A new Broward County program has drawn hundreds of applications in southern Florida. Startup Quest is a new program being offered under a statewide grant through WorkForce One, reports the Sun Sentinel.
The program reads like a reverse accelerator of sorts. Not a “decelerator,” of course, but Startup Quest is targeting a different segment than a typical accelerator that vets young startups.
First off, Startup Quest is looking for college graduates or veterans who are out of work at any age.
Like most programs Startup Quest is fueled by a mentor network of established entrepreneurs and business people throughout the region. However, unlike other programs Startup Quest has also vetted patented ideas from Florida International University, Nova Southern University, University of Florida, and NASA.
The mentors are going to pick from the pool of chosen participants and assign them ideas to work on and hash out plans to bring these already-patented technology ideas to market. The program has already received 400 applications and 130 will be chosen to work on these projects.
The participants will formally gather once a week to hear from a variety of speakers. The rest of the time will be spent focusing on the projects and their commercialization plans.
The program will end with a “Shark Tank” style demo day where the participants will pitch their ideas to venture capitalists and other entrepreneurial leaders in the region.
They hope to start notifying participants next week.