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Institute for Entrepreneurship

Institute for Entrepreneurship

Meet Our Students


Meet Benjamin Barile, a graduate of the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program and founder of Eco-Spacers LLC!

Ben Check

Barile started in the marines after he graduated in high school and remained an active military member for a total of 10 years.

After moving to Florida, Barile inquired about programs for veterans, learned about VFEP's partnership with FGCU's Institute for Entrepreneruship and contacted us to participate. His original plan was to start his own paving business, but after discovering that recycle pavers were being made he decided to pursue this more eco-conscious route to paving. 

Barile also started to identify a problem in the roofing construction industry. He is now working on his first startup Rocky Top V Paving company to fund and make time for his newest business idea, Eco-Spacers. Eco-Spacers LLC is an innovative, cost effective and recyclable product company that helps contractors save time, material and labor. 
The Eco-Spacer is a product that will revolutionize the roofing industry. This product is made of environmentally friendly material which spaces roof tresses. Traditionally, this product would be left on the house, which causes an increased expense for builders since they have to be replaced and also creates significant waste. The Eco-Spacer is a reusable spacer which will alleviate many of these issues in the roofing industry.
The most beneficial thing about the veterans program for Barile was learning about the Lean Startup Method in order to start his business with the least amount of capital possible. Barile has recently acquired his paving license and plans to start paving for another company to raise more capital to launch his own business. Barile also received $10,000 in seed funding through the VFEP's Compassionate Shark Tank pitch competition. 
Barile noted that he has done two other veterans programs online - Boots to Business and another program from Syracuse - that really didn’t give him direction or motivation.
“This program pushed me to think. It removed my fears and gave me the call to action. To step up and make it real. It gave me confidence!”

Meet Alex Hall, a graduate of IFE's Runway Program and founder of FitShare, LLC. 

FitShare Logo
 FitShare, LLC is a fitness technology company that provides health clubs with new ways to connect with their members and members new ways to connect with each other. FitShare, LLC prides itself on being the only fitness technology company that focuses on the social impact as strongly as the physical impact when designing its technologies. 
FitShare, LLC is currently partnered with Around The Clock Fitness CEO and Venture Capitalist, Derik Fay. Through this partnership, FitShare was given the opportunity to develop a mobile scheduling app for local company SalonPLEX, which FitShare, LLC has successfully sold.
Additionally, FitShare, LLC is currently preparing to launch the new Around The Clock Fitness app with a brand new concept behind it. The company is working to form another partnership with Jonas Fitness Inc. to begin expanding the service nationally. FitShare, LLC also plans to present its fitness club mobile app concept at IHRSA 2018.
Click on FitShare, LLC's logo (pictured left) to learn more and support FitShare!