What is Startup Quest?

Sign Up Below !

Startup Quest® is a nationally-recognized 10-session weekly entrepreneurship program that pairs participants with seasoned entrepreneur mentors to create a business plan and investor pitch. Participants are placed onto teams led by an experienced business mentor and develop business plans for simulated companies based on real technologies generated by a Florida university, federal laboratories, or NASA.

Through Startup Quest, you will:

  • Gain valuable entrepreneurial skills
  • Learn how to write a business plan and do a market analysis
  • Collaborate in a team environment,
  • Meet, network and learn from experienced entrepreneurs/mentors
  • Compete in an investor pitch contest with awards

How do I participate?

To participate in the 2017 Gainesville Startup Quest, you’ll need to complete three steps:

  1. Confirm you are eligible
  2. RSVP for the Introductory Workshop
  3. Complete the interest form below

Am I eligible?

Startup Quest exposes educated professionals the processes required to form a startup company and develop a commercialization strategy for innovative technologies. Applicants should have:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher or
  • Associate degree with relevant real-world business or entrepreneurship experience
  • Tuition Payment of $2500* — Click Here to Pay Now

*Scholarships may be available for individuals who qualify. See below.

Introductory Workshop

Each Startup Quest cohort starts with an Introductory Workshop. This workshop is open to the public and anyone interested in the program. At this workshop, you will:

  • Review educational prerequisites and scholarship eligibility criteria.
  • Hear from past participants and mentors.
  • Learn more about the curriculum and training schedule.

There are four more public Startup Quest Information Sessions coming up. Please come!

CareerSource North Central Florida Career Center
10 NW 6th St, Gainesville FL

Monday   April 17 at 9:30 AM
Tuesday   April 18 at 9:00 AM
Monday   April 24 at 10 AM
         (between Session 1 & 2, so you will be assigned to an existing team)
Monday    May 1 at 10 AM
         (between Session 1 & 2, so you will be assigned to an existing team)

The original public Startup Quest Information Session (April 12) has passed. See  prior information on the link below to read more about the program.

April 12 Startup Quest Information Session

Then, come to one of the additional Informational Sessions shown above to still learn about the program.

Class Sessions & Locations

Session 0 Locations: Current Introductory Workshop are open to the community and will be hosted at CareerSource NCFL Career Center.
Sessions 1-9 Locations (for accepted participants). These sessions will be hosted at the CareerSource NCFL Gainesville career center at 10 NW Sixth Street.
Session 10: This session will be open to the public and will be hosted at a public venue. That venue will be announced in shortly.

Dates and descriptions of each session:
4/12, 4/17, 4/18, 4/24 and 5/1  Session 0: Introductory Workshop 
Learn about Startup Quest and it’s goals, technologies, and eligibility requirements.

4/19/17 – Session 1: Technology Matching and Mentor Introduction
A four-hour event where you get to know your Mentors, fellow participants and the technology you’ll be using.

4/26/17 – Session 2: Understanding the value proposition of an idea
Become versed in discovering the market value and potential applications of your assigned technology.

5/3/17 – Session 3: Market analysis and strategy
Understand the applications of your technology; where it fits in the competitive landscape, its benefits, barriers to entry, and it’s potential customers.

5/10/17 – Session 4: Commercialization strategies and Intellectual Property
Learn the processes required for successful commercialization; steps for product development & testing, regulatory requirements, milestones, and timelines.

5/17/17 – Session 5: Financial requirements for bringing a product to market
Develop a 3-5 year financial projection based on written assumptions about development costs, product pricing, market acceptance and profitability expectations.

5/24/17 – Session 6: Company pitch examples
Take a detailed look at the structure & organization of an Investor Presentation

5/31/17 – Session 7: Corporate structures and forming the management team
Learn about different corporate cultures and adopt what’s most appropriate for your technology.

6/7/17 – Session 8: Sources of funding
Explore the various funding opportunities available for startups wanting to commercialize a technology.

6/14/17 – Session 9: Business Plan Submission and Work Session
Meet on-site with your mentors to finalize the business plans and practice for the Investor Presentations.

6/21/17 – Session 10: The Investor Pitch Contest
Present your chosen technology and business plan to a panel of judges representing investors, successful entrepreneurs and other experts in the gala finale of the Startup Quest program.

Are there scholarships?

Scholarships are available through CareerSource North Central Florida (NCFL), the Alachua-Bradford Local Area Workforce Board, for long-term unemployed and underemployed individuals.

Visit CareerSourceNCFL.com/StartupQuestGainesville to learn more about eligibility requirements, start an application for a scholarship, or join us for an Introductory Workshop.

Representatives from CareerSource NCFL will be on-hand to help assist with applications.

Contact our Participant Coordinator, Bryan Eastman for more information at

Startup Quest does not currently offer private financing.

How can I get started?

To learn more about Startup Quest or start your enrollment in the program, fill out the form below.

Ready to engage Startup Quest in your area?

Name (required)

Email (required)

Phone (required)

Your Location (required)

Your Role / Potential Role in the program