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.
The Institute for Entrepreneurship is facilitating a free program for Veterans in conjunction with four other Florida Universities called Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program. The three-phase program is funded by the governor, and will enable veterans to start their own businesses in Southwest Florida. The state was awarded a $1 million grant to split between five universities, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship, the University of West Florida (host), Florida Atlantic University, the University of North Florida, and Hillsborough Community College. The Institute for Entrepreneurship (with three of Florida Gulf Coast University’s faculty members from the Entrepreneurship and Engineering departments) has constructed the curriculum which will be used by all five universities.
For information on this innovative program, email Dr. Sandra Kauanui
Veterans may sign up at FloridaVetBiz.org
Activities are divided into three phases, online, on-site, and ongoing mentoring which is based on the Lean Startup.
The goal for the program is for veterans to start businesses, and the program is built to facilitate this metric. Once Phase two is complete, participants will be connected with mentors from the local community and the Florida Small Business Development Center to guide them through the next phase of building their business.