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What Happens Here

What Happens Here

Empowering Entrepreneurs

More than just a building; a program and a community

The Innovation Hub is more than just inexpensive, state-of-the-art lab and office space available for lease. It’s an elite program available only to applicants selected for admission. Read more about our two tracks, Resident Startups and Affiliate Startups, below.

Programs to Meet Your Needs

Join a close-knit community of fellow startups that share resources and participate in the many programs and events that make the Innovation Hub unique.

Resident Startups: Resident Startups have labs and/or offices located in the building. Whether you need a small office, large space, a lab or a combination thereof, we have options that will work for your company now and in the future as you grow.

Affiliate Startups: This program is designed for technology startups who are earlier stage companies and are not yet ready or able to take space in the Innovation Hub. It enables them to come to the facility to access resources, attend events, and seek out mentoring that can help provide the necessary expertise to more fully develop their business strategy with the goal of solidifying their future acceptance into the Innovation Hub as a Resident Startup.

For benefits associated with Resident and Affiliate Startup programs, please see our program benefits chart.

Guidance and Support

An Engaging Network

Space to Get Work Done

A team of mentors provide sage advice gleaned from their collective decades as executives and serial entrepreneurs. Resident and Community Partners—accountants, attorneys, venture capitalists and marketers—provide a limited number of pro bono hours for expert consultation.

Not only do resident startups have access to expert support; they comprise a community where everyone learns from each other. Softball games, Monthly Meetups, and impromptu conversations at the coffee bar foster a close-knit group of entrepreneurs with similar needs and diverse experiences.

Whether you need a small private office, a lab, or a combination of these, we have options for you. The Innovation Hub offers shared resources, such as a professionally staffed lobby, and room to expand as your company grows.

An Ecosystem Built for Startups

Resources designed around the unique needs of technology startups

Close to UF
Shared Facilities
Flexible Leases with Bundled Rental Rates
Room to Grow
Modern Laboratories
Shared Equipment on a High-Speed Network
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Close to UF

Just a few blocks from UF, you can travel quickly between campus and your startup’s lab or office. Abundant free parking, bike racks and showers make the trip even easier, no matter how you travel. Through the Gator 1 card provided to resident startups, you’ll have access to the vast wealth of scientific and business information in the UF library system.

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Shared Facilities

Our fully staffed reception desk, 24-hour secured card access and comfortable lobby give you peace of mind and a relaxed place for conversation and collaboration. Conference rooms equipped with video conferencing capabilities project a positive image and instill confidence in potential investors, collaborators, and employees. Relax and play a game of foosball in the client break room.

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Flexible Leases with Bundled Rental Rates

By offering bundled rental rates, which include utilities, maintenance, and property tax, you can more easily predict and control your startup expenses. All leases are short-term allowing for flexibility and minimizing your financial commitment.

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Room to Grow

As your company grows, you can expand your space without physically moving to another location. The “grow-as-you-go” philosophy is perfectly suited to businesses with modest initial needs and exceptional potential for expansion.

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Modern Laboratories

Labs have access to biological safety cabinets, fume hoods, DI water, vacuum, gas, autoclave and other essential equipment. Laboratory inspections are provided by UF’s Environmental Health and Safety department to ensure compliance with UF, state and federal regulations.

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Shared Equipment on a High-Speed Network

You will have access to copiers, printers and fax machines on a high-speed network. Phones and data lines are available as needed for an economical flat rate with no external contracts required.


Seek the advice of seasoned executives and serial entrepreneurs

Our Mentors have experience across a wide range of industries and are available to Innovation Hub member companies seeking advice. Whatever dilemma your company is facing, they've been there before and can guide you down the right path.

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Quang Tran

Serial entrepreneur, startup 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 history of motivating high-performance startup teams to achieve full potential.

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Aaron Dixon

Technology visionary & entrepreneur, developing individuals & communities

Aaron Dixon has focused on software application design and development, working for a number of startups in different phases of growth. He worked with the UF Foundation for seven years, then joined 352 Inc., one of Gainesville’s first digital agencies, serving as VP Technology, in which he led tech strategy and vision. Aaron helped grow the Gainesville tech scene, starting the Gainesville JS user group, the AgileGNV user group and joining the Gainesville Chamber Tech Council. He also founded the Gainesville Tech Association, a non-profit organization focused on individuals and their needs for a collaborative and engaging culture. Most recently he co-founded Collective & Co., serving as CEO.

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John Engels

Entrepreneur, Investor and New Technology Development and Commercialization Expert

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 a MBA from the Wharton School of Business at UPenn, and a BA from the University of Chicago.

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Chuck Soponis

Serial Entrepreneur

Chuck has spent thirty-five years living through the highs and lows experienced by all startup enterprises. Following his early career as a practicing attorney, he proceeded to serve as the CEO of nine startup and early-stage companies, primarily in the biotechnology sector. In the process, he succeeded in raising more than $30 million for these companies in the always challenging early-stage funding space. Throughout his career, Chuck has most enjoyed guiding the passion and drive of first-time entrepreneurs.

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Gary A. Ascani

Biotechnology and Medical Products Executive and Investor

Gary 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 their inaugural “Who’s Who in Health Care.”

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Sohail Zaidi

Growth and Strategy Adviso, ProspEquity Partners

Sohail Zaidi has a diverse career background in international packaging, industrial chemicals and oil and gas sectors in strategy, finance, manufacturing, and supply chain roles. With 20+ years of experience with global companies such as Intech and EcoPack, Ltd., he is now a Growth and Strategy Advisor at a private equity – ProspEquity Partners. He participates actively in mentorship and leadership efforts, guiding commercialization and entrepreneurial projects for students and startups.

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Eric Buffkin

Serial entrepreneur, angel investor, co-founder and President of eTectRx, Inc. - 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 healthtech sector. Over the course of his thirty 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.

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Jeff Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.

University of Florida Professor of Radiology, experienced serial entrepreneur and investor

Dr. Fitzsimmons’ work on MRI technology led to NIH funding for the development of RF receiver coils for imaging animals and, later, humans. Dr. Fitzsimmons co-founded Applied Resonance Technology, which later merged with MRI Devices Corp., where he served as chairman of the board, helping the company grow to $40M in annual revenues before selling for $100M. He participated in Emergent1, a local angel fund, and served on the boards of Prioria Robotics and Viewray.

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Guy LaTorre

Senior business development professional

Guy LaTorre 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 on over 50 scientific publications and holds 9 US patents with associated filings.

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Ernest “Ernie” Moyer

Seasoned Technology Management Executive

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 adviser to early-stage technology companies.

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Experienced healthcare executive, COO for the Institute of Child Health Policy at UF

Brian Tisher, MBA/MHS, is a seasoned administrator with nearly 25 years of experience in the healthcare sector, including strategic planning for healthcare services and financial management including revenue-cycle optimization. Mr. Tisher’s extensive business-development background includes the startup of hospital-based entities and the strategic development of physician networks. He serves as the Innovation Hub’s Resident Expert for the development of demand forecasts and financial projections and also provides guidance for assessing product/service market potential for companies operating within the healthcare sector.

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Resident Partners

All the expertise you need, under one roof

Your company can consult Resident Partner venture capitalists, accountants, attorneys and marketers with offices in the building who have agreed to provide a limited number of pro bono services to Innovation Hub startups.

Duane Morris

With more than 700 attorneys, Duane Morris LLP shares its clients’ entrepreneurial passion. The firm represents early-stage and emerging-growth companies, venture-capital funds and entrepreneurs.

Wolf Greenfield

Focused solely on intellectual property law. Nobel Prize winners, Fortune 500 companies, high-tech startups, and major research universities choose Wolf Greenfield to protect and enforce their IP rights.

Saliwanchik, Lloyd & Eisenschenk

The firm’s intellectual property practice comprises a group of attorneys practicing in patent, trademark, copyright, and related intellectual property matters. The firm provides a full range of services relating to intellectual property.

James Moore & Co.

A full-service accounting firm working with companies in various stages of development from very early stage through a liquidity event. The staff has hands-on experience working with technology and life-science enterprises.

HealthQuest Capital

Partners with growing young companies with innovative healthcare products, providing equity capital and experienced guidance as they scale up their businesses.

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Community Partners

Integrating value and expertise from the community

The goal of the Innovation Hub Community Partner program is to enhance Innovation Hub Startups potential for success by providing access to an array of expertise and discounted services often needed by startup companies. These Community Partners do not have a permanent office in the Innovation Hub but are available for meetings upon request. All Innovation Hub members are encouraged to utilize these outstanding resources.

Locke Lord LLP

Locke Lord is a full-service law firm specializing in venture capital, corporate, and finance transactions, initial public offerings, follow-on financings, licensing and intellectual property.


A hometown, globally minded creative studio working with partners in the US and Europe. The studio creates beautiful brands, gorgeous websites with rock-solid code, elegant graphics, and Earth-friendly print pieces.

Talem IP Law

From establishing internal protocols for protecting a client’s IP to strategizing and implementing patent and trademark filings, Talem IP Law strives to focus on the business needs of our clients with the market for their products and potential licensing in mind.

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Learning and colliding in an innovation ecosystem

The more than 100 events the Innovation Hub hosts each year lie at the heart of the incubator program. Lunch workshops, panel discussions and presentations cover topics vital to startup companies’ success, such as marketing, funding, accounting, human resources, and protecting intellectual property, and lighter fare such as workplace fitness. Monthly meetups provide an opportunity to hear news about fellow startups and network over snacks. Tenants improve public speaking skills with the building’s Toastmasters club. And, of course, sometimes we just like to throw a party, especially around the holidays.

History of the Innovation Hub

The 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. The June 14, 2010 groundbreaking ceremony featured UF officials and community leaders among the 200 people in attendance, including US Assistant Secretary for Economic Development John Fernandez, UF President Bernie Machen, UF Vice President for Research Winfred Phillips and Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe. These officials all returned for the Grand Opening Ceremony in January 2012 along with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, among a crowd of more than 300 people. Watch a video about the grand opening here.

But history is still in the making, as the Innovation Hub continues construction Phase II, a 50,000-square-foot addition, again built from an EDA grant and a financial commitment from the University of Florida.


A special thanks to our sponsors!