Campus Life

University of West Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship unveils new space supporting economic innovation

The University of West Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship celebrated the grand opening of the Commons Entrepreneurship Incubator, a new student work space for aspiring entrepreneurs. Located on the first floor of University Commons, the Commons Entrepreneurship Incubator will help UWF students transform their ideas into reality by providing networking opportunities and expert support from faculty and staff, and community partners.

UWF President Martha Saunders during the grand opening of the Commons Entrepreneurship Incubator Grand Opening

“At UWF, one of our most beloved attributes is our intimate, tight-knit learning community,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. “The Commons Entrepreneurship Incubator is the latest example of this and I am looking forward to learning about the experiences that are created within this new space.”

Up to five student-led enterprises can participate in the Commons Entrepreneur Incubator program each semester. Each startup accepted will receive priority access to a private meeting space, office equipment and administrative support as well as one-on-one consulting with subject matter experts to overcome hurdles related to the launching and running of a new enterprise. This space can also be used as a dedicated area to showcase products and marketing messages to peers and the campus community. Scholarships will be awarded for copies, printing and other related startup needs. When not reserved, any UWF student or Commons patron may use the meeting space and, at their own cost, the office equipment.

“The University’s support from community business leaders allows students to think and operate as entrepreneurs, and the Commons Entrepreneurship Incubator provides opportunities for students from all majors to develop and refine their innovative ideas,” said Dr. Ed Ranelli, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and dean emeritus for the College of Business.

The Center encourages and supports educational initiatives related to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking. Since inception in 2016, the Center has reached over 2,200 unique students and hosted or supported over 115 events on campus and in the community. With the generosity and support of UWF’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Quint Studer, and UWF’s newest Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Bert Thornton, the Center has provided students with direct connections to over 300 academic, business and community leaders who have shared their time and knowledge to advance students’ education.

“Communities and universities flourish together,” said Quint Studer, Pensacola businessman and philanthropist. “The Commons Entrepreneurship Incubator allows business leaders a presence on campus and grants students an experience that they will use throughout their careers as entrepreneurs. It’s an enduring investment, and one I’m grateful to help move forward.”

For more information about the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship, visit