The Collaboratory for Women Innovators seeks to inspire, educate, and empower women to attain leadership in all phases of the innovation lifecycle. Diversity is critical to the success of innovation in the U.S., and research shows that there is still a significant disparity in the numbers of women entrepreneurs and innovators (See the Research on Impact of Women on Innovation and Business Success). The Collaboratory seeks to bridge that gap by supporting participants at various stages of personal and professional development.

A portfolio of resources and training opportunities ranging from structured programming to informal networking, workshop and special topic speakers will be offered, designed to address diverse goals and objectives. Programs and resources will support women starting their own companies, as well as to increase participation of female inventors/researchers. Additional activities will provide opportunities for women to learn more about innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership, and to connect with like-minded people and mentors.

While the Collaboratory has a focus on women, we also offer programming that is non-gender specific. You can engage with the Collaboratory in several ways: as a participant/mentee, mentor/educational partner or sponsor.

“Diversity drives innovation – when we limit who can contribute, we in turn limit what problems we can solve”

- Telle Whitney, PhD, Former CEO and President of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology

Core Programs

Empowering Women in Technology Start Ups (Ewits)

Ewits is a 10-week, hands-on experiential learning program where participants work as part of a team and gain valuable insights in researching and understanding a real technology, writing a real business plan, and going through a simulated exercise of creating a company. Participants are women with a bachelor’s degree or higher, the majority of whom work or study in STEM fields. To date, six Ewits cohorts and 275 women have gone through the program, creating a strong foundation and demand for additional next-step training, resources and networking opportunities.

Start Up Roadmap – Helping Entrepreneurs Chart their Course for Launching or Growing Early Stage Ventures

Registration Open! April 4 – May 30, 2018 on Wednesdays, 5:30 – 8:30 PM

StartUp Roadmap is for both women and men who want hands on experience in launching a growth oriented, scalable venture. The course is based on the internationally recognized Wendy Kennedy Curriculum, and is augmented with mentoring and networking for maximum impact. StartUp Roadmap is also designed to provide critical, next-stage training for Ewits graduates.

Innovation Impact – Commercialization Program for UF Women Faculty and Researchers

Collaboratory programming will encourage and empower UF female faculty to take their discoveries through the patent process and to get their ideas to the marketplace. The program reflects components of proven, successful programs from across the country and will include curriculum that helps faculty understand the patenting process and learn the technology commercialization landscape. Created specifically for female faculty and post docs, INNOVATION IMPACT gives women a comfortable setting in which to explore additional opportunities for their research.

Research (SBIR) Workshop

A full-day SBIR workshop will teach participants how to garner proof-of-concept funding to enable them to further develop their technologies into marketable products. An SBIR expert will conduct the training, enabling more SBIR applications and grantees. The SBIR program is an important federally funded grant program that supports the commercialization of small business research. Each year, twelve federal agencies allocate a percentage of their spending to SBIR grants, designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by women innovators and others, and in general, to increase commercialization of federal research funding by the private sector. More information on the SBIR program can be found at

Womens Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES)

Wednesday, April 18

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium is an annual conference filled with inspirational role models, learning and networking. The program is designed to help young women across the UF campus as well as from the greater Gainesville community develop effective leadership skills and become successful entrepreneurs. The Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative connects the students with their peers and successful female leaders to foster a community of women in entrepreneurship where they benefit through mentoring, network building, start-up and career advice, internships, and lots of inspiration!

Collaboratory Workshops and Offerings

The Collaboratory will offer special topic workshops designed to address the needs and demands of the community of women entrepreneurs and innovators. Special topic speakers, subject matter experts, successful entrepreneurs and investors will contribute to the growth and development of women innovators on our campus, in our community and nationally.

Co-Working Space

The Collaboratory houses a co-working space that supports a select number of growth oriented women owned ventures and graduates of the Gator Hatchery/UF. The Collaboratory Co Working Space offers a shared workspace environment and resources to support women ventures for a one year period. Nominal Monthly fees will provide access to the Collaboratory and certain UF resources with a GatorOne ID card; mentoring support; access to the UF network of entrepreneurs and advisors, peer to peer networking, conference room use, printing and copying, and other resources to help the venture graduate into the Innovation Hub or other commercial space in the community.

Upcoming Events


College Info

Warrington College of Business
BRY 100
PO Box 117150
Gainesville, FL 32611-7150
Phone: 352.392.2397
Fax: 352.392.2086

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