Dr. Michael Morris, Laura Johnson, Quang Tran, and Payal Khurana
From left, Dr. Michael Morris, Laura Johnson, Director-Entrepreneurship Degree Programs, and Starter Space co-founders Quang Tran and Payal Khurana.

CEI forms entrepreneurial partnership with Starter Space

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Two of Gainesville’s authorities on entrepreneurship are joining forces.

The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI) at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Administration and Starter Space, a Gainesville incubator, have agreed to a formal partnership to help promote entrepreneurship throughout Gainesville’s growing startup community. The parties will combine efforts to facilitate student learning, assist entrepreneurs as they conceptualize and implement their ventures, and encourage students and others to launch their ventures based in Gainesville.

“Starter Space is one of the coolest and most exciting incubator facilities in the region, and is completely focused on turning dreams of all types into sustainable ventures,” said Dr. Michael Morris, James W. Walter Eminent Scholar Chair and academic director of the entrepreneurship program at UF. “Their mission is a perfect complement to our mission in the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.”

According to their agreement, CEI will supply Starter Space graduate student interns throughout the academic year, provide speakers for the Starter Space-CEI Speaker Series, organize workshops for budding entrepreneurs and help promote Starter Space’s activities and programs throughout UF’s campus. Starter Space will provide work space for student interns, host the speaker series and workshops, allow up to 20 UF students to attend workshops and speaker series events and make its technical expertise available to selected students involved in the College’s entrepreneurship program and UF’s student incubator.

“CEI is a tremendous resource for entrepreneurial talent and is known for teaching and inspiring students to be entrepreneurs through experiential education,” said Payal Khurana, Co-Founder and Partner at Starter Space. “We’re thrilled to partner with CEI and connect our early-stage founders with Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE) students to get our companies from launch to rapid growth. We look forward to creating a much bigger impact together.”

Added Starter Space Co-Founder and Partner Quang Tran: “By partnering with CEI, our young founders benefit from the valuable insights of MSE students and expert business assistance from CEI staff. We believe CEI’s commitment to fostering community engagement will enable us to build upon our goal for a more innovative Gainesville.”

Starter Space has launched several programs to enhance and support entrepreneurial initiatives in Gainesville including GatorLab, which tasks students to create a business within three months; Business Hatchery, a program designed for non-tech and social entrepreneurs; and Hobnob, a joint venture with the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce where Starter Space hosts a career fair.

CEI was created to teach, coach and inspire students to be entrepreneurial in their lives. CEI provides students the tools and experiences necessary to creatively pursue new opportunities and innovations in the startup, social and corporate venture arenas. The Center has created numerous programs including Entrepreneurship & Empowerment in South Africa (EESA), where students visit entrepreneurs outside of Cape Town and assist them with their ventures; the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, which gives practical entrepreneurial training to qualified veterans; and the Experiential Classroom, which welcomes faculty from around the world for a three-day clinic on how to effectively teach entrepreneurship among other initiatives.