Take a coffee break for entrepreneurship

What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

Responsibility. Freedom. Empowerment. Ambition. Creativity.

CareerSource North Central Florida is holding a series of coffee break sessions that ask the question “What does entrepreneurship mean to you?” Each session will feature a successful Gainesville-area entrepreneur discussing entrepreneurship and the startup ecosystem. Attendees will meet other community and academic leaders, entrepreneurs and businesspeople interested in Startup Quest® and entrepreneurship.

“Excitement is building about the third Startup Quest® cohort in our community,” said Makaya McKnight, Startup Quest® regional project manager. “These Coffee Break events channel that enthusiasm into awareness about entrepreneurship as we recruit mentors for this innovative program.”

Startup Quest® has received national recognition for its innovative practices on approaching entrepreneurship and community collaboration. During the 10-session training, successful CEO/entrepreneurs serve as mentors who lead participant teams to create commercialization plans focusing on inventions from Florida universities and NASA. Degree-holding professionals who are unemployed or underemployed work with mentors to form a simulated startup, learning skills for self-employment or employment with a new or existing company.

“The benefit of firsthand guidance from a successful entrepreneur is one of many attributes that makes Startup Quest® unique among entrepreneurship programs,”said McKnight. The program hinges on mentors, and Startup Quest® is pleased to have The Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research (the Institute) add its considerable group of contacts to the mentors and judges’ recruitment pool, McKnight added.

The Institute is a non-profit organization that supports new company creation based on publicly-funded research. The Institute helps fund and build Florida companies built around Florida-produced intellectual property. The Institute’s CEO Jamie Grooms is one of Coffee Break’s guest entrepreneurs. Dr. Jeff Tate, CEO of CTD Holdings, and David Massias, CEO of Shadow Health, will also host sessions.

Also on the agenda are past mentors and participants who will discuss how Startup Quest® is changing lives in our region. To find out more about Startup Quest® and how you can get involved in 2015, take a coffee break and join us for one of the following sessions! Register online at sq-coffeebreak.eventbrite.com. Seating is limited.

Monday, October 20, 2014 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Dr. Jeff Tate, CEO of CTD Holdings, Inc.

former Startup Quest® mentor
Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
300 E University Ave. Suite 100


Friday, October 24, 2014 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Jamie Grooms, CEO of the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research

former Startup Quest® mentor and judge
Innovation Hub
747 SW 2nd Ave.


Friday, October 31, 2014 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.
David Massias, CEO of Shadow Health

former Startup Quest® training facilitator
Shadow Health
15 SW 1st Ave.

Visit startupquest.org