Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center Articles

Warrington entrepreneurs showcased at Gator100 event

Reading Time: 2 minutes The University of Florida recognized the 2020 Gator100 honorees on Friday, February 28 at the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Presented by the UF Alumni Association and the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center at the Warrington College of Business, the Gator100 honors the 100 fastest-growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world. The event serves not only as a setting where UF’s elite entrepreneurs can gather and share their talents and wisdom, but as an inspiration to fellow Gators to

Sheila Austin, Brittany Cole, Jill Davis and Bismarie Plasencia

Entrepreneurship students consult with local business owner to revamp marketing efforts and prepare for Guinness World Record attempt

Reading Time: 3 minutes Jill Davis (BSA ’09) has long been passionate about animals. You can see it across her business, non-profit organization and ideas for products that benefit our furry companions. But in the time since the University of Florida alumna and Gainesville Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program participant first started her pet daycare Dogs Rule and her non-profit Animals Helping Humans and Humans Helping Animals (AHHHHA), a lot has changed. Shifting technology has outdated her website and social media platforms have altered the

Michelle Helmer and John Laibson

Two Warrington staff honored with Superior Accomplishment Award

Reading Time: 2 minutes GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Warrington College of Business is proud to announce Michelle Helmer and John Laibson as winners of University of Florida Superior Accomplishment Awards in Division 3. The Superior Accomplishment Awards recognize UF staff members who contribute outstanding and meritorious service, efficiency and/or economy, or to the quality of life provided to students and employees. Staff are nominated by their peers. Michelle Helmer is Director of Outreach Programs in Warrington’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center. She has worked at

Erick Rodriguez

Driven by passion: How a UF Warrington alumnus conquered his shyness and built a million-dollar business

Reading Time: 3 minutes When Erick Rodriguez (BSBA ’16) first started at the University of Florida, he was a shy kid – in spite of having already sold hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise on eBay, Amazon and Craigslist (including a car). The budding entrepreneur looked down at the ensuing four years and knew that he’d be guided by two crucial values: first, to follow his passion for entrepreneurship, and second, the drive to better himself. These two values, coupled with a

WHOA GNV Podcast | A degree in entrepreneurship & innovation

Reading Time: < 1 minute Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center Director Jamie Kraft spoke with UF alumni Collin Austin and Michael Dees on the WHOA GNV Podcast about what it means to get a degree in entrepreneurship. Hear what Jamie had to say about the opportunities that UF offers in an entrepreneurial education on the podcast.  

Samyr Qureshi and Dennis Hanson pose for a photo

Gator Hatchery graduates named to Forbes 2020 Class of 30 Under 30

Reading Time: < 1 minute Samyr Qureshi (BA ’14) and Dennis Hansen (BS ’16), leaders of Knack, which got its start in the Gator Hatchery and was the winner of the 2016 Big Idea Competition, were recently named to Forbes’ 2020 Class of 30 Under 30. The Knack founders, whose website connects college students with others on campus for tutoring and mentoring at a 20% cut, were named to the Education Forbes 30 Under 30 list. See Qureshi and Hansen on the Forbes list and read

Large group of students do the Gator Chomp in front of Google

Leveraging resources: campus and community

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Bruce Brandes and his daughter and son at a GatorFootball game

Business Gators come back, give back: Bruce Brandes

Reading Time: 4 minutes Every fall, the University of Florida welcomes back its alumni for Homecoming, a celebration of alma mater pride across all generations of Gators. While most alumni return for the single Homecoming weekend, some alumni travel back to campus throughout the year. Art Jacobs and Bruce Brandes are two of these alumni that make a point to come back to campus to engage with two Warrington programs that are important to them – the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program and the Entrepreneurship and

Pablo Garces and Brian De Souza with their first place $25,000 check at the Big Idea Competition.

Carbon emissions tracking app wins $25,000 in Big Idea Competition

Reading Time: 2 minutes GAINESVILLE, Fla. – LiveGreen won first place at the 2019 Big Idea Gator Business Plan Competition. Led by CEO and Co-Founder Brian De Souza and CTO and Co-Founder Pablo Garces, LiveGreen is a mobile platform that empowers people to reduce their carbon footprint so they can be part of the solution to end climate change in one generation. LiveGreen does so by allowing people to track, reduce and offset their daily emissions. Through LiveGreen’s proprietary database, the platform makes it easy

Three students sit at a table with a computer while looking at a piece of paper

Sixteen teams advance one step closer to being the $25,000 Big Idea Competition winner

Reading Time: 3 minutes By Christine Haworth, BSBA ’18, MSE ’19 This past Friday, the “Sweet 16” final contestants for the Big Idea Competition were announced. Over 200 teams originally registered to be in the competition back in December, the most initial entrants the competition has seen since its inception. The 16 teams that advanced to the semi-finals of the 2019 UF Big Idea Competition include: Bl!nk Blitz Flozo Science Kits Laundr LiveGreen Orchard Quality for Patients Providers, and Payers (QP3) The Reagan Group