UF Innovate | Accelerate

UF Innovate | Accelerate is the place-making, entrepreneurial support organization within UF Innovate dedicated to working with entrepreneurs, innovators, and business builders. Through two award-winning, globally recognized facilities, UF Innovate | Accelerate delivers industry-leading entrepreneurial programs and services designed (1) to accelerate the growth and development of its client companies and (2) to increase the likelihood of success of the business ventures it serves.


Apply Now

Learn more about the application process or simply start applying now! One application (regardless of desired facility). Requirements for entry include non-refundable application fee, completion of references, and Fluency Score.


Client Portal Access.

What sorts of things can you do when you access the client portal? Enter and learn! Once admitted to our program, gain access to our perks, conference room bookings system, and other valuable curated entrepreneurial information.

Why now?

By offering a structured business entrepreneurship support program and surrounding our entrepreneurial ventures with important business-building capabilities, UF Innovate | Accelerate clients can grow faster and stronger than they would on their own by accessing proven business-development services that accelerate venture growth, investment and success.

These high-quality services include, but are not limited to:

  • access to mentors and trusted advisors;
  • introductions to knowledgeable small business service providers and resource partners;
  • capital access support (including VC and angel introductions and pitch deck preparation support);
  • special events, workshops, and classes with skilled practitioners, surrounded by more than 90 other like-minded, early-stage venture founders
  • curated business development support services, and
  • access to shared services (IT, business center, shared scientific equipment, and facility common areas).

Unique to our mission, UF Innovate | Accelerate not only works with UF-affiliated ventures but with ventures spawned from the communities we serve. Selection is highly competitive and is done through a formal application process and payment of a non-refundable application fee.

UF Innovate | Accelerate @ The Hub

The Hub

UF Innovate | Accelerate at The Hub is a business incubator with a mission to build, drive and support the spirit of innovation. We are the “hub” of the North Central Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem with a global outreach. We offer state-of-the-art wet laboratory, light manufacturing, and office space, along with advising, mentoring, education, programs, and amenities to help you succeed. We have resident programs available to assist every startup and small business.

The original 48,000-square-foot facility was built with an $8.2 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration and a $5 million commitment from the University of Florida. After it opened in October 2011, the incubator demonstrated such success that the EDA awarded a second $8 million grant, to which UF added an additional $9 million in 2015. The expansion opened in January 2018, doubling the facility to a total of 100,000 square feet.

Since the addition of The Hub, the entrepreneurial landscape and culture of Gainesville have experienced an amazing transformation, and the incubator is recognized as a major catalyst in helping propel the university city to become one of the top energized tech communities in the Southeast. Much more than a building, The Hub, part of UF Innovate’s Accelerate program, provides a complete growth ecosystem that leverages the prestige of the university’s research and technology commercialization prowess and combines that with programming, resources, and networking opportunities designed to support small startups and growth companies.

Mixed-Use Space

Anchoring the Innovation District between downtown Gainesville and UF’s main campus, The Hub serves and supports a wide variety of innovative, tech-enabled, research-intensive ventures in biotech, technology (deep tech, AI, web, and others), health care, advanced manufacturing, software, and services.

Hub Facility Snapshot

Picture of UF Innovate | The Hub with six bullet points sharing details of the mixed-use incubator in the heart of the innovation district. The building was established in 2011, expanded in 2018, built using $30.2M, including $16 M from the US EDA. It hosts 56 active residential clients, is 96,947 square feet, and is located in a Hub Zone, an Opportunity Zone and the innovation district. Inside are 68 offices, 28 dry labs, and 11 wet labs.

UF Innovate | Accelerate @ Sid Martin Biotech

Sid Martin Biotech

UF Innovate | Accelerate at Sid Martin Biotech is a world-recognized leader in biotechnology business incubation – and with well-equipped laboratories and specialized equipment, plus an outstanding network of mentors, advisors, and collaborators, it’s the perfect place for you to grow your biotech business.

We are here to assist you in growing your therapeutic, diagnostics, medical device, ag-bio, clean energy, and/or biopharma enterprise. We’ve been making growth happen in North Central Florida since 1995, and we know what it takes to assist your company.

Biotech Space

Our flagship rural biotech-focused business incubator is designed to support R&D and process development companies with turnkey, shared scientific equipment offerings, a full-time technical and lab services manager, and dedicated onsite, experienced incubation professionals.

UF Innovate | Accelerate’s wet lab facilities operate under BSL2 biological safety practices. Work requiring enhanced practices (BSL2+) may be accommodated pending review and approval by UF’s Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Sid Facility Snapshot

Image shows picture of UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech with six bullet points elaborating on facility details. It was established in 1995 with an initial capital investment of $5.5 Million, hosts 13 active biotech companies in 32,546 gross square feet. Inside is $1.7 million of shared scientific equipment, 22 wet labs, and 8 executive offices

Why Us?

We inspire entrepreneurs to create, change, and cure for a better world.

Growing a company is a complex, multi-faceted effort. Founders of early-stage bioscience and technology companies need qualified laboratory space, equipment, advice, mentoring, and investment. At UF Innovate | Accelerate, we provide all this – and more – to help entrepreneurs reach their goals of getting to market.

What We Provide

We provide outstanding programs to assist startups and early-stage growth companies. Our offerings include assistance with finding finances and forming relationships with venture investment groups; access to legal and accounting help; matching company leaders with experienced entrepreneurs and advisors in specialty areas; and guidance on recruitment of qualified employees.

Located in Alachua, Accelerate at Sid Martin Biotech has quality laboratory space, conference/training rooms, animal facilities, greenhouses, and over $1.7 million of shared scientific equipment.

The center of the Gainesville Innovation District between UF and downtown, Accelerate at The Hub is a mixed-use business incubator and the largest home for early-stage companies in the Southeastern United States. It has dry and web laboratory space, conference/training rooms, fume hoods and clean rooms, and connections to UF resources, funding opportunities, professional service providers, and more.

Our leadership group is an unmatched team of seasoned business leaders, advisors, and support staff.

Quick Facts About Our Companies and Facilities

  • $10.9 billion of invested capital
  • 84 percent success rate (clients that remain a viable company five years after graduation)
  • Our active client portfolio exceeds 91 companies and spans 9 major segments
  • 26 percent of our resident clients are affiliated with UF
  • 28 clients have graduated in the past 3 years
  • Wages are 34 percent higher than the state of Florida average
  • At 130,000 square feet, UF Innovate | Accelerate has one of the largest super hub programs in the United States
  • More than 252 residential companies assisted
  • Recipients of 9 international awards and designated one of the 20 InBIA Soft Landings programs

Economic Impact & Success Metrics

We’ve been successfully incubating companies since 1995 and have compiled the metrics that demonstrate our economic impact. You can view or download these metrics here:

Affiliations & Designations




Winner of Nine International and National Awards

a table with a number of gold-plated, wood plaques celebrating Sid Martin Biotech's international awards

In 2020, Sid Martin Biotech won the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year award; it is the only incubator to have won it more than once. It also received the 2020 Rural Entrepreneurship Center of the Year.

In 2018, The Hub won the global Mixed-Use Entrepreneurship Center of the Year from the InBIA.

In 2017, Sid Martin Biotech won the International Business Innovation Association’s Randall M. Whaley Global Incubator of the Year award for a second time. (Sid Martin Biotech had won the Randall M. Whaley award in 2013 along with the InBIA’s Dinah Adkins Technology Incubator of the year.) Also in 2017, the Sid picked up the InBIA Science/Technology Entrepreneurship Center of the Year at InBIA’s International Conference in Seattle.

In 2013, University Business Incubator Index named us the Top Biotech among university business incubators, using 50+ performance indicators among 150 incubators in 22 countries as criteria for the award. We also received the 2014 State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI)’s “Excellence in Technology-Based Economic Development” award for our achievements in the technology commercialization category.

In fact, 12 percent of Florida biotech companies in business today got their start in UF Innovate’s incubation facilities; those incubated companies have created more than 8,200 jobs with an average annual salary of $79,200; and generated over $10.98 billion in private investment.

You could say we’re proud of our reputation and awards. (We are.) But we’re more proud of our mission statement — “We inspire entrepreneurs to create, change, and cure for a better world” — because that’s not just our mission; it’s what we do.

Our Secret Sauce

We call it our "secret sauce" but the results are clear:
  • Proven track record of client success
  • Best-in-Class program and facilities geared to accelerate the growth and development of ventures
  • One of the largest and most vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Our biotech incubation program leverages the UF Innovate | Excellence Diamond

Our Team

Leaders

Photo of Karl R. LaPan

Karl R. LaPan
Director, Accelerate

In May 2021, Karl R. LaPan was appointed director of UF Innovate | Accelerate, where he oversees two world-class business incubation facilities unified under one entrepreneurial support organization. Operating one of the top Super Hubs in the United States, he leads the management and operation of a nine-time award-winning entrepreneurial support organization comprising the 97,000-sf mixed-use Hub facility and the 32,500-sf rural Sid Martin facility. In 2021, UF Innovate | Accelerate was designated one of 20 InBIA Soft Landings programs.

Printable version of Karl’s bio sketch is available here.

From 2000 to 2021, he was the first President and CEO of the NIIP/NIIC in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he led the globally award-winning entrepreneurial support organization and launched tech-based economic and entrepreneurial programs to serve the under-represented segments in Northeast Indiana. In 2020, the NIIC won one of the two top industry awards – the InBIA Dinah Adkins Award and the Entrepreneur Center of the Year: Mixed Use Award. Under LaPan’s direction, entrepreneurs through the NIIC launched 499 products, applied for 196 patents (most were granted), created over 2,351 jobs at an average wage rate of $55,994 per FTE, and secured over $100.4 million in grants and investments.

From 1994 to 2000, he served as the President and CEO of an advanced biometric identification company, NBS Imaging Systems headquartered in Fort Wayne, IN. However, his career started in 1986 at General Electric where he worked in six different strategic business units of GE, including Aircraft Engines, Power Systems, Marine Services, Appliances, Corporate Headquarters, and Financial Services. He is also a program graduate of GE’s prestigious Financial Management Program (FMP).

Karl is an active advisory board member of the College of Business (COBAB) at his alma mater Franklin Pierce University, the current President of the Florida Business Incubation Association (FBIA), and an adjunct instructor in Entrepreneurship at Franklin Pierce University. He also serves on the board of BioPoly LLC, an orthobiologics early-stage company. Additionally, he is a community advisory board member for the InBIA Ecosystem Builder Leadership Project (EBLP).

Karl’s professional interest areas are healthcare, innovation/entrepreneurship, and customer experience. Previously, he was an associate faculty member in the MBA program at IPFW, and an Executive-in-Residence/Adjunct Faculty member in the MBA program at Taylor University. Additionally, he served on the Taylor MBA Business Advisory Board, IPFW Doermer School of Business Advisory Council & IPFW ETCS Industrial Advisory Board, Manchester University President’s Leadership Council, and the IU School of Medicine-Ft. Wayne Advisory Board. After 18 years of service, Karl retired from the Board of and Secretary of Physicians Health Plan (PHP), a physician-owned and managed not-for-profit HMO, and, before its sale, a former board member of IAB Financial, a $1B community bank, where he chaired the Bank’s Enterprise Risk Management Committee. Additionally, he served on the board of directors of the Indiana Chamber and was on an advisory board for the Ball State University Entrepreneurship Center. He is the recipient of the IPFW Chancellor’s Award and the InBIA President’s Award of Excellence.

LaPan received his Bachelor of Science, Business Management, Summa Cum Laude from Franklin Pierce University. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from American University in Washington, DC, and is a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society. He has completed extensive, executive education programs in non-profit leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation at Stanford University, Harvard University, Babson College, the University of Notre Dame, and the Disney Institute.

Karl is a frequent trainer and speaker in the incubation industry. He is the co-author of InBIA’s publication Best Practices in Action. His latest book was published in 2021, Entrepreneurial Hacks: Practical Insights for Business Builders. Together with these two books, he has published five books in total.

Photo of Jennifer Harrell

Jennifer Harrell
Assistant Director, The Hub

Jennifer manages the day-to-day operations of UF Innovate | Accelerate at The Hub in order to facilitate a supportive and encouraging environment for aspiring entrepreneurs to grow. She works with UF Accelerate leadership to meet occupancy and revenue goals; implement programs, new initiatives, and special projects; monitor client performance; meet social media metrics; and establish operational goals and objectives that align with the overall strategic plan. She oversees facilities, reception, financial and contractual functions, and event management for The Hub.

Jennifer is an experienced manager with a history of working in both the private and public sectors of sales, hospitality, real estate law, finance, and accounting. She has been with The Hub since 2016 and was part of the team when The Hub was awarded the 2018 International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) Global Mixed-Use Incubator of the Year award.

Jennifer obtained her accounting degree from Fisher School of Accounting at UF and is currently the Treasurer of the Florida Incubation Association. She holds an Incubation Management Certificate from the InBIA as well as both Fiscal and HR certificates from UF, and was a Leadership Gainesville Graduate (Go Green!).

Photo of Elliott Welker

Elliott Welker
Assistant Director, Sid Martin Bio

Elliott works on programs and progress for startup companies in UF Innovate | Accelerate at Sid Martin Biotech in Alachua.

Before joining UF Innovate, Elliott was a business development intern for ReliOx Corporation, a resident startup at Sid Martin Biotech; a legal assistant for Robert S. Griscti, Esq., assisting him in his practice of white-collar criminal law, criminal defense, federal and state litigation, professional licensing and appeals; and volunteered with the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

He earned his BA in history with a minor in teaching English as a second language (2013) and MBA focusing on entrepreneurship and marketing (2017) from UF. He was a Bob Graham Center for Public Service Student Fellow and Poe Center for Business Ethics Education and Research MBA Fellow.

Accelerate Staff

Photo of Lissette Garces

Lissette Garces
Accountant

Lissette is The Hub’s accounting extraordinaire. She prepares monthly invoices for Hub clients and maintains the sub-ledger accounting system. Lissette processes Pcard transactions, expense reports, accounts payable, and monthly reconciliations reports. She assists the incubator manager with financial reports and monthly auditing as well as provides support for all internal and external Hub events.

Before joining The Hub in 2017, Lissette worked in many industries including a law firm in Miami and some of the best food and beverage establishments in Chicago. She has many years of experience in customer service, sales, marketing/social media, billing, and administration.

Lissette graduated from Florida International University in Miami with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has completed her Fiscal Management Certificate at UF and is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish.

Photo of Jennifer Harrell

Jennifer Harrell
Assistant Director, The Hub

Jennifer manages the day-to-day operations of UF Innovate | Accelerate at The Hub in order to facilitate a supportive and encouraging environment for aspiring entrepreneurs to grow. She works with UF Accelerate leadership to meet occupancy and revenue goals; implement programs, new initiatives, and special projects; monitor client performance; meet social media metrics; and establish operational goals and objectives that align with the overall strategic plan. She oversees facilities, reception, financial and contractual functions, and event management for The Hub.

Jennifer is an experienced manager with a history of working in both the private and public sectors of sales, hospitality, real estate law, finance, and accounting. She has been with The Hub since 2016 and was part of the team when The Hub was awarded the 2018 International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) Global Mixed-Use Incubator of the Year award.

Jennifer obtained her accounting degree from Fisher School of Accounting at UF and is currently the Treasurer of the Florida Incubation Association. She holds an Incubation Management Certificate from the InBIA as well as both Fiscal and HR certificates from UF, and was a Leadership Gainesville Graduate (Go Green!).

Photo of Courtney Janka

Courtney Janka
Facilities Manager

Courtney oversees the maintenance, housekeeping, and general upkeep of the almost 100,000 square-foot technology incubator, UF Innovate | Accelerate at The Hub. She manages the inventory of building assets, space allocation, as well as accounts payable approver. She also serves as the liaison between the resident clients at The Hub and UF departments such as Information Technology, Facilities Services, and Environmental Health and Safety. Courtney interfaces with clients on a daily basis to solve problems, manage space, and create growth opportunities. She also handles event management, including room layouts, catering management, and scheduling. She manages data input and data management for the contact management system for The Hub.

Before joining UF Innovate in 2017, Courtney was the Facilities and Administration Manager at Naylor Association Solutions located in Gainesville. She was responsible for a 60,000 square foot commercial building, served as executive assistant to the CEO, as well as coordinated events. Prior to relocating to Gainesville, Courtney worked for 13 years in the print media industry in a variety of roles including media buying, sales, and production.

Courtney earned her B.S in advertising from the University of Florida.

Photo of Karl R. LaPan

Karl R. LaPan
Director, Accelerate

In May 2021, Karl R. LaPan was appointed director of UF Innovate | Accelerate, where he oversees two world-class business incubation facilities unified under one entrepreneurial support organization. Operating one of the top Super Hubs in the United States, he leads the management and operation of a nine-time award-winning entrepreneurial support organization comprising the 97,000-sf mixed-use Hub facility and the 32,500-sf rural Sid Martin facility. In 2021, UF Innovate | Accelerate was designated one of 20 InBIA Soft Landings programs.

Printable version of Karl’s bio sketch is available here.

From 2000 to 2021, he was the first President and CEO of the NIIP/NIIC in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he led the globally award-winning entrepreneurial support organization and launched tech-based economic and entrepreneurial programs to serve the under-represented segments in Northeast Indiana. In 2020, the NIIC won one of the two top industry awards – the InBIA Dinah Adkins Award and the Entrepreneur Center of the Year: Mixed Use Award. Under LaPan’s direction, entrepreneurs through the NIIC launched 499 products, applied for 196 patents (most were granted), created over 2,351 jobs at an average wage rate of $55,994 per FTE, and secured over $100.4 million in grants and investments.

From 1994 to 2000, he served as the President and CEO of an advanced biometric identification company, NBS Imaging Systems headquartered in Fort Wayne, IN. However, his career started in 1986 at General Electric where he worked in six different strategic business units of GE, including Aircraft Engines, Power Systems, Marine Services, Appliances, Corporate Headquarters, and Financial Services. He is also a program graduate of GE’s prestigious Financial Management Program (FMP).

Karl is an active advisory board member of the College of Business (COBAB) at his alma mater Franklin Pierce University, the current President of the Florida Business Incubation Association (FBIA), and an adjunct instructor in Entrepreneurship at Franklin Pierce University. He also serves on the board of BioPoly LLC, an orthobiologics early-stage company. Additionally, he is a community advisory board member for the InBIA Ecosystem Builder Leadership Project (EBLP).

Karl’s professional interest areas are healthcare, innovation/entrepreneurship, and customer experience. Previously, he was an associate faculty member in the MBA program at IPFW, and an Executive-in-Residence/Adjunct Faculty member in the MBA program at Taylor University. Additionally, he served on the Taylor MBA Business Advisory Board, IPFW Doermer School of Business Advisory Council & IPFW ETCS Industrial Advisory Board, Manchester University President’s Leadership Council, and the IU School of Medicine-Ft. Wayne Advisory Board. After 18 years of service, Karl retired from the Board of and Secretary of Physicians Health Plan (PHP), a physician-owned and managed not-for-profit HMO, and, before its sale, a former board member of IAB Financial, a $1B community bank, where he chaired the Bank’s Enterprise Risk Management Committee. Additionally, he served on the board of directors of the Indiana Chamber and was on an advisory board for the Ball State University Entrepreneurship Center. He is the recipient of the IPFW Chancellor’s Award and the InBIA President’s Award of Excellence.

LaPan received his Bachelor of Science, Business Management, Summa Cum Laude from Franklin Pierce University. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from American University in Washington, DC, and is a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society. He has completed extensive, executive education programs in non-profit leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation at Stanford University, Harvard University, Babson College, the University of Notre Dame, and the Disney Institute.

Karl is a frequent trainer and speaker in the incubation industry. He is the co-author of InBIA’s publication Best Practices in Action. His latest book was published in 2021, Entrepreneurial Hacks: Practical Insights for Business Builders. Together with these two books, he has published five books in total.

Photo of Allen Morgan

Allen Morgan
Maintenance Specialist II

Allen provides maintenance services for both UF Innovate | Accelerate facilities, The Hub and Sid Martin Biotech. He maintains and repairs each building in order to support our innovation ecosystem. Allen obtains proposals from private vendors and coordinates with UF Facilities Services, PD&C, contractors, and program clients on a wide range of building projects. He prepares offices and labs for new startups, manages bio-hazard waste activities, performs water and autoclave testing, and resolves various building issues.

Before joining UF Innovate | Accelerate, Allen worked at the UF Warrington College of Business. He has also been a business owner and was the facilities maintenance engineer for Le Triomphe Golf Club, a private golf club that hosts the PGA Tour’s Louisiana Open each year.

Photo of Brittany Mosher

Brittany Mosher
Administrative Support Assistant

Brittany provides general administrative functions for UF Innovate | Accelerate at Sid Martin Biotech, including handling reception, scheduling meetings, coordinating calendars, preparing correspondence, and providing routine office support.

Before joining the team at Sid Martin, Brittany worked in customer service and multiple medical environments.

Brittany has earned two A.S. degrees from Santa Fe College, one in health information technology and the other in cardiovascular technology.

Photo of Kat Scott

Kat Scott
Administrative Assistant

Kat Scott is a full-time Administrative Assistant for UF Innovate | Accelerate at The Hub. Her primary duties include greeting clients (current and prospective), scheduling conference room bookings, and assisting with the particulars of community management within the incubator. She also provides fresh coffee and refreshments for residents to enjoy throughout the day while they are hard at work developing their technologies.

Before accepting her position as Administrative Assistant in 2021, she worked providing customer service and hospitality in the food industry. Kat studies various disciplines within the realm of visual arts and storytelling and can be often seen jotting down notes and sketches of her own.

Photo of Elliott Welker

Elliott Welker
Assistant Director, Sid Martin Bio

Elliott works on programs and progress for startup companies in UF Innovate | Accelerate at Sid Martin Biotech in Alachua.

Before joining UF Innovate, Elliott was a business development intern for ReliOx Corporation, a resident startup at Sid Martin Biotech; a legal assistant for Robert S. Griscti, Esq., assisting him in his practice of white-collar criminal law, criminal defense, federal and state litigation, professional licensing and appeals; and volunteered with the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

He earned his BA in history with a minor in teaching English as a second language (2013) and MBA focusing on entrepreneurship and marketing (2017) from UF. He was a Bob Graham Center for Public Service Student Fellow and Poe Center for Business Ethics Education and Research MBA Fellow.

Photo of Chris Wiley

Chris Wiley
Technical Services Manager

Chris is the UF Innovate | Accelerate at Sid Martin Biotech technical services manager. He provides facilities management, laboratory equipment supervision and training, and coordination of laboratory management.

He is a Marine Corps Veteran and holds a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry from UF. He is a trained analytical chemist and also operates as an independent consultant for analytical testing, drug development projects, and regulatory strategy. In the past, he has worked as a contract researcher and a math/chemistry tutor.

Chris has attended several professional continued education short courses on subjects such as scientific instrument qualification/calibration/maintenance, gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (HPLC and Prep-LC), quality assurance (QA) and internal auditing procedures, mass spectrometry and cell culture.

Outside of his career, he is a proud husband and father as well as an active performer in the UF Classical Guitar Ensemble. He also repairs/modifies/upgrades electric guitars and related musical equipment, and enjoys camping and hiking.

Programs Offering Unparalleled Client Support

Our programs focus on four proven business-building pillars to accelerate a venture's development and potential success.

Capital

  • Pitch Clinic
  • Fluency Score
  • SBIR Catalytic Grant
  • Elite Mentorship Program

Customer(s)

  • Wendy Kennedy International (WKI) tools
  • Selling Simplified

Community

  • One Award-Winning Program, Two World-Class Facilities
  • Themed Social Events
  • Peer-to-Peer Networking
  • Stage 2 Graduate Facilities (future)
  • Innovate “Star” Experiences
  • Family Feel (care, concern, check-ins)
 

Competencies

Tools

  • Mindset
  • Advisor Program
  • Vendor Showcases

Boot Camps

  • PR/advocacy
  • Four Ps of Storytelling
  • Sales Strategy 101
  • Building a Great Team (talent broker, scouting)

Skill Building

  • Student Learning Projects
  • Experts in Residence
  • Lunch ‘n’ Learns
  • Founder’s Series
  • Office Hours (with staff)
 

Biotech

Analytical

Photo of Agriculture Intelligence

Agriculture Intelligence

Agriculture Intelligence is a precision agriculture science company combining machine vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to provide cloud-based, precision data for specialty crops. It is the global license holder of the Agroview smart agriculture platform.

Contact: Matt Donovan, CEO

Website: https://www.agroview.ai/

Photo of AlfaChemInvent

AlfaChemInvent

AlfaChemInvent, LLC is a start-up chemical company with a broad range of expertise in organic synthesis, natural products, and drug discovery. AlfaChemInvent conducts original chemical research in life science as well as material science. The company provides contract research and manufacturing services, including synthesis of novel organic compounds and drugs, methods development, scale-up, and manufacturing.

Contact: George Nikonov, President & CEO

Photo of Aptus Biosciences, LLC

Aptus Biosciences, LLC

Aptus Biosciences is a startup providing nucleic acid-based affinity reagent discovery services and products known as “aptamers.” Aptamers are equivalent to antibodies (or sometimes better) that can replace antibodies for any number of applications, e.g., binding and detection reagents used in diagnostic tests.

Contact: Bharat Gawande, Founder & CEO

Photo of BioInfoExperts, LLC

BioInfoExperts, LLC

BioInfoExperts LLC provides connected services and technologies related to detecting and monitoring pathogens in communities and the health care industry. We collaborate with research groups at the National Institutes of Health, the University of Florida, the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Johns Hopkins University and the AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource, among others.

Contact: Susanna Lamers, CEO

Website: https://bioinfox.com/

Photo of Canaery

Canaery

Canaery is an analytics company building a digital scent platform that can be used to detect the airborne fingerprints of infectious diseases in real-time plus countless untracked explosives, biological threats, contaminants, invasive species, air pollution, and zoonotic diseases in agriculture.

Contact: Gabriel Lavella, CEO

Website:

Photo of Loss Prevention Research Council

Loss Prevention Research Council

The Loss Prevention Research Council is a “tactical to practical” company that conducts research to develop crime and loss control solutions to improve the performance of its members and the industry.

Contact: Richard Hayes, CEO

Website: https://lpresearch.org/

Photo of RAPiD Genomics

RAPiD Genomics

RAPiD Genomics is a DNA genotyping and genetic data analysis company providing tools for agricultural companies and researchers to quickly breed and grow ideal crops and livestock, giving researchers and farmers the ability to predict the value of a plant or animal even before the seed germinates or the animal is born.

Contact: Leandro Neves, CEO

Website: https://rapid-genomics.com/home/

Bio/Pharma

Photo of BioFrontier

BioFrontier

BioFrontier is a biopharma company developing a high-quality process that will rapidly develop bio/pharma products and provide services to support molecule, cell, and cell express system development.

Contact: Mariana Serpeloni

Website:

Photo of Curtiss Healthcare

Curtiss Healthcare

Curtiss Healthcare is biopharmaceutical company developing a platform of new vaccines designed to help make our world a safer place through technologies that improve food quality and safety and help treat and prevent serious infections in humans and animals.

Contact: Thomas Bigger, CEO

Website:

Photo of Entrinsic Bioscience

Entrinsic Bioscience

Entrinsic Bioscience leverages gold standard science and game-changing amino acid technology to address critical digestive and hydration related health concerns for individuals and animals around the world. Entrinsic Health Solutions is changing the medical community’s understanding of how the body hydrates, nourishes and heals itself by bringing disruptive technology to the science of digestive health. Through primary research conducted in concert with clinical research organizations that include NASA, the U.S. Army and the University of Florida, Entrinsic Health Solutions began challenging conventional thinking about hydration and its impact on digestive function.

Contact: Stephen Gatto, CEO

Website: https://entrinsicbioscience.com/

Photo of InnovaCorium

InnovaCorium

Innovacorium Inc. is biotech company developing a pharmacological product for regenerative therapy of the oral cavity, particularly for the treatment of oral mucositis induced by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Contact: Tiago Seixas da Silva, President

Website:

Photo of Inspira Therapeutics

Inspira Therapeutics

Inspira Therapeutics, Inc. is a therapeutics company developing antigen-specific, immune-modifying therapies to retrain a patient’s immune system to prevent it from attacking the host’s own cells. Inspira Therapeutics’ system is minimally invasive, prevents and in some cases reverses disease progression, is well tolerated with limited side-effects, and does NOT require generalized suppression of the host’s immune system or cell transplantation. Inspira Therapeutics’ first product to market will treat Type 1 Diabetes, and preliminary research is ongoing for both Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis.

Contact: Anne Favre, president and CEO

Website: https://inspiratherapeutics.com/

Inspira Therapeutics Final from Sketchology Video on Vimeo.

Photo of iOncologi

iOncologi

iOncologi, Inc. (iOi) is a biotechnology company specializing in immuno-oncology. Launched as a ‘spin-out’ cancer immunotherapy firm from UF, iOi’s founders have developed a novel stem cell therapy that overcomes resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors in multiple cancers.

Contact: Duane Mitchell, founder and president

Website: https://ioncologi.com/immuno-oncology-biotech

Photo of L&L Biotechnology

L&L Biotechnology

L&L Biotech is a biotechnology company identifying drug candidates and developing tools and reagents using comparative genomics and systems biology. Projects include identifying candidates that can suppress inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases and epigenetic modulators that can specifically de-repress tumor suppressor genes.

Contact: Lily Zhou, CEO

Website:

Photo of Medosome Biotec, LLC

Medosome Biotec, LLC

The mission of Medosome Biotec, LLC (“MBT”) is to develop and commercialize technologies that enrich the lives of children by providing solutions to childhood diseases, disabilities, and deficiencies. MBT works in collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics and Department of Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida to expedite the commercialization of the technology created in these departments.

Contact: Richard Wagner, CEO

Website: https://www.mdbiotec.com/

Photo of TearClear

TearClear

TearClear assures long-term eye-health by providing a safe and reliable means of delivering preservative-free ophthalmic drugs.

Contact: Howard Golub, Vice President of R&D

Website: https://tearclear.com/

Gene Therapy

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AAVANTIBio

AAVANTIBio is a biotechnology company developing gene therapy for the debilitating neuromuscular disease known as Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA).

Contact: Manuela Corti

Website: https://aavantibio.com/

Photo of Alcyone Therapeutics

Alcyone Therapeutics

Alcyone Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing precision therapies for neurological disorders with high unmet medical needs. The company integrates innovation in neuroscience, precision dosing platforms, and in-house manufacturing capabilities to deliver transformative therapies to patients. Alcyone leverages the synergy between FalconTM, the company’s proprietary intrathecal precision dosing platform that incorporates a deep knowledge of cerebral spinal fluid dynamics, computational modeling and bioengineering, and multiple novel genetic therapy platforms developed at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (AWRI). This comprehensive approach allows for the optimization of the central nervous system (CNS) dosing and delivery to better target the pathophysiology and anatomy specific to various neurological disease areas. Alcyone’s lead programs target the treatment of Rett syndrome and IGHMBP2-Related Diseases (IRD).

Contact: Susan D’Costa, EVP & Global Head of Technology

Website: https://alcyonetx.com/

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Lacerta Therapeutics

Lacerta Therapeutics is a startup gene therapy company dedicated to the development of innovative therapies for diseases of the Central Nervous System (CNS) that will provide long term efficacy to patients. The company will initially focus on rare diseases caused by single gene defects, where it believes its technology will have a major impact on patient’s lives. Its lead programs are focused on Pompe’s Disease (GAA deficiency), N-acetyl-glucosaminidase (NAGLU) deficiency (Sanfilippo Syndrome Type B) and spinal cerebellar ataxia (SCA). The company also has a development program for Alzheimer’s disease.

Contact: Edgar Rodriguez, President

Website: https://www.lacertatherapeutics.com/

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NysnoBio

NysnoBio is a startup gene therapy company dedicated to developing the therapeutic potential of the Parkin protein for patients with serious medical conditions. By targeting the PARKIN gene, NysnoBio tackles the root cause of Parkinson’s Disease by restoring neuronal health. NysnoBio envisions a future where the power of the Parkin pathway is directed toward specific disease areas, where the activation of the repair pathway can have maximum therapeutic benefits.

Contact: Jennifer A. Johnston, Cofounder and CEO

Website: https://www.nysnobio.com/

Regenerative Health

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42Bio

42Bio is a biomedical tech company combining biomaterials, magnetic nanotechnologies and growth factors to address existing barriers to research and clinical translation in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Contact: Jon Dobson, Co-CEO

Website: https://42bio.com/

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A3-Health

A3-Health is a life science company developing an innovative consumer-friendly Rx drug solution for obesity and weight loss.

Contact: Albert Fosmoe, CEO

Website:

Photo of Erivan Bio, LLC

Erivan Bio, LLC

EriVan Bio is a biopharmaceutical company developing exosome-based diagnostic, therapeutic and drug delivery systems for unmet medical needs with a focus on cancer and regenerative medicine. EriVan Bio works on the production of exosomes as targeted vehicles for the delivery of therapeutic molecules to cancer cells. EriVan Bio provides quality exosomes to its customers for different applications in an ethical and profitable manner.

Contact: Nasser Nassiri Koopaei, Co-Founder & Member

Website: https://erivanbio.com/

Photo of Neobiosis

Neobiosis

Neobiosis is a CDMO developing new drug applications with the FDA, producing therapeutic regenerative medicine products for human use. The company also has a pipeline of intellectual property developed by Dr. Ian White during his 20 years’ experience at the bench at Cornell University, Harvard, and University of Miami.

Contact: Ian White, President and Chief Scientific Officer

Website: https://www.neobiosis.com

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StemVivo

StemVivo is a biotechnology company that is dedicated to providing high-quality, cost-effective cellular and biological products to scientists.

Contact: Vijay Ramiya, CEO

Website: https://www.stemvivoinc.com/

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Vet Bio Solutions

Vet Bio Solutions is a product development specialization company that designs and develops products in the Veterinary space. The company utilizes novel chemistries and biomaterials to generate products for the ophthalmic, surgical, orthopedic and wound care areas in the veterinary market.

Contact:

Website:

Mixed-Use (Tech & Innovation)

Artificial Intelligence

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Agriculture Intelligence

Agriculture Intelligence is a precision agriculture science company combining machine vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to provide cloud-based, precision data for specialty crops. It is the global license holder of the Agroview smart agriculture platform.

Contact: Matt Donovan, CEO

Website: https://www.agroview.ai/

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Enfoglobe

Enfoglobe is a software company providing teaching simulators with custom animations, games, VR, and complex data analytics portals for research, medical and government industries.

Contact: Margaret Andraka, CEO

Website: enfoglobe.com

Deep Tech

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etectRX

etectRx, Inc. is a digital health company that has developed a patented ingestible event marker (the ID-Cap System) to uniquely provide real-time dose-level medication ingestion verification.

Contact: Eric Buffkin, President & CEO

Website: https://etectrx.com/

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Mattrix Technologies

Mattrix Technologies is a semiconductor device company developing revolutionary pixel architectures for the interactive displays of tomorrow.

Contact: Max Lemaitre, Founder & CEO

Website: https://www.mattrixtech.com/

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Micro Nano Technologies

Micro Nano Technologies (MNT) a technology company offering industry-changing heating, cooling, dehumidification, and medical solutions based on high throughput functional membranes.

Contact: Michael Schmid, CEO

Website: https://www.mntusa.com/

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Raytheon

Raytheon Company is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions.

Contact: Mark Sanders, Operations Manager

Website: https://www.raytheon.com/

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Satlantis

SATLANTIS is a New Space specialist who provides proven high performance payload technologies to enable the development of high spatial and temporal resolution services for earth observation and teledetection.

Contact: Rafael Guzman, CEO

Website: https://www.satlantis.com/

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Silicon Assurance

Silicon Assurance LLC is a hardware security company that provides computer-aided design (CAD) tools to mitigate the security challenges facing the semiconductor industry and its customers. We strongly believe that tools to ensure secure-by-design of microelectronics are essential for assuring trust in modern computing devices.

Contact: Raj Gautam Dutta, CEO

Website: https://siliconassurance.com

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Slice Engineering

Slice Engineering is a design and engineering company focused on developing cutting edge technologies for the additive manufacturing (3D printing) industry.

Contact: Dan Barousse, Co-Founder and CEO

Website: https://www.sliceengineering.com/

E-Commerce

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Diabetic Kitchen

Diabetic Kitchen develops and distributes delicious real food for healthy lifestyles. Their low carb, keto-friendly choices are perfect for diabetics, those with gluten

intolerance, and anyone interested in healthy food alternatives.

Contact: Vic Johnson, Co-Founder

Website: https://diabetickitchen.com/

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Engineer Inc.

Engineer Inc. is an education technology social enterprise that develops, manufactures, and distributes instructional laboratory kits and hands-on curricula to teach remote, hybrid, and in-person learners enrolled in college-level engineering lab courses and K-12 STEM programs.

Contact:: Matthew Traum, CEO

Website: https://engineerinc.net/

Services

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Century 22 Solutions

Century 22 Solutions is a HUBZone-based small business integrating technologies and services to solve the most pressing challenges governments and commercial businesses face. C22 has core capabilities in systems integrations, R&D, UAV design and development, and soft diplomacy support.

Contact: Walter Adams, CEO

Website: https://century22solutions.com/

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Essential Validation Services

Essential Validation Services is a third-party independent laboratory specializing in affordable quality assurance testing of essential oils, creating transparency throughout the supply chain and ensuring integrity within the essential oil industry.

Contact: Adam Christensen, CEO

Website: https://essentialvalidationservices.com/

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GolokGlobal

GOLOK is a cloud consulting and product development company focusing on ERP on Cloud. One of our products includes BERYMO, a ridesharing and shipping app.

Contact: Vish Mutluru, CEO

Website: http://www.golokglobal.com

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Innova Leaf

Innova Leaf Creative Solutions is a creative video agency offering professional animated video content, promotional video solutions, and different video production services. We specialize in producing animated explainer videos and promotional marketing videos aimed at describing your product or service in a way that will bring your business to a broader audience helping your clients to take action.

Contact: Juan Carlos Tafur-Mejia

Website: https://www.innovaleaf.com

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Kairos Transportation

Kairos Transportation is a service company coordinating transportation for the medical transfer of non-emergency patients.

Contacts: Alexis Aguilar, CEO, and Jesus Molina, Co-CEO

Website:

Photo of SCAD Media

SCAD Media

SCAD Media, LLC is a multifaceted advertising and communications agency delivering unique brand development, website production, graphic design, and video production services.

Contact: Alexander Ganz, CEO

Website: https://www.scad-media.com/

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Sketchology Studios

Sketchology Studios is an animated marketing company that serves the rapidly growing alternative energy and biomedical sectors. With the help of its superstar animators, project managers, and voice artists, the Sketchology team partners with clients to tell their stories with clear scripts and beautiful 2D and 3D imagery. Because your tech story doesn’t have to be technical.

Contact: Neil Israel, co-founder and president

Website: https://sketchologystudios.com/

Software

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Admiral Adblock Publisher Solutions

Admiral is a software-as-a-service company built around making cutting-edge advertising technologies accessible to online publishers everywhere.

Contact: Dan Rua, CEO

Website: https://getadmiral.com/

Photo of Atmosphere Apps

Atmosphere Apps

Atmosphere Apps is a mobile app development company collaborating with organizations to create innovative products that help professionals work better.

Contact: Eric Poirier, CEO

Website: https://www.atmosphereapps.com/

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BACCH Labs

BACCH Laboratories, Inc. creates 3D audio software that places perceived sound sources anywhere, enabling the augmented reality of sound.

Contact: James Mentz, CEO

Website: https://bacch.com/

Photo of Martinson Machine

Martinson Machine

Martinson Machine is using active intelligence to revolutionize energy resourcefulness, balance renewables, create greater awareness, and connect the Internet of Things. Through our innovative technology and services, we are working to create more insightful utilities, smarter cities and a more resourceful world.

Contact: Rodrigo Martinson, CEO

Website: https://martinsonmachine.com

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Quottly

Quottly is a course discovery, registration, and equivalency platform that combines system-wide class schedules and transfer rules with proven SIS integration and one-click registration.

Contact: James Gibson, CTO and co-founder

Website: https://www.quottly.com

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Tera Insights

Tera Insights, a UF Research Computing partner, is the firm behind the ResVault system. Tera Insights provides NIST compliant data storage, encrypted virtual machines, and secure HPC solutions.

Contact: Thomas Samant, CMO

Website: https://terainsights.com/

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Vertaeon

Vertaeon is a software as a service company offering a comprehensive web-based solution for supply chain risk and impact analytics to identify vulnerabilities and related cost/brand impacts for complex supply chains.

Contact: Rekha Menon-Varma, CEO

Website: https://www.vertaeon.com/

World-Class Facilities

Accelerate is proud to offer two facilities. These are some comparisons between the two.

SID MARTIN BIOTECH

Biotech Facility

  • 22 wet labs*
  • 8 executive offices/suites
  • Limited dry lab space
  • $1.7M shared scientific equipment (see list)
  • Focus: R&D and Process Development Companies
  • 32,546 square feet
  • In Progress Park in the City of Alachua
  • *Standard wet lab typically includes fume hood, biosafety cabinet, case work, sink; labs are “as is”

Address & Directions to Sid Martin

THE HUB

Mixed-Use Facility

  • 11 wet labs*
  • 68 executive offices/suites
  • 28 dry labs
  • Limited shared scientific equipment offerings
  • Focus: Startups & Scale-Ups in biotech or diversified tech sectors
  • 96,947 square foot
  • In the heart of the Gainesville Innovation District, 7 blocks from main UF campus
  • *Standard wet lab typically includes fume hood, biosafety cabinet, case work, sink; labs are “as is”

Address & Directions to The Hub

Mentors/Advisors

Trained and ready to assist our clients.

In a program newly revamped in 2022, our mentors and advisors participate in a formal training experience in addition to the expertise and business sense they bring to our clients. They are prepared to advise clients in their entrepreneurial journey. 

Sid Martin Biotech Mentors/Advisors

Photo of LeeAnn Applewhite

LeeAnn Applewhite
President, Applied Food Technologies

LeeAnn Applewhite, co-founder and president of Applied Food Technologies, Inc. (AFT) employs her experience and connections amassed over her 25+ years in the seafood industry to ensure AFT meets the needs of industry.

Applewhite began working with the seafood industry during her graduate studies as a food scientist at the University of Florida. After graduate school, Applewhite has succeeded as an inventor, an international technical consultant, a researcher, a board member of industry advocacy groups, and a leader within the seafood industry. In addition, she serves on several academic biotechnology advisory boards.

Under her leadership, AFT has defined the seafood species testing industry by harnessing the power of molecular-based methods and cutting-edge scientific techniques, offering the first tests capable of meeting the U.S. FDA’s guidance for regulatory compliance decisions. AFT has been performing species identification testing for the industry and regulatory agencies since 2005 and is the company the industry approaches when in need.

Photo of John Engels

John Engels
Entrepreneur & Startup Cofounder

John Engels is a founder and investor focused on new technology development and commercialization. John co-founded AxoGen, a leading medical technology company dedicated to peripheral nerve repair. Prior to AxoGen, he worked at UF, Saffron Hill Ventures and elsewhere on entrepreneurship and venture funding projects. John started his career as an investment banker. He is on the Board of Oxicool, Inc., a privately-held company providing disruptive cooling technologies. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at UPenn, and a BA from the University of Chicago.

Photo of James Gibson

James Gibson
Investor and Founder

James Gibson is an investor and founder focused on seed stage investments in rapid growth enterprises. James is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Quottly, Inc., a VC backed inter-institution registration solution for college and university systems. He holds a Master of Finance, Bachelor’s of Art and Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Florida. He also serves as the current president of startGNV, an entrepreneurial support organization.

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Rupa Lloyd
Mergers & Acquisition, Tech Transfer

Rupa Lloyd is a shareholder at GrayRobinson, P.A., in its Gainesville and Jacksonville law firm offices. With nearly two decades of experience and a certificate in health law, she specializes in health care operational, corporate, transactional and regulatory matters. She advises clients in many facets of their business, including privacy and data security, fraud and abuse, corporate governance, labor relations, licensure and discipline, quality improvement and healthcare risk management. She routinely conducts due diligence including the preparation and negotiation of agreements in connection with telehealth, software licensing, EMR, practice sale and acquisition, medical equipment, real property leases, physician employment, and medical directorships.

Rupa is licensed to practice in Florida and Pennsylvania and is an elected member of the Executive Council of the Florida Bar Health Law Section, and an approved Mediator with the American Health Lawyers Dispute Resolution Service. She has authored articles with the American Health Lawyers Association and MGMA, lectured on health law topics as an adjunct Professor of Law with University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate Healthcare Compliance program, participated as a guest lecturer at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and as a visiting Professor of Law at the University of Toledo College of Law.

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Dan L. O’Korn
Bioscience Attorney

Dan O’Korn is a partner with Hutchinson Law, where his practice focuses on the business transactions important to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including licensing and commercial transactions, FDA-related regulatory matters, asset acquisitions and divestitures, supply agreements, product development agreements, and strategic alliances.

Dan previously served as outside counsel to life sciences companies and in in-house counsel roles for Eli Lilly and Company; AAIPharma, Inc.; Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Xcellerex, Inc.

He graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University School of Law and earned his bachelor’s degree from Wabash College.

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Merrie Shaw
Startup & Incubation Expert

A force behind the success at UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech for 16 years, Merrie brings her knowledge of biotech business incubation management and her insight into successful entrepreneurship to her advising role at both The Hub and Sid Martin Biotech.

Photo of Chelsey Simmons

Chelsey Simmons
Engineer, Seasoned Entrepreneur

Chelsey Simmons, Ph.D., is an innovative engineer who thrives building cross-disciplinary teams to solve complex problems at the intersection of mechanics and biology. She is faculty in the University of Florida’s College of Engineering and has a courtesy appointment in the College of Medicine. Under her leadership, the Simmons Mechanobiology Lab at UF investigates the interplay of mechanical forces and cell biology in health and disease.

The Simmons Mechanobiology Lab has received millions of dollars in federal funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to support its research pursuits. Dr. Simmons also has a record of entrepreneurial success, having launched a laboratory tools company based on her doctoral research, and she continues to pursue commercialization of her research through new patents on consumer and biomedical products.

Dr. Simmons holds degrees from Harvard University (B.S.) and Stanford University (M.S., Ph.D.) and completed postdoctoral training at ETH Zurich.

The Hub Mentors/Advisors

Photo of Gary A. Ascani

Gary A. Ascani
Biotech & Medical Products

Gary is a biotechnology and medical products executive and investor. He has over 43 years of experience in the biotechnology / medical products industry with start-up, early-stage, and late-stage companies. In 1999, he co-founded Vulcan Medical Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on seed-stage venture financing. After moving to Gainesville to become CEO of Banyan Biomarkers, he became vice president of business development for Nanotherapeutics. Gary has served on numerous boards of directors and was honored by the Birmingham Business Journal in its inaugural “Who’s Who in Health Care.”

Photo of Eric Buffkin

Eric Buffkin
Serial Entrepreneur, Investor

Eric is a serial entrepreneur, an angel investor, and the co-founder and president of etectRx, Inc. Eric has a passion for new ventures, new technologies, product design, and development. He is a serial entrepreneur, having launched technology, product, and services companies in the technology and health tech sector. Over the course of his 30 years in technology ventures, Eric has been instrumental in establishing industry standards for networking the digital home. These standards have ultimately influenced how we all enjoy digital media, access information, and manage our homes with connected devices.

Photo of John Engels

John Engels
Entrepreneur & Startup Cofounder

John Engels is a founder and investor focused on new technology development and commercialization. John co-founded AxoGen, a leading medical technology company dedicated to peripheral nerve repair. Prior to AxoGen, he worked at UF, Saffron Hill Ventures and elsewhere on entrepreneurship and venture funding projects. John started his career as an investment banker. He is on the Board of Oxicool, Inc., a privately-held company providing disruptive cooling technologies. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at UPenn, and a BA from the University of Chicago.

Photo of Solomon E. Gonite

Solomon E. Gonite
Financial Planning & Compliance

Solomon is a CPA and shareholder in Gonite & Gonite, CPAs, a firm committed to community and providing access to quality advisory services to all businesses. He brings financial planning and compliance experience from the private and public sectors, including the Small Business Administration.

In addition to his service on the Advisory Board, he serves as a business mentor with SCORE North Central Florida. He is a graduate of the Fisher School of Accounting at UF and the FSU College of Law. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran. He served in support of U.S. interests in South Africa and Saudi Arabia, among others.

Solomon is an advocate for truth, freedom, life-long learning, and responsible economic development; he believes in the spirit of entrepreneurism to provide sustainable solutions to local, national, and international problems.

Photo of Tim Gordon

Tim Gordon
Business Management Expert

Tim Gordon has 25+ years of experience in both new and on-going business management. Working on medical devices, consumer OTC and pharmaceutical products, Tim fulfilled a variety of roles in new product development, marketing management, business development, product engineering, quality and, (as a prosthetist) clinical care. With the benefit of both large and small organization experience in companies such as Becton Dickinson (BD), Philips Healthcare, Respironics, Discovery Labs and a variety of smaller and start-up organizations, Tim expanded more than ten brands and managed more than 25 new products. Tim holds seven medical device patents. He holds an MBA.

Photo of Guy LaTorre

Guy LaTorre
Business Development

Guy LaTorre is a senior business development professional who has over 25 years of experience in the development and commercialization of medical devices and consumer products in a startup company environment. Currently, Guy is the CEO of Breathtec Biomedical Inc., a biotechnology company developing a point of care breath analyzer to diagnose infections and disease.  Guy has been author or co-author of over 50 scientific publications and holds 9 US patents with associated filings.

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Gil Levy
Advisory Board Member

Gil Levy is a seasoned financial analyst and business manager with decades of experience as a financial regulator, followed by high-level employment as chief executive in the financial services industry. He has also been involved in real estate development and leasing, having successfully navigated the economic downturn that began in the 4th quarter of 2007 and then heading the successful sale of the project. His combined 40 years in regulatory, financial and entrepreneurship allows him a unique perspective when considering the financial needs of businesses.

He has been a long-time member of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, slated to serve as Chair of the Economic Development Committee in 2020 and as Chair of the Board of the Chamber in 2021. He has also served on the Regional Advisory Board of the United States Small Business Administration, North Florida District, and he served as a mentor during a prior session of StartUp Quest.

He currently serves as senior vice president of VyStar Credit Union, charged with heading regional community relations.

Photo of Mark S. Long

Mark S. Long
Senior Managing Partner

Mark Long is currently the Senior Managing Partner of Salus Business Advisors, LLC (www.salusbizadvisors.com). He recently retired as the Director of Incubation Services at UF Innovate, the commercialization arm of the University of Florida, where he was responsible for over 140,000 square feet of business incubation, coworking and acceleration space. Long has more than 20+ years of experience with Long Performance Advisors and Salus Business Advisors; both global consulting companies focused on accelerating efforts in incubation, technology transfer, sales and marketing, and small business formation/management and economic development. He worked on 120+ business incubator and research park projects in over 30 countries. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Business Innovation Association and is a 2014 recipient of the InBIA President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Business Incubation and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from BioFlorida.

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Stephanie Marchman
Counselor & Litigator

Stephanie, a shareholder in GrayRobinson’s Gainesville law firm office, represents both private and public sector employers in the areas of labor and employment law, civil litigation and government law. For 11 years, she was a counselor, litigator and transactional lawyer for the City of Gainesville serving as the Senior Assistant City Attorney in the areas of labor and employment law, employee benefits, constitutional law, ethics, and Sunshine Law. Her work included providing legal advice on workplace investigations and the administration of discipline to any of the city’s 2,000 employees, as well as preparation of employment policies and contracts.

Photo of Ernest “Ernie” Moyer

Ernest “Ernie” Moyer
Seasoned Tech Management Exec

Mr. Moyer’s business career spans more than 40 years. He served as the president and co-founder of a $40 million-a-year environmental engineering and manufacturing company, QuadrexHPS. Mr. Moyer also established a business advisory practice where he helped to create several local technology-based companies (Nanotherapeutics, EV Energy Systems, Geltech, SyMed, etc.). Primarily, he has been a business and financial advisor to early-stage technology companies.

Photo of Richard G. Nadeau

Richard G. Nadeau
Inventor, Entrepreneur & FACB

Dr. Richard G. Nadeau served as Founder & Chairman of Vistair, Inc. (Vistair Ventures), a company he formed in 1984 to seed small businesses in the high technology fields. He also founded and served as CEO of Cytometrics, co-founded EMDS Inc. with E. Merck, and served in a variety of leadership positions with a number of noted companies. He co-invented the DuPont aca, the first random-access clinical chemistry analyzer. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemists and a named inventor on 44 patents worldwide.

Photo of Merrie Shaw

Merrie Shaw
Startup & Incubation Expert

A force behind the success at UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech for 16 years, Merrie brings her knowledge of biotech business incubation management and her insight into successful entrepreneurship to her advising role at both The Hub and Sid Martin Biotech.

Photo of Ron Stein

Ron Stein
Tech Revenue Executive & Entrepreneur

Ron has built a reputation for incubating new business models into mature revenue-generating engines, developing market entry strategies for emerging companies and tech giants, and building a global channel and strategic partner programs. As a tech executive, entrepreneur, and expert in B2B sales, marketing, and business development Ron helps tech companies sell more software, products and services to accelerate revenue growth. He has also played a vital role in helping companies raise capital through venture funding and IPOs. In his spare time, Ron writes a popular business column for Florida Trend magazine, plays jazz and blues trombone, and rides his bike as fast as he can.

Photo of Quang Tran

Quang Tran
Serial Entrepreneur, Coach

Quang Tran is a serial entrepreneur and is passionate about helping entrepreneurs build great products, strong management teams and, ultimately, lasting companies. Quang is a co-founder and Managing Director of LaunchPad at Infinity Hall, a co-working and student incubator platform designed to transform early-stage startups into fundable companies. Quang also co-founded Starter Space, the first co-working space in Gainesville. Quang has been recognized for his leadership in creating entrepreneurial, dynamic work environments in Gainesville, where he serves on the board of the Gainesville Tech Council. He is a proven mentor with a history of motivating high-performance startup teams to achieve full potential.

Join Our Elite Mentoring Program

Candidate Characteristics

We are seeking candidates who are:

  • Trusted advisors that want to give back to entrepreneurs and help them develop.
  • Individuals who like to provide advice, open up their connections, and support a founder in the development of their business.
  • Relationship builders, people who like to network, are lifelong learners and want to give back
  • Intellectually curious individuals

 

Mentor/Advisor Role in Our Program

  • Meet regularly with 1-3 CEOs/founding teams (they can tell us how many they want to mentor 1, 2, or 3). We don’t want them to overcommit but some have capacity for multiple relationships.
  • Be facilitated and coached by an outside mentorship organization to support the development of the relationship and who will support the mentor/mentee for a year in developing the skills and tools to ensure an effective and quality relationship develops.
  • Participate in assessments/surveys to measure the effectiveness of the relationships and mentorship support system (both mentee and mentor will participate in these assessments)

What will mentorship training mean?

  • Participants will be certified so our expectation is they will have a high quality skill set that allows them to build effective, robust and high quality relationships.
  • Our hope is certified mentors will want to mentor other companies after the one year period is completed and we will have a big inventory of very skilled mentors to work with our companies.
  • Effectively mentored startups are shown to perform better financially and often raise more money than their counterparts.

Sound like a good fit for you?

Complete the elite mentor survey here.

Sponsorship

Donate to UF Innovate | Accelerate.

Our award-winning incubators are recognized globally for their quality lab space, shared scientific equipment, programming guidance offered, and connections to experienced entrepreneurs and investors. By supporting UF Innovate | Accelerate, you impact our entire ecosystem — more than 90 clients.

Our mission informs our ecosystem-building work — inspire entrepreneurs to create, change, and cure for a better world. You can be a part of that by sponsoring what we do.

We’ve been serving our community and assisting clients around the globe since 1995. As an integral support organization of the University of Florida Research Foundation, we rely heavily on the generosity and benevolence of our friends. When you provide a gift to us, you’re assisting the community of entrepreneurs and emerging businesses we serve.

Of course, donations benefit you, too. We are part of a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Contributions in excess of the fair value of goods and services received by the donor may be tax deductible. Please consult your personal tax advisors.

We’ve got many ways you can support our work at UF Innovate | Accelerate. Check out our sponsorship brochure for the many different ways you can engage and energize our entrepreneurial community through your philanthropic support.

Ways You Can Give

Capital Equipment

Help fund the acquisition of specific capital equipment to further improve our resources and services; we can use scientific equipment, technical equipment, computing equipment, office furniture, and other items to help us drive entrepreneurial growth.

Program-Specific Donations

Contribute to paid internships for high-school and college students, to our events for entrepreneurs,  and more.

Naming Rights

As a sponsor ($2,500 – $50,000 per year), you receive naming rights to our conference rooms, classrooms, event rooms, training rooms, laboratories, the lobby, kitchens, and other areas in either facility. This is a great opportunity to “make it your own” and have the entire community recognize your commitment to entrepreneurship.

Friends of Accelerate

Our “friends” level of support ($500 per year) provides you with recognition on our digital signage, donor recognition publications and access to all our open-access community events. Our clients will recognize your business as one that supports them in their efforts to grow.

Accelerate Greater Gator Fund

Through your generosity, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to our designated fund at the UF Research Foundation. This fund powers programs and scholarships for clients, and provides essential business-building services to entrepreneurs and innovators. We will put the money to best use, and you can be assured it will advance the clients and the support we provide them.

Not What You Had in Mind?

Discuss other ways to give support to Accelerate

Our program is possible through your generous support. To discuss ways to give and other ways of supporting our efforts, contact the UF Advancement at (352) 392-5513 or reach out to the Director of UF Innovate | Accelerate at (352) 846-1646 or via email at klapan@ufl.edu.

You can also support our work through volunteering; we are always looking for experienced business people and entrepreneurs who can serve as mentors or advisors for our clients and who can provide outstanding educational programs, seminars, and training sessions to our entrepreneurial community. If this describes you, contact the Director of UF Innovate | Accelerate at (352) 846-1646 or via email at klapan@ufl.edu.

 

Our Corporate Sponsors




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