New discoveries that change the world and developed here in our community are now an even greater reality. I invite you to be a part of the discussion that will take us closer to this reality.
Your local workforce development board joined a consortium of eight other workforce regions in the state of Florida, receiving a $12 million grant award over the next three years from the US Department of Labor. This grant has funded a creative and ambitious project called Startup Quest.
Startup Quest is helping to drive our state’s economic transformation by providing opportunities for entrepreneurs, innovators and the investment community to assess the commercial potential of discoveries and innovations. Startup Quest connects the intellectual power of highly educated, but dislocated or underemployed professionals toward an understanding of how to move discoveries and inventions from our state universities and federal laboratories to the market.
This connection occurs in an intensive, hands-on laboratory training environment where highly successful entrepreneurs introduce participants to advanced technology industry inventions from state universities, federal laboratories or research institutes. The entrepreneurs share their knowledge in building a successful startup. Their knowledge will assist the design and development of a simulated company for the development of products for these cutting-edge technologies.
The return on investment for our community is easily understood by glancing at the numbers. Each year for the next three years 300 individuals will be trained with unique skills ideal for growing entrepreneurial-advanced technology companies. Entrepreneurs from our community will become mentors and increase their involvement and relationships. A number of technology companies will be simulated and presented in a “Pitch” presentation to potential investors. Jobs will be created, existing companies will hire individuals with these newly developed skills, new companies and products that change the world will be formed, and the list goes on!
We invite you to help define the other opportunities for our community. We will be holding an informal, roundtable discussion with key community leaders to collaborate about how we can turn this program into new realities for our community. Please join us on Tuesday, September 24 from 3 – 4:30PM at the WORKFORCE plus Leon One Stop Office, located at 2525 South Monroe Street. I look forward to your input on how this will change our community.