We are taking this opportunity to change the organization’s name to startGNV – keeping the core spirit while being more inclusive of our broader audience.
Permit us a brief walk through recent history.
In early 2018, startupGNV was born as the reboot of a previously existing entrepreneurial support organization, GAIN (Gainesville Area Innovation Network). The new brand reflected a slew of other significant changes:
– in leadership (from a full-time Executive Director to a “working board” of hands-on volunteers)
– in model (from membership-based to program-driven)
– in focus (from all forms of entrepreneurship to specifically focus on scalable/high-growth startups)
–in programs (100% new lineup of events and initiatives)
As written in that announcement, the name was meant to enshrine a "laser-focus" on "a new breed of startups has emerged that cherry-picks the best practices of Silicon Valley while channeling Gainesville’s unique soul of diversity, creativity, and quality of life.” That momentum led to a successful first year as startupGNV, culminating in the inaugural CelebrateGNV toast in November 2018.
A core principle of that first startupGNV Board of Directors was “complement, don’t compete”. This took on a new meaning in December 2018, when two organizations with a similar mission offered to hang up the proverbial boots and throw full support behind startupGNV as the united front for not just the local startup community, but the tech community as well. With the support of the Gainesville Tech Association (a non-profit started by Aaron Dixon focused on professionals in product development, engineering, and the maker community), and the Tech Council (an initiative of the Greater Gainesville Chamber focused on tech companies and the leaders thereof), startupGNV entered 2019 with a groundswell of local enthusiasm.
One minor problem – that shiny new name was suddenly a bit limiting. We let it ride for a year and a half, but today, alongside the exciting launch of the new community portal, we are taking this opportunity to change the organization’s name to startGNV – keeping the core spirit while being more inclusive of our broader audience.
As with the relaunch from GAIN, this name change again signifies a new era with other changes in leadership, model, constituency, and programs – albeit more of an iteration vs a full reboot.
– We now have a professional Program Director, Lauren Hemingway.
– We now maintain multiple web products in addition to our programs and events.
– We now focus on serving the tech community in addition to the startup community.
–We continue to launch new programs, including virtual events in the face of COVID-19.
With a new name and a new website, we're excited to broaden our reach to support the Greater Gainesville innovation ecosystem.
The 2020 startGNV Board of Directors