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Start-Up Now’s Entrepreneurship Success Celebrated at Alumni Social

October 8, 2019 | Filed under: CareerSource Broward News

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Oct. 7, 2019 – Start-Up Now hosted its second annual alumni social at the Innovation Hub @ Broward College, allowing current and former program participants to network with each other and to reconnect with mentors and instructors to share their successes.

“One of the things we like to do at these events is to bring in notable individuals who can share their stories,” said Douglas Sáenz, Program Manager of Start-Up Now. “Sometimes it’s hard for people to have the confidence to start a business, so to bring in someone who’s been through it is encouraging. Also, this year, we’ve opened the event to a larger limited audience, including professors and mentors in business and technology, and the entrepreneur community.”

Some notable attendees included keynote speaker Jayson Koss, Founder and CEO of Delivery Dudes; Mason C. Jackson, President/CEO of CareerSource Broward; Gary L. Arenson of Arenson & Sandhouse, P.A.; Michael O’Donnell, Founder and CEO of and instructor for Start-Up Now; Enrique Triay, Director of the Innovation Hub @ Broward College; and Douglas Sáenz, Program Manager of Start-Up Now.

"I find the Start-Up Now program to be an excellent way to give back and pay-it-forward,” said O’Donnell. “I would not have made it as an entrepreneur myself, or have been able to raise venture capital, had it not been for successful local business leaders who took an interest in me and my startup, and mentored me to become a successful businessman. As a Start-Up Now mentor, I also find a lot of value in getting the ‘first look’ at new ideas and innovations. As a result, I am able to invest early in what I think will be the next great startups in South Florida."

Start-Up Now, which is administered by CareerSource Broward in partnership with the Innovation Hub @ Broward College, provides $20,000 worth of entrepreneurial training, as well as 12 transferable college credits and a certificate in Entrepreneurship from Broward College – all at NO COST. Funded by corporate sponsorships and foundation grants, this is a seven-month program that helps budding entrepreneurs identify viable products and services in order to move them to market as soon as possible.

“South Florida is a growing hotspot for aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to pursue their dream of turning their ideas into a profitable business,” said Jackson. “Small businesses are an essential part of the state’s economic landscape and Start-Up Now contributes to the region’s growth.”

Start-Up Now incorporates Lean Launchpad ®, a proven methodology used by startups and established companies such as Dropbox, Groupon, IGN Entertainment, and Rackspace. The program is taught by instructors who have real-world experience as entrepreneurs. There are currently 18 individuals participating in Start-Up Now. Forty participants have completed the program since its kickoff in 2016, resulting in 27 businesses being launched across South Florida. Some of these businesses include microgreens cultivation, developing and distributing pet-healthy water, fashion design, tutoring and positive television programming. Individuals who complete the program are given a co-working space at the Innovation Hub @ Broward College, where they will be able to work in a collaborative setting and use a variety of tools and resources to help expand their business.

To learn more about Start-Up Now or to apply, visit For additional information about the program contact, Douglas Sáenz, Program Manager, at (954) 495-4346 or email