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3 posts from January 8, 2013

January 08, 2013

Founder Institute may open accelerator in Tampa

The Founder Institute (www.fi.co), the Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator with over 650 graduate companies from five continents, said Tuesday that it is exploring a chapter launch in Tampa. Through the Founder Institute’s part-time four-month program, existing and prospective founders can launch a company a company while not being required to quit their day job. Those wanting to learn more can fill out an interest form at http://fi.co/apply/tampa by Jan. 27, or attend a free upcoming Founder Institute event at CoWorkTampa (Garcia & Vega Cigar Factory, 3104 North Armenia Ave, Suite 2, Tampa): An informational session on Tuesday Jan. 15 at 6:30 (http://fi.co/e/2351) or a Startup Ideation Bootcamp on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 6:30pm (http://fi.co/e/2350)

“Our research shows that Florida is a promising emerging market for new tech companies,” says Adeo Ressi, founder and CEO of the Founder Institute.

South Broward SCORE offers startup boot camp, workshop on import-export principles

South Broward SCORE will offer several workshops in the coming months geared to helping startups test their ideas and giving small business owners the tools to import and export goods and learn the essentials of sales and marketing.

The workshops are led by SCORE volunteers, who are either retired business owners or are currently in business, the organization said.

In January, South Broward SCORE will offer a series of five weekly workshops, beginning from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, titled “Simple Steps - A business boot camp for startups.”  The cost is $100.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28, the organization will hold a workshop on Import/Export principles. The cost is $40.

To learn more about the workshops and sign up, visit www.southbroward.score.org.


College Hunks franchise drives founder's vision back to Miami


After spending a semester studying the company College Hunks Hauling Junk in an Entrepreneurship Consulting Class at the University of Miami, two UM alumni made the jump and opened their own College Hunks Hauling Junk franchise at 31 SE 5th St. in Miami. Christopher Poore and Ron Rick, shown in photo above, graduated from UM in 2012 with degrees in Entrepreneurship.

In a way, it's coming full circle. In 2003, founder and CEO Omar Soliman, while a senior at UM, won first place and $10,000 in the university's business plan competition for College Hunks Hauling Junk.  He went on to found CollegeHunks Hauling Junk with long-time friend Nick Friedman and a cargo van he borrowed from his mother. The award-winning company is based in Tampa, and today there are franchises around the country. The new Miami location is the 46th franchise in the network and the fifth location in Florida. “Miami will always hold a special place in our heart,” said Soliman. 

Read Alexandra Leon's story about South Florida college students, including Poore and Rick, who have started businesses during or immediately after college.

Photo courtesy of SteveBoxall.com