Innovation Hub so far has led to 85 new jobs, $7.2 million in investments

The lobby of the University of Florida's Innovation Hub is shown in this Oct. 10, 2011 file photo.

Erica Brough/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 4:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 4:22 p.m.

Shadow Health moved out of the Innovation Hub at the University of Florida into downtown office space in August after growing from three employees to 24.

Gamedayr moved from a 100-plus-square-foot office in the Hub into one of Shadow Health's old offices, tripling its space, after the four founders brought on 10 part-time workers over the past year.

In all, the 25 companies that have been in the Innovation Hub business incubator created 85 jobs and brought in $7.2 million in private investment in the first 10 months of the program, according to a news release.

The numbers were reported to the U.S. Economic Development Administration as part of a requirement of the $8.2 million grant to help build the 48,000-square-foot hub on Southwest Second Avenue between campus and downtown Gainesville. The report covers the time the hub opened in October 2011 through the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

“We're well over 100 employees now,” said Jane Muir, hub director.

Hub tenants include numerous companies with information technology, mobile app and social networking technologies, as well as medical devices and other technologies. Most have an affiliation with UF.

Shadow Health, which is considered a graduate of the program, has further developed technology licensed from UF that allows medical and nursing students to interact by computer with an animated patient for training purposes.

Two of Gamedayr's four partners are UF graduates. The company publishes online reports geared to college sports fanatics, has partnered with a clothing company to provide team apparel and is working on organizing road trips through Fabulous Coach Lines, said Ricky Coston, chief communications officer.

The company has 30 writers at various colleges around the country and is recruiting writers at other schools, he said.

Gamedayr last year garnered $250,000 in financing from a private investor in Oklahoma, Coston said.

Muir said many of the hub companies' investments are confidential.

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