We are fortunate to have the So What? Who Cares? Why You? curriculum to help us better educate and prepare our principle investigators for early discussions on the business aspects of their IP. This platform is incredibly effective with engineers, doctors and scientists, giving them frameworks to consider things like: the best problems to solve, markets to pursue and competitive edge to exploit.. With 154,000 square feet of business incubator space, the WKI method is instrumental in helping us to build, grow and support entrepreneurship here in Gainesville."

— Mark S. Long, M.S.
Director, UF Innovate | Incubation Services, University of Florida


The Challenge

Over the past 10 years, UF has launched 190 startups with a research budget that today approaches $1B in sponsored research.  The current enrollment is 52,669 on the main campus in Gainesville. UF’s two incubators, the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator and UF Innovate | The Hub needed a program to help accelerate business growth to accommodate the growing number of startups seeking to join the UF incubator programs.  UF Incubation Services management sought to establish a formal program to help entrepreneurs understand markets, evaluate opportunities and comprehend business basics.


The Solution

In 2017, UF established the Incubation Services office with the Collaboratory for Women Innovators and the two incubators. All three departments standardized their approach to entrepreneurial education by utilizing the So What? Who Cares? Why You? methodology. The Collaboratory has taken the WKI curriculum, augmented with individual mentoring and networking, to establish the “StartUp Roadmap” course to provide critical, next-stage training for selected candidates. The So What? Who Cares? Why You? frameworks make it easy to link their ideas to critical business problems with actual commercial applications.


The Results

In the past 10 years, UF has assisted over 190 startups via the incubators and the Collaboratory.  More and more early-stage potential entrepreneurs have approached UF Incubation Services for assistance with developing their business concepts; So What? Who Cares? Why You? has become the “vehicle of choice” at UF Innovate for working with these new startup founders.

WKI – Design Thinking for Business Builders

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