One of Gainesville’s secret sauce ingredients makes a splash throughout Florida

CareerSource NCFL looks to Gainesville’s business community for continued support of Startup Quest™

Startup Quest™ is one of many ingredients in Gainesville’s secret sauce, and CareerSource North Central Florida invites the Gainesville business community to taste. Support a local program with statewide impact today! Gainesville’s second cohort was launched on March 11 with an Introductory Workshop for potential participants.

Startup Quest™ is a 10-session entrepreneurial training program that advances a model for workforce development by growing self-employment through entrepreneurship, shifting the mindset from “find a job” to “create my job.” Trainees are unemployed and underemployed professionals and veterans with an interest in building a startup business. Trainees are guided by mentors — successful, often serial, entrepreneurs — in developing a business plan, marketing plan and an investor pitch.

Show your support of this nationally-recognized program and create valuable relationships through sponsorship packages ranging from $5,000 to $300.

  • The $5,000 platinum package is the title sponsorship. Its marketing benefits include eight reserved seats and three to five minutes on the investor pitch agenda to address an audience of investor judges, entrepreneurs, community leaders and Startup Quest™ program participants; invitations to the networking reception; your company’s logo on the website; collateral at all events and more.
  • The $1,500 silver package features four reserved seats at the investor pitch event in June; your company’s logo highlighted in the investor pitch program; recognition in the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce eJournal article and more.
  • The $300 session sponsorship includes promotional collateral and three to five minutes to address participants at a selected session; your company’s logo in reminder emails to participants prior to the selected session and more.
  • The sponsorship package includes a gold level valued at $3,000 and a bronze level valued at $750.

FloridaWorks – now CareerSource North Central Florida – developed Startup Quest™ in 2011 in collaboration with the University of Florida Office of Technology Licensing, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, 14 entrepreneurs and 12 investors. Initially funded through a CareerSource Florida grant of $175,000, the Startup Quest™ pilot was successful. 83 participants entered the final round of training, which consisted of 13 teams each led by an entrepreneur mentor.

In 2012 the U.S. Department of Labor awarded FloridaWorks a nearly $12 million grant to create a consortium of eight workforce regions to replicate the program’s success. In November 2013, 90 participants completed the CareerSource NCFL cohort, with some pursuing entrepreneurship. Since the statewide launch began in May 2013, more than 450 participants completed the program.

For more information, visit or email to get involved.

Startup Quest™ is part of an evaluation study funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Participants will be selected from among eligible applicants. Data collected will remain confidential and will be used for statistical purposes only. Startup Quest™ is an equal opportunity program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.