Don’t go into business with someone who is already a friend.
Get comfortable with failing. Trust your gut.
These are just a few of the lessons Mark Provenzano has learned from the roller coaster that is launching your own business. While there’s rarely an easy day in the life of an entrepreneur, Mark has no regrets.
“It’s easy to get discouraged. But you stick with it, no matter what,” Mark says.
StratusCube is Mark’s latest venture. The business develops web applications and offers maintenance contracts to accompany them. A strong legal foundation and detailed business plan is driving the business now, but Mark credits the supercomputer at Florida Polytechnic University for his early success.
Mark, a big data Junior, and his business partner spent hours at the supercomputer trying out different business models. The server power to run those models is typically cost prohibitive for start-ups, so Mark is grateful for the access, along with the mentoring he received from his professor.
Juggling classes, a growing business and an internship keeps Mark more than busy. He doesn’t hold back when describing the challenges of making it all work. But it’s worth it in the end, Mark says.
“You tell yourself every day that you can meet your goals, then you go out and do it,” Mark says.
After her first-grade visit to the Kennedy Space Center, Lindsey Carboneau knew what she wanted to be when she grew up: an astronaut. At age 23, the Fort Myers senior’s goals may be a little more down to Earth, but a NASA career could still be in the stars for her. A double major in software engineering and mathematics, Carboneau was one of eight college students in the country selected to participate last spring in intensive team research at NASA’s Aeronautics Academy at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. She was asked to come back as a summer intern at Langley and now works on a project remotely from FGCU as she completes her final year of school.
New College students Charlie Edelson and Lisa Crawford work at Sarasota’s Mote Marine Laboratory examining the sensitivity of the electrosensory systems of adult sandbar sharks. To test the sharks’ perceptiveness, the students created a weak electric field in the Mote lab tank. The sharks typically respond to the field by turning toward the electrodes, on an acrylic plate, and biting at them.
Because the electric field weakens over distance, the students could look at the position where the sharks first orient themselves toward the electrodes to calculate the strength of the field and minimum current that will get the sharks to respond. The students’ work is receiving notice. Edelson and Crawford presented their research in August at the American Fisheries Society meeting in Portland, Oregon.