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UNF hosts ‘ConnectFest’ to link Florida tech start-ups to skilled student and alumni talent

The University of North Florida, in partnership with Google Cloud, Mastercard StartPath and Vystar, will host an entrepreneur “ConnectFest” event to connect Florida technology start-ups with UNF students and alumni to help fill needed positions for early-stage growing companies. ConnectFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at UNF’s Adam W. Herbert University Center.

The event is designed to bring together tech startups in need of quality talent with UNF students looking for engaging experiences and career opportunities. Participating companies will meet and interview prospective University students and alumni interested in internships and/or employment, engage with other growing businesses and connect with the Jacksonville entrepreneurship community, including staff and board members from UNF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

ConnectFest will feature live pitches of innovative tech solutions from early-stage entrepreneurs in technology, an expert advice panel discussion and networking opportunities. The winner of the pitch competition will be awarded with a fully funded stipend to work with a skilled UNF intern. Additional prizes and scholarships for participating UNF students are planned.

"Mastercard Start Path is pleased to support UNF at ConnectFest to connect startups to the University community and the Jacksonville region,” said Chris Gillings, North American Lead at Mastercard StartPath, the global startup engagement program at Mastercard. “We're excited by the caliber of the programming UNF has created for the event."

Any Jacksonville or Florida-based startups/entrepreneurs in the early to mid-stages of development in areas such as fintech, app development, engineering and construction technology are encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply and register for ConnectFest is Wednesday, Sept. 15. A panel discussion on the start-up life cycle will be held as part of the event.