The FGCU Student and Alumni Business Incubator
The Runway Program is a free incubator open to students and alumni that are accepted to the program. Currently located at the FGCU Emergent Technologies Institute Building, accepted participants have access to two 1,300 ft2 shared work spaces, cubicles, and Entrepreneurship Faculty, Staff, and Mentors.
Participants meet with a Program Advisor once a week to receive feedback, and to set goals for the following week. The program follows the Lean Start-Up process. Participants identify and validate the existence of a problem or opportunity, and then develop solutions and a plan that they can test the market with. At the end of the 16 week program, student participants have the opportunity to pitch for equity-free seed funding to launch their businesses.
STUDENT application ALUMNI APPLICATION
of FGCU's majors are represented in the Runway Program.
awarded to FGCU student startups.
Over 200 Students
have been a part of the Runway Program since Fall 2016.
Meet Our Runway Program Entrepreneurs
Founder and President of Liftup Life, Austin is a recent recipient of $5,000 in seed funding to further the development of his company. Liftup is made up of Austin and his partner Michael Amen. They are currently generating revenue, and have positively impacted the lives of over 200 people.Learn More
Ryan is the creator of FindArtists.Net, a platform that helps artists sell their art. He first noticed the problem at an art fair in Southwest Florida. Ryan quickly grew a Facebook group, focused around the problem, to over 4,000 members in only one month. His platform development was funded in Spring 2018, and will be online in early August 2018.
Co-Founder and Co-Creator of RoomDig, the one-of-a-kind housing app for college students. Jakub and his team are generating revenue, and represented FGCU and won the State Competition at the 2018 Governors Cup. They have been in business for a little over a year and have already helped thousands of college students find the best housing options.Learn More
2017-2018 Student Runway Program Stats
72 Ventures Started
Students completed 80 hours at the IFE, created a business plan, and built a prototype
29 Ventures Pitched
Students pitched to an independent investment committee
20 Ventures Funded
Students were awarded seed funding to launch their businesses
LLC Community and Benefits FAQs
Where is it located?Toggle More Info
What will participants do?Toggle More Info
What classes do participants take?Toggle More Info
What is the Runway Program?Toggle More Info
Faculty and Staff ParticipationToggle More Info
Can I select my roommate?Toggle More Info
What if I don’t like it?Toggle More Info
Can I still be part of the FYRE program?Toggle More Info
I'm interested in participating, what do I do now?Toggle More Info
Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program
Serving those who served our countryNearly one in four active duty service members and veterans want to open and operate their own business. Opportunity, freedom and solving problems attract them to the challenge of owning a business. Are you one of them?
The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program offers qualifying veterans tuition-free, online and on-campus instruction in the nationally-recognized Lean Startup Method. Designed to work around your busy schedule, the program provides you instruction at one of network our partners’ campuses, access to local resources such as business leaders and mentors, and much more.
The program offers three learning pathways in entrepreneurship and includes a year round self paced online program, in-person open enrollment workshops in the Fall, and the advanced program offered in the Spring for fifteen weeks. The advanced program has limited slots, so be sure to sign up early!
The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program is free to Veterans who have been honorably discharged, active guard/reserve, active duty within one year of separation, and reside in Florida.
in our Compassionate Sharktank.
$88,000 was awarded in seed funding to start their ventures
3 In Kind
$6,000 was awarded in pro bono marketing services and laptop computers.
Entrepreneurship Mentor Program
The secret to our success
This is where the magic happens! Our community mentors are the key drivers of success in all of our entrepreneurship programs. Our students receive team mentoring in the classroom and individual mentoring in our Runway Program, Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community, and Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program. With backgrounds ranging from engineers and designers to CEOs and directors, our mentors provide our students, veterans, and alumni with a wealth of experiential knowledge that can only be found right here in Southwest Florida.
New Venture Lab
The capstone course in the Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Degree, New Venture Lab is a course highly dependent on our mentor community. Teams of 5-7 students work together to develop a functional business plan for a solution that solves a proble. Mentors work closely to provide assistance with teams' financials, manufacturing, design, packaging, software development, and more. If you are interested in becoming a mentor for this class click Get Involved.Get Involved
The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program (VFEP) is a one of a kind program in the state of Florida. Although several Florida Universities are partners of the VFEP, Florida Gulf Coast University is the only one to award participants with a one on one mentor experience and substantial seed funding for veterans to launch their businesses. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, click More Information. If you would like to learn more about VFEP, click Get Involved.GET INVOLVED
Runway & LLC Programs
The FGCU Runway Program and Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community (LLC) are two of our flagship university-wide prgrams. Students from all backgrounds and disciplines work to develop a business solution to a real problem. The outcome of the Runway Program is for participants to actually start a business. Students in the LLC will be able to take ideas that they develop into the Runway Program, click Get Involved.GET INVOLVED
Faculty Fellows Program
Spreading entrepreneurship through university collaboration
- Establishes partnerships with other departments throughout the University to promote campus-wide entrepreneurship.
- Offers stipends for faculty to integrate entrepreneurship coursework into their home discipline.
- Non-entrepreneurship faculty work alongside entrepreneurship faculty to develop unique curriculum.
- Interdisciplinary work is showcased and celebrated on campus.
The 2017-2018 Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows
|McManus, Greg||Chemistry and Physicsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mirjafari, Arsalan||Chemistry and Physicsemail@example.com|
|Frost, Laura||Chemistry and Physics / STEMfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Hoyt, Eugene||Computer Information Systemsemail@example.com|
|Gilbert, Shelby||Curriculum, Instruction and Culturefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Salmond, Michael||Digital Mediaemail@example.com|
|Kenny, Robert||Educational Technologyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kim, Jong-Yeop||Environmental Engineeringemail@example.com|
|Kleeger, Jeff||Justice Studiesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Nairruti, Jani||Macro Social Workemail@example.com|
|Connor, Annemarie||Rehabilitation Servicesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Collins, Michael||Resort & Hospitality Managementemail@example.com|
|Werder, Kelly||Resort & Hospitality Managementfirstname.lastname@example.org|
"FGCU’s entrepreneurs-in-training are dreaming big – but they’re also learning to slug it out in the fiercely competitive world of innovation and invention."
-Dick Hogan, FGCU360