scraps incubator; opts for private-sector ventures
of Miami administrators have dropped a plan to build a high-tech incubator
on campus, saying students majoring in information technology will
be better trained by working with the private sector.
incubator would have hatched high-tech startups and was to serve as
a training ground for engineering students.
after weighing its costs and services against community resources,
officials say they decided in favor of using partnerships.
in the education business, not in the venture capital or incubator
business," said M. Lewis Temares, dean of the UM College of Engineering.
"If we can be the middle man and link students with someone who
can provide a service better than we can, they will be better off."
Temares said incubators have always existed in engineering but the
idea for a high-tech center took shape after students expressed the
need for a facility to help them create and launch projects.
far, he said, UM has established a partnership with Weston-based incubator
Semtor Inc. Students can intern there this fall, he said.
brings many facets to launch businesses to the table," said Harold
Gubnitsky, company chairman & CEO. "We offer a facility with
a communication infrastructure and help with business planning."
Gubnitsky says the company can get business models on-line in a rapid
fashion. In addition, he said, students can benefit from building
a network of alliance partners to cover accounting, legal and production
needs, among others.
is an awesome opportunity for college students. In a semester they
can see a company, starting from ground zero, move up in phases,"
Mr. Gubnitsky said. "Working with UM and sharing experiences
with students is a win-win situation for the local community as well
this year, Semtor nurses four or five startup companies, Mr. Gubnitsky
says. Its building has 9,000 square feet but will be expanded to 14,000,
Gubnitsky says Semtor invested money at UM to bring interns and support
the continuation of their projects.
Jackson, a business development executive for IBM and chair for One
Community One Goal's Information Technology Telecom task force, said
UM links between education and the information technology business
is right on the money.
a great idea," he said. "One Community One Goal research
projects identified the partnering of schools and businesses as essential
toward facilitating South Florida as an information technology hub."
Jackson said schools such as Florida Atlantic University, Florida
International University and Miami-Dade Community College all have
clearly outlined initiatives to identify the right skills for the
information technology curriculum.
Charles, chief information officer of Miami-based MIT Inc. and chair
of One Community One Goal's Business & Industrial Linkage Committee,
said there needs to be more accord among university plans for information
they go to industrial firms for help, they need to work among themselves
and present a united front to the private sector," Mr. Charles
said. "I would like to see some level of information technology
consortium among universities. We need to have a united front to be
competitive with other regions and schools, such as Georgia Tech in
Atlanta and MIT in Cambridge."
Curtis said the region also should focus on trade schools as a source
of potential information technology employees, and create certification
programs for them.
(954) 349-4240 or semtor.com; UM College of Engineering, (305) 284-2404.