Florida Tech and Groundswell Startups collaborate on the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design Prototype Lab

Employees from both organizations meet monthly to advance their shared goals

Florida Tech and Groundswell have entered into a partnership agreement. Seated at the signing were, left to right: Ryan Bailey, Director of Innovation at Groundswell; and John Nicklow, president of Florida Tech. Left to right are Ruchir Gupta, industrial designer from Groundswell; Maria Fernanda Sagastume, CAMID Community Coordinator and STEM Designer; Hamid Rassoul, interim provost; and Juan C. Avendano, CAMID Director. (Florida Tech image)

CAMID: Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Two of the Space Coast's most innovative and entrepreneurial organizations are joining forces to advance the region's startup and business development ecosystem.

Florida Tech's Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID) and Groundswell Startups' Prototype Lab signed a one-year contract in April. According to the agreement, the mission is to “support action-oriented innovators in scaling impactful businesses through community and collaboration” in Brevard County.

The synergy is strong. CAMID and the Prototype Lab both strive to empower people and companies through specialized expertise, access to cutting-edge equipment and technologies, mentorship, and more.

“This partnership between CAMID and Groundswell Startups kicks off innovative research and technology development on the Space Coast,” said Ryan Bailey, Director of Innovation at Groundswell. “It will advance the development of the local workforce in both technology and commercial sectors and ultimately promote talent and intellectual property retention in our community.”

CAMID Director Juan C. Avendano called the partnership “groundbreaking.”

“This collaboration is strategically designed to coordinate and optimize resources and create an environment in which local businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs can thrive,” he said. “By leveraging our shared capabilities, we are laying the foundation for a thriving innovation environment that promises to advance the regional economy and cement the Space Coast as a hub of creativity and technological advancement.”

Although there is a lot of technology at play, people are at the heart of the partnership.

The agreement calls for Florida Tech to send up to five students per semester to Groundswell Startups for 12-week internships. During this time, according to the agreement, students will learn about “prototyping, engineering for manufacturing, design and venture financing activities” as well as the elements of venture financing.

Both participants will have access to help them grow – Groundswell can reach out to the Florida Tech community to offer its prototyping and venture capabilities, including additive manufacturing, subtractive manufacturing and prototyping services; and CAMID can offer its prototyping and venture capabilities to the Groundswell Startups community.

In addition, employees of both organizations meet monthly to advance their shared goals in research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Just like strapping boosters to a rocket, CAMID and Groundswell will work together to take our entrepreneurial ecosystem to even greater heights,” said Florida Tech President John Nicklow. “And I’m excited for our students to gain new experiences through internships, mentoring and other interactions to deepen their learning and increase their success.”


Anna Harden

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