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FloridaWorks, in conjunction with Santa Fe Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED), provided more than 40 high school students with a 10-week training seminar on technology and its evolving role in entrepreneurship development.

Successful entrepreneurs, chief executive officers and community leaders introduced themselves to the TechQuest youth, sharing personal stories of growth and success and discussing their individual invention and/or start-up companies. Discussion leaders featured Jamie Grooms, co-founder and former CEO of Regeneration Technologies and Axogen; Bryan Da Frota, CEO of Prioria Robotics, Inc.; Eric Buffkin, co-founder and president of eTect; Randy Scott, former CEO of Novamin Technology Inc., and many more. All students were presented with an iPad to enhance their communication, research, writing, technology and financial literacy skills.

Following the 10-week session, students will engage in a collaborative project with goals of heightening their voice and presence in their surrounding community. They will also participate in full-time internship opportunities working for local businesses and start-up companies. Upon completion of this program, all students will have completed the application process with Santa Fe College.

“This program was a natural fit for Santa Fe College as we are invested, both in the local innovation community, and in serving the needs of our diverse constituents district-wide. This opportunity to help bring technology and entrepreneurial training to students from challenging backgrounds was extremely appealing,” said Dug Jones, assistant vice-president of economic development at Santa Fe College. “FloridaWorks has been a great workforce training partner for years, and now New Beginnings Ventures has enhanced the program as a strong private sector partner.”

Angela Pate, executive director of FloridaWorks, and Jones will present the students with certificates acknowledging their successful completion of the training program at the GTEC 10th anniversary celebration.

“It was important to remind the young participants that entrepreneurship drives responsibility for community awareness. This begins by acknowledging the reality that each have started their own company called Me, Inc,” said New Beginnings Venture founder David Massias.  “It has been a pleasure to see each participant take the initiative to develop their respective Me, Inc.”