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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Aug. 21, 201905:10 AM EST

UNF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation announces first cohort

Five of the 14 companies are in the health care industry.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

With the start of the 2019 fall term at the University of North Florida, 14 entrepreneurs start in the institution’s first cohort at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The center, which opened this year in The Barnett at 112 W. Adams St. Downtown, provides a yearlong development program for early-stage entrepreneurs. Master’s level classes also will be taught at the center.

More than 100 companies applied for the program. They were selected by an advisory board led by Karen Bowling, director of the center.

The 14 companies will have access to coworking space in the building, business development assistance from staff, advisers and mentors as well as UNF interns.

Five of the 14 companies are in the health care industry.

“Health care is huge (in Jacksonville), and we looked at the strength of our university system and with the Brooks College of Health, it made all the sense for us to figure out how we can help the health care entrepreneurs,” Bowling said.

Although the program isn’t specifically designed for UNF students and alumni, Bowling said the center helps keep entrepreneurial talent in Jacksonville, rather than losing it to a larger city.

“I would love to pick a university that has an entrepreneurship center so that when I graduate, if I want to start my own business, there’s a progression, there’s a place to go,” Bowling said. “I don’t have to leave town to go to an entrepreneurship center. I don’t have to leave town to find somebody who can help me build that business.”

These are the 14 companies:

AccessABLE Aging LLC 

Founder: Ayesha Harris

AccessABLE Aging LLC is a senior home safety consulting business with an occupational therapy background. It provides senior home safety assessments and home modification solutions. Its mission is to decrease the risk of patient falls before they happen. There are certified aging in place contractors in Jacksonville, but none have an occupational therapy background.

Adeleigh’s Treasure Natural Skin & Hair Care 

Founder: Alexis Peterson

Adeleigh’s Treasure is a plant-based skin and hair care products provider. The products can help those who with eczema, psoriasis, alopecia and other conditions. The products are used locally by hair stylists, massage therapists and estheticians. The company’s goal is to grow and provide holistic health and wellness services through herbal and plant-based solutions. It also seeks to educate people on the benefits of plant-based beauty care products. The company also produced a line of aromatherapy products designed for those with PTSD, depression, insomnia and low self-esteem.

Amato Health

Founder: Hemen Dalal

A web-based solution that allows consumers to research and compare health care procedures between facilities. It integrates hospital and patient coverage data to provide out-of-pocket financial estimates. It also provides access to ancillary services.


Founder: Molly Beard

Artivity is an art club, art technique lesson, and a hands-on creative solution designed for all ages. It’s a subscription-based, website-driven, art club in a box. It allows young children the opportunity to learn and work alongside an adult while kids, tweens teens and adults of all skill levels can enhance and hone their art techniques and knowledge.


Founder: Timothy Hogg

AugLab is a virtual and augmented reality software development agency, specializing in applications for business. It focuses on innovative collaboration and continuing education. Its core services include training and mentoring future XR developers, developing applications, and opening up a digital marketplace to other development agencies to showcase and sell their applications.


Founder: Paul Brown

Beem eliminates the need for paper checks by allowing service providers to collect payments from customers instantly, reducing the risk of fraud, stealing and bad/lost checks. Beem’s mission is to optimize the day-to-day operations of service industry companies.

Baby Boldly

Founders: Megan Mangiaracino, Natalie McBride

Baby Boldly is launching Belly Bag, a packed hospital birth bag for expecting mothers. It is also developing a “return to work” package that would walk new mothers through necessary steps to be able to return to their job after having a baby.

Grow Your Money Tree

Founder: Barbara James

Teaches the basics of money management to those interested in becoming better managers of their finances. Shows users how to create and live on a budget, pay off debt and create an emergency fund. It offers workshops and labs to close the learning gap on handling everyday finances.

Ocean Disc Ventures

Founder: John Lyons

Migration of a military-based knowledge management system into civil use for first responders.

Pet Protect LLC

Founder: Gregory Kosmala

An environmentally friendly electronic device that repels insects, bugs, worms and gastropods from food, stored food, water and garbage waste. It could be adapted for residential and commercial buildings. With the product, there’s no need to use pesticides.

Prodigy Kid LLC

Founder: Jeffery Mansen

A product for parents to help their kids learn and understand 40 principles of success. The company wrote a book called “The Prodigy Kid,” and produced the “Prodigy Kid Challenge,” which is an interactive way for parents and kids to learn the success mind-set. The goal is to get kids reading, writing and using affirmations and the principles in their lives.

Synergena International, Inc.

Founder: Robert Duthie

Synergena developed and patented SIAD (Synergistic Isogenous Active Decontamination), a nanophotonic, multiwave technology that’s used in medical and environmental decontamination, purification and sterilization applications. It’s available in the form of a photonic device, which is effective against microbial agents found in air, liquid and particles.


Founder: Jeremy Vaughan

Tauruseer delivers a fully automated risk management framework that equips users in the digital economy with the operational control and efficiency to avoid vulnerability, performance or noncompliance problems.

Urban SDK

Founder: Drew Messer

Urban SDK is a digital government platform for data management, collaboration, and measurement. It provides software to cities, state organizations and federal departments to turn data into an asset for digital policy, services, infrastructure and funding requests. Government leaders use the platform to modernize data management, demonstrate business transformation goals, lower the risk of testing new technologies and make the case for sustained funding.

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