Entrepreneurs have been known to fuel the train of American progress; they drive their dreams and are the backbone of the economy. In honor of their raw innovation and ingenuity, President Obama has declared November to be National Entrepreneurship Month. “We celebrate America’s innovators, support small businesses, and empower entrepreneurs to turn their visions into reality,” proclaims President Obama.
In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Month, the Veterans Business Outreach Center, VBOC, at Gulf Coast State College, is hosting Boots to Business Reboot, a no-cost two-day event to honor not only the savviness of American entrepreneurs but also the bravery and endurance of the American veterans. Boots to Business Reboot is an entrepreneurial training program for Veterans and Military Spouses. “Boots to Business Reboot is scheduled to highlight the second annual National Veterans Small Business Week.” According to Brenton Peacock, associate director for the VBOC, “This course is open to veterans and their families of all eras, including those in the National Guard and Reserves.” The event is November 6th and 7th in the Advanced Technology Center at Gulf Coast State College. The two-step training program by the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA, through public-private partnership with the Institute of Veterans and Military Families, the Marcus Foundation, and First Data Corporation will offer insight to those pursuing business ownership or other areas of self-employment. The experts at the event will encourage ideas such as the importance of a business plan and the core ideas of business concepts. SBA resources are available for those who wish to attend the event, including start-up capital, technical assistance, and contracting opportunities. For more information and to register, visit http://www.vboc.org. On Friday, lunch is included, so preregistration is required.
In Recognition of Their Innovative Products For Food Allergy Sufferers and Their Families
OCTOBER 2015 —
Governor Rick Scott and the state of Florida award Safe & Happy Family the 2015 Young Entrepreneur Award. “We are humbled and shocked to receive the Young Entrepreneur Award from Governor Scott’s office. This is not only a big win for us but a huge leap forward in educating the public about the emerging epidemic of food allergies.” – Holly Gardner
Safe & Happy Family recognized a quick rise to business success, but it all started without entrepreneurship or awards in mind. Founders Holly and Chris Gardner were motivated to take action upon learning their five-month-old son suffered from allergies to several major food groups. With fatal mistakes a constant threat, they looked everywhere for products that could help make dealing with severe food allergies more manageable but found nothing. In 2014, they decided to create the products they needed to raise their son.
Today the company offers over 50 products for families affected by food allergies, ranging from chocolate chip cookies to allergen-free cutting boards to the popular Allergy Mom’s Survival Kit. The ever-growing catalogue enables parents to keep life livable for kids who need a little extra love. As a company built for a singular health-conscious mission, Safe & Happy Family donates a portion of all proceeds to FARE: Food Allergy Research & Education. For more information, visit safehappyfamily.com
ABOUT THE YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR AWARD: Established in 2015, the Young Entrepreneur Award commends Floridians under the age of 35 who demonstrate innovations and leadership in business. The award aims to cultivate the development of emerging companies in the state of Florida and increase employment opportunities for Florida college graduates.
ABOUT SAFE & HAPPY FAMILY: Safe & Happy Family is the ultimate resource for families of food allergy sufferers, providing valuable education and products for the growing number of families affected by allergies to common foods like nuts, dairy, soy, and more. Safe & Happy Family guides parents through the fear of food allergies to a Safe & Happy home.
Engaging the Next Generation of Student Innovators & Entrepreneurs
Gulf Coast State College’s Millaway Institute for Entrepreneurship
, in collaboration with FSU Panama City, will host the Millennials’ Pitch Tournament on Saturday, October 17 at 9am at the GCSC Advanced Technology Center.
The public is invited to watch local students to pitch their ideas for innovative products or services to area entrepreneurs and judges in a “rapid tournament” format. Individuals and/or groups of students will compete for multiple cash awards (1st place – $250, 2nd place – $150, 3rd place – $100) and mentoring packages. The top ten winners will receive training sessions, product design/prototyping services and follow-up assistance from successful area entrepreneurs.
In order to compete in this free innovation arena, any actively enrolled full or part-time student(s) from GCSC, FSU-PC or any high school located in Bay, Gulf or Franklin counties had to submit an idea for a product or service that:
- Solves a problem in the real-world faced by a business and/or industry today.
- Addresses a social problem facing our community and beyond in a unique or novel way.
- Creates a new product, software program/app or service with the potential to create local jobs.
Participants will be scored on their idea and their presentation, which will give the them another real-world experience: you have to have a good idea and understand how to sell it. All in all, it should be an exciting way to spend a Saturday.