A multitude of local groups have banded together recently to organize and promote entrepreneurial events in October that make Gainesville attractive as a destination for those who wish to start or invest in a business. The rise of Gainesville’s innovation economy, which took off upon the completion of UF’s Innovation Square, prompted the group to better organize and promote the many activities and resources available here for those seeking to capitalize on Gainesville’s favorable climate for entrepreneurs and investors.
Though the groups have collaborated on activities for the last several years, 2015 will be the first time events will be presented together under the moniker Gainesville Entrepreneur Month. The group is comprised of Gainesville Area Innovation Network, Cox Communications and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Gainesville Entrepreneur Month (GEM) will turn the spotlight on the events, individuals and organizations that exemplify Gainesville’s entrepreneurial spirit. Entrepreneurs, newbie or seasoned, high- or low-tech, are all encouraged to bring their ideas, dreams and visions to GEM’s many activities during this month. October’s calendar is packed with opportunities for entrepreneurs to mingle, collaborate and compete for money and investors.” Said Maureen Tartaglione, southeast region government and pubic affairs manager at Cox Communications.
The group selected October as Gainesville Entrepreneur Month because there are existing events such as GAIN ShootOut and Startup Weekend planned for entrepreneurs during the month. Several high-profile events have been added including Cox Business’ Get Started Gainesville, which it has hosted in other cities with Inc. magazine.
The Cox Business Get Started Gainesville is a pitch completion for those looking to start a new venutre or to grow and existing business. Entrepreneurs are invited to submit their ideas for free, and the top five entrants will receive feedback from and panel of experts, as they compete for a chance to win a package of prizes worth $10,000. The event is on October 21 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the Champions Club at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The competition portion is free and open to the public, and free parking will be available. More information is available at www.coxblue.com/GetStartedGainesville.
The GAIN Shootout, held on October 26th at the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, is a day-long event where sixteen companies will have an opportunity to hone and present their business plans to a panel of investors, legal startup experts and successful entrepreneurs, allowing them to immediately begin raising capital and achieve recognition from top professionals in their industry. The “TopGun” will be announced at the Cox Award Dinner and receive more than $5,000 in cash and prizes, including legal fees, accounting fees, and the coveted cowboy Stetson hat. Also during the event, one or more local high school students will receive the James M. Cox Entrepreneur Award.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
|10/1-4/2015||Gatorade Anniversary||UF Career Resource Center|
|10/7/2015||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM||SBIR/STTR Proposal Preparation Workshop||UF Tech Connect|
|10/15/2015||5:00 PM – 7:00 PM||Sid Martin Anniversary||Sid Martin Incubator|
|10/17-18/2015||Hack-A-Thon||University of Florida Hillel|
|10/20/2015||Afternoon||“So you want to start a company! What you need to know!”||iHub|
|10/21/2015||1:00 PM – 4:00 PM||Career Start||UF Career Resource Center|
|10/21/2015||5:30 PM – 8:30 PM||Get Started||Cox Business|
|10/22/2015||5:00 PM-7:30 PM||To be determined|
|10/22/2015||8:00 PM – Until||Startup Hour||Downtown Tech Group|
|10/23/2015||TBD||Tech Crawl||GAIN & UF Entrepreneurship Club|
|10/23/2015||TBD||Start Up Weekend||Bill DormanRobert Castellucci|
|10/26/2015||Noon – 9:30 PM||GAIN Shootout||GAIN|