The mentors are the heart of any successful Startup Quest® training program. These successful and experienced entrepreneurs volunteer their time, expertise and guidance for Startup Quest® participants. They serve as CEO of a simulated technology startup that develops a business plan/commercialization strategy for a real patented innovation or invention from one of Florida’s public universities or NASA. As part of the 10-session entrepreneurial training program, mentors’ teams deliver investor presentations in a lively and fun competition with judges, who are experienced investors and entrepreneurs. More importantly, Startup Quest® mentors are key in helping their team participants to learn and apply the concepts of business development and entrepreneurship that will lead to greater employability or self-employment.

“As an experienced entrepreneur, one of the most powerful and rewarding experiences is seeing highly-capable, skilled people – who prior to Startup Quest® were unemployed or underemployed – start their own venture and become job creators,” said mentor Rick Staab, president and CEO of Intermed Nuclear Medicine and Tyler’s Hope.

Mentors are successful business people and entrepreneurs — often serial entrepreneurs. Mentors typically come from technology-based industries such as software engineering, aerospace, robotics, bioscience and other technology sectors. CEOs, entrepreneurs and business people with backgrounds in advanced materials and coatings, intellectual property law, life sciences, marketing and academia also make up this elite group of more than 175 Startup Quest® mentors throughout Florida. Mentors should have experience in bringing a new technology to market.

COHORT #2 Mentors


Dr. Mark Davidson

 Founder, Florida Tech Toybox, Inc.; Research Faculty, University of Florida

Dr. Geoffrey Hoare
Dr. Geoffrey Hoare

 Founder and Manager, Quantitative Medicine

Dwight Hulse
Dwight Hulse, MBA, MPA, CPA.CITP, CGMA

 Founder & Principal Business Advisor, D.L. Hulse Consulting, LLC

Duncan Kabinu
Duncan Kabinu

 Co-Founder and Partner, Starter Space; CTO, Lucravalde, Inc.

Jose Luna
Jose Luna

 Chief Technical Officer, Atmosphere Apps

Maxwell Minch
Maxwell Minch

 Principal Attorney, Maxwell L. Minch Esq. P.A.

John Montague
John Montague

 Technology Transactions Attorney, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.

Brent Salley
Brent Salley

 President, Precision Glass & Storefront, Inc.

Dan White
Dan White

 Managing Member, The Commerce Law Group; Co-Managing Director, The Visuum Companies; Chairman, Nuovo Biologics, LLC

Sean McCoy, Ph.D.
Sean McCoy, Ph.D.

 Vice President, uBrand Partners; Vice President of Business Development, Real McCoy Technology Solutions

G. Martin Wynkoop
G. Martin Wynkoop

 Medical Business Consultant, KoopCo, LLC

COHORT #1 Mentors

Gerard Bencen
Gerard H. Bencen

 Corporate IP Counsel for Xhale, Inc. and Founder & Principal of Law Office of Gerard H. Bencen

Thomas Bigger
Thomas J. Bigger

 President – Xhale SMART

David L. Bryant
David L. Bryant

  VP, Strategy/Commercial Initiatives, M&A, New Ventures – Acosta Sales & Marketing; and CEO Council – the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research


Dr. Mark Davidson

 Founder – Florida Tech Toybox, Inc.; and Research Faculty – UF

Dr. James Parrino
Dr. James D. Parrino

  Finance Faculty Member – UF and a founding partner of Praxis Partners

Richard Nesbit
Richard B. Nesbit

 Vice President and founder – Alta Systems, Inc.

Dr. Joseph D. Reddy
Dr. Joseph D. Reddy

 Entrepreneur in Residence – The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research

Joel Rhome
Joel L. Rhome

 President – DXWEB

Richard Staab
Richard Staab

 Owner, President, CEO – InterMed and President – Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure

Bret Sutherland
Bret Sutherland

 Owner – The Office Dealer

Dr. Jeffrey Tate
Dr. Jeffery Tate

 President – CTD Holdings, Inc.

David K. Williams
David K. Williams

 Strategic Vice President – RegisterPatient.com

G. Martin Wynkoop
G. Martin Wynkoop

 Medical Business Consultant – KoopCo, LLC

Karl Zawoy
Karl Zawoy

  Entrepreneur in Residence – Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research and Managing Partner – Scriptshot, LLC.

Dr. Sean McCoy
Sean McCoy, Ph.D. Mentor-At-Large

 Vice President – uBrands Partners; Courtesy Assistant Professor – UF; VP of Business Development – Real McCoy Technology Solutions

Jonathan Rowe
Jonathan Rowe Mentor-At-Large

  Managing Director – NeuroNet Learning

Volunteer today!

Contact Makaya McKnight to learn more about becoming a Startup Quest® mentor and joining a group of more than 185 elite businesspersons, CEOs and successful entrepreneurs in Florida who are paying it forward!

Requirements for participating as a mentor are as follows:

  • Experienced entrepreneur or accomplished upper level manager in a technology-based business;
  • Successful at commercializing a technology;
  • Knowledgeable about the industry applications of a selected technology;
  • Willing to commit time and energy to the team and the entire program;
  • Wants to give back to the community;
  • Works well with people of diverse backgrounds and skill sets; and
  • Willing to coach the team in developing the business