The Gator Hatchery
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Thomas Edison said "the value of an idea lies in the using of it" and Gainesville is no stranger to innovation.
Gainesville is breeding ground for tech companies and innovation, many of those stemming from Santa Fe College and the University Of Florida.
But here at Hough Hall, The Gator Hatchery gives student entrepreneurs the opportunity to take their ideas to market.
"From business models, financials, marketing, product development,” says Nola Miyasaki, the hatchery’s Executive Director Of Outreach & Incubation.
“We just put a lot of resources and time into bringing these students together in one place who want to start a venture."
Miyasaki says the hatchery guides students through the process of getting things started with the help of the community.
"So we bring people from the Gainesville community, we have alumni from all over the country that come and are entrepreneurs in residence, and help mentor and advise and speak to the Gator Hatchery," she says.
And the program is open to students of all backgrounds. "I was supposed to do a Master of Architecture and on the first day of orientation I got cold feet," says Andy Chavez of “BehaviorMe”.
Now these students are learning to sing a new tune and are building a business.
" BehaviorMe " is working to bring behavioral health solutions at the click of a mouse.
Andrea Villegas is also with BehaviorMe and says “since we're Stage 1, we still have to hash out our business plan our business model. Coming from another field, I'm becoming more involved in it so I'm getting a better understanding of what's required of me."
Students in The Gator Hatchery are taught how to take their passions and put together the building blocks of a business.
Victoria Turbyfill of “SUSTAIN” says "I come from a science background. I did my Bachelors of Science at the University of Florida in plant genetics. I graduated in 2015 and I was very into Agriculture and plants have a huge passion for animals and in particular dogs."
And with the support of the hatchery, Turbyfill says she's passionate about sharing her brand of sustainable and nutritious dog food.
"Yes, being an entrepreneur is scary yeah but that's no reason to not pursue something that you know could change the world," she says.
Many of the companies that have sprouted from the hatchery have brought products to market and more companies are joining the program.
"We started with just 8 companies and that was in 2014 and I have 15 companies now that are in 3 different stages," says Miyasaki.
To learn more about The Gator Hatchery, click here.
To learn more about GAIN, click here.
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