Innovation Square

    Thank you to Jane Muir, director of Gainesville’s Innovation Hub, for her outstanding presentation at our Gainesville/Alachua County Association of Realtors (GACAR) General Membership meeting last week.

    She was charming, smart and infectiously passionate when speaking of the Hub’s successes. All I can say is that Gainesville is fortunate to have a community of bright minds committed to “bringing research and business together to inspire minds to think bigger,” as Muir said.

    She then went on to describe Innovation Square, which will be “designed to bring all the elements together to empower forward thinking people, companies and entrepreneurs to create, develop and commercialize their life changing discoveries, while enjoying true town living for an exceptional quality of life.” The Innovation Hub will be the center of the 40-acre Innovation Square development once the project is complete.

    Currently, the Innovation Hub at UF opened last fall and the Innovation Hub at SW 2nd Ave. is slated to begin construction later this year. In early 2013,Trimark Properties estimates that building will begin on the UF INSPIREation Hall. It will be a dormitory for UF students who are aspiring entrepreneurs.

    The bottom line message for us that day was opportunity! Historically, a large percentage of UF graduates have wanted to stay in Gainesville and start their careers. Now, many graduates and other entrepreneurs will have that opportunity. The Hub will be a business “incubator,” a facility that provides workspace, coaching and support services to entrepreneurs and fledgling startup businesses. Who benefits? All of us!

    I, for one, will be contacting Jane very soon to organize a tour of the Innovation Hub for my fellow professionals.

    One of the advantages of being a realtor is having access to the most current information affecting our communities. Opportunities to attend presentations like this abound here in Gainesville, primarily due to partnerships created through the University of Florida and businesses in and around Gainesville/Alachua County. It’s not just presentations. Our local community provides many chances to collaborate with people whose talents and skills complement our own.

    For example: my husband, Peter McKay is the Business Librarian at the University of Florida. Recently, he met with Jane and her staff to plan a workshop for Innovation Hub tenants to teach them how to use online market research sources in the UF Business Library. These resources will help them commercialize their products.

    Anyone in Gainesville can visit Library West to use UF’s print or online subscriptions.

    Go Gators!!!

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