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Institute for Entrepreneurship

The Florida Gulf Coast University Institute for Entrepreneurship is an advocate for student entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Institute provides students with genuine support and a strong foundation of knowledge from which to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations. This is accomplished through the combined efforts of FGCU faculty, student graduates, and a variety of community partners in Southwest Florida. We strive to create camaraderie between these groups, and emphasize the need for an entrepreneurial spirit between FGCU and its constituents. 

Small, entrepreneurial businesses are the backbone of Florida's economy. Accordingly, we believe it is crucial to impart the following skills to future generations of entrepreneurs: how to identify and evaluate a business opportunity, write a winning business plan to successfully exploit an opportunity, indentify and aquire resources (including financing), and build a new venture into an enduring company.


Entrepreneur U

April 1, 2016

Via: "Business Observer"

Sandra Kauanui, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, works with students Caleb Courville,  Amy Ridgway and Dixie Villarraga. Photo by Ed ClementIn fall 2014, Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers quietly opened its entrepreneurship program to all students.

Until then, the entrepreneurship program had enrolled 200 students within the Lutgert College of Business. The response was immediate and overwhelming: “We now have about 800 students,” says Sandra Kauanui, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship at FGCU.

Set aside any preconceived notions you may have of the millennial generation and visit any university campus on the Gulf Coast. Entrepreneurship is so cool that colleges can barely keep up with the demand.

There are many reasons for the high demand, but chief among them is that the millennial generation saw their parents laid off by corporations during the recession. Combine that with advances in technology and the generation’s desire for meaningful work and it’s no surprise many want to be entrepreneurs.

Even though they didn’t advertise it in the student handbook, the response at FGCU was enthusiastic. “I added classes as fast and furious as I could,” Kauanui says. For example, the four Introduction to Entrepreneurship classes fill up within five minutes when registration opened online at 6 a.m.

When she asks students in the introductory classes whether they’ve ever started a business, nearly half the students raise their hands. “Their perspective of the world is very different,” Kauanui says.

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 Students place 2nd in state innovation contest

April 8, 2016

Via: "FGCU 360"

FGCU engineering students Brian Bradley and Allie Sundermeier pitched their team’s innovative idea and presented a working prototype at the competition April 6 at the University of South Florida.

A team of business and engineering students won second place and a $5,000 cash prize in the fifth annual State of Florida Healthcare Innovation Pitch Competition for an invention they developed in FGCU's hybrid entreprenurial course. 

Their Illumitize Hand Sanitizing System is a safety-compliance mechanism for hospitals and other healthcare facilities that encourages workers and visitors to sanitize their hands before touching patients, thereby reducing the likelihood of infection. The project also took top honors last December in FGCU’s annual Eagle Biz Awards and will compete in the Florida Venture Forum’s Statewide Business Plan Competition on May 17.

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Entrepreneurship Minor