We interviewed new board member Stacy Burrell to learn about his love of Gainesville, nature and innovation. [click here to read more]
Tell us about yourself and how you eventually came to the startup and tech community. I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan and my education and career has allowed me to live in a variety of cities including Chicago, New York, Northern California, Toronto, South Florida, and Seattle. My background is finance and I’ve worked in industries as varied as Automotive, Energy, Retail, and, of course, Tech. I am currently the Head of Finance for Fracture Inc where I’m responsible for all things finance and accounting related. I joined Fracture and relocated to Gainesville two and half years ago from Seattle where I worked for Amazon. On the personal side, I’m a “Girl Dad” to two adult daughters. My hobbies and interests include reading, travel, nature, photography, and being a foodie. I am passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship as a means to improve people and community. Also, developing human potential is a big passion for me as everyone has gifts to share and the world is a better place when people can fully express what they have to offer.
Tell us about your work at Fracture and what you most love about the company. My role at Fracture has given me the opportunity to build the company’s finance and accounting team and processes. Yes, this involves spreadsheets, number crunching, and budgets. However, being a key member of the leadership team and helping to drive the long-term growth and strategy is the real value my role provides. What attracted me to Fracture was the company’s commitment to a positive culture, sustainability, and a commitment to the Gainesville community. Fracture is an example of being successful both financially and socially conscious.
How did you find out about startGNV and how long you’ve been on the board? Two months after moving to Gainesville, I attended CelebrateGNV in 2019 at the Cade Museum. That was my first exposure to startGNV and the local tech scene. Unfortunately, COVID soon hit, but I was able to follow the happenings around Gainesville via the newsletter. As things opened back up, I was looking for a way to become more involved in the community. I saw the call for new board members in late 2021 and decided to apply. Thankfully, I was approved and am now a new board member as of February 2022. I work on the Product and Talent committee and am looking to contribute however my skills and experience can be of service.
What do you love about the Gainesville innovation ecosystem? While I’m fairly new to the area, what has impressed me about the innovation ecosystem in Gainesville is the level of energy and collaboration. The diversity of participants is remarkable in age range, interests, and backgrounds which is key in growing an innovation ecosystem that is sustainable over the long run. With UF and Santa Fe as anchors, I believe the Gainesville innovation ecosystem is well positioned to be a major force over the next few years.
What do you hope to see in the ecosystem for the future? Of course, growth in the number of start-ups. Yet, despite the shift to remote work, I would love to see more graduates staying in Gainesville and to attract talent from around the country, and world, to the Gainesville area to create a greater “flywheel” effect on the community. What would be awesome is for Gainesville to one day host a major innovation conference or event. Our own version of SXSW, Lean Startup, or Innov8rs.
What are the best things about living and working in Gainesville? Having grown up in Michigan, I’d say the weather right off the bat. What I’ve loved about living in Gainesville is the combination of green spaces, culture, restaurants, and hang out spots. There is something here for everyone and, despite game day traffic sometimes, everything is close by and accessible.
Any suggestions for someone who’d like to get involved in the innovation scene here? My suggestion is to dive right in and attend events and participate. Gainesville in general, and the innovation community is very friendly and welcoming. So finding a way to become involved is fairly easy.