GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott recognized students and business leaders in Jacksonville and Gainesville with the Governor’s Young Entrepreneur Award. The Governor highlighted job creation at Elite Parking Services in Jacksonville earlier today and recognized CEO Dane Grey for his company’s success. Governor Scott also visited the University of Florida’s Innovation Hub to highlight successful startup companies. Elite Parking has created over 320 jobs since 2008 and plans to add 150 more employees this year. UF’s Innovation Hub is home to nearly 36 startup companies and has helped create over 760 jobs in the past four years.

Governor Rick Scott said, “We want Florida to be first in the nation for rising entrepreneurs to startup a business and launch innovative ideas. It is exciting to see so many of these young Floridians in Jacksonville and Gainesville achieve their goals by working hard and striving to be the best in their field.”

The following individuals received the Governor’s Young Entrepreneur Award:

Dane Grey, Elite Parking Service – Dane Grey launched his first business from his dorm room at Jacksonville University when he was 21 years old. While finishing his degree, Dane and a few friends ran a parking service called Elite Valet on campus. He then went on to work for Jacksonville International Airport after graduating and oversaw the facility’s on-site parking systems. Dane decided to connect his valet business in college with his current job at the airport to provide full service parking operations. The result was Elite Parking, a successful Jacksonville business with over 320 employees across the country and 60 in Jacksonville. Elite Parking is planning to expand this year and create 150 jobs in Jacksonville, Tallahassee, St Augustine and Orlando.

Aaron Cowley and Helena Cowley, Captozyme – Aaron Crowley graduated from the University of Florida and received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Kansas. He previously worked as a scientist and preclinical therapist at OxThera in Alachua County before launching his company Captozyme in 2009. Aaron’s wife, Helena, is the Chief Operating Operator of Captozyme. She has a master’s degree in Bioengineering and is also working on her MBA at the University of Florida. Helena previously worked at Volvo as a research engineer where her research led to two pending patents. Captozyme is a biotechnology company that develops enzymes to remove Oxolate, the most common component of kidney stones, from a consumer’s diet, and lower the risk of kidney illness.

Marcio Resende and Leandro Neves, RAPiD Genomics – Marcio and Leandro are co-founders of RAPiD Genomics, a DNA genotypic genetic data analysis company. RAPiD Genomics helps agribusinesses quickly breed and grow crops and livestock. The company began in 2012 at UF and had $2.7 million in net income just in its first two and a half years. Marcio currently serves as the Interim CEO and has a PhD in Genetics and Genomics from UF. Leandro is the RAPiD Executive Vice President and holds a PhD in Plant molecular Biology from UF.

Matthew Howland, Youth Combine – Almost 4 years ago, Matthew Howland had a goal to build an organization that combats child obesity. He decided to start a non-profit that focused on the values of hard work, education, and dedication through fitness programming and education. Today, his organization has expanded to 4 locations reaching over 700 youth. It has also provided opportunities for over 100 University of Florida undergraduates to gain experience interning in a STEM career field. Matthew plans to start a new company that will use technology to provide health programs to youth across the world.

Jose Luna, Eventplicity – Jose Luna co-founded Eventplicity with CEO Bryan Edelstein to develop a web-based software product to streamline the process of booking a private event at a restaurant. He has built products that have scaled to hundreds of thousands of active users. Jose has also been a mentor-in-residence at the Innovation Hub startup incubator and mentor for CareerSource Florida’s StartupQuest. Before joining Eventplicity, he was a Chief Technology Officer and partner in a mobile app development agency that he helped to build to a seven figure software consultancy business.

Adam Kinsey, Verigo – Adam Kinsey is the CEO and co-founder of Verigo, a company that develops and manufactures wireless tracking and monitoring technology for perishable supply chains. While working at Texas Instruments in 2012, he saw a new wireless platform to remedy problems he has seen in the quality of refrigerated supply chains. The next year, Adam and three co-founders started the company to help remedy the process of transporting pharmaceuticals and food. Verigo uses wireless, low-power tags to allow companies to keep track of factors like temperature using a tablet or smartphone. Adam graduated from UF with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

To learn more about the UF Innovation Hub, visit floridainnovationhub.ufl.edu/.

To learn more about the Governor’s Young Entrepreneur Award, visit HireFloridaGrads.com.

###

 

Comments are closed.