Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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November 08, 2023 | Tom Ballard

U News | Another week, another program from Arkansas

Silicon Valley's Plug and Play Tech Center announces second location in Florida, this one with the University of Central Florida.

From the University of Arkansas:

The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation has developed a new micro-certificate for undergraduates designed to help them take their first steps into the world of entrepreneurship and bring their ideas to life by working on real-world problems, finding solutions, and crafting business models.

The Entrepreneurship Undergraduate Microcertificate is tailored to undergrads with budding ideas and will help them uncover the secrets of the Lean Canvas methodology, customer discovery, and research techniques to validate their ideas and prepare for the next steps.

The certificate includes three 3-hour courses spread out over at least two semesters. Starting in the spring with the Start Up Toolkit course, students will dive into the Lean Canvas methodology, helping them discover a unique value proposition and a viable solution for their project and teaching them how to gain initial buy-in for their idea.

By the end of this micro-certificate, students will be well-prepared to pitch their business to potential investors or compete in business pitch competitions.

From the University of Alabama:

Electric vehicles (EV) batteries will find a second life in EV charging stations under a project led by The University of Alabama.

With $4 million in support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the University is partnering with Alabama Power and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. to develop and demonstrate ways to use older EV batteries, extending their usable life, and reducing their carbon footprint while lessening demand on power grids. The project is also supported by another $4 million in cost-share bringing the project budget to a total of $8 million.

From Georgetown University:

Ted Leonsis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, has pledged $5 million to his alma mater to ensure its “Bark Tank Pitch Competition” will be a resource for young entrepreneurs for years to come.

According to an article in DC Inno, Leonsis’ gift also establishes the Leonsis Family Venture Development Program to support student start-ups, incubator programs, and other entrepreneurial programming across the university. In 2021, the Georgetown alum added $50,000 to the $100,000 Leonsis Famliy Entrepreneurship Award.

From the University of Central Florida:

Just a little more than a month ago, we reported that Plug and Play Tech Center, described as a world-leading Silicon Valley-based innovation platform, had abandoned plans to open its first Florida location in Miami and instead would do so in Kissimmee. Now comes word of a second location.

Orlando Inno reports that Plug & Play is teaming up with the University of Central Florida, Orange County, Duke Energy, and Tavistock Development Co.’s Lake Nona Land Co. to launch a business accelerator in Orlando. According to the article, the funding will be split roughly three ways, with a third coming from the university, a third from the county, and balance from the corporations.

The plan is to identify a minimum of 20 start-ups per year and for Plug & Play to provide mentoring and coaching, development and review of existing business models, workshops and webinars, pitch opportunities, fundraising and business development, getting each start-up ready for a major investment from one of Plug & Play’s corporate partners.

From The Ohio State University:

The University recently hosted its inaugural “Startup Midwest,” which was billed as the premier event for rising technology entrepreneurs at the university.

The two-day event, hosted by the University’s Center for Software Innovation, was attended by more than 300 people and featured keynote addresses from Ratmir Timashev, software entrepreneur, investor and Co-Founder of Veeam Software; Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted; Carl Eschenbach, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Workday; and Andrew Lang, Global Chief Technology Officer of JPMorgan Chase.

Timashev, whose vision for the Center for Software Innovation and the generosity of the Timashev Family Foundation made the event possible, said Columbus and Ohio are poised to become a globally prominent, high-tech hub.


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