Innovation Hub USA

REAL Building Consultants – Cutting-Edge Green Building Projects

REAL BUILDING CONSULTANTS Team Photo
REAL BUILDING CONSULTANTS Team Photo
REAL Building consultants logo

REAL BUILDING CONSULTANTS

REAL BUILDING CONSULTANTS PROVIDES SERVICES TO THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY – RAINGING FROM BUILDING OWNERS, REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS, ARCHITECTS AND CONTRACTORS TO PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES AND CORPORATIONS – TO HELP THEM DESIGN AND BUILD INNOVATIVE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT, HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS.

From the project visioning to early design, through construction and operations REAL Building Consultants works with developers and building owners to make sure that their project is designed, built and operated to reduce it’s impact on the environment and maximize return on investment.

THE STORY

Founded by Taylor Ralph, REAL Building Consultants has been in business since 2008. A couple of years before the start of the consulting firm, Ralph started a design/build company with his co-founder/business partner Darren Brinkley—designing and building net zero energy, LEED platinum, custom built homes and working on very innovative projects in the residential space. Soon after, Ralph started to get a lot of attention around the innovative, third-party certified projects being developed and commercial developers and building owners began to call, asking if he could consult on their projects. He was smart enough to say “yes,” when asked for help. Before he knew it, he had started a commercial consulting practice within the residential design-build firm, and in 2008 REAL Building Consultants was officially formalized. In 2012, the consulting business had grown so much that Ralph ended up selling the ownership in the original design-build company to work full-time on the consulting side.

From the early days, REAL Building Consultants worked on some of the most cutting-edge green building projects, and helped their clients exceed their expectations in building performance. In 2008, the green building market was still in its early stage of growth, and REAL was there to help many of their clients build some of the first LEED certified projects in the Tampa Bay region

REAL Building consultants TEAM
USGBC Team Award - REAL Building consultants
USGBC Team Award

Over the years REAL Building Consultants helped to define what green building was to the market, and developed a system of performance goals that helped their clients realize the business case for sustainable buildings. REAL Building Consultants has helped clients reduce their energy and water use in the buildings, while also promoting alternative transit use and the health and productivity of a space for it’s occupants.

REAL Building Consultants has always tried to maintain a diverse set of clients, working with the most well known developers in the market that are doing important projects for the region, while also helping Tampa Bay to grow into a more mature green building market. Traditionally, the firm works with developers, institutional owners like universities, publicly traded companies, as well as non-profits, small businesses, community institutions and governmental agencies. They cover the entire spectrum inside the commercial development sector, including multi-family projects that realize that their buyers and renters are demanding a home that is environmentally conscious, efficient and healthy.

When a company or developer wants to develop a project in a sustainable manner, REAL Building Consultants helps them to define what that means based on their financial goals and mission; making sure that they are actually designing a project in a responsible, efficient and healthy manner, and achieving the goals they have set up for their business. REAL works to ensure that their clients are building buildings that are making a positive impact on the health and productivity of it’s occupants, while also reducing the building’s environmental impact.

REAL Building Consultants team also works to help clients and the market in general better understand sustainability practices, and how to holistically develop a “green building,” sharing lessons learned while speaking at events, offering educational sessions and volunteering with various real estate-based non-profits. With over 60 years of experience combined in building design, functional performance and construction, REAL Building Consultants is making a major contribution to the green building movement.

Taylor Ralph_Founder REAL Building consultants
Taylor Ralph, Founder
REAL Building consultants _ UT_Jenkins Hall_USGBC site-must note _Courtesy of Eric Kreher_

facebook: REALBuildingConsultants | twitter: realbldgconsult
instagram: realbldgconsult | linkedin: real-building-consultants | pinterest: realbldgconsult
www.realbuildingconsultants.com

COI Energy – Making the World More Energy Efficient

COI Energy - Babson Competition pics
Logo COI energy
COI Energy - Babson Competition pics

ELEVATOR PITCH

COI Energy is an energy-on-demand platform for utilities and their business customers to identify, manage, optimize and monetize flexible energy resources to drive building efficiency and power the electric grid. The platform provides utilities with real-time information on resources available to purchase energy, as well as the quality and cost of those resources to help solve grid imbalances. Benefits are also available to businesses that have flexibility and are able to support the grid through improved energy efficiency.

The platform provides insights into inefficiencies and recommendations that go directly to the customer. The analysis show how and where energy is wasted and how to monetize the waste. Ultimately, it helps users save money and make money. In the next five years, the electricity industry will not look the same; COI Energy is helping to build the narrative by enabling more options than just going to your local utility company to purchase power, you’ll be able to buy your power right from your mobile phone, from your neighbor or the market.

COI stands for ‘Circle of Influence”, which means that the people around us can make a difference in our success. This innovative startup creates a climate-friendly world by enabling low-cost, clean and flexible energy resources with the COI Optimizer™ platform for utilities and business users, including high-profile companies, such as a $3 billion utility in Florida.

The COI Optimizer™ unlocks the power of energy assets in the building to generate cash. The solution is an integrated hardware enabled software platform that combines the following four modules: OptimizeDR™ (Demand Response), OptimizeEE™ (Energy Efficiency), OptimizeRE™ (Renewable Energy), and OptimizeIR™ (Incentives and Rebates). Together, these four modules enable clean, low-cost, flexible energy resources to improve the performance of the electric grid. The Software as a Service platformprovides two-way communication, allowing real-time data collection with optional manual or automated control functionality.

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COI Energy Values

COI Energy’s secret sauce is its algorithms that offer useful insights and predictive analytics around the energy assets in a building and allows the monetization of those resources. The energy assets include renewable energy (such as solar, coupled with battery storage), energy efficiency (such as LED lights and VFD motors), and demand response (such as production equipment and chillers). COI Energy is like Lyft for the electricity sector.

The utility company of the future will be an energy bank, enabling customers to cash in on unused electric capacity by making it available to other customers who need it. Utilities will be the intermediary facilitating the transaction and reducing energy waste in the process. So believes SaLisa Berrien, a Bethlehem native, 1987 Allen High School graduate, former PPL engineer, and now the entrepreneur who launched the startup COI Energy Services in early 2016.

HER STORY

An electricity-industry veteran, Berrien has spent the last 25-plus years driving engineering and business development for leading companies. The impressive list includes PPL, PECO Energy, Con Edison Solutions, EnerNOC, Enbala, and Wipro EcoEnergy.

What Berrien observed from studying utilities was that the electricity sector was ignoring the No.1 rule in business: it’s all about the customer. With that lesson in mind, she decided to put the customer at the center of the COI Energy Services platform.

Salisa - COI Energy

INSIGHT

“Women typically have to break glass ceilings, climb over walls and push open doors to get to the table. We developed our confidence by overcoming each barrier put before us.” Berrien believes it is her job to create a seat at the table “because there is no time to wait for someone to pull out the chair.” 

Based at the University of South Florida’s Tampa Bay Technology Incubator, COI Energy offers software that helps utility companies and businesses take full advantage of the smart grid and electrical supply networks that can react to patterns and changes in energy usage.

Berrien calls it the “Wingi of Energy” which means the abundance of energy in Swahili.

COI Energy -Berrien

Email: coi@coienergyservices.com | Phone: 813-501-4814
facebook: coienergyservices | linkedin | twitter
youtube: UCpzCzHBFVyx-Z56467hmUAg?view_as=subscriber
www.coienergyservices.com

ECOncrete ® – Brings Concrete to Life

ECOncrete BIO-ENHANCING CONCRETE
ECOncrete BIO-ENHANCING CONCRETE

ECONCRETE ® BRINGS CONCRETE TO LIFE

ECONCRETE® HAS DEVELOPED THE WORLD’S FIRST PROVEN BIO-ENHANCING CONCRETE PRODUCTS FOR URBAN, COASTAL AND WATERSIDE CONSTRUCTION.

Dr. Ido Sella,and Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel - econcrete
Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, CEO & Chief Scientist Shimrit@econcretetech.com Dr. Ido Sella, CTO & Head of Field Operation Ido@econcretetech.com

ECOncrete® offers innovative, highly durable and environmentally sensitive concrete solutions, designed to encourage rich and diverse marine life as an integral part of urban, coastal, and marine infrastructure, for example, seawalls, breakwaters, bridge foundations and urban waterfronts.

The patented technology is based on three core elements: bio-enhancing concrete compositions, complex surface textures, and science-based designs, which work in synergy to decrease the ecological footprint of concrete infrastructure while enhancing their strength and durability.

ECOncrete®, a trendsetter in ecological design, is as an interdisciplinary science-based company with a unique blend of biologists, ecologists, environmental engineers, designers, and concrete technology specialists. Our bio-enhancing admixtures and designs have been validated in a variety of marine ecosystems across the globe, yielding excellent results.

Sustainable Solution
With over 50% of the world’s population settling along coastlines, the accelerated development will inflict severe stress on natural ecosystems. With growing threats of sea-level rise and increased storminess, coastlines require development, retrofitting and intensive maintenance.

COncrete® provides the only sustainable solutions for coastal and marine infrastructure that provides fully constructive, cost-effective concrete products, with significant structural, biological and environmental advantages.

Bioprotection – Growing Resiliency
Apart from its clear ecological significance, biological enhancement also provides structural and socio-economic benefits. Biogenic growth of organisms like oysters, corals or barnacles acts as biological glue that strengthens the structure and adds stability and longevity. This form of bioprotection can reduce the magnitude and frequency of structural maintenance, which translates into improved ecological stability on one hand (reduced anthropogenic intervention), and higher ROI on the other (lower maintenance costs.)

ECOncrete diving
ECOncrete Tailor-made Products & Services
ECOncrete - brings concrete to life

Tailor-made Products & Services
ECOncrete® products are manufactured using our patented Bio-Enhancing concrete admixtures with tailor-made Forms & Form liners. The company’s current line of products includes Bio-enhancing Armoring Units, Enhanced Seawall and Anchoring Systems, Tide-Pools for beach stabilization, Ecological Pile Encasement (for pile repair/ protection), Marine Mattresses for erosion control and protection of UW pipes, and Bio-active Wall (for non-aquatic applications). In addition, we are in the process of developing new products, including pre-stressed piles, retaining walls, and ecological solutions for bridge foundations and offshore energy facilities.

Product fit is offered through the company’s professional consulting services, ranging from initial planning and site assessment, through detailed design and product fabrication, to installation supervision and post-installation biological monitoring. This is a win-win solution where ecology and engineering work together to form thriving ecosystems that yield supreme structural performance.

ECOncrete Tech_Logo

Website: econcretetech.com
Email: info@econcretetech.com

Just Learn – Connecting the new Generation to the Outside World

Just Learn - planet Box
Just Learn Logo
Just Learn - planet Box

Just Learn has developed PlanetBox, a living model of our planet that fits inside any classroom. PlanetBox uses the sciences of aquaponics ecosystem to expose students to the water, carbon and nitrogen cycle. This is important because now is the time to understand the role that society and technology play on the natural environment and yet, the upcoming generation is the least connected to the outside world!

PlanetBox is a powerful tool of engagement, and that’s why Just Learn has also developed supporting curricula for it called “Think Outside The Box”. Just Learn’s lesson plans are in alignment with the Next-Generation Science Standards and empower educators with the subject matter expertise and confidence to teach inquiry-based instruction on multiple topics like water chemistry, plant anatomy, photosynthesis, and electricity to name a few. When combined, PlanetBox and Think Outside the Box take affordable and practical, hands-on, project-based learning experiences to a whole new dimension!

Just Learn - Maintenance benefits
Just Learn Aquaponic cycle
Just Learn - Ecosystem features

Just Learn is an EdTech spin-off of Just Grow (justgrow.com) that was born in the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center of The University of Tampa at the end of 2016. In 2017, Just Learn initiated an academic pilot with the aim of testing and refining the pedagogical potential of its ecosystem and curricula while also impacting under-served schools of the Tampa Bay area. Thanks to sponsors like Ciccio Restaurant Group, Canterbury School of Florida and Segrest Farms, Just Learn was able to include title 1 schools in its pilot! Just Learn recruited local instructional designer Yvonne Franco, Ph.D. to structure components of the pilot as well as host a curriculum development workshop with local champion educators. Upon completion of the pilot, Just Learn went on to iterate its product and curriculum to make it market-ready and currently remains as a non-resident incubator startup at the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, while also being admitted to LearnLaunch, a premier incubator focused on education technology based in Boston.

Email: info@justlearn.io
Phone: 813-770-9616
instagram: justlearn.io
www.justlearn.io

Gbuild – Construction Managers

GBuild- Turn building exterior

GBUILD CONSTRUCTION MANAGERS

GBUILD CONSTRUCTION MANAGERS IS A FIRM IN CHESTER COUNTY, PA THAT SUPPORTS TECHNICAL CLIENTS INCLUDING CORPORATE, HIGHER EDUCATION, AND BIOTECHNOLOGY WITH PRECONSTRUCTION AND CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT SERVICES ON PROJECTS IN THE GREATER DELAWARE VALLEY AREA.

GBuild- Turn building exterior
GBuild - TURN5_CAFE

At our core, we help clients successfully complete their most challenging projects using a sustainable approach without adding costs to the budget. 

In 2009, after 25 successful years in the construction business, Doug Gianforte was inspired to take his own direction. His goal, to start a company that specialized in sustainable building for every project. Notoriously slow to change, the construction industry hadn’t quite caught on to sustainable or green practices and the benefits that they bring a project. With that, Doug saw the opportunity and founded Gbuild.

After nearly a decade, our commitment to the practice of sustainability is unwavering. This is evidenced by our mission of incorporating sustainable concepts in all of our building projects. We do this through several key initiatives. Two to highlight are our Construction Waste Management and our Indoor Air Quality programs.

GBuild Construction Managers Office building

Construction Waste Management – On average, our program diverts 85% of our construction waste from the landfill. As an industry that produces a significant amount of waste, it is imperative that we pay attention to recycling efforts. Not only has Gbuild used this program on every project we have done, but many of our clients have implemented this as the standard across all their projects.

Indoor Air Quality – This program is developed job-specific and outlines measures that are implemented during the construction phase resulting in improved air quality. This also reduces unnecessary health risks for construction personnel.

By setting ourselves apart, growing steadily, and being leaders in our industry, Gbuild has been recognized by various awards groups. We have been recognized for our growth eight times including the Philadelphia 100 fastest growing companies. For Construction Excellence, we have been awarded six times. For safety, we currently hold six awards. We are proud of these achievements and remain committed to the values that contributed to these awards.

GBuild - TURN5_OFFICE_3

Our client relationships are essential to our business. From us, not only are clients expecting sustainable solutions to their construction needs but they also look to us to be a source of accountability on the project. We are the go-to people.

“Your attention to detail and quality was very evident as the project was completed ahead of schedule and on budget. I look forward to working with Gbuild again in the near future.”
– Director, Higher Education Client

Having been at the forefront of sustainable construction practices, Gbuild has set the standard for all projects. This is a mentality and practice we take to every project whether asked explicitly by the client or not. We can do this all by adding zero additional cost to our client. With tight budgets and tight deadlines, keeping sustainable construction achievablefor everyone is a true innovation.

gbuild construction managers logo
GBuild Interior

Email: info@gbuildcm.com
Phone: 610-400-1900
instagram: gbuildcm
www.gbuildcm.com

V&D Electric Bikes – A Safe, Eco-Friendly Way to Travel in Style

V&D ELECTRIC BIKES - safe transportation
V&D ELECTRIC BIKES - safe transportation

WELCOME
TO V&D
ELECTRIC
BIKES

V&D Electric Bikes has created a worldwide phenomenon in safe, easy travel. Our lightweight, fully foldable electric bikes offer a secure yet eco-friendly way to travel to your end destination in style!

V&D Electric Bikes are easy to ride, which means they offer the perfect solution for short trips around the city, and they make commuting to and from work a much more comfortable experience. They can be folded up to make transportation through crowds a breeze, and best of all, our e-bikes are entirely customisable – you can choose the colour, come up with the design, and truly let your imagination run wild to make your electric bike your own!

V&D Electric Bikes provides e-bikes for adults and kids alike. Browse our website to learn more about these innovative products, and don’t hesitate to contact us directly if you have any questions regarding our creations.

Our Mission
Founded in 2016, V&D Electric Bikes marries the commitment to the outdoors and stylish transportation with a desire to sustain an eco-friendly world. Our ergonomically-designed, functional, and compact electric bikes charm explorers and thrill-seeking enthusiasts alike. At V&D Electric Bikes, we thrive on enhancing our customers’ bike-riding experience through providing our local and global communities with reliable products and impeccable customer service.

Our Story
What happens when riding enthusiasts experience electric bikes? They discover pure joy in finding a unique way to commute to work and around town. V&D Electric Bikes combine high-quality materials, with fresh innovations designed to add oomph to your travel and leisure. Fold them and take them on your next flight; transport them easily in your RV, boat or car; you can even take them to your class! Whether alone, on a date, or enjoying free time with friends and family, our exceptional products remind you to live, laugh & love for many, many miles.

V&D ELECTRIC BIKES - LESS TIME MORE FREEDOM
V&D ELECTRIC BIKES - FUN FOR ALL AGES
V&D ELECTRIC BIKES - Sergio Romo
Sergio Romo, Tampa Bay Rays are current clients and are supporters of V&D Electric Bikes

BRING IT ON QUALITY
V&D Electric Bikes boasts premium craftsmanship and materials to take on your toughest activities. The lithium battery is capable of 30-mile ranges, 4 hours of power, and 20 mph speeds! Our frame is light enough to carry around but strong enough to support up to 285 pounds.

SWEAT FREE COMMUTE
The foldable design of our electric bike makes commuting easier. It can fold to fit in trunks or on buses and trains. And it’s a sweat-free substitute for biking to work or around campus.

WORRY FREE AFFORDABILITY
Inexpensive transportation that even a college student or a fixed income person can afford. V&D Electric Bikes offers affordable & flexible payments for everyone. These bikes last a long time and are a secure investment!

FUN FOR ALL AGES
Whether you are 15 and dying to drive something or 115 and needing to have a hobby that gets you outdoors, you will LOVE the freedom this bike gives you. Be prepared to hear, “Where’d you get that?!”, from envious onlookers that want a V&D Electric Bike of their own.

GREEN LIFESTYLE
With its emission-free electric design and zero carbon footprint, our electric bikes fit in perfectly with your Green lifestyle.

LESS TIME MORE FREEDOM
You’ll be amazed at the money you save on parking, gas, and tolls. Save hours of commuting time every week by riding our bikes to work instead of walking. Spend that money traveling and finding adventure.

V&D Electric bikes - GREEN LIFESTYLE

Vanessa Sweeting & Darren Forde
Phone: 877-245-2494
Email: VandDelectricbikes@gmail.com
www.VandDelectricbikes.com

V&D ELECTRIC BIKES - SWEAT FREE COMMUTE

GET OUTDOORS! GET VERSATILE!
GET YOUR FREEDOM BACK!

V&D ELECTRIC BIKES - logo

Finexio – The Future is Paperless

Finexio How It Works
Finexio logo
Ernest Rolfson, Finexio’s founder and CEO

“THE FUTURE IS
PAPERLESS. SO WHY
ARE BUSINESSES STILL
USING PAPER CHECKS?
ORLANDO-BASED FINEXIO
AIMS AT THE PAPER
PROBLEM PLAGUING
MID-MARKET COMPANIES
IN THE UNITED STATES.”

Even though most consumers are comfortable with paying their bills electronically, businesses have been slower to reject the paper check in favor of more advanced payment technologies. Finexio, the Orlando-based payment execution company, is changing all that.

Through their proprietary “network of networks,” Finexio can deliver B2B payments in 9 different ways. From an accounting file, Finexio’s software intelligently determines the best way to pay vendors and suppliers, then routes their payments electronically without requiring bank account information. Because electronic payments generate rebates and discounts, CFOs appreciate how Finexio’s product transforms accounts payable into a revenue hub. Finexio’s benefits go beyond the financial, although the average $300k return from Finexio’s product is a compelling proposition. By eliminating customers’ time-consuming manual processes, such as supplier onboarding, customer service, and payment reconciliation, Finexio alleviates the business burden of this back office labor. In addition, because Finexio’s payment network is ERP-agnostic, it works seamlessly with customers’ existing software and systems.

Said Ernest Rolfson, Finexio’s founder and CEO: “As a long time financial operations executive and working capital expert, I was struck by the manual processes and challenges that the majority of large corporates in the United States face while making their business payments. Finexio is an important technological advancement for businesses across the country to deliver savings, automation, and strong financial benefit for both these companies
and their supplier bases.”

Finexio How It Works

Finexio has steadily grown since its inception in 2015, moving from Silicon Valley to Orlando in 2017 and receiving a $4m Series A round of funding in early 2018. Customers like The General® insurance and Morgan & Morgan, the nationwide personal injury law firm headquartered in downtown Orlando, have seen millions of dollars converted to electronic spend because of Finexio’s exceptional supplier enrollment and a multitude of payment
options. For more information, please visit their website at https://finexio.com.

Phone: (407) 627-0600 | Email: info@finexio.com | finexio.com | twitter: finexiopayments | linkedin: finexio | youtube:  UCBsVvhLA8ndFSaNcYcV8liw

Underground Refuse Systems – SUPERIOR SOLID WASTE CONTAINMENT AND COLLECTION SYSTEM

Underground Refuse Systems

Underground Refuse Systems

THE CITY OF KISSIMMEE BECAME THE FIRST CITY IN THE UNITED STATES TO DEPLOY THIS SUPERIOR SOLID WASTE CONTAINMENT AND COLLECTION SYSTEM.

Underground Refuse Systems
Underground Refuse Systems recycling

Jay Wheeler started Underground Refuse Systems Inc. in 2015, and in 2017 Ron Howse became an equal partner in this exciting new technology. Since becoming fully operational in April 2017, dozens of city representatives from all over the United States have been to Kissimmee for a system demonstration. This new technology poses an exciting option from the old smelly, overflowing, animal infested options currently in use nationwide.

In 2017 Underground Refuse Systems bought the first mold from Europe to start fabricating the 5-ton concrete vaults. The vaults seal the containers, which keep anything from leaking into groundwater. We plan to expand to more components in the 2018-2020 period, and our primary business goal is manufacturing in the United States.

The Future and Smarter Solution for Solid Waste
Containment and Collection

The containers are aesthetically pleasing, take up less space, and are graffiti proof. It eliminates traditional dumpsters and dumpster enclosures from parking lot areas. The units can be creatively wrapped using artwork or advertising. A key-locking mechanism comes with all units to curb illegal dumping and dumpster diving.

This system increases recycling, and organics/composting. There are no banging sounds – reduces noise pollution – and it contains odors. The system works with high water tables and is contained in a five-ton concrete vault keeping anything from leaking into groundwater.

It is the most animal proof solid waste system in the United States. Bears, rats, and people cannot get into these containers. It removes a food source from animals and reduces their population while improving public health and safety. A sensor option is available that transmits when units are full, saving unnecessary trips by the truck and allowing customers only to pay when emptying is needed.

Underground Refuse Systems Side by Side Construction

UCF Business incubator client since 2016
Jim Bowie, Manager of the UCF Business Incubator Kissimmee, says “The incubator accepted Underground Refuse into the program and helped them
establish a solid business foundation. It has allowed the company to focus on growing their sales revenue. Underground Refuse is the type of client
company that the UCF Business Incubator was intended to help. They continue to be an excellent client growing jobs in the Kissimmee/Osceola area.”

This technology is in use currently in France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Turkey, and growing. This solid waste containment and collection system has been
in use worldwide for more than twenty years. Kissimmee is the first North American City to utilize this superior solid waste technology. Schedule a visit, so you too can see the “Art of Invisible Waste” as a first step towards improving the sustainability of your neighborhood.

Underground Refuse Systems - Garbage
Underground Refuse Systems Logo

Better collection concept – Better living environment
Underground Refuse Systems is the United States agent for Nord Engineering.

111 East Monument Ave.
Suite 401, Kissimmee, FL 34741
Office: 407-944-9000
Cell: 407-973-4141
Email: jay@undergroundrefuse.com
www.undergroundregfuse.com

Underground Refuse Systems Social Media Handles

Just Grow Strengthens Society’s Connection to Nature Through Gardening Technology and Design

Just grow team
just grow logo

JUST GROW STRENGTHENS SOCIETY’S CONNECTION TO NATURE THROUGH GARDENING TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN.

Just grow team

Cesar Mendoza – Director of Engineering, Bekah Vigin – COO, Dan Holahan – Director of Operations, Djimo Serodio – CEO/CTO, Ed Williams – Director of Business Development, Monica Petrella – Director of Programming.

Just Grow is disrupting the indoor gardening industry with a sustainable solution that reduces the time, energy and cost needed to bring nature indoors.

Djimo Serodio (founder & CTO), began working on a product to help reconnect urban society with nature. After years of research, he found that global food production is the leading cause of disruption to the natural environment and that our disconnect from nature has led to the over consumption of nonrenewable resources. Just Grow was founded in 2015 to provide a solution. The result was a sophisticated and sustainable gardening experience for the indoors. Just Grow’s garden, Malawi, is a compact yet complete living ecosystem that combines nature and technology to provide innovative adaptation to gardening for indoor environments.

Just grow - Malawi

Malawi

Just grow gardening

Student at St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School

Just Grow is also launching a 501c3 educational branch, Just Learn. They believe STEM education is essential way to cultivate the future generation’s interest with the environment and critical thinking skills. Just Learn has gardens in 25 classrooms in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties as part of an Academic Pilot. They are testing Malawi as a compact environment-based learning tool, developing inquiry-based curriculum and supporting teachers through professional development workshops that encourage their confidence in engaging students in STEM.

USF College of Marine Science – The Legacy Begins in 1967 when USF Opened the Marine Science Institute Here with Only three Faculty Members

USF COLLEGE OF MARINE SCIENCE - marine
USF COLLEGE OF MARINE SCIENCE - marine

USF COLLEGE OF MARINE SCIENCE

The College of Marine Science legacy begins in 1967 when USF opened the Marine Science Institute here with only three faculty members.

In 1972, the Marine Science Institute became the Department of Marine Science within the USF College of Natural Sciences and in 1978 the Florida Board of Regents awarded the Department of Marine Science a Center of Excellence designation and doubled the number of faculty members.In the 50 years since this modest beginning, CMS has expanded in size and capability, and is now internationally recognized as a leader in ocean science.  There are presently 26 faculty, about 100 graduate students, 47 full-time support personnel, and 48 temporary staff.  CMS researchers currently attract about $15M in annual research expenditures and there is a total endowment of about $18M.

 

USF COLLEGE OF MARINE SCIENCE - birds eye view

The CMS impact on the local economy goes beyond our research expenditures and our endowment. The CMS has served as the nucleus for the development of the St. Petersburg Marine Science Cluster. The Florida Institute of Oceanography was established at the same time that we began.In 2000, we became the College of Marine Science and Peter Betzer was named Dean. With Peter’s leadership and later with Bill Hogarth (2008 to 2011) and Jackie Dixon (2011 to present) leading the way, the pieces fell into place. The USGS Office of Coastal Geology made St. Pete its home in the renovated the Studebaker Building in 1989, USF and FWC celebrated the groundbreaking of the joint-use Knight Oceanographic Research Center in the Congressman Bill Young Marine Science Complex in 1994, NOAA NMFS moved to their Bayboro Building in 2005, and SRI St. Petersburg was recruited in 2008.

College of Marine Science - diving
USF COLLEGE OF MARINE SCIENCE
USF College of Marine Science - tests
college of marine science - expedition Antarctica

CMS faculty and students have led the creation of a number of innovative private companies. For example, CMS graduates created the highly successful and internationally known Ocean Optics and Blue Water Recoveries companies, and SRI was born from the CMS Center for Ocean Technology. Several faculty members have created successful businesses. For example, one of our faculty created PureMolecular to market the “grouper detector” that you might have seen on the news.This technology is also being expanded to detect red tide. Another faculty member has partnered with the USGS to develop a novel pH detector that is accurate, inexpensive and portable, and will enable citizen scientists to contribute to ocean acidification studies.

And our basic research enables future innovative applications. Our scientists were first responders to the Deep Water Horizon disaster and continue to study the event in order that we will be better prepared for the next one. We have developed state of the art computer models of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico that will be applied to storm surge warning, red tide prediction, fisheries management and many other problems. Our people are leading the way in studies of environmental issues from the global to the local scale and providing tools and knowledge that allows our leaders to plan for a sustainable and resilient future for all of us.

USF COLLEGE OF MARINE SCIENCE - scuba

140 Seventh Ave South, St Petersburg, FL 33701

Phone: +1 727-553-1130

www.marine.usf.edu