannot reduce.

Our team is composed of computer science students at the University of Florida and we are launching our venture at the Gator Hatchery incubator. We have been working together for 2 years and had the opportunity to win awards at prestigious competitions across major universities, such as at Duke University, Caltech, University of Michigan, and Yale, as well as having experience in the industry by working in industry leaders like Microsoft and Quora. In 2019, we had the opportunity to win first place in the Big Idea Gator Business Plan Competition and th e $25,000 prize allowed us to fund our business growth.

We are on a mission to empower everyone to do their part in reversing climate change and close the current 32 billion ton CO2 emission gap by 2030. In the near future, we will expand our business to cities that can benefit from carbon neutrality or environmental data insights within their regions. We know we cannot do this alone, and it will take more than government mandates and restrictions on business to save our plane— so we are creating a movement of people who together can significantly reduce their carbon emissions and together, we can achieve a sustainable environment for generations to come.

By being a tech company in a field dominated by traditional offsetting companies, LiveGreen has the advantage to innovate in the market and test new features before anyone else. We are the first mobile platform in the market and the first to empower people to track the carbon footprint of their everyday items, from a banana to an iPhone, by building our own Carbon database. Many companies have entered the growing Voluntary Offsetting market in the past couple of years—however, none of them empower users to track and reduce their own daily emissions. For example, one of the leading companies in this field is Choose, which allows people to buy carbon credits to offset their own carbon footprint. Treedom simply allows customers to purchase trees to offset carbon emissions. Both of these companies have been able to raise capital and attract customers—showing the high level of interest in this market—however, none of our competitors engage users with personalized data showing individual impact; nor do they reward

Brian De Souza, CEO +1-561-929-4363 briandesouza@livegreen.io Pablo Garces, CTO +1-305-905-3212 pablogarces@livegreen.io livegreen.io

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“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” — MALCOLM X

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA RANKED NO. 7 IN THE TOP 10 FOR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES BY US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT

Jeff Citty, EdD, UF Innovation Academy

ELEVATOR PITCH The Innovation Academy (IA) is a leading-edge undergraduate program that is poised to provide students with the skills of the 21st-century worldwide economy. We are proud of the foundation and culture of innovation we are delivering to all of our IA students. Our curriculum provides a clear path towards gaining a competitive advantage in today’s global marketplace— complete with four years of specifically designed courses in creativity, entrepreneurship, ethics, and leadership. Earning the Innovation minor along with a degree provides for a powerfully launched career.

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OUR STORY Intro to IA Along the way, we host compelling guest speakers, work with sophisticated prototyping tools, showcase projects at competitions, and leverage university resources such as incubation space and an app development lab. Being an academic program centered on creatively designing humancentered innovations to solve large and small problems provides a tremendous opportunity for students to excel in forward-thinking and turn their ideas into reality.

Many Majors, One Minor The Innovation Academy (IA) is the University of Florida’s groundbreaking undergraduate program, located at one of its most dynamic research universities that attracts unique students from thirty majors and integrates them into a spring-summer cohort filled with energy, collisions that become ideas, and one common minor: Innovation. From the unique curriculum to the collision of ideas to the flexibility of the spring-summer cohort, the Innovation Academy is not your average program. A minor in innovation is not for everyone. It is for that special breed of competitive, forward-thinking student. A student willing to explore both the arts and sciences to cultivate the skills needed to land a rewarding job and build a successful career in the modern global economy. Innovation Academy attracts Innovators. Risk takers. Entrepreneurs. Idea people. The Competitive Edge you are looking for comes with UF IA students at the Innovation Academy at UF: Collaboration with experts and peers Experience with a vital mix of disciplines Learned strategic risk-taking Experimentation with rapid prototyping Exploration of play, passion & purpose Charting the path from creativity to unique professional ventures

The Curriculum The UF Innovation Minor is exclusive to IA students. The Innovation Minor courses are designed to provide a core knowledge base and a skill set to prepare IA students for the 21st-century economy.

Required Courses

Creativity in Context Creativity in Action Principles of Entrepreneurship Fostering Innovation through Leadership Ethics in Innovation Innovation Academy Senior Project

TOTAL CREDITS: 15–16

Catalyst Challenge Catalyst is Innovation Academy’s summer showcase that serves as a launching point that inspires students to move their ideas forward beyond the classroom and apply their innovative solutions to the communities they live in after the second Innovation minor course ends. IA students in the Creativity-in-Action course present their ideas, prototypes, informational 178

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Incubation Space UF encourages interested students to apply to use incubation space at the Gator-Hatchery or the Launchpad Scholars program to foster innovation and growth.

Speaker Series Inviting various industry professionals & thought leaders to speak to IA students as guest lecturers. posters, and persuasive pitches at Catalyst. Innovation Academy holds one showcase at the end of Summer A and one at the end of Summer B every year. The Innovation Academy invites members of the community, family, friends, fellow innovators, and people passionate about innovation to attend.

Study Abroad The fall semester off is ideal for study abroad—giving students a large window of time to work with when studying abroad.

Program Perks & Benefits

Employment

IA LLC IGNITE LIVE, LEARN, LEAD where INNOVATION thrives @ Beaty Towers The IA Living Learning Community (LLC) at Beaty Towers is open to students admitted to the Innovation Academy, and allows students in the same academic program to live and study together year round, if they choose. The IA LLC aims to create an environment that invites opportunities for formal and informal interactions between residents, staff, and faculty through programs and activities that integrate in-class and out-of-class experiences.

IA has caught the attention of many employers and leaders who have sought upper-level students to work for them full-time in the fall when all other students return to campus or can only work part-time.

Internship Opportunities IA offers a successful Fall Internship program with local startup companies in Gainesville where students work in teams and earn 4 credits in the process. IA also curates an independent internship database to support students looking for opportunities nationally.

Curriculum Enhancements

Join Us

Arduino programming, Adobe Illustrator driven laser cutting, 3D modeling with Fusion 360, iteration, and prototyping skills, and the Innovation Mindset Course.

Any prospective UF freshman can apply to the Innovation Academy Program as part of the University of Florida application. To apply to the Innovation Academy, freshman applicants should indicate interest in the Innovation Academy and complete the additional essay on their UF undergraduate admission application. For more information, visit https://admissions.ufl.edu/apply/freshman/

Competitions IA students enter their ideas and creations into various competitions such as The Big Idea, MuniMod, and many more! 179


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Support Us The next generation of Gator Innovators need your support. Giving to the UF IA Innovation Fund is a unique opportunity to invest in a distinct new way of teaching and learning. This funding helps to provide immersive student experiences, curriculum development and materials, and co-curricular programming that move our vision forward in graduating innovators who utilize design thinking to solve global challenges through experimental and creative problem solving. When supported, innovation blossoms. Support us today at http://ufl.to/t4

THEIR STORY DANNA REGNIER MEMBER OF THE INAUGURAL IA COHORT, CLASS OF 2017 ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT, ENTERPRISE SUPPLY CHAIN ORGANIZATION, CITI BANK “Having problem-solving skills is the most important element that a lot of younger professionals don’t think of. They feel that they have their degree... so they should just have the promotion handed to them – not the case! Your education, skill sets, experiences, and other qualifications have you in the door but won’t take you any further. It does not warrant you promotions or progressions in your career – you have to do more than that to advance. That’s when the innovative mindset, the critical thinking, the problem-solving skills come in, that is what pushes us forward. Because I have the Innovation minor, I often go for the problemsolving opportunities. This has expanded my career in a way that it did not for other people. For example, if you are that person that always brings new solutions to the table, always asks the questions, while others don’t, then additional doors will open for you. While I do my core responsibilities well, I have that innovative mind; I always look for process improvement opportunities... I optimize my capacity, so I have more bandwidth to search for new opportunities... I’m able to think through questions, scenarios, and come up with the different solutions. That’s why I have advanced faster than people who have started at the same time as me.”

University of Florida Innovation Academy 280 Fletcher Drive, Suite 321 P.O.Box 117545 Gainesville, FL, 32611-7545 +1-352-294-1785

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The Engineering Innovation Institute at the University of Florida ELEVATOR PITCH The mission of the University of Florida Engineering Innovation Institute (EII) is to foster a culture of innovation among Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering students, faculty, and staff. The Institute serves as a nexus of engineering innovation education and experiential programs extending across the spectrum of creative discovery and invention, to the transition of UF engineering technologies and innovative students to the marketplace. The Institute produces leaders with engineering and innovation skills to attack the world’s most daunting problems and change the world.

Erik Sander, Director - Lawrence Tinker, Assistant Director

OUR STORY The Institute’s primary program elements are Creativity and Entrepreneurship built on the foundation of the College’s research programs, both of which support the goal of creating the New Engineer. The Creativity element develops innovative thinking in our constituents, providing invaluable skill sets when combined with the analytical and problem-solving skills inherent in our engineering education and research programs. The Entrepreneurship element focuses on dovetailing technology with entrepreneurial education programs and is designed to bring commercialization focus and direction directly to the breadth and depth of the College’s research programs, ingraining entrepreneurial thought processes in engineering students and faculty.

The Innovation Fellows Program opened doors to people and companies that I had only dreamed of meeting and visiting. It also allowed me to grow as an individual and expand my

The Institute is focused on high-value outcomes and is designing programs to assure students, faculty, staff, the university, and external stakeholders are impacted in a real and deep manner.

communication skills by working with a diverse group of leaders that were experts in their own field. Overall, the program gave me essential skills that will help me in my future entrepreneurial ventures.”

The Institute’s curriculum, dovetailed with the UF Engineering Leadership Institute coursework, includes courses taken by over 1,600 UF engineering students annually in:

—Maxim Davis, 2018 Participant

Engineering Entrepreneurship Engineering Innovation Divergent Thinking Fundamentals of the New Engineer Sales Engineering

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CERTIFICATE The Innovation Certificate is offered to both graduate and undergraduate students with core themes involving the study of innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, and ethics. This certificate develops a comprehensive skill set that is applied in innovation-driven enterprises and within larger organizations.

MINOR The Innovation Minor provides the academic background for graduates to think more creatively, innovatively, and entrepreneurially. Graduates are more rounded with innovation skill sets that enhance career advancement opportunities, either for employers or in their own entrepreneurial pursuits.

Innovation Fellows Innovation Fellows, a joint program between the University of Florida’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and Warrington College of Business, takes a select group of undergraduate students from the two colleges, has them form interdisciplinary teams and guides them through a 15-18-week program focused on pursuing the development of a project or technology. The program culminates in a visit to Silicon Valley and a presentation of the project summary to the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering West Coast Advisory Board.

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UF BME IS DEVELOPING LEADERS WHO INNOVATE AT THE INTERFACE OF ENGINEERING AND HEALTH SCIENCES ELEVATOR PITCH The J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at the University of Florida (UF) is one of 11 departments within the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. UF BME was established in 2002 and grew out of a program made possible by a grant from the Whitaker Foundation.

OUR STORY In 2006 the department received a significant donation from Dr. J. Crayton Pruitt and his family foundation, which was matched with funds from the state of Florida Major Gift Trust Fund. As a result of the gift, University officials named the department in honor of the Pruitt family, making it the first-ever named department at UF. UF BME is one of only a few departments in the nation to be co-localized with a top-ranked medical school, veterinary school and dental school. This proximity has fostered a highly interdisciplinary approach to research and education. Since 2012, UF BME has climbed 20 spots to No. 13 among U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best Public Graduate School Rankings. This reflects the extraordinary work of our faculty, students, and staff over the department’s history. There is little doubt that the tremendous advances in medicine over the past few decades can be attributed to the exciting achievement and growth in the field of biomedical engineering. At BME, our dedicated faculty are preparing students to be leaders of this movement. Our rigorous and comprehensive curriculum educates students intending to solve problems and create innovations at the intersection of engineering and health sciences. In addition, BME fosters: • Entrepreneurship and innovation through opportunities for industry partnerships, internships and certification programs • Leadership and ambassadorship through engagement in international, national and university-based professional societies and communities • Global awareness through leadership seminars, interdisciplinary symposia, networking events, exchange programs and community outreach 183


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RESEARCH THRUSTS The department specializes in six distinct research areas: Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine, Biomechanics and Bionics, Biomedical Imaging and Applications, Modeling and Biomedical Data Science, Molecular and Cellular Engineering and Neural Engineering. OUTREACH UF BME faculty and students, through the department’s student organizations and clubs, serve as ambassadors to the profession, bringing their resources and knowledge to the community through advocacy and outreach activities that include STEM education, K-12 education programs, recruitment and training. These opportunities serve to not only benefit the community and encourage the next generation of engineers, but also to develop communication and leadership skills in BME students. DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Core to our mission is diversity and inclusion. As such, the department established a new diversity and inclusion officer to promote equity and social justice and to enhance the education experience by challenging students and faculty to bring more inclusive actions to the community. The department also focuses on personalized student recruiting, executes policies to increase awareness of resources for women and minorities, and implements programs and events to foster diversity and inclusion.

BME students understand the environment and constraints that must be considered for the successful design of medical devices. Furthermore, with clinicians being one of the significant users of devices developed by biomedical engineers, it is valuable for biomedical engineers to spend time interacting with clinicians and learning the language of the clinical environment.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING One of the most exciting and rapidly growing areas in biomedical engineering is cell and tissue engineering, which offers vast potential for changing traditional approaches to clinical treatment. The UF BME Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory is a dedicated teaching facility that provides an outstanding opportunity for all BME students to gain insight and handson training into regenerative medicine research and development. The lab engages students in fundamental studies and develops theoretical and analytical methods that will prepare them for exciting careers in biomedical engineering.

ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP AND INNOVATION INSTITUTES UF offers one of the most dynamic and complete engineering programs in the country. As we continue to strive for more experiential learning for our students, we are partnering more closely with the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering’s Leadership and Innovation Institutes. These institutes have continued to exponentially grow their unique interdisciplinary courses, modules and certificate offerings on topics such as project management, professionalism, entrepreneurship, persuasive communications, divergent thinking, innovation, leadership and risks in technology development. Our students are building a unique portfolio of skills that will enable them to be more effective leaders in their future careers.

CLINICAL IMMERSION Interacting with clinicians is critical to the success of biomedical engineers. To prepare students for these future interactions, UF BME students are immersed in both clinical and engineering research through coursework and direct academic mentorship. These clinical experiences will help

1275 Center Drive, Biomedical Sciences Building JG56, P.O. Box 116131 Gainesville, FL 32611-6131 +1-352-273-9222 184

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ELEVATOR PITCH ITProTV is an IT skills development platform addressing the global IT skills gap by delivering certification and skills-based training for IT professionals in every stage of their careers. With training that’s more like a talk show, IT pros watch more and learn more with an affordable, convenient, betterthan-classroom experience.

OUR STORY Online training is typically associated with two words: boring and out-ofdate. ITProTV tackles both of these issues with a unique business model. With 5 studios and an in-house staff of ‘edutainers,’ ITProTV produces new IT training content every day. IT changes all the time, and this model keeps IT pros ahead of the latest break-in, migration and more. “We started ITProTV because it is the type of training we wish we had when we were learning IT,” Tim Broom, CEO of ITProTV, says. The platform contains 4,000+ hours of training, plus access to practice tests and virtual labs. ITProTV features training for a variety of vendors, including CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft, Apple, Linux and more. Tim Broom, CEO

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Got a question? Hop on a live broadcast for immediate answers or simply submit your question to one of the actively monitored forums. Members become part of an IT community. ITProTV turns IT education into a conversation that connects learners to experts and each other. IT professionals can choose from our flexible and cost-effective membership options which are available for both corporate teams and individual learners. With a NetFlix-style experience, it’s an all-you-can-watch model for one flat fee that can be paid monthly or annually. IT professionals can learn at their own pace on the go, at their desk, or wherever is most convenient. They can even watch via Roku or AppleTV from the comfort of their living room. Using the ITProTV ProPortal, team leaders can monitor the progress of assignments, assign accounts to new users, and even create custom learning modules so each team member has the exact experience needed to success.

+1-352-600-6900 Info@itpro.tv OFFICES US: 7525 NW 4th Blvd Gainesville, FL 32607 UK: Metro House Northgate Chichester PO19 1BE, UK

ITProTV delivers the best aspects of the traditional instructor-led experience conveniently on demand. Members stay engaged and remain on a journey of lifelong learning.

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Dean John Kraft

ELEVATOR PITCH

Many schools claim it, but Warrington faculty members actually are the top minds in business. Their research is highlighted in top industry journals, and they’re often quoted by some of the most impactful news sources in the world. Their expertise translates to the classroom, where they mold future business leaders every day on the Warrington campus.

The University of Florida Warrington College of Business is a leader in business education. The College innovates to better serve its students and alumni with unique program offerings to benefit their future and the world.

The student experience starts in the classroom, but it grows to provide unrivaled personal and professional growth. Warrington encourages students to have a global mindset, and it ensures that happens through study abroad. More than half of undergraduate business students graduate with an international experience. Warrington has long prioritized ensuring students leave the UF campus with their sights on the world.

OUR STORY The University of Florida Warrington College of Business is the birthplace of forward-thinking business leaders. From freshman students learning the basics of business to Ph.D. students growing knowledge to shape future generations, Warrington stands out as a global leader in business education with 6,800+ students.

Warrington’s Business Career Services office is a resource for students at every part of their journey. The office helps connect students to employment opportunities and hosts the top names in business for on-campus recruiting events. According to The Economist, Warrington’s Business Career Services office ranks No. 1 in the world in Alumnus Rating of Career Service.

Warrington’s impact is proven through strong rankings from the world’s most respected publications. The College is host to a top five online MBA program, five master’s programs ranked in the top five, a top 10 accounting school, a top 15 undergraduate business school, and full-time and part-time MBA programs ranked in the top 20. All of these programs are available with the support of a top 10 public university.

The heart of Warrington is its alumni. There are currently 73,100+ Warrington alumni globally shaping businesses, non-profits, government, and the world. They’ve taken what they learned as Business Gators and put it to use to better the world. Because receiving their diploma from Warrington isn’t about the piece of paper – it’s a commitment to innovate and lead for the rest of their lives.

Warrington is home to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, which teaches, coaches and inspires students to be entrepreneurial in their lives. The Center annually assists 300+ student ventures, reaches 3,500+ total students and hosts 25+ courses in entrepreneurship that are taken by 2,500+ students.

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The Gator Hatchery is an important resource for students who want support for their venture. It’s a student incubator that offers student entrepreneurs workspace, office support, mentors and other resources necessary for a startup to succeed. The Hatchery is hosted in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, an important place in the College that inspires students to be entrepreneurial in their lives.

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The innovative spirit is also prevalent at the Heavener School of Business, UF’s undergraduate business school. Heavener is introducing Gator Ready, a program that will provide employers with access to the best students in a more sophisticated way while simultaneously improving the Heavener student experience. No business school has ever done this before at this scale with more than 5,500 students. This innovative platform enables Heavener students to showcase their specific leadership and career readiness capabilities to employers, measured across eight competencies. Recruiters will have access to each student’s competencies to help find a perfect fit for their position.

The College’s MBA program was a pioneer in the online MBA industry. While most colleges have broken into the online space for higher education today, Warrington was one of the first involved. UF MBA first offered an online MBA program in 1999 and Warrington offered its first fully online undergraduate degree in 2001. The College’s online degree options have continued to grow since then through all levels of education.

Wanting to ensure that graduates were prepared to stand out on day one of their jobs, the school developed a track that requires second-year students to take a career class that prepares them for their internships and future careers. Third-year students take a leadership class that teaches them to be an impactful leader in their future roles.

Today, the UF MBA program continues to evolve. Program options grow and change frequently, ensuring that they are most current and up to date with the needs of prospective students and the business world. From increasing flexibility to decreasing the amount of campus visits, UF MBA has a program for prospective students in every stage of life.

It’s all part of the constant theme of innovation at Warrington. It’s a welcoming environment for improvements focused on progressing the business world.

As specialty education takes off around the world, Warrington was also an early adopter in this space. Specialized master’s programs started at Warrington in 1994 and have continued to grow. Today, there are programs available in entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management, marketing, real estate and information systems and operations management. The specialized master’s programs have recently begun adding online versions.

University of Florida Bryan Hall 100 PO Box 117150 Gainesville, FL 32611-7150 UFWarrington University of Florida - Warrington College of Business warrington.ufl.edu 188


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Intersecting Disciplines

Cultivating the Inventive Mindset

Great ideas happen when disciplines intersect in new and exciting ways, and The Cade engages burgeoning inventors by highlighting today’s emerging technology and inventions and tracing them back to their original roots of science.

The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention’s commitment to cultivating the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs underpins everything that occurs within the walls of the museum and beyond. While The Cade is a museum for all ages, young inventors are a key focus, since they represent the future of Florida’s innovation economy.

Ever-changing, museum-wide themes are threaded through dynamic museum spaces, including the Creativity Lab and Fab Lab, which offer hands-on learning. This learning culminates in the historic Sweat Solution Exhibit, which chronicles the discovery of Gatorade and features Dr. Cade’s original Gatorade Laboratory. These museum spaces are layered with a broad range of programming that supports visitors of all ages, creating the spark that will lead many to STEAM-based careers. Museum outreach and community-based partnerships support schools in underserved areas and low-income families to help everyone achieve their highest potential.

Purposeful Creativity Reflecting the values of its namesake Dr. James Robert Cade, and his belief in the power of education, science, music, literature, and the arts to positively transform, The Cade has established a proprietary STEAM+ learning framework. This unique approach teaches science and critical thinking through the lens of invention by putting inventors at the center of the education process. Corresponding building blocks of invention enable The Cade to classify inventions according to the scientific principles that they share – allowing students to understand the crucial connections between disparate academic disciplines.

Bridging the Prosperity Gap Economic disparity remains a crucial issue for Alachua County. To foster a more inclusive and equitable innovation economy, and help bridge achievement gaps for elementary school students in Alachua County, The Cade has allocated significant in-museum resources and launched an ambitious outreach program. Operation Full STEAM – a 4-year project that will serve second- through fifth-grade students in Title I schools – seeks to address this disparity by offering an interdisciplinary, hands-on framework for learning in which content, process, and skills converge to tackle real-world problems. In addition to increasing children’s exposure to

The Cade also fuels a thirst for knowledge by offering the community unprecedented access to world-class inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries to spark interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math and further cultivate an inventive mindset.

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STEAM subjects, the program engages parents and families of participating students through underwritten museum memberships that provide rich on-going experiences.

We are honored to partner with the Alachua County School on this highly-enriching program that provides broad exposure to hands-on STEAM concepts and learning to spark a lifelong interest in science, technology, engineering, arts & math,” —Stephanie Bailes, Cade Museum Executive director

The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is ideally situated and uniquely qualified to connect local students and their families to the information, experiences, and people that can positively influence the trajectory of their lives. Through a comprehensive education framework, incubated at the museum, The Cade seeks to achieve its mission to help transform communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries in Gainesville, and far beyond.

811 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601 +1-352-371-8001 info@cademuseum.org thecademuseum cademuseum Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention cademuseum.org 190

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progressive learning environment that goes beyond just looking at the quantitative data found in SAT, ACT, and GPA values. Spect monitors student progress and provides a quick and easy way to track soft skills and other important achievements, such as community service hours, awards, and extracurricular activities. By empowering students to visually recognize and “track” the development of these activities over time, they will inevitably be able to leverage them for professional success.  

OUR STORY Anita Anatharam, a professor at a top 10 university and Founder/ CEO of LeaderLync, recognized an educational problem that has never been accurately addressed or solved: Higher education institutions and employment recruiters want students to showcase their interpersonal skills, but students were never taught to identify and develop them. This gap reflects the saying, “You get hired for your technical skills, you get fired for your [lack of] soft skills.” There needed to be a way to increase the transparency between students and higher education institutions and employment recruiters.

LeaderLync is a forward-thinking company that disrupts the current education industry. We believe soft skills are more beneficial than defining a student based on their GPA or standardized test scores.  Spect is an app that is just the start of changing the way we view education.     Gainesville is a special place for the startup world. The hub of innovators found around Innovation Square is a close-knit group that is incredibly supportive of one another. Additionally, the University of Florida’s and Santa Fe College’s culture and influence help create an environment where graduates want to stay in Gainesville and develop their entrepreneurial skills.  

After a few years of brainstorming sessions, collaboration, and hard work, Spect, a one-of-a-kind app from LeaderLync, was born. Spect provides a 191


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Talk to people who are different than you and who have different interests

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The world sees Gainesville as a university town. Those who live and work here know that it’s also a college town. Since 1966, Santa Fe College has been opening the doors to higher education for everyone in the community. Rated one of the top colleges in the nation, SF has the academic programs and student support services to help people of all ages and abilities to overcome barriers and accomplish their academic goals.

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PROGRAMS OF STUDY While the Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree is the top choice for students transferring to the University of Florida or other state universities, Santa Fe College has additional programs of study that are specifically and strategically designed to prepare students to enter the workforce, right here in North Central Florida.

CERTIFICATES AND APPRENTICESHIPS Career and Technical Certificate (CTC) and College Credit Certificate (CCC) programs are often paired with paid apprenticeships and many can be completed in six months. Credits earned with CCC programs can be applied toward A.S. and bachelor’s degrees. Certificate programs include medical coding and billing, graphic design production, help desk support, healthcare informatics, and a year-long certificate program offered online that prepares students with bachelor’s degrees for careers teaching in K-12 classrooms.

Students can earn a certificate in Emergency Medical Services at SF’s Institute for Public Safety. The 24,000 square-foot training facility includes state-of-the-art equipment for scenario-based training exercises, with powerfully realistic special effects.

ASSOCIATE IN SCIENCE (A.S.) An A.S. degree is designed for students training to enter the workforce with a competitive skill set and typically takes two years or less. While A.A. degrees are designed for transferring to a university, credits earned for most A.S. degrees can be applied towards one of SF’s bachelor degrees. A.S. degree programs at SF include paralegal studies, cardiovascular technology, biomedical lab technology, computer programming, and cybersecurity.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE Four-year degrees are for students building the foundation for a lifelong career. Degree offerings are specifically designed to meet the workforce needs in North Central Florida – including accounting, health service administration, industrial biotechnology, clinical laboratory science and multimedia and video production. SF offers several bachelor’s degrees in organizational management, including specialized tracks in human resources, public safety management and business analytics.

Experience is what matters in many careers, especially when it comes to programming or working in information technology. SF makes it easy for students to gain experience with day and evening classes. A certificate or A.S. degree can be enough to launch a student into a rewarding career. Or if they want to go further, the affordable bachelor’s program is a perfect fit.

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AFFORDABLE Getting a college education is an important milestone in developing any successful career path, but there’s no reason why it should put someone thousands of dollars in debt before they earn their first paycheck. Whether you choose to earn an associate degree and then transfer to a university, or stay at SF and finish your bachelor’s degree, the cost will be a fraction of what you would pay spending four years at a public or private university. Federal financial aid is available to help pay for tuition. Some programs offer “earn while you learn” apprenticeships. And there are hundreds of scholarships offered by the Santa Fe College Foundation, thanks to generous individuals and families in our community.

High School Dual Enrollment (HSDE) and Career Pathways are programs that allow high school students to get a head start on earning college credits – for free. The HSDE program prepares students for an A.A. degree. Students opt-out of traditional high school classes and attend classes at SF’s main campus or at one of its educational centers. Career Pathways coordinates with area high schools to offer college credits for career and technical classes that are aligned with certificate and A.S. tracks at SF. Both of these programs help local families save money on college credits.

Each year, students from Santa Fe College work together to build a house for Habitat for Humanity. The house project is built into the curriculum of the construction management, manufactured construction, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and carpentry programs. Local companies help guide this curriculum and sponsor these students with apprenticeships, serving as mentors and then ultimately as employers.

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ACCESSIBLE Santa Fe College understands that each student’s starting line and academic goals are unique. The Disability Resource Center helps to find accommodations that ensure student success. The Career Exploration Center is a great resource for people who aren’t sure what they want to do. It offers students, faculty, staff and the general public a wealth of resources to determine a person’s unique abilities and interests, and guidance on which programs at the college might be a good fit.

INNOVATING ADULT EDUCATION Sometimes the starting line is picking up where you left off in high school. The Adult Education program at SF offers preparation for the GED exam, as well as other non-degree seeking opportunities. SF takes an innovative approach to teaching basic literacy, offering students reading materials that also teach them about safe food handling procedures and basic first aid. These skills can give students stability and purpose, helping them to become more productive workers, family members and citizens.

INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY TO THE GATORS International students make up approximately ten percent of the student body at Santa Fe College, and they represent over 100 countries. Many of these students aim to transfer to the University of Florida, but need to improve their English skills before they can enroll in full time classes. SF partners with UF’s English Language Institute to help prepare international students to take rigorous post-secondary classes – in a second language.

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SF’S BLOUNT CAMPUS AND CENTER FOR INNOVATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Expanding Access to Education and Business Incubation Santa Fe College is expanding the Charles L. Blount Center to be a full-service campus. Home of SF’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED), the Blount Campus is situated in the heart of downtown Gainesville, just six blocks from the University of Florida, in the center of the city’s Innovation District.

SERVING DOWNTOWN GAINESVILLE Santa Fe College has been serving our community since 1966, with seven locations in Alachua and Bradford counties. The Charles L. Blount Center serves as the outreach and educational facility for downtown and East Gainesville. Blount Hall, a new three-story 86,311 square-foot building, is scheduled to be completed in spring of 2022. With its prime location at the

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a bachelors, masters or doctorate by earning their A.A. degree. Lifelong learners can take Community Education classes, while Adult Education classes help returning students to pick up where they left off and complete their GED exam. Local businesses can organize trainings and certifications for their employees by working with Continuing Education. Entrepreneurs and startup companies can incubate with the CIED to access resources that will grow their business and drive the innovation economy in Gainesville.

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Funding for the Blount Hall renovation comes from both the private and public sector, including a $4.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). That funding will go toward the expansion of the CIED to strengthen the regional economy from local startup companies in the business incubator.

Santa Fe College has the distinction of being the highest performing college in the state system, and all the student services responsible for that success are available at the Blount Center. This includes free tutoring and academic coaching, and help with financial aid, academic advising, disability resources, counseling, veterans and military support, and career and job placement.

SANTA FE COLLEGE +1-352-395-5000 3000 NW 83rd Street Gainesville, FL 32606 SantaFeCollege sfcollege.edu

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PERRY CENTER FOR EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES Preparing Students for STEM Careers in Alachua County

Degrees offered through the Florida College System are designed to meet local workforce needs across the state. Santa Fe College is the highest performing institution among the 28 colleges in the state system, and degrees offered at SF’s Perry Center prepare students for STEM careers right here in Alachua county. EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

The Perry Center focuses specifically on preparing students for highdemand jobs in Progress Park and beyond, particularly with its bachelor degree programs. The Industrial Biotechnology program gives students hands on training with genetic modification and assay development, as well as the financial, regulatory and organizational skills needed to work in biomanufacturing, quality control, research and development, and facilities management jobs. Graduates of the Clinical Laboratory Science program are eligible for certifications by the American Association of Bioanalysts

The Santa Fe College Charles R. and Nancy V. Perry Center for Emerging Technologies is a 30,000 square foot teaching facility integrated with functional laboratories. Built in Alachua in 2009, the Perry Center is located directly across the street from Progress Park, a growing industrial park focused on bioscience, manufacturing and technology. 199


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(AAB), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), and the American Medical Technologist (AMT). Students are prepared to work as medical technologists in clinical and research settings. Both the Industrial Biotechnology and Clinical Laboratory Science bachelor’s degrees require extensive internships, which creates pipelines with local employers. Santa Fe College also offers one-year certificates and two-year Associate in Science degrees that train students to enter the workforce as phlebotomists, chemical technicians, laboratory technicians, and biomedical equipment technicians.

Together with SF’s Research in Undergraduate Education initiative, the Perry Center hosts a three-day STEM Fest every November, inviting students from the college and from area high schools – including Santa Fe High School, which has a magnet program in biotechnology – to hear guest speakers and to display posters showcasing their accomplishments in the STEM disciplines. Check “STEM Fest” on sfcollege.edu for details.

SANTA FE COLLEGE +1-352-395-5000 3000 NW 83rd Street Gainesville, FL 32606 SantaFeCollege sfcollege.edu 200

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“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” — ALBERT EINSTEIN

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ELEVATOR PITCH What if saving smelled good and felt clean?

Laundr is a three-sided platform consisting of users, drivers, and washers or laundromats organized in a peer-to-peer model. This model enables the company to provide a premium laundry delivery service for a fraction of the cost of other laundry delivery services.

Laundr’s greatest innovation is that we can help save without detracting value. We save time without cutting corners, and save money without using inferior products. We do all of this knowing that if you had a few extra hours in the day, you would use them to make your life better. We’re betting that happiness is contagious.

OUR STORY The Business

Every time you choose Laundr, you save time and lend freedom.

It is Laundr’s philosophy that a fundamental shift needs to occur in the process and model of washing clothing before the average consumer no longer needs to stress over doing their laundry. Not only can a lowerprice and higher-convenience service help those who currently use coin laundries and wash-and-fold services, but Laundr has the ability to provide enough value to create a new market for the laundry industry.

Our partners work with Laundr as a means to fuel their passion. More than half of the price of each order goes directly to the partner, and the order can be processed in the background, allowing partners to use their free time productively. This stands in stark contrast to other part-time jobs which require you to stand idly at your workstation. We want to see what the world would look like if everyone was allowed to follow their dreams.

The War Against Waste

We want to build trust with our customers.

We recognize that valuable resources are wasted every day, and it’s our goal to save them. From a single-use plastic container to valuable hours spent doing something mundane, we know that the only way to incite change is to make the better option more practical.

To build trust, Laundr has a policy of radical transparency and honesty with our customers. Laundr has no delivery fees, no service fees, and no tips. Our social media platforms are open to questions on whatever platform our customers feel the most comfortable speaking through.

Michael Behfar Co-founder & CPO

Kyle Lampkin Co-founder & CEO

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ELEVATOR PITCH At its core, Fracture is a company whose mission is to help people focus on the moments that matter most. Fracture prints digital photos directly onto glass, allowing you to turn your favorite memories into beautiful, personal works of art.

OUR STORY Fracture was founded in 2009 in Gainesville, Florida, by two University of Florida students, Abhi Lokesh and Alex Theodore. Their goal at the time was ambitious, but simple—to change the way people print, display, and enjoy their favorite photos. The picture framing industry had been relatively free of innovation, and they sensed the opportunity to create an alternative that was modern, attractive, and that made it easier for people to display the photos that were sitting unused on their phones and other devices. This idea began a decade of growth, learning and entrepreneurship. Starting humbly in a tiny office in Northwest Gainesville, the early Fracture team was focused on creating a product that fulfilled the need that they saw in the market. They also knew that they wanted to create a different kind of company—not just a company focused on creating high-quality products that people love, but one that is dedicated to responsible environmental stewardship. It wasn’t long before Fracture began to gain traction with their glass prints. As more sales started to flow in, the company needed to upgrade to a larger industrial printer. The problem was that this printer would take up one third of their current office space. It was time for Fracture to find a new home. In 2012, they found that home on SW 6th St in downtown Gainesville. In 2017, as Fracture’s office team moved to a nearby office to make room for the company’s increased manufacturing demands, it became clear to CEO, Abhi Lokesh, that it was once again time for the company to move. As he considered the future of the rapidly growing company, it became clear that whatever that future held, Fracture’s next chapter should take place in the vibrant and supportive Gainesville area that gave the company its start. In the summer of 2019, Fracture moved to a new 30,000-square-foot space in San Felasco Tech City in Alachua, just outside of the Gainesville city limits. This newly built, solarpowered facility has plenty of room for Fracture to continue to grow into the future. As Fracture looks to the future, its core values remain the driving force behind everything the company does. Fracture remains committed to treading lightly on the planet and works with local company We Are Neutral to offset all of the carbon emissions from all of their buildings, shipments, and even company flights. They’ve also developed innovative packaging that allows them to ship glass prints with minimal shipping materials. They are dedicated to continually finding new ways to reduce waste, protect environmental resources, and shrink their carbon footprint. Fracture also remains deeply dedicated to their central mission of helping people focus on the moments that matter most. Each photograph that comes through our manufacturing facility isn’t just a treasured memory—it’s a reminder of the importance of that mission. These moments serve as a constant inspiration to the Fracture team as the company continues to grow. Learn more about Fracture and their story at fractureme.com/innovate-gainesville.

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Each design is a customized solution to improve the lives of the people interacting with the space, ensuring that your space will be right for you.

We are a firm that actively listens. We take the time to truly understand our client’s needs, then leverage this understanding to deliver a customized solution that is focused on human interaction and wellbeing. It’s called People Centered Design and it is our passion.

We listen and we’re curious. You play an integral role in developing the design. We believe in the team approach and collaborate with owners, user groups and other professionals to deliver projects that work. You also have a partner until the end. The design isn’t done until people move in and space becomes place.

OUR STORY

Our clients know us as the architect of choice for quality design and exceptional customer service. We don’t simply follow the rules; we challenge them to make sure the results exceed your expectations. Through empathy, wonder, and passion, we’re able to connect on a deep level, resulting in useful, smart, and transformative design.

Our mission at Walker Architects is to make old spaces new, new spaces timeless, and think beyond the limits of architecture. We design buildings not for ourselves or awards but for people and places with complex needs. 207


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The multi-phase expansion of Exactech’s Gainesville campus is a prime example of our inclusive design process. “We just need more space….” The project was initially conceived as a stand-alone building adjacent to the existing facility. We put our practice of empathy to work by conducting workshops and interviews with the entire company to learn about their culture and what their work day looked like. A theme of disconnection began to emerge as we listened to what was said and what was unsaid. This process of discovery led the Walker Architects team to create a first-ever master plan for Exactech, which illustrated 5-, 10-, and 15-year milestones. We offered several scenarios during the master-planning process that would allow the architecture to support and encourage a company culture focused on innovation, storytelling, and collaboration. The result was a comprehensive revisioning of the project to expand the existing facility, with the goal of enhancing workflows and interactions for the entire company. Our challenge was to help Exactech improve collaboration and provide a space that would be tailored to their culture. Collaboration was taking place; they simply needed our help to elevate what was already happening, boost productivity, and create more space for connection. Now they have it. We create buildings that raise the standards of architecture for clients who aspire to revolutionize places and elevate human interaction. We work tirelessly as a team to deliver not only beautiful and functional architecture, but the right space for each and every client.

Walker Architects 2035 NW 13th Street Gainesville, FL 32609 +1-352-672-6448 walker-arch.com

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OUR STORY

ELEVATOR PITCH It’s time to rethink rent! Through our state-of-the-art new management platform, we aim to transform the rental experience by making it the smartest and most rewarding part of everyone’s life. 

Piñata is a PropTech company that is incorporating technology to the outdated industry of property management, which has lacked innovation and has historically been resistant to change. Our mission is to harmonize the relationship between landlord and tenant by leveraging technology to add unprecedented value with new ideas like the first membership reward program for renters. Our goal is to create a seamless platform that elegantly addresses all landlord requirements while simultaneously creating a turnkey solution for the renter including an easy payment platform, credit boosting engine, renter’s insurance, and much more!

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Piñata contact@pinata.ai +1-650-285 - 2316 pinata.ai   pinatapilot   pinata.ai

Piñata is founded by Landlords and Renters for Landlords and Renters. So forget what you thought you knew. Piñata empowers all our customers to embrace a new normal. So step up, swing big, and crack open the power of rent!

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ELEVATOR PITCH What We Do

Orchard provides technology education services aiming at older adults who can benefit from the convenience of electronic devices. We send our caring and knowledgeable Techies to the homes of customers who need them. Education is a lifelong adventure and our team believes that there is always a demand for learning about new technology. This is especially relevant for the aging population losing their mobility and requiring more connectivity.

When anyone has a problem with, or interest about a device, they can call Orchard to schedule an in-home appointment. We also love hearing family members call on behalf of the user. We take care of the rest from there, educating the customer or helping them with any specific issues.

How We Started

Orchard goes through a rigorous process to make sure we vet and train our Techies to be the best teachers they can be. We send them into homes, where our customers are most comfortable, so earning trust is the value we take most pride in. Unlike technical support or repair businesses which only care about fixing a specific problem, Orchard emphasizes the relationship between our Techies and customers so that every appointment feels like a family reunion. The evaluations we receive from each session help us create an even more personalized experience for the next time. This is achieved via a technology-backed business that learns from fresh data in customer interactions.

Ming Yang, our founder, used to drive 300 miles every weekend from the University of Florida to her home in order to help her mother use technology and the Internet. It was certainly hard work, but this is what family should do for each other. Ming then scanned her environment and realized something was amiss. She lives in a state with the highest percentage of elderly residents without a service to help them learn how to use technology to make their lives easier. This led to the formation of a business to provide much-needed technology lessons and alleviate the worry of long-distance caretakers: Orchard. 211


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Where We Are Since our inception in 2018, Orchard has satisfied over 200 customers and their families. Last year let us perfect our operations and we are ready to harvest. Expansion will take us into the surrounding cities of Ocala, Tampa, Jacksonville, and the like this year. This will test our ability to remotely train and organize techies without sacrificing quality, and succeeding at this will legitimize our ability to reach the whole region or even country at large. We are honored to receive angel investment from an ex-Microsoft technical fellow and have won first place in the 2019 Gainesville Start-up Showcase. Our team of 3 executives and 8 interns are working hard for our first official round of fundraising. Even in our bootstrapping phase, the business has been featured in local media publications such as The Gainesville Sun and University of Florida news. The momentum of the company is as strong as ever and we are eager to grow into a mature Orchard.

We promote learning by providing clear instructions and alternative solutions for customers to choose. Our curriculum matches with the individual to make sure they are absorbing information at the right level for their understanding. When our techies do have to fix something, they make sure the customer can replicate the process when we are not there. What we have found as a result of our business model is that once customers use us, they love to use us a lot. Our favorite things to hear are how much they click with our techies and how much they learn from our service. We continuously disprove the old myth that different generations cannot work together and that seniors cannot learn new tricks.

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CHOMP THE LINE. ORDER ONLINE.

Byppo is a growing mobile-based ordering service company that aims to revolutionize the food ordering process at entertainment centers, sporting venues, restaurants, and much more. We aim for our customers to say goodbye to lines by CHOMPING THE LINE!

ELEVATOR PITCH Imagine yourself at a football game, standing in front of a concession stand line with 30 people in front of you. You are hungry, thirsty, and just missed watching your favorite team score a touchdown. How does that make you feel? But, what if your phone could help you solve all of the frustration that you are feeling? With Byppo, you can now order food (and also souvenirs!) at your fingertips without having to go through the hassle of downloading an app, standing in line, and missing any part of the game that you came to watch and enjoy.

OUR STORY Victoria Liu was on the path of finishing both her bachelors and masters degree in accounting at University of Florida, when the idea came to her at a football game in September 2018. She was hungry for food and quickly became frustrated at how unbelievably long the lines were at the concession stands. She thought about other 213


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Byppo is one of the most user friendly platforms that I have experienced. It is a great way to showcase our products while being efficient in ordering and customer outreach. Byppo allows us to connect with customers individually through an easy platform. We are able to customize our products and service without compromising time and individuality. We are so proud to be part of the Byppo team!

people that are also facing the same problem and feeling the same frustration as her— from parents that have children, elders who have difficulty standing and walking, disabled people, and just hardcore fans that don’t want to miss a second of the game. From there, Byppo was born. Byppo focuses on changing the way people order food or other products where-ever they may be with long lines to stand in — They may be at a large sporting game, concert venue, or even at a restaurant. We want our customers to not stand in a single line ever again and help chomp the lines by using the Byppo web-app! The Byppo web-app began development in early July 2019, beta testing in end of August 2019 at our first sporting venue Gator Ball Academy, and launched live on September 25, 2019 with real customers ordering on the platform. Since then, our client base has expanded tremendously and have received nothing but positive feedback from everyone working with Byppo.  Byppo currently offers vendors and customers 4 different service options — pre-ordering, express pick-up, table delivery, and in-seat delivery. All of these services meet our mission to chomp the line by ordering online! 

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Our goals going forward is to expand to even more and larger venues and bring in more features that will continue to make our customers happy!

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ELEVATOR PITCH Event Tickets Center is an online ticket marketplace built around providing a seamless, simple, stress-free user experience. Continuous development of unique, specially designed data management tools has kept ETC at the forefront of the digital advertising landscape for over 14 years. ETC has seen great success due to its quick uptake of the latest online marketing tech and strategies, including working closely with Microsoft Advertising (then Bing Ads) product managers to fine-tune several key functionalities of their advertising management interfaces. ETC’s focus on constantly developing new technology and systems is an edge that has facilitated the company’s development into one of the largest ticket resale marketplaces in the nation.

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OUR STORY Event Tickets Center, founded by CEO Adam Young in 2005, was forged in the crucible of early Pay-Per-Click Marketing. Fascinated by the potential of the emerging online ticket industry, Young applied his knowledge of logistics and experience in manufacturing to tap into progressive digital marketing tactics. Originally a one-person operation based in Orlando, ETC’s opening of an office in Gainesville in 2017 greatly increased the organization’s ability to seize upon industry trends and make large-scale changes in an instant. Event Tickets Center is equal parts developing talent and developing tech. The company doesn’t shy away from automation, but it takes more than artificial intelligence and sophisticated algorithms to break away from the pack. ETC is 218

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a company that uses technology to provide bright minds with the data and tools they need to be effective marketers. The driving force behind ETC’s innovation is its focus on the user experience. Event Tickets Center’s goal is always to please the user first. A watershed moment in ETC setting itself apart from other online ticket sites happened when it became one of the first e-commerce sites to widely adopt Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology. The rapid adoption of AMP technology put ETC at the front of the online ticket sales industry by setting a standard for page load speed that its competitors couldn’t compete with. Likewise, the website has

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streamlined the online buying process, creating a user-friendly platform that allows visitors to browse by a variety of categories and pick out their seats using an interactive map. ETC believes that buying tickets should be simple, making it their mission to provide customers with a seamless experience. With the goal of usability in mind, the site also provides important information about venues where events are occurring. The wealth of information includes seating charts, driving directions, and parking accommodations for thousands of venues across hundreds of cities. Since 2016, the website has also become a resource for visitors to stay up to date on industry news, implementing a blog that covers a range of topics including the latest artist tour announcements, sports updates, and more. Event Tickets Center prides itself on giving the customer all the information they want, and nothing they don’t.

Event Tickets Center 308 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601 marketing@eventticketscenter.com +1-352-505-5686 EventTicketsCenter eventticketsctr Event Tickets Center eventticketscenter glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-Event-Tickets-Center-EI_IE1580136.11,31.htm eventticketscenter.com

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I would be pretty much set to not freak out about growing up. College unboxed is pretty much me putting all of the tools that helped me be healthy, adventurous and smart in Gainesville into a box and sending it to anybody who might need some help adulting in this city.

ELEVATOR PITCH College Unboxed is a marketing platform that aims to solve a core issue of every college town: connecting students to the local businesses in their community. We function as a subscription box being delivered to students once per month, bringing not only local products but also local experiences like restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, and more.

My best friend in college, very much like myself, is a first-generation college student in America, and she also struggled in our first years of school. She is paying for her entire education entirely on her own with the help of scholarships. Her family is so incredibly proud of her and so supportive, but to be honest, they don’t truly understand the weight of that cost.

OUR STORY

In a phone conversation (that is now quite funny) with her mom, her mom asked her the genuine question, “Mija, what do you mean I don’t help you pay for college? I sent you $30 this month!”

Every college student should have the opportunity to immerse themselves in their local community. unboxed was started to create that opportunity for everyone.

Those $30—or in our language, 3 days’ worth of Starbucks—meant a lot to her mom financially but not a lot to us as students. So the question then became, “How can we turn those $30 into something meaningful?”

As a freshman going to school seven hours away from my hometown, I was a complete and total disaster. We are talking not being able to cook, not being able to create a basic spending budget, not knowing where to go to have fun, and overall, having no idea of how to adult.

The answer was to ask some of our peers (to be more specific: about 700 of them) about the things they struggled the most with when they started, transferred to, or emigrated for college. We narrowed it down to three main areas: knowledge, self, and exploration. As a big believer in both business

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and the potential of Gainesville the next step was obvious: what are the companies that are already addressing those issues? How can we get what they offer and make it fit in a box that we ship to students for $30 every month? From tutoring companies to laundry on-demand, to coffee, soap, and snacks, Gainesville has done a beautiful job of creating resources to help students live better. We want to hand this community’s beautiful work into the hands of students who need it. In every box, you’ll find the following: Three items that will help you accomplish your academic and professional goals (from free tutoring coupons to office supplies to planners along with studying strategy and techniques) Three items that will help you stay healthy (from snacks to tea to essential oils and free workouts or meditation sessions from local experts) Three items that will help you explore the city (from shirts, sunglasses, chargers, and more to exclusive coupons for local restaurants, events, and other activities)

if you’re transferred there for work. As a person who has moved houses 24 times in my 21 years of life, I know how hard change can be but I also believe that making wherever you are feel like home is an important power to have.

This is an opportunity for unboxed to learn how to empower the local community and its students in Gainesville first at both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College to then be able to expand this model to every college town in America. It is an opportunity for us to learn how to convey the essence of a city so that one day we can create boxes that deliver what you might want to experience from Turin, Italy, on a trip. Or Austin, Texas,

College Unboxed collegeunboxed collegeunboxed.com

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Where Luxury and Wellness Meet

with a team of chemists from New York, they’ve been perfecting a series of formulas to moisturize and maintain the user’s skin’s health.

ELEVATOR PITCH

“The purpose of this product is to create a clean brand of beauty products to empower women, and people of any gender—also any age or ethnicity,” says Heshmat. “They can be confident, sexy and beautiful while still maintaining their health.”

Xotiq, is attempting to do something no one in the cosmetics industry has successfully done before: craft a line of clean, earth-friendly color cosmetics that are infused with CBD. Xotiq Founder, Lynda Heshmat and her co-founders won first prize at Startup Weekend years ago by creating a software platform that manages real estate. Her passion for fashion, design, and art mixed with a deep internal conviction that women deserve to feel empowered, enriched, and enhanced by their cosmetics -- not just cover up. These led her to push the limits of what is possible and attempt to bring not only Xotiq’s flagship product, but more importantly the vision behind it, to the forefront of our culture.

Heshmat cites the many products on the market today with non-natural ingredients that are harmful to skin as something she wanted to provide an alternative to. “Xotiq products basically act like vitamins. You don’t have to be worried about taking your makeup off—it’s actually beneficial if it stays on your skin.” Heshmat says she thinks cosmetics should be healthy for you, and with today’s technology, there’s no reason they can’t be. “People use cosmetics throughout their whole lives,” she says. “You don’t want them to be harmful to your body.”

OUR STORY

Xotiq products abide by every clean standard set by the cosmetic board, and are also “Sephora clean,” so they can be sold in Sephora’s “all natural” section. Not only are they skin- and eco-friendly, but they are also free from animal testing.

Lynda Heshmat, Founder and CEO of Xotiq, explains that she has been working on a completely customized formula for a line of cosmetics that are vegan, all natural, and gluten-free.

Perhaps most innovative, Xotiq products are designed to relax and rejuvenate by infusing CBD, which Heshmat says have anti-inflammatory properties as well as containing vitamins A, D, and E, plus essential fatty

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In fact, she actually started out as an artist, and moved into architectural design as a designer, which led her to the corporate world. She got an MBA in entrepreneurship, then started joining events like Startup GNV. “having a pigheaded determination leads becoming a visionary and creator,” she says. Her passion for fashion, design, and art led her to bring beauty and wellness ventures in the creative science space to ourcutting edge culture.

acids. “The colors make you feel beautiful and confident,” says Heshmat, “while the CBD infusion can help you feel calm & relaxed in your own skin.” In order to avoid the use of animal products that other lipsticks, such as beeswax, Heshmat opted to include Cannabis, which acts as a binding agent. As their first product - the luxury lipstick - is currently unreleased, Xotiq’s team is still working with suppliers to craft the perfect product as well as assembling a dream team to bring this product to life.

Xotiq is currently building their MVP and refining the packaging, as well as working with agencies to develop their brand and marketing strategy. They have already created several prototypes but are working with customers to get the formula just right.

Heshmat says being in Gainesville is perfect for market research, because as a student town, students are willing to try new products and give their feedback. Xotiq is currently giving away free samples and adjusting and improving the products based on customer feedback.

“We have been developing this for years, but we still want to get it right. Our team is focused on quality and making sure the product is made to the highest standard possible. Our goal is to launch in 2020,” Heshmat declares. For more information including media & press, the team can be reached at info@xotiq.us .

A University of Florida alumni, Heshmat says The State University System of Florida Board of Governors has selected the University of Florida to enhance the evidence base related to the cannabis and its benefits in Florida, which has ignited industry investment industry from several large players in Gainesville as a result. “Florida is a great source for all-natural ingredients,” says Heshmat.

XOTIQ Gainesville, FL 32608 info@xotiq.us Xotiq Xotiq.us

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Meet Grifin, the app that makes you an owner of the world’s most impactful companies.

ELEVATOR PITCH Grifin automatically buys you $1 of stock in the companies you shop at. The next time you purchase a cup of Starbucks coffee, you’ll automatically invest $1 into Starbucks stock. Ordered something from Amazon? You now own $1 of Amazon stock. With Grifin, your ownership comes with benefits. You’ll share in the growth of the companies you own. When they make money, you make money. You also have the ability to impact the decision making of your companies. Each dollar of ownership gives you the ability to vote on the future of the company.

OUR STORY Grifin was started in 2017 by Aaron Froug and Bo Starr, two students at the University of Florida. In their last semester at UF, the two started working on an idea to help their peers build a better relationship with money. After graduating with Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Finance, respectively, they both turned down job offers in the financial industry in order to stay in Gainesville and pursue Grifin. 225


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While the Grifin app was started in Gainesville, the Grifin name was actually discovered on the other side of the world when the company’s third founder, Robin Froug, went to an Australian prison. While visiting, she came across a wall with names inscribed on it. Written right next to each other were “Aaron” and “Bo” with the image of a griffin drawn above them. A Griffin is a mythical creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. They’re known for guarding people’s treasures and priceless possessions. So, with the writing literally on the wall, the Grifin name was born.

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Over the last three years, the Grifin team has grown to include eight people across Gainesville and the state of Florida. These amazing people have designed and built a mobile app from the ground up, become an SEC-registered investment advisor, and leveraged their network to build a waitlist with thousands of people on it. Grifin has also worked with several organizations around Gainesville, including Collective & Co, The Selling Factory, and the Gator Hatchery. The Grifin app will launch on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store in mid 2020. To get early access, you can sign up for the waitlist at grifin.com. The Grifin team is also looking to bring on new members! If you or somebody you know want to build the future of the financial industry, we’d love the opportunity to speak with you.

Grifin hello@grifin.com grifinapp grifin.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH EGX Chemical provides antifreeze solutions to the automotive and heavy duty machinery industry. Using only quality materials EGX has created a universal use antifreeze product that is hassle free, high quality, and lower priced than its multinational competitors.

Innovating a product that everyone already uses is never easy. But this is exactly what the sibling duo Chris and Doug Rios did when they stumbled on the opportunity to purchase an antifreeze facility out of Jacksonville and move it to Gainesville in 2017. These entrepreneurs developed a universal antifreeze solution named EGX Global Gold. Their product solved an issue that repair facilities have had for years and made the coolant industry a hassle free system.

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Being the only virgin antifreeze manufacturers in the state of Florida allowed them to tap into a multi billion dollar industry by offering previous products at better prices without compromising quality and with a superior one of a kind delivery method. With a never-ending client list, EGX saves consumers over 90% of their previous cost which makes for their proven success.

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Their organization and business model has been replicated and shown to be a  proven concept throughout the state of Florida and in just 3 years they have been able to take over the market in Gainesville, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and Georgia. These siblings from El Salvador are disrupting the antifreeze industry by providing a superior USA-made product for drastically less than traditional antifreeze alternatives. 

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DYNAMIC COMMUNITIES UNITES PEOPLE THROUGH COMMUNITY.

ELEVATOR PITCH community best practices to other associations seeking to optimize value to their members.

We foster the development, growth and engagement of volunteer-driven user groups that provide communities for like-minded technology users and partners to exchange knowledge on how to best maximize product performance to achieve business success.

Today, the Dynamic Communities Groups represent over 280,000 members worldwide, representing 68,300 companies across many industries, disciplines, and software applications. By facilitating value exchange among members and providing business and event management, Dynamic Communities enables volunteer leaders to focus entirely on cultivating rich community engagement and authentic member value.

“Dynamic Communities creates vibrant communities where users can grow their knowledge, competency, and confidence with their technology systems and business applications,” said Janet Lampert, President and CEO Dynamic Communities. “Our focus is on growing the communities to reach additional technology users as the value of the community continues to expand as each new member brings unique knowledge to the table.”

Dynamic Communities is committed to growth and achieving this through enhance mobile experiences and by offering events worldwide. “We’re going into 2020 with a mobile-first strategy, so we can expand to new geographies and connect passionate technology users around the world,” said Lampert.

OUR STORY The value members find in these communities is based on the foundation of excellence that began in 2004, when a small group of CIOs discovered great value in sharing knowledge and experience with each other about their ongoing system and business strategies. Over the last 15 years, Dynamic Communities has established many user communities and brought their

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The user group helps users gain a broader picture of the potential uses of the applications, increase their support network and allows for specific skill development.” – User Group Member

I began with the user group community hoping to quietly harvest as much information as possible while not being noticed…but I soon found that others saw value in my challenges, and I began to share them. I was shy about sharing my stories, but it turns out there’s a level of solace from knowing you’re not alone. The user group brings together knowledge and fuels collective growth. Because of this, I look forward to the next challenge and sharing it with my community.”

narrative emphasizes the ways we are bringing people together, both inperson and online, to build strong communities. Volunteers are the driving force of the Communities: delivering content, sharing their knowledge, and helping to shape the future direction of the community. There are over 1,500 volunteers dedicating their time and sharing their knowledge to grow the communities. Dynamic Communities founder, Andy Hafer cultivated a rich company culture of innovation and servanthood. Employees are encouraged to drive innovation and garner learning from failures. By focusing on innovation and learning, Dynamic Communities continues to drive new ideas and experiences for the user communities.

- User Group Member

+1-877-324 8880 Dynamic Communities dynamiccommunities.com

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CHAPTER 11

LEGAL & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY “Innovation is seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” — DR. ALBERT SZENT-GYÖRGYI

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LEGAL NEEDS IN THE ENTREPRENEURIAL LIFECYLE 7. Build your team: Have your attorney create a Stock Options Plan & Restrictive Covenants Agreement to protect proprietary assets 7

5. Brand your company with a great name, design a logo, & protect them with a federal trademark registration 5

4. Participate in an incubator Hunter Business Law was founded by Sheryl Hunter with the unique needs of entrepreneurs in mind, both in terms of its practice areas, which include corporate and contract work, securities, intellectual property, and mergers and acquisitions, and in terms of hiring attorneys who are highly responsive and adept at blending legal protection with business pragmatism. Our relationship with our clients is like that which is expected of in-house legal counsel. Our team of attorneys are interested, engaged, and dedicated counselors to our clients. We are accessible, without the fulltime payroll obligations of in-house counsel. We may not be down the hall, but we are your counsel on call.

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8. Your company is expanding: It’s time to move into a bigger space. Make sure your attorney reviews your lease agreement

6. Launch beta site; have your attorney prepare Terms of Service & a Privacy Policy

3. Engage a business law firm to assist with initial entity structuring, formation, & partner agreement

2. Start a new company with a few classmates

1. Brainstorm new business ideas with college friends

Ajay Singh, Esq., CPA Gainesville

Ajay Singh, a partner at Hunter Business Law, enjoys helping business owners and executives construct sound legal and business strategies. As both a licensed attorney and a certified public accountant, Ajay uses his extensive professional knowledge and training to provide a comprehensive approach to meet clients’ needs. As a triple gator, Ajay is excited to bring the vision of Hunter Business law to his old stomping grounds, while serving clients on the entrepreneurial continuum. Like all of the attorneys at Hunter Business Law, Ajay serves as outside general counsel for clients ranging from start-up companies who are looking to raise capital all the way to large companies with an international footprint.

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13. Partner dispute arises; engage an attorney to buyout burned-out partner who needs more stability in his life 13

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11. Grow to $75,000 in monthly recurring revenue

10. Do a Convertible Note seed round to raise $500,000 in capital

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14. Develop an advisory board and engage an attorney to help issue stock options to advisors 14

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16. Exceed $200,000 in monthly recurring revenue

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17. Engage an attorney to assist with the acquisition of two companies with complementary software using investor funds

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18. Engage M&A attorney to sell your company for a successful exit

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Adam Hersh, Esq. - Partner Tampa

+1-813-867-2640 119 S. Dakota Avenue Tampa, FL, 33606 info@hunterbusinesslaw.com Offices: Tampa – Gainesville* *by appointment only hunterbusinesslaw.com

At Florida Funders, we have come to rely on Hunter Business Law for much of our legal advice and counsel. Sheryl and her team are awesome to work with, and we know that we can always count on them for responsiveness, for creative and entrepreneurial thinking, and for giving us practical legal opinions that take into consideration the business aspects of any situation. Hunter Business Law is a true business partner of Florida Funders, in every sense of the word”. ~ Tom Wallace, Managing Partner of Florida Funders.

Adam Hersh, a partner at Hunter Business Law, is a multi-state licensed attorney with a passion to protect, defend, and advocate for his clients. Adam, a gator alum, got his start in the business world as one of the inhouse corporate counsels for Axogen Corporation, a startup medical device company with its roots in Alachua and now a publicly-traded company. Adam now divides his practice between commercial litigation and contract negotiations.

“Ajay Singh was instrumental in the sale of our business. His legal and financial acumen, along with his tremendous M&A experience, provided invaluable guidance and insights throughout the process. He helped us to negotiate the best possible deal with a focus on both our short- and longterm needs and wants.” ~ Ben Noonan and Mark Rubin, Moku Collective. Disclaimer: Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results. “Adam has a great understanding of the balance between business and legal issues. He is diligent in his pursuit of the correct answers and has the intelligence to work through the problems.” ~ Greg Freitag, General Counsel and Board Director at AxoGen, Inc. 234


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ELEVATOR PITCH Gonzalo Law works with companies across the globe from startups to established market leaders. Based in Gainesville, Florida, Attorney Nouvelle L. Gonzalo is the managing attorney at Gonzalo Law LLC. The firm is a US and international corporate law firm with offices in Gainesville, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio. Their practice areas include the following:

International Corporate Law Private and Emerging Corporate Law (Buying and Selling a Business, Contracts, Healthcare Law, and Corporate Counsel) Nonprofit Law Intellectual Property Law (Includes Trademark, NDAs, Licensing, Copyright, Advertising, and Sports and Entertainment) Technology Law

OUR STORY Nouvelle L. Gonzalo Esq. is the founding attorney of Gonzalo Law LLC. She started her first company at age 12, where she created print advertisements for local mom-and-pop businesses. After gaining experience through the years and a solid education in the fields of law and business, the stage was set.

encourages every team member to look at a problem, evaluate it using traditional strategies, and then consider creative ways to find solutions for our clients.” The original Gonzalo Law office opened in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2010. Gonzalo says, “The goal has always been to grow to multiple locations, yet remain boutique in size. We want to give great attention to our clients no matter where they are located.” In 2015, the firm had the opportunity to open a Florida office. “The firm considered many southeast locations from Tampa to Miami,” Gonzalo says, “yet saw the explosive growth and the amazing

Atty. Gonzalo observes, “We wanted to create a law firm with a different kind of culture. A culture that valued a diversity of ideas, out of the box thinking, and collaboration with some of the sharpest minds possible. We don’t just ask why; we ask, why not? Some people argue that the traditional law firm model is broken. So, we wanted to do things differently. Our firm 235


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Atty. Maria Curatolo, Of Counsel at Gonzalo Law

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Atty. Nouvelle L. Gonzalo, Managing Attorney at Gonzalo Law

community in Gainesville, Florida.” The University of Florida and other area companies attract top talent from across the globe and the greater Gainesville community is the direct beneficiary. In addition to the legal work we do, we also connect companies to resources that make them better. Whether it’s helping private companies connect with the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, nonprofits to engage with the Community Foundation for training and donor access, or working with tech startups and scientists in Innovation Square; there’s something for everyone. We are grateful to be a part of it all.

Nouvelle L. Gonzalo, Esq. Managing Attorney Ngonzalo@gonzalolaw.com Florida UF Innovate, 747 SW 2nd Avenue Gainesville, FL 32601 +1-352-389-5577

Legal counsel from Gonzalo Law also serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. The course taught is international corporate law. Firm legal counsel has experience working for the court of appeals, serving as in-house counsel for a multinational corporation, working for the US House of Representatives, and the United Nations. Managing Attorney Nouvelle L. Gonzalo was selected by the national ranking organization, Super Lawyers, as a 2019 Rising Star and again in 2020. This is an honor held by only 2.5% of Florida lawyers. The team at Gonzalo Law truly loves people and the work that they do! Contact them today for a complimentary consultation.

Ohio Fifth Third Building, Suite 1300 600 Superior Avenue E. Cleveland, OH 44114 +1-216-527-7777 Pinterest: gonzalolawllc GonzaloLawGL gonzalolaw.com

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WILSON DUTRA INNOVATION LAW

Most ventures begin with curious minds asking questions, identifying a gap in a market, or challenging the status quo. Entreps can bring innovations that start a seismic shift in an industry or a concept evolution that can make a significant difference in our daily lives, even when the change seems small. We’ve modeled our law firm to keep pace with the ever-changing nature and adaptability of the entrepreneurs we work with. In fact, we formed the firm to be able to serve the unique needs of startups and entrepreneurs.

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When we started Wilson Dutra in Jacksonville, Florida, we wanted to replicate Camille’s patent experiences working at a Fortune 50 company: exciting and constant collaboration with people working at the peak of their ability on projects they are passionate about. Bringing an idea to life and then to market requires a supportive team with many moving parts – with intellectual property being just one of those parts. We know the patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret arm is only valuable when it fits into the rest of the business, so we take a collaborative approach and work with each company’s entire team, including marketing, product development, business development, and even other law firms. Being around the entrepreneurial drive and enthusiasm is incredibly infectious and fuels the firm daily. We know innovation is happening all around us, and Gainesville has a strong academic core that enriches the intellectual property pouring into the city. We strive to help Gainesville continue to deepen this reputation on a national scale. For our part, we work to protect the ideas of those pioneers and trailblazers, so they have room, support, and power to forge their own paths.

Phone: +1-904-955-1975 | Email: info@wilsondutra.com @wilsondutralaw

Based on their business plans and goals, we help companies and founders identify what ideas might be worth protecting; develop strategies to build a portfolio around those technologies; and make sure they continue to protect their innovations as their ventures continue to grow and pivot and as their ideas take new life or reach new milestones. Together we identify and protect the intellectual property they consider the cornerstone of their new enterprise, focusing on building a foundation of value from day one. Entrepreneurs often have to pivot and adjust to accommodate a changing market, investor suggestions, or practical limitations. If there’s one thing an entrepreneur learns quickly, as they propose their ideas, it’s flexibility to reach their market and to tailor it to an interested audience.

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CHAPTER 12

ENTREPRENEUR ORGANIZATIONS

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“Work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you, they’ll invest in you.” — MARISSA MAYER

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OUR STORY

ELEVATOR PITCH

Our purpose is to instill in students across the UF campus a deep appreciation for “entrepreneurship as a life philosophy” by providing an innovative and integrative educational experience while creating opportunities for students to act on this philosophy. The program has been built around two core precepts: “every student an entrepreneur” and “total entrepreneurial immersion.” Our fundamental objective is to help every student on campus recognize their innate entrepreneurial potential and facilitate them acting on that potential. Further, we believe students should ‘live, eat and sleep’

The University of Florida’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center (EIC) was established in 2000 in the Warrington College of Business with a campuswide mission to teach, coach, and inspire students to be entrepreneurial in their lives and pursue opportunities and innovations in the startup, social, and corporate arenas. Through impactful, empowering and transformative courses, degree programs, co-curricular programming, and community engagement activities, EIC serves more than 3,500 individuals each year.

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We believe entrepreneurship has a role in every discipline, and exciting outcomes derive from connections and collisions that occur when interdisciplinary linkages are established. Our faculty are dedicated to enhancing the theoretical foundations and advancing the intellectual boundaries of entrepreneurship. Further, the Program serves as an innovation hub for anyone with entrepreneurial interests related to teaching, research, or engagement. The entrepreneurial spirit at UF transcends the business school, embracing every student on campus. Students do not need a desire to start a business to pursue our programs or courses. While special

entrepreneurship. The program is packed with opportunities for students to immerse themselves in entrepreneurship inside and outside the classroom from freshman year through graduation and beyond. We seek to develop within students a fundamental understanding of entrepreneurship as a life philosophy. The program theme, IMAGINE > BELIEVE > CREATE, reflects a focus on a student’s ability to recognize opportunity, believe in themselves and their ideas, and take responsibility for pursuing these ideas. Students are challenged to extend the entrepreneurial mindset to all facets of their lives. 242


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mitigation, resource leveraging, value creation, and creative problem solving.

emphasis is placed on the creation of growth-oriented, innovative forprofit and not-for-profit ventures, students are encouraged to apply their entrepreneurial potential to family firms, established corporations, public sector organizations, and within any discipline or professional field.

In addition, we offer five degree and minor programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, representing a comprehensive set of formal entrepreneurship educational experiences:

We have adopted a competency-based approach to structuring and assessing all aspects of our program and focus on 13 unique entrepreneurial competencies to complement traditional managerial competencies. All of these competencies are designed into courses and co-curricular programming and include topics such as opportunity identification, risk

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Graduate Minor in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows Program

DBA Emphasis in Entrepreneurship

Jeff Gold Experiential Learning Laboratory Gator Hatchery Student Incubator

With a strong focus on experiential learning, we expect over 50% of student learning to happen outside the traditional classroom. Toward this end, we coordinate a mix of co-curricular programs, and require all students in our degree programs to maintain entrepreneurial experience portfolios. Examples of our co-curricular and cross-campus programs include:

Big Idea Business Plan Competition Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa Program

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Student Entrepreneurship Collective

Disabled Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP)

Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium

Gainesville Entrepreneurship & Adversity Program (GEAP

TEDxUF

Gatornest Consulting

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Program

Social Impact and Sustainability Program

Silicon Valley Immersion Program

Innovation Fellows Program

The Gator 100

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University of Florida Bryan Hall 100 PO Box 117150 Gainesville, FL 32611-7150 UFWarrington university-of-florida-warrington flowspacegnv.com

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INNOVATIVE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT CENTER Santa Fe IPDC provides opportunities for funding to product developing companies as one of their many services.

Santa Fe College established the Innovative Product Development Center (IPDC) as a Regional Commercialization Center in 2018. IPDC combines the vision, known best practices, and expertise to create pathways to technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, and business development to a recognized but underserved population of regional inventors and innovators. Unlike research faculty at the University of Florida (UF), or entrepreneurs and startups that populate UF’s widely respected business incubators (the Innovation Hub and Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator), local independent innovators and inventors had little to no access to the training, intellectual property management, and other support provided by UF’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) and the UF OTL University Center Program. In contrast, these independent innovators and inventors generally have not created their own companies and are often unaware of the services 247


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and support programs available through incubation programs in the region. Instead, they are often already employed in companies and use their own time and resources to create and partially develop their own innovations. There are no existing pipelines—such as those within universities and large companies—that can funnel these independent discoveries and inventions through a commercial market assessment process that may lead either to fast-tracking to manufacturing and distribution, or to patent applications and – eventually – to licensing and commercial development. A detailed search of assigned patents at the US Patent & Trademark Office reveals significant numbers of patents issued over the past 10 years to inventors in Gainesville, Florida, who are not affiliated with UF. In order to address the needs of this population of underserved innovators, Santa Fe College has partnered with a wide range of organizations and private sector companies. These partners include the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, the City of Gainesville, the Innovation Hub at UF, UF’s Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator, CareerSource North Central Florida, the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, and many other organizations.

The IPDC office is housed in the Gainesville Technology and Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC), a business incubator that is owned by the City of Gainesville. entrepreneurs, existing companies and investors to ensure their growth and success. IPDC, with the assistance of experts in intellectual property, business, and product development, will evaluate potential opportunities and facilitate the process by which these discoveries enter the commercial marketplace. IPDC provides services to Alachua and surrounding counties in North Florida. The EDA investment enabled IPDC to establish a regional commercialization center to focus on developing industry clusters in the

IPDC was formed as a three-year collaboration between Santa Fe College and the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. IPDC works with community-based entrepreneurs with commercially viable discoveries to be paired with seasoned 248


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PITCHING EVENTS life sciences, software/web development and niche manufacturing. The regional impact includes the launching of new startups, the creation of new jobs, and securing private investment for IPDC startups.

CrowdPitch can best be described as Shark Tank meets business lending. Three companies pitch their operating business and growth plan to a panel of six business and lending experts. Panelists organized by Lendio North Florida and IPDC ask hard questions and provide actionable feedback for founders to improve their business and their fundability. The crowd votes for the best pitch and the winner takes home the grand prize.

IPDC also offers events that provide local inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators the opportunity to connect with IPDC Partners, organizations, and private-sector companies who provide mentoring and learning opportunities for startups and their founders. These free events include networking and interactive presentations by subject-area experts on topics relevant to product commercialization and growing a new business.

IPDC companies go through intense preparation for Startup Pitch Day, where they vie for funding from local, regional, and national investors. In order to qualify, they present their business to investors, covering all the important elements of a business—from the strategic idea to financials. With investors attending in-person and through online conferencing, each company gets eight minutes to deliver their pitch.

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LEADERSHIP Karl R. Zawoy, director of IPDC, has 25 years of experience in product development and business operations including R&D, manufacturing engineering, information technology, and new business development. He has developed processes using state-of-the-art automated manufacturing systems, robotics, and other technological innovations, and has held various leadership positions with Johnson & Johnson, CD Medical, and several other technology-based startup companies. He is a co-inventor on 13 patents and holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, and is a Registered Technology Transfer Professional.

“I am very excited to be part of Santa Fe College, an organization that is deeply committed to growing and diversifying Gainesville and the North Florida region. The Innovative Product Development Center will work with entrepreneurs, community experts, and service providers to accelerate new companies while helping to increase jobs consistent with our community’s strategic plan for a sustainable, diversified economy.”

Zawoy was an Entrepreneur in Residence for the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research where he coached and mentored CEOs and entrepreneurs to raise investment and secure matching funds from the State of Florida. He also served as a licensing officer at the University of Florida (UF) Office of Technology Licensing where he managed inventions and licensed intellectual property for the UF Research Foundation.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Entrepreneurship Collective exists to create a community of peer mentorship and network sharing for student entrepreneurs in the Gainesville community. Entrepreneurship Collective does this by putting people first, passion second, and competency third. Many of the innovations in this book are built by people who were once student members of this organization. We create community impact through weekly meetings, pitch and design sprint competitions, startup focused professional recruitment events and mentorship programs.   We serve students seeking to do one of the following three things:           Start a business           Join a startup           Develop and hone the entrepreneurial mindset    

OUR STORY The organizational rebrand and culture shift was subtle but important. We now put focus on growing our members holistically, helping them develop their passions and opportunity recognition skills rather than just business book knowledge/interests. This has allowed us to grow alongside Gainesville, connecting our members to the numerous startups and innovative companies that call Gainesville home. At our 2019 Fall Startup Showcase, a one-day recruiting event for startup companies, we had 47 students find either internships or full-time positions with Gainesville based companies.

Starting a business is hard; starting one during exam week is harder. The stress a student entrepreneur endures is uniquely challenging, the Entrepreneurship Collective is a registered UF organization that serves as a home and connecting base for these students and the greater Gainesville community.

Entrepreneurship Club For many years this group was focused around bringing in speakers and cultivating intellectual engagement in the topics of entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation. Hosting speakers from the boardrooms of companies like Microsoft, Reddit, and SharpSpring; we have a long-standing history of exposing our students to strong business leaders from around the country.  

Today and Tomorrow Entrepreneurship Collective believes in the power of community and it‘s impressive impact on the growth of startup ecosystems. As both a provider of recruitable talent and young founders, we incubate and develop the leaders of tomorrow’s Gainesville. Our programs and events will grow and iterate, but at our core we are dedicated to and excited to see the continued impacts of our members and alumni on the Entrepreneurship Collective, the Gainesville Community and the world.

As we realized the resources and opportunities available to student entrepreneurs, we came to the realization that our group can support practicing entrepreneurs. As all entrepreneurs do, we identified an opportunity and took aim to capitalize on it.

From Club to Collective

We are very open to business or academic entrepreneurial leaders who would like to share their stories. The collective brings together people from every discipline and academic study, anyone with a shared passion for building the future. Please reach out if you would like to contribute or speak with our members at one of our meetings.

Many Entrepreneurs are excited for their venture, however, surrounded by full time students it can be easy to get discouraged at early signs of struggle. We set out with a goal of strengthening the network between student entrepreneurs to allow them to share stories, provide advice and build community around venture roadblocks. 251


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Community Support Community support has allowed us to send members to conferences such as Consumer Electronics Show, Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization International Conference, and Synapse Summit. Community support has also allowed us to compete and place in National student entrepreneur competitions; as well as put on pitch and design sprint competitions with prizes ranging up to $3,000. We are very lucky and thankful to have the support of UF’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, UF’s Innovation Academy, the Innovation Hub, StartupGNV nonprofit, as well as sponsorship from many successful Gainesville based companies. Written by Christopher Bass Entrepreneurship Collective Entrepreneurship.Collective@gmail.com EntrepreneurshipUF Entrepreneurship Collective at the University of Florida UFEntrepreneurshipCollective.com 252

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ELEVATOR PITCH In a society where topics of race relations, economic gaps, equity and disparity become too sensitive to talk about, a local organization has found a way to spotlight shining examples of achievement, success and prosperity in the community. Gainesville Black Professionals (GBP) is a non profit organization that was founded in 2016 by Virginia Grant. It was originally organized to give black professionals a space to connect, collaborate and exchange thoughts, ideas and resources. GBP began by hosting quarterly networking events that were well attended, well received by the community and full of energy.

OUR STORY The Movers & Shakers Mixer is held at various restaurants and usually have about 150 or more professionals in attendance. The events are free and open to the public. The mixers are upscale and professional but with a relaxed atmosphere that supports networking and fosters relationship building. Virginia says that she wants every guest to feel like they are at home. She has brought together a team of ambassadors to help her do this. “I think that it is important that we do not become cliquish and that everyone feels welcome and leaves the event with at least one new contact.” To ensure that this happens, ambassadors intentionally greet every guest with a

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In addition to the MVP, we now have an annual community award night and recognize professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs for their contributions in several different categories.

handshake, a thank you for coming out and often a hug. They assertively work the room and introduce guests to other guests throughout the night. Though these events are successful, Virginia quickly realized that GBP has a larger purpose. She realized that there was a need to create platforms to showcase the talents, expertise, contributions and impact of Black Professionals. GBP now has a weekly podcast, monthly newsletter, a leadership conference, presents annual community awards and in 2019 launched a magazine, “SYNERGY: A Collaborative Guide to Economic Discovery.”

Almost five years ago, Virginia had a vision to bring Black Professionals together in a social setting to network, build bridges, connect to resources and share ideas. She had no idea that this simple idea would have such an impact on the community. Gainesville Black Professionals is now a network of over 2,000 professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners, continues to host networking events, produces a weekly podcast, recognizes professionals through community awards and publishes a magazine.

These platforms serve to showcase professionals and at the same time gives the community access to black professionals. Many times, organizations, boards, city officials and even employers will say that their organizations are not diverse because they do not know where to find minorities. Creating a network of black professionals resolves this issue. If you are an HR manager and want to expand your pool of potential employees, you can find over 150 black professionals at any GBP event. If you are searching for minorities to serve on a board or committee you can post a request in our monthly newsletters or thumb through the pages of SYNERGY.

Though the challenges of our society continue to exist, we believe that we are making a difference in the lives of many and making a shift in the community at large. We believe that we are creating SYNERGY for Gainesville and invite you to become SYNERISTIC too!!!

In 2017, the Men of Vision and Purpose award was introduced. This award is presented annually to a male who has a true desire to make a difference in the community and his profession. He has a clear course of action to accomplish this and works on achieving it daily. The black male is often criticized and rarely celebrated in our society. The MVP award is an opportunity to celebrate those men who are making a positive difference.

+1-352-208-4894 PO Box 140371 Gainesville, FL 32608 info@gbpinc.org gainesvilleblackprofessionals gbpinc.org

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ELEVATOR PITCH The Underdog is a management consulting firm that implements innovation strategy and creative marketing to establish your company as the top dog authority. We combine global experience and high intellectual capabilities with creativity and commitment.

Olga Sinnreich started The Underdog in 2018 as a marketing and strategic branding agency. With Lacramioara Schulte auf’m Erley, Ph.D. joining the company, The Underdog became an innovation consulting firm.

OUR STORY

Our company consults mid-size businesses and organizations on

The most common context for strategy is growth, and there is no shortage of consultants that will eagerly tell you how to grow your business.

But unlike those consultants, The Underdog partners roll up their sleeves to work alongside your team to develop and execute on the strategies. Our approach involves rigorous research, creative marketing and data analytics. 255

Innovation strategy; Marketing strategy; Entrepreneurial strategy; Strategic pricing; Data modeling and data analytics; Product commercialization; Customer acquisition; New revenue stream development; Brand positioning.


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MEET THE PARTNERS Olga Sinnreich, MBA Photos by Rogelio Small - ROGEPHOTO.com

As a recovering communist, Olga considered management consulting an evil capitalistic profession. But things changed when she made her first step onto American soil in 2009. She immediately discovered her talent in getting people’s attention and capitalizing on it. Arguably, people paid more attention because they were trying to figure out her Slavic-with-a-sprinkleof-Jersey accent. Some say they hear it even through her blog. Olga relies on strategic creativity, enjoys analytics and has no problem expressing her opinion at public events, interviews, and social media. So far, no evidence of her being unreasonable has been scientifically proven. She holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics from Donetsk University, Ukraine and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from University of Florida.

Lacramioara Schulte auf’m Erley, Ph.D., MBA Lacramioara committed to making the lives of businesspeople easier when she gave herself the nickname Q. This decision alone is the best illustration of her ability to simplify complex, sometimes painfully unattainable problems into simple and creative solutions. As a pretend thought leader, Q has struggled to keep a straight face while posing for this picture. But as an entrepreneur who has started multiple businesses, she sacrificed for the significance of a power pose and a good first impression. Q’s natural abilities include seeing the science in entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurship in science.

theunderdog35 the-underdog-branding-agency theunderdog.solutions

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“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” -African Proverb OUR STORY

ELEVATOR PITCH

Where did this all begin? On the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street, atop the Holiday Inn. It was January 26th, 2017.

Could you imagine what Gainesville will look like when sustainable energy powers our homes? When autonomous cars and buses become the norm, and car accidents will be shocking to hear about – not an everyday occurrence? What about when advances in robotics and artificial intelligence have opened up an entire new world of work and play for us and our children?

Founder of the world’s largest Audio/Visual Equipment Distributer, UF Professor Martin Schaffel (or “Marty” as he is known by his students) gathered with local student-entrepreneurs Pablo Casilimas, John Crimmins, Isaac Hetzroni, Son Hai Vo, and Justis Mendez to enjoy each other’s company while they discussed the future and problems worth solving.

What if Gainesville’s largest stakeholders were all united and focused around one central mission: to push Gainesville and her surroundings to greater heights, and enable the city to prosper in ways typically only reserved for the Silicon Valleys of the world?

They talked about healthcare and education. They discussed our infrastructure and the improvements necessary for our country to become globally competitive again. And they mused over the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, the gratitude, and the sighs of relief that come with success and a job well done. Wishing they could do this more often, Marty shared a story he held dear to his heart:

These are the questions that have driven an up-and-coming group of dreamers and doers to assemble Gainesville’s finest and challenge them to think bigger and do more. Why? Because it’s not just possible – it’s a challenge worth tackling.

“When my best friend was diagnosed with cancer, we stood in his house and looked up at this beautiful whiskey collection he built over the years. And all we could think about was how when he was gone, no one would be there to appreciate it. When we’re gone, it’ll probably just get thrown out. So we decided right then and there that we would get all our closest friends 257


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together every so often and enjoy a bottle or two, and at the end of the night we’d sign the bottle and someone would take it home as a memento.” They called it The Empty Bottle Club. While company rejoiced around fine spirits, the spirit of the club was more about enjoying fine company. It wasn’t about the alcohol – it was a metaphor that we all must drink LIFE to the last drop. The club grew, and found itself becoming an exclusive who’s-who of sorts for successful entrepreneurs in the Tampa Bay area. Back on the roof of the Holiday Inn, this Gainesville motley crew decided Gainesville needed its own chapter. The five founders gathered their friends – mostly student entrepreneurs at the University of Florida – and hosted their own version of the Empty Bottle Club. But instead of meeting in massive mansions, they started with a bonfire in Son Vo’s backyard. Within a year’s time, Gainesville’s “EBC” too had become an exclusive gathering as well, attracting Gainesville entrepreneurs at every stage of the journey. Those who are “hungry” and just starting out, as well as local legends including Ken McGurn, Mitch Glaeser and Rich Blaser. Their events are now exclusively held at startup offices like Feathr as well as San Felasco Tech City and members’ private homes, creating a warmer and more intimate environment.

focused on Gainesville, but our greater vision encompasses Florida and the world at large.” ONESIXONE believes that by actively pushing for greater collaboration among community leaders, we can build Gainesville into a premier hub for entrepreneurship, technology and talent. Attending one of their events makes it clear that you are a part of something greater and can directly contribute to making the world around you a better place.

Today, the EBC is just one of several events put on by its recently-founded parent organization ONESIXONE. The ONESIXONE Group has expanded their mission, to foster organic growth of Gainesville’s startup community. They currently serve by hosting expert-roundtables, workshops, seminars, and retreats that connect early stage entrepreneurs to those who have built companies and had successful exits. Above all, they focus on creating an atmosphere where learning, connecting, and growth feels natural, easy, and fun.

ONESIXONE justis@onesixonegroup.com onesixonegroup onesixonegroup.com

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Upping Our Game in Gainesville

and a unifying desire to equalize opportunity for all our residents. Our member businesses reflect that diversity, and from the smallest of tech startups to the largest international corporations, we work hard to build flexibility and continuous improvement into our programming so we can provide meaningful engagement for all.

ELEVATOR PITCH Through leadership and collaboration, the Greater Gainesville Chamber facilitates economic opportunity, business success and community progress. Our five-star accredited Chamber is the voice for our 1,300 members who employ more than 80,000 people and our vision is to make our region a global hub of talent, innovation and opportunity.

Economic development is certainly another key component of our Chamber. We have taken a new, more holistic approach with our newly launched five-year economic development and community strategy initiative, aptly named Collaborate 2025, with its focus on “Creating a Stronger Region and Better Life, Together.” Collaborate 2025 complements the strategic plans and initiatives already underway with our community partners—the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, our municipalities and county governments and our non-profits, to name just a few—to propel progress toward prosperity, success and upward mobility throughout our region.

OUR STORY Local Chambers of Commerce play a foundational role in their communities: in fact, Chambers are the number one place people start when looking for information about a community. At the Greater Gainesville Chamber, we take that to heart, and everything we do reflects that commitment—our community is our why.

Rounding out our advocacy for all community members, our Public Policy and Talent and Retention departments work to effect lasting change. Our Public Policy team works with our local, state and federal legislators to ensure our member voices are heard. We have made significant inroads in educating our community about the policy decisions that affect their daily lives, while encouraging their continued engagement via voter registration events, candidate forums and meet-and-greets with policymakers. Talent and Retention plays a key role in preparing the employees of tomorrow, not just at the high school and college level, but from birth through retirement and from the GED to the Ph.D.

Our Board of Directors, comprised of engaged and dynamic community leaders, guides our efforts. Committed to giving back to our region, the Board reflects the true diversity of our community, with members representing banking and finance, biotechnology, construction, education, healthcare, non-profits, real estate, retail, service and technology, with businesses and organizations both large and small. Of course, many people think of get-togethers when they think of a Chamber, and with more than 100 networking events per year, we are delighted to provide that service. Our Membership team delivers the programming that brings our members together. A dynamic college town, Gainesville is home to preeminent talent, world-class healthcare, educational excellence, spirited entrepreneurship, a strong sense of place

Since 1924, the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce has celebrated what makes our region work. As we race toward our 100th anniversary, we’re working on what makes Gainesville great. 259


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G R E AT E R GAINESVILLE

By the Numbers

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Population Gainesville City: 133,857 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Gainesville MSA: 288,212 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 11-county region: 1,961,974 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– North Central Florida Region: 4,480,797 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Florida: 21,299,325

Ranking

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2018 Most Caring Cities Award in Florida, (Insurify.com, Dec. 2018) ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Florida’s Best City in Each State to Start Your Career, (Zippia’s Aug. 2018)

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Most Environmentally Friendly Cities, (ValuePenguin, August 2016)

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Best Midsized College Towns/Cities in America, (WalletHub.com, Dec. 2018)

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10 Best College Towns, (Livability.com, Aug. 2018)

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Best Small Size Metro Area for Job Seekers After Graduation, American Institute for Economic Research’s Employment Destinations Index, 2016

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Best Cities for Entrepreneurs 2017, (Livability.com, April 2017)

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College Destinations Index, (American Institute for Economic Research, 2016)

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50 Best Bike Cities, (Bicycling magazine, Sept. 2016)

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Best Places for Women-Owned Businesses, (NerdWallet.com, March 2015)

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Top 100 Best Places to Live, (No. 1 in Florida), (Livability.com, Jan. 2018)

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2015 Best Cities for Black Entrepreneurs, (Goodcall.com, Oct. 2015)

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GREATER GAINESVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT/CEO ERIC GODET, SR. It has been about a year since I joined the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce as President/ CEO. Having served both business and the Chamber in various capacities over the years, I have the professional experience for this job, but what I really bring to the table is passion—we can be a gamechanger for this community at a very timely juncture of our history. In five years, our Chamber will be 100 years old. When we get there, I’m looking forward to reflecting on how this community worked together to transform the meaning of opportunity for all people in our region. I am excited about upping our game—working as conveners to unify the community around transformative opportunities. We have a strong history of success here—Go Gators—and combining a cooperative spirit with mutual respect, we can make great things happen. A transformation is already underway— just look at our flourishing startup community and the outstanding retail, cuisine, housing and entertainment options across our region. I see great potential with the Chamber’s Collaborate 2025 economic development strategy as well as our community’s Smart Cities initiative, our launch of autonomous vehicles and the growth of medical tourism within our world-class healthcare system. We can also make great strides developing more family-supporting jobs, improving our infrastructure and revitalizing both our urban core and our rural communities. But first, we must acknowledge that all voices matter. Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success.” I’m passionate about engaging every 260

individual who loves this community. I want to help people look beyond their differences and focus on the positives we can all agree on. One point of commonality, however small, gives us something to build on, and together we can only win. Eric Godet was named President/CEO of the Greater Gainesville Chamber in December 2018. Eric has served our community for many years, working as vice president of organizational advancement for Haven Hospice and as a founding member of RTI Biologics. His previous experience includes work for Johnson & Johnson and IBM.

Gainesville Chamber of Commerce 300 East University Avenue, Suite 100 Gainesville, FL 32601 GNVChamber Gainesville Chamber of Commerce gainesvillechamber.com


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Lendio North Florida’s High Tech, High Touch Service Empowers Small Business Community ELEVATOR PITCH Lendio is an online service that helps business owners find the working capital they need to grow their business through the company’s network of over 75 lenders. This is done via a single 15-minute (or less) application.

OUR STORY Even early on in his youth, Luis Salazar had his eye on small business, and recognized its importance in local communities. During his travels he saw glimpses of how difficult growing a business could be at every level worldwide. Since that time, Luis has been involved in lending, served in the military and government, and started a number of his own businesses. Now, in his latest venture, Luis utilizes his past experience in residential and commercial mortgage lending, entrepreneurship, and business tax auditing as well as a high tech online marketplace to help alleviate the financial hurdles of North Florida’s small business owners. Accessing working capital is consistently a top concern for small business owners, many of whom don’t realize there are options out there beyond their local banks. Lendio North Florida aims to solve this problem with a high tech, high touch service that allows area business owners to access Lendio’s 75 online lenders, with the optional benefit of the face-to-face service one might expect in a community bank.

Lendio can help well established businesses grow and increase their bottom line, all in a matter of days. With Luis Salazar’s loan product expertise, he was able to quickly identify the root of some cash-flow challenges Jorge was experiencing. Luis quickly proposed a better solution that would consolidate some high interest loans, give Jorge additional working capital, and add an additional $40,000+ in savings back to Jorge’s bottom line. With Lendio’s high speed service, Luis was able to get Jorge approved for $100,000 and funded within 5 days.

Carolyn and Michael Vescovi are two great examples of borrowers this lending marketplace can help. The Vescovis are both retired teachers from New Jersey who came to North Florida to fulfill their dream of opening a bagel shop with their son Luke, who is attending UF. They began making bagels in their home kitchen, but quickly outgrew the space and needed startup capital to secure a commercial space. With the help of Lendio’s innovative solutions, the two were able to secure $51,000 in revolving lines of credit.

Gainesville and the surrounding areas have a dynamic and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. From tech startups, to bagel shops, there is a wide variety of small businesses in the Gainesville area. As a new Lendio Franchisee, Salazar was welcomed to the Gainesville community with open arms and now tries to give back. He is highly supportive of, and supported by

Jorge Villalobos from The Best Restoration is another great example of how

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local community business groups such as the Greater Gainesville Chamber, Latin American Business Alliance, SCORE and others. Every year, Lendio North Florida hosts its Lendio CrowdPitch competition where new local business owners get a chance to compete in front of a live audience and panel of experts for over $10,000 in business services crucial to their growth. It is a great opportunity for new local business owners to be in the spotlight and get the exposure they need in the community. Since February 2018, Salazar has been working with local partners, local banks, and Lendio’s national network to assist business owners in acquiring funding for their growth. With one simple 15-minute application, business owners get access to over 75 lenders. And if or when a business doesn’t meet the qualifications for a loan, or doesn’t find one that’s the right fit for them, Lendio North Florida pulls out all the resources they have to help. In addition to business loans, Lendio North Florida also utilized its network to help potential borrowers improve credit scores, strengthen their books through a free online bookkeeping service and more. Then, when the time is right they can reapply for capital.

Lendio luis.salazar@lendiolocal.com +1-352-204-0164 lendio lendio.com AND lendio.com/local/northflorida

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ELEVATOR PITCH startGNV is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on supporting and growing the tech/startup/innovation ecosystem of Greater Gainesville through a number of events and programs, including the recently launched community portal shown above.

OUR STORY Gainesville’s startup scene and tech companies are growing rapidly, yet even many locals are unaware of the exciting industry-disrupting products and career-defining employment opportunities present in their backyard. We’re here to change that.

The portal strives to put Gainesville on the map, literally. It will be a community and recruiting resource that tells Gainesville’s story of entrepreneurship and innovation. Check out https://startgnv.com/ to learn more about this initiative and our other programs such as Startup Sprint, Barcamp GNV (tech/ design “unconference”), Super Meetup, Mentor Speed-Dating, and the CelebrateGNV end-of-year gala.

startGNV recently received support from across the community – academic, government and private sector – to create and promote a web portal showcasing Greater Gainesville’s innovation ecosystem, with a spotlight on the companies and career opportunities therein.

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“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” — JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE

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DRAGONFLY S U S H I

Since graduating from the University of Florida, Hiro Leung and Song Kim have become the visionaries for one of the most successful Japanese concepts in Florida: Dragonfly. During their standard tenure at university, they worked in the Japanese restaurant industry together, which led them to discover an opportunity for a concept in Gainesville that went beyond traditional sushi. Opened in 2000 in Gainesville, Dragonfly was created as an authentic Japanese gastropub with a menu consisting of mainly small appetizers meant to be shared among company, characterizing the Asian

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“unity of the family” essence. Today it is still one of destination’s most unique and desired restaurants, with two-hour dinner waits a weekly occurrence. In 2010 another epiphany hit while Hiro and Song were traveling to Orlando and knew their brand would fill a need for the market. They opened up their restaurant in the Dellagio Town Center with a focus on the art of robata grilling on imported Japanese white Binchotan Charcoal. Six years later in March of 2016, the duo with their executive chef Ray Hideaki Leung opened their Miami location under modern izakaya concept. 268

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20 years later, with three restaurants, a solid brand reputation, and numerous awards racked up, the duo attribute their success to their stern philosophy of continuous improvement with their team. Hiro and Song have engrained Dragonfly’s core values with their employees and have developed strategies used internally to make sure these are constantly reminded on a daily basis via storytelling, focused feedback and recognizing when a team member is being a living example.

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As co-founders and operating partners, Song and Hiro complement each other intrinsically. Hiro, the creative head, thinks in future tense, conceptualizing where to take the concept, how to grow the business and in what direction they should pivot. Song, the realist, deals with the present and strategizes on how to utilize the pieces they already have to grow and nurture the team to reach their goal. Together, the duo is out to prove that a little town called Gainesville can make it in the major leagues.

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Song Kim, Ex ecutive Dir ector

Dragonfly Sushi 201 SE 2nd Avenue, #104 Gainesville, FL 32601 +1-352-371-3359 dragonflygainesville dragonflysushi dragonfly_gainesville dragonflyvideos dragonflyrestaurants.com

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COCOVANA ELEVATOR PITCH Cocovana allows anyone to escape to a tropical paradise anytime, anywhere. When using the innovative products of Cocovana, you can feel the ocean breeze against your face, the shade of palm trees, and the sand between your toes.

OUR STORY Cocovana was founded by Sheldon Barrett while taking a semester off from college due to high blood pressure. Prescribed medications did not lower Sheldon’s blood pressure enough. To compensate, Sheldon would drink fresh coconut water, normalizing his blood pressure due to its high potassium and vitamin C levels. However, Sheldon could not open coconuts on his own. His father would use machetes for him. Wanting to open coconuts when his father wasn’t home, Sheldon created his own innovative tool. He called it “Coconut Twist.” Coconut Twist is a tool that cuts a 1-inch hole into the coconut safely in seconds. It’s the “can opener” for coconuts! Users can either drink the coconut water with a straw, pour it into a glass, drink directly from the coconut, or pour alcohol into the coconut for a tropical treat. Coconut Twist allows new customers access to fresh coconut water, which would otherwise be unattainable. This demographic enjoys consuming fresh coconut water, does not possess coconut-opening skills, and doesn’t want to risk cutting themselves. Coconut Twist can also core fruits including apples, pineapples, and pears. This innovative tool has already won many national competitions and had been featured in Forbes. The first production run of Coconut Twist is 271

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currently being manufactured and will be ready for purchase in 2020. A US utility patent has been granted, making this a truly unique product. Coconut water is currently the fastest-growing beverage in the world, with US sales reaching $1 billion. However, most bottled coconut is pasteurized, which destroys its nutrition and alters the taste. Many stores have begun carrying fresh coconuts across the globe. However, most consumers are required to have coconut-chopping skills. Most people use dangerous machetes and meat cleavers to open their coconuts. Unlike these, Coconut Twist is safe, portable enough to fit in your pocket, and doesn’t create a mess. Coconut Twist gives everyone access to the tropical coconut treat!

Cocovana Cocovana CocovanaLife cocovana.com

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OUR STORY The story of brio! starts with founders Miguel Cardona and Jose Nieves meeting the first day of third grade. The two, still strangers to the English language, bonded when teary-eyed Jose asked Miguel how to say “sharpener” in English. The friendship continued into their adolescent years where Jose grew up as the oldest son on a horse farm in Ocala. His father used to use the word brio! a lot. He said we had to clean the stalls with brio!, we had to do everything in life with brio! To him it’s the idea or philosophy that whatever you’re doing in life, big or small, you do it with passion, attention to detail, and love. The word brio, which means vigor, vivacity and energy in action continued to resonate long after Jose left the farm, and close to a decade later became the perfect name and spirit for their cold brew coffee.

ELEVATOR PITCH Besides providing a vigorous ready-to-drink coffee, Miguel and Jose set out to elevate the coffee experience and challenge industry standards through their cold brew. 273


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a bright, fruity cold brew that celebrates and highlights the nuances and complexities of the coffee while still enjoying the benefits of low acidity. After developing the brew and brand for close to two years, brio! hit the market April of 2018. After four months, they established 60 retail partners in the Gainesville area, and less than a year later went statewide with Whole Foods. In this time they have also won two startup competitions. “Our small success so far can be attributed to being passionate and relentless about this process. We don’t cut corners and we’re confident in our product.” Miguel and Jose are big believers in demoing and allowing potential customers to try and learn about their product. The pair can often be found sampling their elixir at local markets and now at Whole Foods throughout Florida, spreading the spirit of brio! and promoting self-empowerment through their catchphrase, “Wake Up! The World Needs You.”

ABOUT THE TEAM Miguel Cardona—UF Architecture & Design Miguel is our team’s eyes and leads brio!’s visual development. He brings his background in design to complete brio!’s invigorating identity through graphic design, photography, and web development. He enjoys film photography, talking to strangers, and tinkering on his old motorcycle.

Cold brew is a method of extraction that allows the brewer to pull out the natural notes of the coffee bean without tapping into the acidic oils that when over-extracted can result in a bitter taste and can cause heartburn or acid reflux. The lack of acidity, while good for digestive health, can result in duller flavor profiles.

Jose Nieves—Culinary Institute of America Jose is our team’s taste buds. He leads our team’s constant effort to make brio! taste like ... brio! He brought his culinary and hospitality experience from NYC to Gainesville to help develop the brio! recipe. He enjoys weekly coffee cuppings, perfecting the French omelet, and practicing yoga.

brio! is counteracting that dullness in two ways. First, they found a variety of coffee that’s naturally bright and flavorful. The coffee is a Typica variety with natural notes of pomegranate, cranberry, blackberry, and lemongrass. It tastes a little like iced tea! Next, they roast and bottle faster than the competition! After a bean is harvested, its inherent aromas and flavors begin to evaporate immediately, so the clock’s ticking. brio! averages 21 days from harvest to bottle. This timeline, the variety of coffee bean, and the standards of quality throughout the process result in

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ELEVATOR PITCH From the Ground Up

When doctors diagnosed aha’s founder, Wayne Garland, with terminal cancer, he journeyed to Asia with hopes of healing himself naturally. In the East, Wayne adopted the ancient philosophy that saved his life: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates.

Originally known as Paleogenics, the company started serving soups and attracting new customers at Haile farmer’s market in Gainesville. Soon after, Lucky’s Market expressed interest in the products and values. Thus, a retail partnership began. In 2017, the company rebranded to become aha Pure Foods. That November, aha won the Cox Business Get Started Gainesville Pitch Competition, which solidified their prominence in the Gainesville community.

After conducting nearly thirty years of naturopathic research, Wayne teamed up with American Chef Alfie Crescentini to integrate the world’s most powerful medicinal herbs, spices and vegetables into the Standard American Diet. Packed with vital nutrients, antioxidants, probiotics, and fiber, each soup provides a culinary experience designed to supercharge the mind and body. They are the first of their kind. Equipped with a delightful line of soups, the health-conscious, vibrant company was born.

The competition showcased growing start-ups in the Gainesville area, and Cox Business selected five finalists out of 40 applicants. Each company pitched before a panel of judges and a live audience. aha Pure Foods won the competition and took home $25,000 in prizes. The company also received the People’s Choice Award, voted on by the audience. aha Pure Foods looks to spread the philosophy “food is medicine” to an even greater market as the business grows and are doing so out of the UF Innovation Hub.

The Blends aha’s mission is simple: educate and inspire people around the world to know that taking control of your health is as simple as treating your food as your medicine.

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We carry out this mission in the five soups currently produced and sold in Gainesville, Florida, as well as in the online store. Share in our dedication to health and nutrition by trying the five blends: LION’S MANE, FIRE-PROOF, SWEET CHI, LUCKY BONES, and our newest edition, TOMA VIDA.

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animal products, creating a savory plant-based blend. With ingredients like mushrooms, bok choy, and rosemary, LUCKY BONES is packed with protein and nutrients designed to soothe the digestive system. Use LUCKY BONES as a base for grains like quinoa or rice to add extra flavor and boost your gut health.

LION’S MANE is a mushroom and vegetable soup named after the “Lion’s Mane” mushroom that grows in Eastern Asia. Staying true to its name, LION’S MANE contains five types of mushrooms that aid in cognitive functions such as comprehension, memory, and focus. It’s coconut milk base also improves heart health and cholesterol levels.

TOMA VIDA is a hearty medley of puréed avocados and chunky tomatoes. TOMA VIDA is a new addition to aha’s lineup, offering a variety of health benefits from its main ingredient: tomatoes. This blend is great for elevating heart health, building bone strength, and improving metabolic function. Avocado and lime are incorporated to make this soup a worthy addition to aha’s array of soups.

FIRE-PROOF is a turmeric and ginger soup known for its natural antiinflammatory properties. The combination of turmeric and fresh black pepper maximizes the anti-inflammatory agents turmeric is widely known for. Accompanied by root vegetables like carrots, rutabaga, and turnips, FIRE-PROOF packs a nutritious punch.

Shop Shop all five of aha’s blends on our website, www.ahapurefoods.com, or at Ward’s Supermarket on 23rd Avenue in Gainesville. One spoonful at a time, The aha team

SWEET CHI is a butternut squash bisque made to balance blood sugar and curb sugar cravings thanks to a special ingredient, bitter melon. The hints of Thai spice, orange, and lime pairs well with its butternut squash base. This blend is great for people with diabetes and those looking to maintain a healthy weight.

747 SW 2nd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601 +1-352-420-9869 hello@ahapurefoods.com ahapurefoods aha Pure Foods

LUCKY BONES provides the perfect balance of flavor and versatility. This vegetable broth mimics a traditional bone broth without the use of

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ELEVATOR PITCH ReFresh Food Co. strives to provide food and drinks that are not only delicious but health-conscious as well. It is a place where you can come and study or work while you eat or just hang out with friends and family in a comfortable setting.

OUR STORY Our realization of the strong connection between food and health started a long time ago with the birth of our first child. Like any new parents, we obsessed over the health and well-being of our baby and in our case, it was a little bit more so, because our daughter was born fiveweeks premature. Around this time we began to learn about genetically modified food and how it could negatively impact health and so we started to change the way we ate. The difference in taste alone was enough for us, but noticing the change in the way we felt kept us going with it. At the time it was difficult to find organic or non-GMO food in the grocery stores, let alone restaurants, but we did our best to maintain this way of life. As our kids got older we saw that although the food industry was catching on to the benefits and the demand of the people for clean food, the options out there were still minimal. Our desire for quality food was there and in time the opportunity to be able to provide such a place for other people to enjoy would come to us. 277


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We are proud to be a part of Gainesville and the Gator Nation community; if we were anywhere else we would not be able to work with our one-of-akind local vendors who provide us the fresh quality ingredients we use in creating our menu. Our University of Florida student population is a big thing for us and we enjoy helping support different student organizations through sponsorships and donations. Many of the organizations and events we have helped sponsor or donated to have come to our attention through the student population. It is great to see our future leaders in action.

Things really got started when we were hired by one of the first açai shops to open in Palm Beach County. I became manager, and within a year I was helping to open the first franchise right here in Gainesville. What was supposed to be a temporary position turned into a more permanent job, and I ran the restaurant as the General Manager for a few years. When the owner left the franchise, I left to manage the Bagel Bakery, another Gainesville staple. Although I enjoyed my time there, when the opportunity to buy the açai shop came up, we jumped on it. We already knew the business inside and out and knew we could make it better. We had visions of providing a place that would merge healthy with delicious.

Apart from the students, Gainesville itself still harbors a small-town feel; it’s the best of both worlds. We have lived all over Florida and the environment we have here is unique, it has helped to mold our actions as a business.

Many restaurants claim to be “healthy” but upon closer inspection, the quality of the ingredients used and their practices show otherwise. ReFresh’s items are made fresh, daily and in-house, with non-gmo or organic ingredients. All our food is created with health and performance in mind. In addition, we place an emphasis on using eco-friendly materials and packaging. We love connecting with other local businesses and supporting the Gainesville community which is why we source locally when possible, because as a small family owned company we appreciate what it means to be a small and independent business and know how important it is to have the support of our local community. The internet has allowed the world to connect globally and that is a wonderful thing but our local connections are being forgotten, we want to remind people that community is important and we will lead by example.

Our hope and goal is to grow and expand from more than a restaurant into a full-fledged food company, providing quality food to Gainesville and beyond. ReFresh Food Co. info@refreshfoodco.com +1-352-792-6770 refreshfoodco ReFreshFoodCompany refreshfoodco.com

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CHAPTER 14

LIFESTYLE “Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be a part of.” — GERI WEITZMAN

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SITE-SPECIFIC ARTIST-CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP How to implement a groundbreaking public art program, form diverse line up of the world’s best muralists, and ensure support by the community? Public art agency GNV URBAN ART LLC has developed innovative programming in public art production and artist selection process. The company explores major global and social topics through art and face-to-face conceptual approach. In collaboration with open-minded customers that do not restrain but encourage artists’ creative freedom and divergent thinking, the agency competes on the most innovative high-quality products. GNV URBAN ART LLC consults and administers public art programs operating a competitive database of over 1,000 internationally recognized artists.

NOVEL AND ADAPTIVE THINKING IN PUBLIC ART People constantly make decisions in an environment of uncertainty. Shaping the way to a better future, we implement a core message into our masterpieces to remind people what is important. Surprise makes people pay attention, think, and store unexpected events in memory. In response to the necessity to accelerate the high quality of art in public places, we facilitate better decisions by promoting dialogue, and understanding bounded rationality in community-centered design. Our differentiated capability system includes research, education and community engagement activities that increase acceptance of a change. We predict consequences and find a perfect match between artists and architecture. Trained in decision making, we generate all the feasible alternative courses of action and develop an impartial game plan for innovative projects that empower communities. We conceptualize a style, color palette, technique, and philosophy.

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Each artist has their own place in the street and a powerful message, our work is to find which street in particular and your core message”. — IRYNA KANISHCHEVA

ABOUT THE FOUNDER Why are immigrants more productive in the invention field? Because they are under the “edge effect”, pushing the boundaries of two or more ecosystems allowing a greater diversity of ideas and stimulating design mindset. Founder & Director of GNV URBAN ART LLC, Iryna Kanishcheva is a Post-Soviet immigrant that holds an MBA from UF Warrington College of Business and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Lviv Polytechnic National University. Out of the culturally diverse edges of Iryna’s life experience, she has applied business models and scientific philosophies to her creative thinking, as she has implemented a new approach to organizing cultural projects with an educational mission. Iryna is the founder and curator of several leading-edge public art projects. Among them, the first urban art initiative in North Central Florida, 352walls. She was a recipient of the Public Art Award for the significant contribution to the enhancement of the greater environment through public art; the City Beautification Award for the outstanding public space and community project; and Americans for the Arts National Recognition.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Florida Fun Bikes is Gainesville’s only Party Bike! The fun bike is ideal for anyone looking to have a good time all while seeing the city of Gainesville from a moving barstool. Florida Fun Bikes are 100% pedal-powered and provide an eco-friendly way to party with friends. The Fun Bikes offer both leisure and exercise in a unique package, and extends patrons an opportunity to tour Gainesville as well as visit local shops, restaurants, and taverns of their choosing.

OUR STORY Our two-hour Gainesville bar crawl takes party bike riders through the best parts of Downtown and Midtown. Celebrate birthdays, bachelor or bachelorette parties, holidays, company outings, or just a night out! Fun Bike riders receive exclusive drink specials from our premier partners while on the party bike tour. Florida Fun Bikes is a pedal pub that highly encourages riders to exercise their right to party, so we tell everyone to be ready for a fun time when you ride with us! Florida Fun Bikes was started by lifetime Gainesville resident Derrick Robinson and his wife Amber. After experiencing these bikes in other cities they were certain that Gainesville needed its own. Derrick and Amber have put together a special, one-ofa-kind experience that anyone can enjoy! The bike is sometimes mistaken for a larger scale version of a pedicab, but it is not, since the party bike is powered by the passengers while the steering and braking is controlled by an employed driver. The Bike itself is a multi-passenger, human-powered vehicle manufactured in the Netherlands. Known as a “Party Bike” or “Bar Cycle,” Florida Fun Bikes operates the original version that has been in existence in Europe for over 17 years.

Florida Fun Bikes 530 W. University Avenue Gainesville, FL 32601 +1-352-462-2453 yelp.com/biz/florida-fun-bikes-gainesville floridafunbikes floridafunbikes.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH “We kept traveling outside of our hometown to garner memorable life experiences at music festivals and inspiring destinations,” says Rucker. “One day we realized together that it would be our greatest joy to create a space in our hometown that matches the vibrations of the magic we are finding when we travel.”

Flow Space Yoga & Arts, originally a Gainesville railroad depot, is now home to an eclectic and vibrant community of facilitators, student clientele, and volunteers (the “Flow Fam”). Multiple times a day, participants enjoy hour-long wellness journeys that unify movement and mindfulness facilitation with live music, aromatherapy, and innovative ideas.

Since the birth of Flow Space, The Flow Fam has grown the studio’s branches into an authentic-feeling local establishment that they’re both proud of. Each one of its hired movement facilitators is an artist of breath, movement medicine, and conscious practices in their own right. Stemming from different experience backgrounds, Flow’s staff members are handchosen for their gifts of knowledgeability, creativity, disposition, and passion. The Musician Sound Wizards are masterful at improvising in accord with the ebb and flow of a movement class while acutely reading the energy in the room. Cellists, handpan players, guitarists, and a smattering of DJs have expressed how endearing and refreshing it is to play sweet melodies under these rare circumstances.

OUR STORY Flow Space Yoga & Arts was founded in 2016 by dreamers Humm Hill and Maggie Rucker, two born-and-raised Gainesville local ladies. Brought together by a shared passion for mindfulness, the arts, and community, their combined creative prowess exploded into what is now a thriving and unique Gainesville staple. Their extraordinary brick building, originally a railroad station, is now home to their eclectic and vibrant community of facilitators, student clientele, and volunteers (the “Flow Fam”). Entering into the space, an air of festivity envelops the senses. Multiple times a day, participants enjoy hour-long wellness journeys that unify movement and mindfulness facilitation with live music, DJs, aromatherapy, and innovative ideas.

A primary intention throughout Flow’s daily journeys is the induction of a meaningful “Flow State.” Flow State is a term used by scientists

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and psychologists to represent a mode of peak physiological human performance and by yogis to represent a state of complete mind and body connection. Flow State can be achieved by many means, and Flow’s daily offerings vary from floor and aerial yoga to acrobatics, primal movements, and workshops in order to appeal to a dynamic group of eager students. As young “changemakers,” Humm and Maggie earnestly strive to enrich the Gainesville community by creating an innovative culture that unifies and supports performance, visual, and wellness arts with the kind of social values they’d like to see more of in the world: inclusivity, sustainability, alternate modes of celebration, and radical self-expression.

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…there is no end game…the goal is being in love with right here, with the process.” –Chase H.

“I didn’t know what to expect—this meeting was only taking place because of a mere Instagram DM. Perhaps that’s how most millennial-run companies operate; maybe it’s just Always True’s organic nature. Regardless, I found myself in a four-man forum on the floor within an hour of arriving. Lofi beats played in the background as we settled in—two of us in beanbag chairs, the remaining two in traditional seats.”

When Drew, Sam, and Kevin first conceived the idea of starting a lifestyle brand, they weren’t sure what to call it. There were many ideas—one involved starting a fitness apparel company. But once it was settled that they would produce authentic, artistic apparel, a name still had to be chosen. Brandon’s legacy was revived, and the moniker Always True lived on. Drew shook his head. “Probably ‘peace,’” he said. “Recently we’ve been saying ‘rest in peace’—based off of Brandon, but taking that and extending it to peace of mind. Everyday. Rest in peace.” In a sense, Always True is out to combat the manic nature of our modern society. I went down an excited rant of my own, but circled back around and inquired whether they were out to give a message, to change people, to mold others. They conceded that it may be a reaction to society, but they weren’t in the business of preaching

While all three of them treat each other with the type of love that only brothers possess, Drew and Sam are the true blood relatives. The pair lost their older brother over six years ago. Brandon Howard, who went under the stage name Always True, was struck by an automobile in Orlando, Florida, and passed away on August 18, 2012. He was twenty years old.

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If it’s constantly evolving, like Always True, how do you ever know your most authentic self? I had dragged the conversation into the weeds, but Sam was there to attempt to pull us all out: “It’s about finding yourself through our clothes, I guess. And to just give something for people to feel comfortable with in order to do what they want to do…to use our clothes as a bounce-board to propel the negativity away … to stay true to yourself.” We were still getting further away from the concrete foundation of Always True, though, into a more philosophical realm that had ideas and answers as slippery as fish lathered with butter. “The world as I see,” Drew said, “there’s everything in front of you, but it’s nothing at the same time. Whatever your thought of Always True is, whatever you think this is, just is what it is to you. At first, we were like ‘Always True … oh, so that means that everybody has to act truthful,’ and now we’re like, ‘Who gives a fuck about that?’ Every day your mind is like I’m this, I’m this, I’m this and your body is like, I’m this way now, I’m this shape now. But who really are you?”

to folks. Never had they tried to induce the highly sought after eureka moment. They unanimously responded “No” when I bluntly asked if they were out to change people. “I think what we’re trying to do is nothing crazy,” Kevin explained, “We’re just doing us. We’re staying true to our own path. Even though we are doing this together, we do different things every day. We’re not with each other all day, every day. And that’s with everybody—just stay true to who you are. Follow your own path.”

ALWAYS TRUE CO. +1-352-474-5489 alwaystrueco alwaystrue.co

We were beginning to boil things down to absolute base layers. However, with each layer we peeled off, I had more questions that arose. Does being true to yourself lead to peace of mind? What is the truest form of yourself? 288


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LEZA MUELLER, MOM, WOMAN, DOUBLE GATOR, COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER & ADVOCATE, ROTARIAN, MENTOR AND SPEAKER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA AND DREAMANICS TV AND OF COURSE, A GAINESVILLE LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR.

ELEVATOR PITCH My fashion consultant, fashion business gives me the incredible opportunity to make women feel empowered, confident and beautiful, no matter their shape or size. Uplifting others and striving to make the community that has given me so much, a better place to live. I love using my knowledge and my thirst to learn and grow and my core inquisitiveness and zest for life to stay positive, hopeful, trustworthy and kind. My goal is to pass to my 3 amazing daughters that excitement and sense of community, so that they never forget it takes a village or tribe, as I like to call it, to make this world a better place and for them to realize it fills your soul, being a part of something greater then just yourself.

public career and decided I had a more important calling, being a Mom. My greatest superpower and my heart was blessed, as I had the opportunity to be a parent to 3 of the most AMAZING young women EVER. But, becoming a widow while they were all still teenagers was not part of the plan and traumatic to say the least, requiring me to reinvent myself and my journey in life. Since then, over the last 4 years, I have had successes and failures; smiles and tears; hope and sadness. My landing place, because all Superhero’s need to land every once and while, right? Well that is still to be determined. My intense love for my community and the tribe that has uplifted me has allowed me to be the Rookie of the Year and future Board of Director member of Gainesville Rotary Club and Advisory Board Member and Fundraising Co-Chair for the Bourbon and BBQ Fundraiser at the Ronald McDonald House of North Central Florida. My advocacy of issues related to domestic abuse, literacy and confidence building have landed me in the areas of Take Stock in Children, University of Florida Career Center and Peaceful Paths Domestic Violence Agency. My curiosity and determination to growth and excitement about life have lead me to being a part of a Worldwide Community of Dreamaniac TV and Local Gainesville Innovators and Technology Gurus. My superpower, fueled by my tribe and my zest for life, is seeing endless possibilities and working to live a life with no regrets.

OUR STORY I came to Gainesville, Florida when I was 16 years old to attend the University of Florida in Aerospace Engineering and landing at the end of my first College “life” with a Master’s in Public Administration (GO Gators!). Public life/government took me from Alachua County and being the Acting Budget Director and Supervisor, to the City of Gainesville as a Budget/Management Analyst. And as the demand of parenthood grew, not even slowing the pace of my public career was enough, so I left my 289


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Photo by Adrienne Fletcher Photography

I am my brand, Leza Mueller. I see myself as an innovator and a Local Small Business Owner. In this new age of women and men who have decided to grow, reach and shine, I strive to be something bigger than the roles that define us. I LOVE being surrounding by bright, talented people who are inquisitive, sharp as hell and fun! My brand, Leza Mueller, my journey, which is far from over, provides women and men the opportunity to see that no one can define, label, or place you in a box based on what’s happened to you or some insignificant shallow view of what you should become. Shine and create your own story. Stand tall and realize you are stronger than you think, smarter than your ever imagined and that God has plans for you. Leza Mueller, Cabi Style with Leza Mueller, Leza Mueller the Mom, Rotarian, Board of Director Member, University of Florida Speaker, Woman is many things and my journey and positive influence on my community is far from over. In fact, it just beginning and my sincerest hope is that I provide a vision that anyone can change their life and shine. Be something more than they or you ever expected!

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ELEVATOR PITCH “It’s not just a box, you know?” says Gabriel. “We do full customizations, including backdrops and props. We cover the whole event industry— wedding, galas, banquets, birthdays—and we create a unique experience for every single event.”

Sharplenz is a modern, open air, luxurious photobooth company that specializes in events of all sorts, and offers fully customized templates for every event. Did You Know: Fleuranvil and Gabriel are proud to be first generation Haitian-American immigrants and first generation college graduates.

“We do business events too,” says Fleuranvil. “The customized booth is great for marketing purposes. You can put the logo on the template, and that works as a fun and eye-catching way to brand an event or a venue. People take their pictures in it and then your logo starts to appear everywhere.”

OUR STORY

They explain that Gabriel has always loved photography, and Fleuranvil has an entrepreneurial background. “Both my parents are entrepreneurs,” says Fleuranvil.

In October of 2017, the Co-Founders of Sharplenz, Leonardo Gabriel, who is 30 years old, and Jhuly Fleuranvil, who is 25, were working in the corporate world, and had reached blocks in their professional lives. “We were hungry,” says Fleuranvil. “And we were looking for opportunities to make a difference in the community, and make a living.”

Before starting Sharplenz, both Gabriel and Fleuranvil had both gone through Startup Santa Fe, Santa Fe College’s startup incubator. “Santa Fe College was a great help,” says Gabriel. “They prepped us with all the tools, and the community was a great help.”

As it happened, they attended a wedding in Miami that had a particularly fun photobooth, and a lightbulb went off in their heads.

Fleuranvil agrees. “The CIED gave us all the tools we needed to get the company off the ground,” she says, referring to the Center for Innovation & Economic Development at Santa Fe College.

“We loved that experience,” says Gabriel, “and we thought, why don’t we recreate something like that in Gainesville?” Within three months they had chosen a name, designed a logo, created their website, and created an original, high-end photobooth experience in their hometown, which they consider the best quality photobooth in Gainesville.

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Jhuly Fleuranvil, Co-founder

have four mentors. People grooming us. I’m like, this is ridiculous, it’s so nice. I doubt I would have that anywhere else.” “It’s a big city in a small town,” says Gabriel. “It’s growing very fast but everyone knows each other. Especially in the eventing world. It’s a great place to be a young entrepreneur.”

For Gabriel and Fleuranvil, one of the most memorable events was when they were hired to do Santa Fe College’s most recent graduation. “That meant a lot to us, since our entrepreneur journey began at Santa Fe College,” says Fleuranvil.

Indeed, Sharplenz is expanding. “We just got a second photobooth which we’re super excited about,” says Fleuranvil. And they are planning a major expansion. “We’re expanding into a full media company,” says Gabriel, “providing photography and videography services for events and businesses.”

For more information about Sharplenz, visit sharplenzphoto.com.

They credit the ubiquity of social media with giving their business momentum, and they say they’re always keeping an eye on any technologies that they could incorporate into their setup. “We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience,” says Fleuranvil. “We want every event to be as memorable as possible.”

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powerful image-makers that inspire and create beauty (it turns out that Gainesville is an artsy town!) Mary’s innovative spirit has inspired her to start many grassroots programs, like the recent initiative of placing public art downtown, supporting Dance Alive!, and starting the Harn Museum Docent program before the museum was even built.

Healing with the Arts is a free online program that facilitates the discovery of using art to heal yourself, others, and community. Mary Rockwood Lane is the creator of this innovative course that strives to create a global arts community through social media and networking. It is designed to let you work at your own pace. Everyone is an artist!

Because Gainesville is a Tree City and ancient oaks surround her home, Mary has also become passionate about land conservation. She believes caring for our environment is good for our health, and she was instrumental in creating the Kanapaha Wild Life Sanctuary. Her latest endeavor is leading a women’s retreat, The Artemis Sacred Journey, to honor and empower women. The retreat takes place in the Ancient Temples of the Goddess in Tinos, Greece.

OUR STORY Dr. Lane is a professor, painter, nurse, life coach, and Sacred Activist who has co-authored six books on art, spirituality, wisdom traditions, and healing. She discovered the power of art when she painted herself out of a severe depression. Art transformed her life. Through what she learned from her journey, Mary became the co-founder and director emeritus of the UF Health Arts in Medicine program at the University of Florida, and she created the first artist-in-residence program in healthcare in the United States. Currently, she teaches Creativity and Spirituality in Healthcare at the UF College of Nursing. She has become a Global Ambassador of Caring Science working closely with the world-famous nursing leader, Dr. Jean Watson. Mary is an international speaker and faculty with the Watson Caring Science Institute. In 2020, she will speak at the Middle East Nursing Conference on Caring as the Path to Peace.

Mary hopes that her free online program, Healing with the Arts, will transform lives. The course facilitates personal transformation and selfactualization by activating the potential of a learner’s creativity and destiny to live their best life. Sign up for the Healing with the Arts course at www.healingwiththearts. com, or join the Facebook group! This group was formed to cultivate community among people all over the world to share their work and what they have created. You can find the Facebook group under Healing with the Arts on the social media platform. To learn more about Mary, visit her website at www.maryrockwoodlane.com.

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* FREE *

Six Week Online Course on UF Coursera

HEALING HEALING WITH THE ARTS ARTS WITH THE

with Dr. Marywith Rockwood LaneRockwood Lane Dr. Mary

A new kind of university online distance education, using the arts to heal yourself, others, community, and the earth. Sign-up and Info: HealingwiththeArts.com/6-week-program/ MaryRockwoodLane.com Contact Mary: MaryRockwoodLane@gmail.com Healing with the Arts healing_with_the_arts

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VISION Be known as one of the best companies for the world.

CORE PURPOSE Create an experience that helps people get the most out of life and inspires them to become their best.

MISSION To inspire an entire community.

Founded in 1978 with owner Joe Cirulli as the visionary leader, Gainesville Health & Fitness (GHF) operates with over four decades of experience and expertise in fitness. They are proud to be considered Gainesville’s premier fitness company with 450 employees, three locations, and two onsite ReQuest Physical Therapy clinics.

exercise a permanent component of their life. It’s evident in the layout of the facilities, the classes they offer, the programs they create, the locations they build, including one just for women, and the staff they hire. GHF is the largest, most innovative fitness facility in Gainesville—with more classes, more choices and more variety and the most advanced programs in the entire US. Boutique services, Personal Training, TRIBE Team Training, Pilates, CrossFit, X-Force Body, and Recover & Restore (R&R), make it convenient for members to specialize their fitness at GHF.

OUR STORY For the last 40 years, Gainesville Health & Fitness was built on the foundation of helping the person who is brand new to exercise, those that don’t have a clue about how to get in shape. Everything they do is designed to make everyone feel comfortable and get results on their way to making

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Their success is attributed to their culture and standards of excellence, supported by passionate employees. Every department has people who work their hardest, demonstrate integrity, have an extraordinary commitment to helping people and believe they create their own future. They have a focus on the importance of employee and leadership development. It’s a part of their culture and is vital to the success of their clubs. All of their employees have a clear understanding that success is not a destination, but instead a journey. They know they need to continuously seek improvement in themselves individually, and as a whole. As a result, they have become recognized nationally and internationally. Among the several other awards, GHF was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “25 Best Small Companies in America” in 2016. They also rank globally in the top percentile for sales, management and community service.

Gainesville Health & Fitness 4820 W Newberry Road, Gainesville, FL 32607 +1-352-377-4955 gainesvillefit gainesvillehealth gainesville-health-&-fitness GHFCadmin

While they are proud of their success, their commitment is to Gainesville and helping make this community a vibrant, cool, healthy place to live, work, and play. They choose to devote all of their resources, staff, and innovation to Gainesville instead of taking those assets elsewhere. They live here, they work here, they contribute here, they thrive here.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Nestled in the heart of Gainesville is one of the city’s cultural gems, Dance Alive National Ballet, a Floridabased professional ballet company. Established in 1965 and directed by sisters and local leaders Kim Tuttle and Judy Skinner, it is one of the premier touring companies in the United States and features an international roster of award-winning dancers. At any given time of day, the dancers can be seen going through their paces— athletic, graceful, elegant, and exciting, they are at the heart of the company’s undeniable success, and part of Gainesville’s undeniable appeal. The company, which has strong outreach and educational programs, gives back to the community through Discover Dance, Dance Partners, and Senior Moments, all programs designed to bring students, veterans, special needs individuals, and clients of any and all social service and nonprofit agencies to experience dance at reduced or no cost. DanceAbout, the newest addition to our community outreach programs, is designed to reach pre-school youngsters and underprivileged and senior citizens in settings designed for their maximum benefit. The youth company, The Next Generation performs in retirement centers and arts fairs. The Company is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of community leaders who support the organization wholeheartedly.

OUR STORY Dance Alive National Ballet’s repertoire ranges from the classic Nutcracker to the cutting edge of contemporary ballet. Throughout this choreographic tapestry are woven the ballets of Executive Artistic Director Kim Tuttle and Resident Choreographer Judy Skinner whose distinctive artistic styles brand the company. Entertaining and insightful, provocative and joyous, this creative aesthetic is at the heart of the Company. DANB has toured internationally under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts, SouthArts, Allied Concert Services, Conciertos Internacionales, and the Florida Department of State. The company is represented by Siegel Artist Management.

….admire the exquisite combination of techniques… the tradition of the Bolshoi, the spirit of jazz and the sensuality of modern dance in a first class spectacle….” —La Nacion, Costa Rica 297


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ELEVATOR PITCH With roots grounded in customer service and creating Ultimate Customer Experiences, New Scooters 4 Less sells scooters out of an eccentric dealership on NW 13th Street. Over the last sixteen years NS4L has changed the way University of Florida students move, in the process transforming the campus, and Gainesville itself, into a scooter-friendly culture. Collin Austin, the founder of NS4L, grew up as a military kid, moving every two or three years. He bounced around all over the country, and even lived in England for three years. So when he arrived in Gainesville, it became his home—his four years at the University of Florida were the longest he’d ever lived in one city. He now had roots and saw opportunity.

OUR STORY New Scooters 4 Less began in March 2004 when Collin Austin was still a student at the University of Florida. Due to graduate in May, Austin had been going to career showcases dressed up in his suit and tie, meeting recruiters, shaking their hands, and hearing one question: “So, why do you want to work for our company?” When Austin didn’t have a genuine answer, he realized: “I don’t want to work for anyone!” Soon after that, Austin was waiting for a bus to class, and, after a seemingly endless wait, the bus came. But across the top it said: “FULL BUS.” A lightbulb went off, and Austin thought, if I have this problem where I can’t even get to class, other students must have this problem too. “And I thought, maybe this is something I could work on,” says Austin. “Maybe this is something I could solve.” 299


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As it happened, many students were having the same problem. The bus was often full, and parking at the University was extremely limited. Austin thought he could solve this problem by creating a scooter company, while also running a successful business. And that’s just what he did. “I jumped head-first into something I didn’t know anything about,” says Austin. “But we did it. We fixed that problem.” Before founding NS4L, Austin had never had thoughts of being an entrepreneur, but in retrospect, he’d always had entrepreneurial tendencies. As a kid he’d mown lawns and sold cinnamon rolls and coffee at his parents’ garage sales. So, after an early iteration with a friend that combined online wholesale sales, in 2006 Austin turned his full attention to retail. From that moment onward, Austin made it his mission to be the dealership that helped UF students move around Gainesville—and get to class on time. Early on, he realized his greatest advantage was his obsession with customer experience. “I always felt that in retail, customer service was average at best,” says Austin. “So we coined this term, ‘UCE’: Ultimate Customer Experience.” This became NS4L’s core value: to create and recreate UCE. “More than anything, that’s led to the growth of our company over all the years,” says Austin. “It’s effectively made us one of the top scooter dealerships in the country.” As a passionate UCE leader, Austin explains his business card containing his Snapchat code. “I give this to students and tell them, hey, I’m the founder of the company, this is my direct Snapchat. If you ever need anything, feel free to reach out to me directly.” And they do. Austin tells the story of one Friday night when he got a snap from a college student who was stranded. “I helped her troubleshoot through this social media platform and helped her get her scooter started and get home safe.” Using the tools at-hand today, allows us to come up with new and innovative ways to deliver exceptional service to our customers and push the UCE to another level. All this hard work has paid off. NS4L has completely transformed the UF campus. “The University of Florida from a scooter culture standpoint is now the example for college towns across America,” says Austin. Scooter parking, which barely existed on campus when they started, is now everywhere. Scooter parking is embedded in Gainesville zoning requirements. And of course, there are thousands and thousands of scooters on the roads. “It’s pretty cool to see the impact my team has had on the city and on the university,” says Austin. Referring to both Gainesville and the University of Florida, Austin says: “We absolutely love this place. We wouldn’t have a business without them.” For more information on New Scooters 4 Less, visit newscooters4less.com.

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ELEVATOR PITCH REVA Electric seeks to establish itself as the electric bike industry leader by introducing models that far exceed the quality, performance, and value of the current industry e-bikes. REVA’s focus on blending innovative technology with purposeful design, maintaining a cohesive and customeroriented brand image, and providing its riders with the most engaging and effective mode of transportation allow it to stand alone in an otherwise uninspiring market.

for a city like Gainesville was an electric bicycle –but the expensive cost, lack of features, and poor-quality electric bikes on the market left more to be desired. The current offering for electric bicycles represents the bottom of the barrel from the perspective of innovation, quality, performance, and affordability. Most of these issues can be contributed to the market’s infancy and general underappreciation by consumers and established brands. Juan’s dissatisfaction with available e-bikes drove him to apply the knowledge and technology developed from the Electric S2000 into his own premium electric bike in 2014. Two years later, after receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback and interest for his prototype, Juan founded REVA to bring his vision for electric bikes to the masses.

OUR STORY REVA Electric Technologies LLC was founded by Juan Ehringer, who has held an interest in the electrical vehicle & electric bike community for nearly 8 years. At age 16, Juan undertook the task of converting a gaspowered Honda S2000 coupe to 900HP full electric propulsion. Upon arrival in Gainesville, he became frustrated with his options for transportation to and from campus – low quality scooters, overcrowded buses, and slow conventional bicycles. He quickly realized the ideal mode of transportation

REVA’s first commercial product, The REVA ROKT, is an electric bicycle capable of traveling up to 28 mph on city streets, and 45+ mph on nonpublic roadways when power restrictions are disabled. Developed in house, the ROKT features advanced technologies that set it apart from the rest – including traction control, variable regenerative braking, and GPS enabled security tracking. Already in development, REVA plans on releasing two 301


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new bicycle models to the market in 2020 to expand its product offering to customers. Launching in the summer of 2020, the REVA URBN is a utility oriented urban commuter bicycle, sporting a lightweight and affordable design. A 30mph top speed, 45 mile range, and $1,950 price point makes it the ideal bike for individuals interested in entering the e-bike world. The second model, currently named the REVA ROLR (short for roller) will be a minimalist motorbike styled ‘fat bike’ – aimed at providing users with an exciting and comfortable e-bike, capable of tackling even the toughest terrain.

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PARTICIPATORS INDEX I N N O V A T E

A`vie Events

95

Accelerate Digital Agency

139

Admiral

23, 167

Advanced Digital Marketing

159

Advantage Media Promotions

99

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Gainesville Prosthetics

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87

PHOS 127

GHST 157

Ello Piedra

GNV URBAN ART

Piñata 209

281

Eric Godet, Sr. (Greater Gainesville Chamber)

10

Gonzalo Law

235

AGTC 91

Virginia Grant (Gainesville Black Professionals)

aha Pure Foods

Greater Gainesville Chamber

27

107

Lauren Poe (City of Gainesville)

9

Qualified Meetings

115

RDM 215

10, 259

Refresh Food Co.

Altavian 147

Grifin 225

Research Blocks

Always True Co.

Jamie Grooms (Innovation Academy, University of

REVA Electric Technologies

301 32

275 287

277 79

Collin Austin (New Scooters 4 Less & WHOA GNV) 30

Florida) 20

Rich Blaser (Infinite Energy)

Axogen 83

Guts & Glory GNV

111

Rootex 119

AY-Production 109

Healing with the Arts

293

Greg Ross-Munro (Herding Cats & Coders)

33

BLUEWAVE Technologies

85

Hunter Business Law

233

Dan Rua (Admiral)

23

Sven Boermeester (GlobalVillage.World)

34

Hyper-Sub Platform Technologies

149

San Felasco Tech City

brio! 273

Imprint Genius

135

Santa Fe College

193

Dr. Paul Broadie (Santa Fe College)

Infinite Energy

32, 43

Santa Fe College Blount Campus

197

19

47

Byppo 213

Infotech 163

Santa Fe College Perry Center for Emerging

Cabi Style by Leza

Innovation Academy, University of Florida 20, 26, 177

Technologies 199

Inspiring Women Leaders Conference

Santa Fe Innovative Product Development

289

Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention

18, 37, 57, 189

City of Gainesville

9, 41

Jeff Citty (Innovation Academy, University of Florida)

26

105

ITProTV 185

Center 247

Duncan Kabinu (Gainesville Dev Academy)

Martin Schaffel (Art of Biz)

25

Laundr 203

Christine E. Schmidt (University of Florida

LeaderLync (Spect)

Engineering Innovation Institute)

191

13 24

Clearikon 81

Lendio 261

Juan Segarra (Foresight Construction Group)

Cocovana 271

LiveGreen 173

Sharplenz Photobooth

College Unboxed

Mark Long (UF Innovate, University of Florida)

SharpSpring 137

221

Concept Companies

61

15

Cacau Mangabeira

101

Merrie Shaw (UF Innovate, University of Florida)

16

SmartSteward™ 75

Dance Alive National Ballet

297

Ken & Linda McGurn

DCE Productions

113

Phoebe Cade Miles (Cade Museum for Creativity &

Digital Key Marketing

129

Dragonfly Sushi

267

Dynamic Communities

229

McKnight Brain Institute of the University of

The Selling Factory

133

EGX Chemical

227

Florida 69

The Underdog

255

New Scooters 4 Less

Three Five Two

125

UF Biomedical Engineering

183

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, University

29

12 291

John Spence (Karma Group)

21

Invention) 18

Steve Spurrier (Courtesy of Wehbe Marketing)

31

Jane Muir (Muir & Associates Consulting)

startGNV 263

22

30, 299

241

Nomad Creative

Entrepreneurship Collective

251

Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Disease

Event Tickets Center

217

(UF Health)

71

UF Innovate

Evren Technologies

153

University of Florida Engineering Innovation

of Florida

141

UF Health

North Florida Regional Medical Center

89

Feathr 169

Jim O’Connell (UF Innovate, University of Florida)

17

Florida Fun Bikes

283

Anna Olcese

Flow Space Yoga & Arts

285

ONESIXONE 257

103

65 15, 16, 17, 73

Institute

24, 181

University of Florida Warrington College of Business 187

161

Walker Architects

207

Fracture 205

Orchard 211

Wehbe Marketing

31, 123

W. Kent Fuchs (University of Florida)

Paracosm 151

WHOA GNV

30, 143

Chad Paris (Parisleaf)

Wilson Dutra Innovation Law

237

Worth Advertising Group

131

Foresight Construction Group

Gainesville Black Professionals

12, 53 11 27, 253

OPIE Software

28

Gainesville Dev Academy

171

Parisleaf

Gainesville Health & Fitness

295

Phlex 77

28, 121

303

Xotiq 223


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InnovationsoftheWorld.com

SHOWCASING THE BEST OF THE WORLD - CONNECTING MINDS - BUILDING COMMUNITIES

The Innovate series is a 300+ page in-depth study and AR video series that showcases the people and companies that are leading the race within the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems of each city and industry. A book with augmented reality videos, an online platform and a global network with a common goal of ensuring the brightest minds of the world connect and succeed.

IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC...

DOWNLOAD THE GLOBAL VILLAGE AR APP TO VIEW 100 AUGMENTED REALITY VIDEOS IN THIS BOOK! To experience the future of print, download the Global Village AR App from the IOS or Android App stores. Open the App and hold it about 30cm above any page that contains an image with the “play” Icon.

Make sure your back camera is pointing at the page. Click the Play button that appears onscreen and immerse yourself in the latest updated content with reference to that page. 304


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“Minds are like parachutes; they only function when open.” —THOMAS DEWAR

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© GlobalVillage Partnerships ISBN: 978-1-949677-12-6 3 0 7

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INNOVATE® Gainesville  

The City of Gainesville is as innovative as it is diverse. INNOVATE® Gainesville explores the city’s innovation ecosystem in 200+ pages of t...

INNOVATE® Gainesville  

The City of Gainesville is as innovative as it is diverse. INNOVATE® Gainesville explores the city’s innovation ecosystem in 200+ pages of t...

Profile for svengvp