Meet Santa Fe College…
Santa Fe College’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) and the Gainesville Technology Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC) strive to enhance economic development in our community through their support of innovation and startup companies. Led by Dug Jones, Associate Vice President for Economic Development, both CIED and GTEC share a belief that there is an abundance of opportunities to serve our local entrepreneurs without focusing on competition, preferring to operate from a place of collaboration. In fact, the collaborative nature of StartupGNV is what drew Santa Fe to developing a partnership with the organization when it was still known as GAIN; they feel strongly that the collaborative efforts of StartupGNV are what make our startup community so cohesive.
When Santa Fe and GAIN first partnered, the organization was rich with service providers who were enthusiastic supporters of the local startup community, offering their assistance to new ventures in order to foster their success. While service providers maintain a vital presence in the StartupGNV family, Santa Fe appreciates that the organization’s leadership has evolved to fill more roles with fellow entrepreneurs who have been in the trenches and done the necessary work to be successful, who can now give back through support and mentorship of new entrepreneurs. This transition in leadership over time has happened organically, and as an innovation hub, Santa Fe believes it’s important to continue to grow as an organization in order to stay relevant, incorporate fresh ideas, attract rising entrepreneurs, and foster continued engagement.
Santa Fe College’s CIED and GTEC have had several staff members serve StartupGNV in leadership roles over the years; throughout their involvement, one of the most rewarding aspects has been observing the companies that are doing wonderfully and knowing that StartupGNV aided in their success. Whether hosting pitch contests to help entrepreneurs refine their messaging, to connecting startups with investors, StartupGNV has been the birthplace of a wealth of new ventures that have gone on to achieve their highest success.
CIED and GTEC believe that it’s vital to meet entrepreneurs where they’re at in regards to their needs, through their partnership with StartupGNV as well as their own services. As an entrepreneur-centric incubator, they strive to be as flexible as possible in providing support to new venues, as each organization’s needs are different, in addition to their metrics for success. Their goal is to do whatever they can to support the vision of their entrepreneurs and remove barriers for startups to move forward however they see fit.Interest in learning more about CIED’s incubator programs? Feel free to reach out to Dug Jones, Associate Vice President, Economic Development, as firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
Article contributed by Tamara Herchel.