The Gainesville Technology Council held its first open meeting and investor pitch event on April 25 at Depot Station, near the site of the future Cade Museum for Creativity and Innovation.
The Council, originally announced at the Hobnob Career Fair on February 13, is a collaboration between the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and technology and innovation leaders in the area with the mission of fostering the growth of the greater Gainesville technology sector by campaigning to retain talent from the university, connecting the right people, promoting the overall scene to potential new business and advocating on a legislative front.
“Gainesville is at a unique point in its history,” said Augi Lye, co-founder and chairman of Trendy Entertainment. “The easiest thing that the Tech Council can do is work on PR. There’s all this cool tech stuff going on, and we can bring attention to these all-star tech startups. We can tell these students that you don’t have to go Silicon Valley, because we can make all your dreams come true right here.”
The first big initiative that the Council is undertaking is a one-year partnership with the newly formed Florida Angel Nexus (FAN), an investor management company designed to ease the process of connecting investors with the companies they’re interested in and helping to take the workload off of investors by assisting with pre-screening and due diligence, paperwork, budgeting, followup and entrepreneurship education. Investors can join the network for $750 per year and companies interested in getting involved can sign up for free at www.floridaangelnexus.com.
“We believe that our community is the finest in Florida, and we believe you can do well, invest here and make a lot of money by doing good work,” said the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Jamie Grooms. “$2 billion is spent in Florida every year on research capital and $700 million of that is spent here. It’s not all here, but we can change that. We can reverse the flow of being an exporter of talent, money and technology.”