On August 12, UF Innovate | The Hub will have two celebrities at its helm. Jim Bowie, a descendent of the legendary Jim Bowie (think Battle of the Alamo and the Bowie knife), joins Hub Director Mark Long, an Elvis Tribute Artist and fearless leader of Incubation Services at the University of Florida.
Of course, what makes these two celebrities is their prowess in managing business incubators and working with startups, not their other claims to fame.
Bowie will serve as Associate Director of Incubation Services with primary duties at The Hub, a role that will allow Long to focus on the expansive innovation district development in downtown Gainesville.
“The addition of Jim Bowie to the staff at UF Innovate | Incubation Services will be a tremendous benefit for our clients, for local/regional startups, and for the entire North Central Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Long said. “Jim has outstanding experience both as an entrepreneur and an incubator manager.
“We are truly creating the ‘dream team’ in business incubation with one of the top staffs in the country at providing entrepreneurial support.”
The Hub, 747 SW Second Avenue, is the larger and newer of two UF business incubators. Clients in the 106,000 square foot Hub also benefit by having access to the equipment and training at UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech, located in Alachua. Sid Martin clients benefit from reciprocity with The Hub as well.
Formerly the Associate Director of the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program and site manager of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Business Incubator, Bowie has experience leading both business incubators and startups.
At UCF, client companies under his direction have created more than 500 jobs and raised more than $40 million in investment capital. Bowie also opened the UCF Life Sciences Incubator in Lake Nona in 2018.
As president of a dental product startup (which commercialized a two-headed toothbrush to brush the inside and outside of your teeth simultaneously), he took the company, Oranamics Inc., public on the NASDAQ. Johnson & Johnson eventually purchased the company.
“Jim is an outstanding company recruiter, client manager, program director and public speaker,” Long said. “He will be a tremendous asset to the UF Incubation Services team.”
Bowie will be responsible for recruitment, retention, and management of companies at The Hub. He will handle day-to-day management, along with Incubator Manager Jennifer Harrell, Facilities Manager Courtney Janka, and Accounting Specialist Lissette Garces.
In addition, Bowie will develop programs for mentorship, guidance, and strategic direction for Hub companies.
In addition to his work with startups and incubators, Bowie was an adjunct professor for the university system of Georgia. He has more than 20 years of experience in business development, including AT&T, Orkin Exterminating Co., and four startups. He holds a BBA and an MBA from Texas Christian University.