Startup State: Florida Funders teams up with Florida Polytechnic University

Tampa's Florida Funders, a hybrid venture capital fund and crowdsourcing network, searches high and low for the best and brightest early-stage entrepreneurs within Florida's tech sector.
What better way to get a head start than with the next generation?
Florida Funders has joined forces with Florida Polytechnic University to work with students studying technology in its entrepreneurship program.

The partnership between Florida Funders and Florida Poly reflects both of their purposes.

Florida Funders' role in helping to transition the Sunshine State to the Startup State is to discover, fund, and create early-stage technology companies. Florida Poly is working to establish its reputation for developing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) talent.
"Discovering exceptional talent is an essential piece of the puzzle that allows local startups to go on to become successful, driving economic growth in the region," says Tom Wallace, Florida Funders Managing Partner. "This partnership with Florida's only STEM-focused university is pivotal in expanding Florida's technology ecosystem and driving the state's economy for years to come."
Through the partnership, anticipated to begin in earnest early next year, students will be assisted with career placement within Florida Funders' startup community.

Wallace says that the partnership creates an avenue for Florida Funders' members to collaborate with Florida Poly through its Capstone Design Program. The program provides students with the opportunity to work with real-world, open-ended, interdisciplinary challenges proposed by industrial and research project sponsors. Additionally, Florida Poly offers certificates in entrepreneurship so students can learn directly from Florida Funders' team via guest lectures.

Wallace says that Florida Funders' mission with the partnership is to attract and keep exceptional talent in-state.

"Ideally, Florida Poly graduates will go to work for one of the many great companies here in Florida, including startups," he says. "Perhaps they even become inspired to start their own company someday and forge a path for the next generation of tech companies that grow Florida even more."
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Read more articles by Allison Koehler.

Allison Koehler is a Cleveland-area native who now lives in Tampa by way of Detroit. She resides in Seminole Heights with her partner, Phil, and three children -- one human and two cats. When she isn't writing, she's watching pro football, listening to music, or streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime.