The Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN), the first organization in Florida focused on the innovation economy, began its 32nd year by welcoming eight new members to its Board of Directors.
GAIN works as a complement to other local organizations that are fueling the innovation economy statewide. Its mission is to inspire, connect, and educate entrepreneurs who want to change the world. With that in mind, board members are chosen based on their desire and ability to bring a variety of skills and knowledge to the table in an effort to best support that mission.This year’s new board members join the 12 existing members, and their areas of expertise include higher education, tech and biotech, startups, real estate, and marketing.
“Gainesville continues to grow its reputation as a town where innovation and entrepreneurship are welcome and encouraged,” said Lee May, executive director of GAIN.
“Having a diverse board that brings a variety of industries and specialties to the table, and that is willing to freely share work and life experiences to help entrepreneurs of every age take their ideas and turn them into successful companies, is one of the many benefits of Gainesville,” she continued. “Here, people in every industry – whether serving as official mentors or not – are willing to advise and encourage startups and existing companies to help them get to the next level.”
To spread the word about the area’s innovation and entrepreneurial opportunities, GAIN sponsors over a dozen events a year that are open to the public. These include quarterly luncheons; a FastPitch event in the spring that helps startup entrepreneurs introduce their ideas to the community and get feedback in a fast-paced, fun environment; and the GAIN Shootout that has been sponsored by COX and SharpSpring in the fall, which allows emerging startups a chance to present to investors and others while competing for cash and prizes. GAIN is also proud to be a host of the Hutchison PLLC workshops and GrayRobinson Tech Tuesdays throughout the year.
Board Directors continuing are as follows: Robb Giddings, Hutchison PLLC; David Flores, Onward Development; Eva Del Rio, H R Pro on Demand; Jeremey Wright, James Moore; John Tucker, Vufini; Joe Reddy, Florida Institute for the Commercialization; Cris Johnsrud, Pathfinders Research; Duncan Kabinu, Gainesville Dev Academy; Trevor Abbott, SpinChill; Nola Miyaski, UF Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The Directors joining the 2017 board are: David Day, UF Office of Technology Transfer; Erik Sander, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering; Joe Valley, Shadow Health Mentor in Residence; Aidan Augustin, Feathr; Thomas Samant, Omninox; Bill Dorman, GTEC; Jeff Tate, CTD Holdings; Anna Olcese, Segway Group Keller Williams.