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Florida Gulf Coast University Eagle Entrepreneur Stories

Student success is what we do

We use validated and scientific approaches to entrepreneurship that our students can attest to.


FGCU Entrepreneurship Major Jade Gibson started Jade Strings

Jade Gibson - Musician

Musician turned entrepreneur, Jade Gibson ('19), turned her passion for playing music into a successful luxury wedding and event entertainment company. With the knowledge gained through classes and mentoring, Jade now has over 200 clients .

John Ciocca Creator of youBelong App

John Ciocca - App Developer

John Ciocca ('22) is a Runway Program Participant, an Entrepreneurship Major, and an award winning app developer with the hope of making the internet a safe place for everyone with his startup, youBelong .

“The hands-on aspect of the education you get at FGCU is incredible. It's great when you have professors willing to put in the extra time to help you outside class.”

— Nick Vargas
Project Management System Administrator at Hertz Corp.
Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Studies B.A. '19

FGCU Entrepreneurship Major Corey Umstott started Eagle Automotive Repair

Corey Umstott - Mechanic

Marine Corps Veteran, Corey Umstott ('20), had a dream of owning an auto repair shop one day, and through the FGCU Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program, Corey now owns a profitable mobile auto repair company called Eagle Auto Repair .

Emily Ennis Creator of Safe Driving Toolkit

Emily Ennis - Activist

Emily Ennis ('20) is on a mission to stop distracted driving in it's tracks. As a victim of a distracted driving incident herself, Emily recreated her experience in virtual reality to help people see the trauma associated with looking away from the wheel.


Andrew Townsend Owner of Cattyshack Cafe

Andrew Townsend - Advocate

Through the FGCU Alumni Runway Program, Andrew Townsend ('18) and his fiancée, Amber Redfern, found a way to reduce feline euthanasia rates and give the community a fun place to hang out with cats with their company, Cattyshack Café .

Makenzie Whitaker and Olive the Pig creator of Kidney Kronicles

Makenzie Whitaker - Author

Makenzie Whitaker ('19) is a Runway Program Participant, an English Major with an Entrepreneurship Minor, and kidney transplant survivor with a dream of helping kids and families through the process of taking on diseases like the one she had with her book, The Kidney Kronicles .