Large group of students do the Gator Chomp in front of Google
A trip to Silicon Valley is just one of the many great resources the Thomas S. Johnson Master of Science in Entrepreneurship has to offer.

Leveraging resources: campus and community

By Jamie Kraft, Director, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center

We have all heard this one before from entrepreneurs: I plan to come up with a cool idea, attract a bunch of money and make a bunch of money! The reality is that this is faulty logic.

It is hard enough to come up with product-market fit and even harder to find capital. There is always mom, dad, and Pappy Jasper, but the reality is that it is a long, hard slog…one that requires tremendous creativity and perseverance with respect to resource acquisition.

At the University of Florida, we define this as “the skills accessing resources one does not necessarily own or control to accomplish personal ends.” And why not, as the very academic definition of entrepreneurship is representative of just that: the pursuit of opportunity beyond those resources one currently controls.

Presented with this difficult path to acquiring the resources you’ll need as a future student entrepreneur, you should consider the Thomas S. Johnson Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program, where your pool of resources will be greatly expanded.

Yes, utilizing strategies such as DIY, barter and guerilla skills, to name a few, will provide leverage, and we do place an emphasis on these techniques. Taking an inventory of personal skills, knowledge and experience will aid in your resource journey, with your personal network also making a huge difference. Of course, all of these will be augmented by the local entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus and in the Gainesville community. You’ll see we have an abundance of resources that will help you in every step our your journey to successful entrepreneur: 

  • Looking for ideas – The University of Florida is a land, sea and space grant university with a deep history of innovation and a wide research base covering all manner of invention with $865M in research expenditures across 16 colleges, including a vet school, medical school and programs in engineering, building construction, agriculture and life sciences.
  • Looking for knowledge – More than 25 courses at the graduate and undergraduate level across multiple degree programs and offerings including topics such as creativity, business planning and venture financing taught by academics, practitioners and adjuncts alike with deep expertise.
  • Looking for teammates – With a diverse group of entrepreneurial classmates from around the world and nearly 50,000 students on campus, including those connected to the Engineering Innovation Institute, the Innovation Academy and many other entrepreneurial programs in Digital Arts, Fine Arts and the like, there is no shortage of talent for team building across disciplines.
  • Looking for space – Apply to join the Gator Hatchery, our student incubator hosting 15-20 teams per year providing 24/7 office facilities including shared services.
  • Looking for funding – Each spring semester we host the Big Idea Competition providing winners with prize packages of $25K, $10K and $5K, local/statewide/national competition access, annual trips to the Florida Venture Capital Conference and the Early Stage Venture Conference, west coast connections with major investment companies through our Silicon Valley program, and a micro-fund offered by the City of Gainesville.
  • Looking for mentoring and advising – Gainesville is home to one of the highest number of public and private incubator and accelerator programs per capita nationwide, a host of startups/small businesses/innovative companies with entrepreneurial founders and employees.

You’ll find all of this in a university town with an entrepreneurial culture. In the end, building a successful business whereby you are able to rely on funding from customers remains the ultimate goal…but there is plenty of help to leverage along the way!

Go Gators!

Want to gain access to these resources to fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams? Request information about the Thomas S. Johnson Master of Science in Entrepreneurship to learn more today!