Jake Easterling
Jake Easterling, CEO of SCUBOTICS

Trip to Silicon Valley inspires student entrepreneur to appreciate the entrepreneurial journey

By Jake Easterling

My name is Jake Easterling, and I am from Melbourne, Florida. I am a double Gator with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and I’m pursuing a master’s degree in entrepreneurship. Following the career paths of both my dad and older brother, I enrolled in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida in 2013. Once in the program, I fell in love with building products. I remember being enamored by an AM radio kit I received and assembled in my first semester (I still use the radio to this day).

SeaPal, powered by SCUBOTICS, the underwater drone is pictured on a sandy beach with waves in the background

SeaPal, powered by SCUBOTICS, is an underwater drone that lights your way, captures your adventure and keeps you safe.

Throughout my program, I took on as many design courses as possible, which put me on the fast track to launching my own underwater drone business called SCUBOTICS. After realizing that I knew nothing about business, I enrolled in the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program in the Warrington College of Business. This program provides many wonderful opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to connect with the startup community at large.

An example of this is the trip to Silicon Valley sponsored by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center at UF’s Warrington College of Business. The purpose of this trip is to give students a taste of entrepreneurship in the context and culture of Silicon Valley. During this trip we toured Stanford, explored the startup scene of San Francisco, rode bikes across the Google campus, and sat in board rooms on the legendary Sand Hill Road. The trip was action packed, running from early morning until dinner, and featured several prominent UF alumni including Randy Glein of Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Julio Avalos, CSO of GitHub. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I was impressed with the resourcefulness of startups in the Valley. Countless startups boast of launching their businesses out of the famous ‘garage,’ a term to reference humble beginnings. With apartment prices in San Francisco crossing $5,000/month, my appreciation for this term has grown.

I left Silicon Valley with a newfound appreciation that entrepreneurship is a journey. The path of an entrepreneur is one of sacrifice. Many people put their lives on hold for 3-5 years to make their visions a reality. All experience failure along the road, but for those who endure, they can change the world.