Small Business Startup News

Unemployed College Graduates Get To Play Venture Capitalist Role In Florida

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 5/2/2013

Unemployed and underemployed residents of Northeast Florida will evaluate how to turn university research into commercialized products.

A new program, Startup Quest, funded by $300,000 in federal grants, will give unemployed individuals an opportunity to join teams that will assess research and technologies developed by University of Florida researchers and create business plans for commercializing the ideas.

Amateur Venture Capitalists

Developed by FloridaWorks, the University of Florida, JAX Chamber and WorkSource, Startup Quest was created to help area residents gain skills in leadership, management and entrepreneurship.

The program has funding from the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration Workforce Innovation Fund. Startup Quest will run for three years and begins this May.

To apply for the program, participants must be registered with WorkSource, the agency that helps Northeast Florida residents find work. If they are selected, participants will attend a series of 4-hour sessions over 11 weeks.

Participants will not be paid, nor will they be granted any equity in any ventures that arise from their efforts. They will, however, get continuing education credits and a certificate from the University of Florida.

Additional information can be found at

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