Silicon Valley is coming to FAU’s backyard

Tech Runway is FAUs latest venture to foster high-tech startups on campus, RSVP to attend the launch for free on Friday, Oct. 24, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.

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Alexis Hayward | Web Assistant

Alexis Hayward | Web Assistant

Alexis Hayward | Web Assistant

On Friday, Oct. 17, the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship held its premiere event of the season – the VIP Launch of the Tech Runway at FAU, a 27,000 square-foot building in the research park north of the Boca Raton campus. Tech Runway is a formal program for mentoring entrepreneurs and their ventures based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Venture Mentoring System. New startup companies will be able to get funding, mentoring and office space at the facility.

Alexis Hayward | Web Assistant

Alexis Hayward | Web Assistant

On Oct. 24, from 4-6 p.m., FAU Tech Runway will be hosting a launch event at their new facility open to students, faculty, alumni and ‘community members’ of FAU.  The founders of Barefoot Wine will be speaking at the event, and you’ll also get a chance to meet the new ventures. You can RSVP here.

Any FAU student may apply to enter the Tech Runway with their startup company. The next application period ends in January. Greg Shugar, found of men’s neckwear company  The Tie Bar , was the introductory speaker at the event. Greg hosts an ‘Entrepreneurship Boot Camp’ designed specifically for students interested in entering their startup into the Adams Center’s annual Business Plan Competition, and eventually getting accepted into the Tech Runway.

Kimberly Gramm, co-founder of the Tech Runway, spoke about her “excitement for getting out of bed and working with brilliant students and entrepreneurs every day to solve problems and develop innovations.”

Alexis Hayward | Web Assistant

Alexis Hayward | Web Assistant

Kimberly also spoke to the 200 VIP attendees about the $1 million the Tech Runway has received from the state budget so far, and how much funds they need to complete their vision for the Tech Runway: $150,000 for the initial construction and $2.5 million for the next five years to fund 40 new startup companies each year with $25,000. The attendees, representing corporations or their own ventures headquartered within the area, could be potential donors to the incubator and help bridge the funding gap.

FAU President John Kelly also spoke at the event, detailing tours he took of similar programs within the ‘Research Triangle,’ a region encompassing 15 universities within central North Carolina, many with similar incubator programs. He encouraged FAU students to apply for the next round of funding with their startup companies.

FAU student Jan Bednar and his company Beda Box were featured as one of the five ‘vintage venture’ companies funded in the first offering by the Tech Runway. Jan and his company won the Adams Center’s annual Business Plan Competition in March of 2014, being awarded $36,000 for his efforts.