Photo: Rendering by the University of Florida
Dorm for budding entrepreneurs
University of Florida
To motivate students outside the classroom, UF has made way for an entrepreneurial dorm. Infinity Hall, a five-story, 97,000-sq.-ft. dorm being built under a public-private partnership between UF's Innovation Square and Signet Development, will offer living space for 308 students, as well as offices, collaboration lounges and a 3-D printing lab. About 20% of the space will be used for non-rent-generating purposes, says Ed Poppell, director of economic development at UF.
"It's not just another dorm. We put a premium on creating spaces for collaboration and team activities," he says. "Undergraduates who come to us with very, very creative ideas, sometimes with intellectual property, will have an environment and support systems to create businesses."
The residence hall is scheduled to open in August near campus at a new masterplanned community called Innovation Square. The community's cornerstone is a 48,000-sq.-ft. incubator for startups based on technologies coming out of UF.
By living within Innovation S quare, undergraduate students can more easily interact with faculty, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
"Most universities nationwide prohibit you from having a business in a dorm, and here we are encouraging it," Poppell says. "There's a large appetite out there for this kind of thing."
UF offers a master's program and MBA concentration in entrepreneurship through the Warrington College of Business. It also offers a certificate in new venture creation and has an Innovation Academy that allows students to minor in entrepreneurial topics.