UF's 'Innovation Hub' turns big ideas into money - FOX 35 News Orlando

UF's 'Innovation Hub' turns big ideas into money

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So you finally have that million dollar idea? Now what do you do?

There is a place at the University of Florida that turns ideas into big money. It helps start-up companies become job-creating machines. It's called the Florida Innovation Hub. A mural inside the Florida Innovation Hub at UF shows amazing break-throughs made on the Gainesville campus -- algae being used to treat cancer, surfaces to prevent MRSA infections based on the design of a shark's skin, and much more.

"Our research creates many, many ideas. The question is where do you take these ideas?" says Win Phillips is the university's COO.

Phillips says 60,000 students and staff on campus constantly generate ideas. The Hub turns ideas into businesses.

"There's a place to go to talk to people about it. There's a place to get advice, so that instead of saying 'This is too hard, too difficult, I don't know where to go!'  You go here!" he says.

The Hub gives entrepreneurs tools to succeed, access to work space, seminars, attorneys and mentors.

"You need people around you who talk the same language and worry about the same things."

Jane Muir is the director.

"New ideas are happening in almost every discipline imaginable, and the power of that idea is all about the person who gets behind it."

The business incubator started two years ago with nine start-ups. Since then, it has helped 25 new companies create 250 jobs. The start-ups here include a company working to restore mobility to people with spinal injuries. Another is using genetics to help farmers improve breeding of plants. A third is working to protect financial information from thieves.

"There's no question that the University of Florida is on the move in the research business, in the tech transfer business, in the start-up business, and in the jobs business," Phillips says.

The Innovation Hub is just getting warmed up when it comes to nurturing new ideas. They are already talking about building a phase two so they'll have more space to help more small companies grow and succeed.

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