Broward College Announces Launch of Business Accelerator

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Broward College announced the launch of its business accelerator, to be located at the downtown Fort Lauderdale campus on Las Olas Boulevard.

 

“This marks an exciting time for startup companies in Broward County,” said J. David Armstrong, Jr., president of Broward College. “Our business community partners have shared with us the need for support beyond the initial planning and business plan phase. We listened, and our accelerator will provide wraparound services to budding entrepreneurs as they refine their businesses to seek funding.”

 

Business accelerators, like the one at Broward College, share some of the characteristics of incubators; however, the businesses in an accelerator have a solid business plan and are closer to launching products or ideas to market. The acceleration period is very short and intense, and is characterized by a structured program aimed at preparing business for venture capital funding. Sponsors, including Broward College, provide initial funding, work space, and expertise to small groups that can demonstrate a path to success. In return, the sponsors take a small equity stake in the new business. Pending business circumstances, the College may invest up to a 2 percent equity stake in a business which has graduated from the accelerator.

 

Bob Swindell, President / CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance said, “Our community leaders understand the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship as an economic engine driving growth. Broward College’s new business accelerator will be an important addition to South Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

 

South Florida is quickly emerging as a desired destination for start-ups and small businesses, with 139 companies on the Inc. 5000 list. Entrepreneurs consistently cite the climate, international flair and access to Latin America, lack of income tax, cheaper cost of living than Silicone Valley and New York City, and entertainment offerings as reasons to relocate and begin their businesses in the tri-county area.

 

“According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 10 percent of working Americans are self-employed and about 30 percent of American jobs are held by the self-employed and the people who work for them,” said Mason Jackson, President and CEO of CareerSource Broward. “Entrepreneurship is a career pathway that should not be overlooked, and Broward College is doing something about this path to the American Dream. This is helping people fill a lifelong dream of being their own boss and at the same time stimulating economic development and job growth.”

 

As the entrepreneur ecosystem continues to grow, the community must adapt to meet its needs. Business development programs from CareerSource Broward and others will partner with Broward College to create programming and provide mentorship and contacts to businesses across the South Florida corporate landscape through the accelerator. Curriculum will cover everything from coding and marketing to accounting and human resources, while the collaborative environment will foster the exchange of best practices and ideas across ventures. 


Located on the seventh floor, the new accelerator will continue building on the creative energy ignited by FAT Village and others with a split floorplan and characteristically cool features associated with the startup community. One side of the dedicated floor will cater to shared space and small meeting spaces surrounding a training and idea center with white boards, tables and décor to inspire creativity and camaraderie. The other side of the space will be outfitted for networking events and business presentations with access to an expansive veranda overlooking bustling Las Olas Boulevard.

The announcement comes on the heels of the success of the Innovation Hub at Broward College. In less than a year, Innovation Hub, directed by Enrique Triay with support from Professor Steven Gross, has generated significant activity. At the present time, there are 20 companies that reside — or have weekly contact with — the Innovation Hub, and many are capitalizing on the expertise provided by Triay and Professor Gross; business people who serve as consultants; and numerous students who actively are involved as interns in these companies. Two companies currently at Innovation Hub will be a part of Broward College’s new accelerator program.

 

For more information on the business accelerator, please contact Don Cook, executive director of marketing at (954) 201-7238 or dcook@broward.edu.

Trustworthy You Should Try Green Bar & Kitchen

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Flavorful, familiar and filling are the words that instantly come to mind when describing the menu at Green Bar & Kitchen (1075 SE 17th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.) The restaurant has managed to masterfully create plant-based dishes that walk a fine line of exotic and familiar. You will not find your standard vegetarian burger at this place. Instead you can attend “Taco Tuesday” or stop in on Wednesdays and enjoy a sweet and savory wonton which is filled with vegan cream cheese and one of Green Bar and Kitchen’s signature burger mixes.


Veggies Running Wild
The menu line up will leave you feeling like there is nothing off limits for Green Bar Kitchen, which is the overall goal. The owners Elena Pezzo and Charlie Grippo along with their new chef and director of operations, Adam Brigham want you to come over to the green side and the menu demonstrates that. Imagine chowing down on a chick’n salad sandwich that tastes exactly chicken and finding out that the only ingredients are: peas, soy protein, mayo celery, red onion, raisins and cranberries on millet/flax bread. Or imagine having plant-based version of loaded fries placed in front of you that are seasoned with chili, cheese and scallions.

“We really want to show people that they can actually go vegan and not feel like they are missing out,” Pezzo said.

It is our humble opinion that they accomplish that goal. While we can appreciate the new spices one might unearth while crossing over to a plant-based diet, there is a unique and long lasting effect that comes with being able to recreate dishes that you have eaten for years that end up being much better for you.

“You are not going to end up feeling tired or heavy after one of our dishes. You will have energy. That is how you should want to feel after a meal. You should be full and energized,” Brigham said.
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Don’t be afraid to give the dessert menu a try. While our past encounters with vegan desserts have left a strange after taste in our mouths, we are certain that won’t happen to you at Green Bar & Kitchen. We did the leg work. The restaurant’s baker Mikalea Barnes ,who admittedly is not vegan but just bakes that way, employs her dual palate when creating the restaurant’s signature desserts. She has earned the title of the “Non-Dairy Fairy.” You can find doughnuts, cupcakes, whoopie pies and soft serve ice cream. P.S. They also do brunch. You’re welcome.

Dinner snacks range from $3-$7. Soups and salads range from $5-$13. Burgers range from $9-$12. Tacos and bowls range from $10-$12.