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USF entrepreneurs

AbleNook, an expandable, customized modular dwelling.
AbleNook

In a nondescript warehouse in Tampa's Ybor City, a young company is in the process of creating a new kind of modular home that could change both luxury living and post-hurricane shelters.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

The proverb “necessity is the mother of invention” is especially true in the case of Colette Glover-Hannah.

The latest entry into University Beat's series on entrepreneurs with ties to the University of South Florida – in this case, a self-proclaimed “mompreneur” – came up with the idea of her company, Hannah’s Shoebox  because of the needs of her own daughter, Elois, when she was a pre-teenager.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

When Adriana Florez’s family came to the U.S. from Colombia a little over a decade ago, each family member was only allowed to bring two bags. The night before they set off, she caught her mother packing an empanada maker. 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

While Professor Yogi Goswami holds 22 U.S. patents, including many related to solar energy, it’s his creation of a device driven by the health of his children that he might end up as his most lasting legacy.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

When Phillip Furman received his masters degree in microbiology from the University of South Florida in 1972, he didn't realize he was starting on a path that would lead him to developing antiviral drugs that treat diseases like HIV and hepatitis B and C. 

He also didn't realize that path would eventually put him in the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Dez Williams, Mark Schreiner, Justified Films, 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.

WUSF's expert on all things relating to the University of South Florida, Mark Schreiner, joins Robin Sussingham to talk about his series on entrepreneurs with ties to USF. Plus, USF President Judy Genshaft has announced her retirement, and Mark discusses her role in lifting the reputation and quality of the university.

USF

From creating a new beverage to an app for finding study partners, entrepreneurs with ties to the University of South Florida are trying hard to turn their ideas into actual products.

This week on Florida Matters, we speak to some of the USF faculty, students and alumni who share some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

A trio of degrees and a career as an anesthesia provider seemed to have put Jacqueline Darna on one path.

But complications following the birth of her second child led to an invention that has made the 2007 University of South Florida graduate one of the Tampa Bay area's up-and-coming businesswomen.

NoFloodFlorida.com

One thing would-be homeowners in Florida have to worry about is if their potential property might be affected by flooding in a hurricane. Now, a pair of USF graduate students have created a database that helps tell people if that might be the case. 

Stuby

Just in time for final exams, a pair of University of South Florida sophomore engineering students have come up with an app that allows people to match with the ideal study partner -- think "Tinder for study groups."

Justified Films

In 2010, Ryan Justice was a University of South Florida student whose short film, "Scoops," was named best movie during USF's version of the Campus Moviefest. 

Fast forward eight years, and Justice's newest creation, a full-length feature film called "Followers," is currently out in theaters worldwide and is also available on all digital platforms. 

Bridges

While social media platforms like Facebook use algorithms to push users towards people and groups that share the same ideas and beliefs, a new platform co-created by a University of South Florida alum encourages communication between people of different mindsets. 

"It's breaks you out of that echo chamber, that bubble," said Will Cohen, one of the brains behind the website Bridges. "You're actually able to connect with others and experience other different forms of opinions and ideologies."

AquaMelon

Dez Williams isn't aiming low when it comes to an ultimate goal for his watermelon juice company, AquaMelon.

"We would like to be the Tropicana of watermelon," he said, referring to the orange juice giant.