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Florida Matters: USF Entrepreneurs

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Dez Williams, Mark Schreiner, Justified Films, Stuby
Clockwise from upper left: AquaMelon creator Dez Williams, NoMo Bands creator Jacqueline Darna, filmmaker Ryan Justice, and logo for "study buddy" app Stuby

WUSF’s University Beat has been doing something new this year – profiling entrepreneurs with ties to the University of South Florida.

That includes faculty, students and alumni who have started their own businesses, ranging from watermelon-flavored water and anti-nausea wristbands to apps and movie production companies.

Producer Mark Schreiner has been finding out about these entrepreneur’s struggles and successes, as well as how the lessons they’ve learned at USF have helped them take their ideas to the marketplace.

In the first half of the show, we speak to USF Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise Paul Sanberg about how incubators are critical in developing businesses for faculty and students.

Then, we hear some of the University Beat profiles of USF entrepreneurs Dez Williams (AquaMelon), William Rondon and Chad Townsend (Stuby), Jacqueline Darna (NoMo Bands), Taylor Lankford and Ahmed Hamed (NoFloodFlorida.com) and Ryan Justice (Justified Films). 

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Mark Schreiner has been the producer and reporter for "University Beat" on WUSF 89.7 FM since 2001 and on WUSF TV from 2007-2017. In addition to serving as a producer, reporter, host and assistant news director, he serves as intern coordinator for WUSF News.