October 8, 2014

Venture: 1 a risky or daring journey or undertaking   2 a business enterprise involving considerable risk

The Startup Quest blog is called Venture.  Venture as seen in the definition above is a journey, which is what you all are about to embark on. The next ten weeks are going to educational, hectic, enthralling, often times overwhelming, but mostly rewarding. The golden rule of this program is you get out of Startup Quest what you put into it. So what’s it going to be?

Now, you might ask yourself, “Why would I want to read a blog about the program if I’m in the program?”

Well, for starters it’s not just for participants of the program. Anyone can read it, and hopefully people unfamiliar with the program do read it. Then suddenly, Clay and I are flooded with hundreds of calls and emails from people begging to be a part of this awesome entrepreneur training program. Or at least, that’s the goal.

Or let’s fast forward to next spring and someone is asking you about your time in the training and you’re trying to fully explain Startup Quest but it’s just not doing the program justice. You think to yourself, “Gee, if only there was a way to really explain the full depth of this program.”

I know. We think of everything.

Besides that, there will be lots of interesting insight and extra bits that you don’t get from the training, like guest speaker interviews, events, updates, behind the scenes stuff, etc. So stay tuned into us: join the Linked In group, follow us on Twitter, read the blog and sign up for the newsletter. We’re not only here to help, we’re here to make this experience enjoyable.

Before we get down to business and begin the training I think it’s time we introduced ourselves. The training facilitator and all the mentors have been fully introduced and their bios are posted, however, you might be interested to learn a little bit more about the staff behind the scenes.

The Boss Lady

Julie Rathwell is a Project Director with CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, and serves as the Regional Program Manager for Startup Quest Pinellas and Startup Quest Tampa Bay. She has been with CareerSource Tampa Bay and Pinellas since July 2012. Before that, she lived in New York City and worked for the non-profit partner to the New York City Department of Health. Julie earned her Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Catawba College.  While our Training Facilitator calls her The Enforcer, as a Canadian she likes to think of herself as a peace keeper.

The Man with a Plan

Clay Gambetti is a Program Manager with CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay. Prior to joining CareerSource, he worked for Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation on a project in conjunction with CareerSource Pinellas and Tampa Bay. When the project was completed, he joined CareerSource to help manage Workforce Analyses and Startup Quest. Clay earned his MBA from Bradley University, his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Wabash College, and completed post-MBA coursework in Finance at Harvard University. His entrepreneurial endeavors include selling famous framed quotations at festivals, flipping vans, renting college homes, and providing Marketing Analysis to companies on an hourly basis


The Newbie and Coffee Runner Extraordinaire

Kaitlyn (Kate) Head is a Marketing Associate with CareerSource Tampa Bay and is part of the Startup Quest team for both Pinellas and Tampa Bay.  Since joining the team, she has started the Venture blog and the Startup Quest monthly newsletter, which she very much loves, in addition to doing whatever Julie and Clay asks her to. Kate recently graduated with her Bachelors of Arts and Science in Communication from the University of South Florida. Her life’s ambition is to travel as often as possible and with a growing interest in entrepreneurship she might find a way to someday combine the two.


Well now that all the final introductions have been made, mentors have been chosen, and teams have been sorted – Let’s get started.