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SN 2 - #12A Florida's Startup Surge: Insights from UF Innovate Ventures

Welcome to another episode of The 7 in 7 Show with Zack Ellison, which features full length interviews with the world’s leading investors in innovation.

Episode #12A of Season 2 features Dr. Jackson Streeter, Director of UF Innovate Ventures at the University of Florida, where he manages a venture fund for the Research Foundation.

After assuming this role in late 2019, he recruited a luminary Investment Advisory Committee and began investing in 2020. In addition, he manages life science investments for the Florida Opportunity Fund and DeepWork Capital, where he is a limited partner.

Prior to assuming his current roles, Dr. Streeter was the Senior Vice President Corporate Development and Strategy at Quanterix Inc. a publicly traded company in Massachusetts.

Dr. Streeter was the CEO and Executive Director of the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund, a seed stage venture fund investing in companies commercializing technologies developed from state of Florida Universities, Colleges or research Institutes. The fund created over 50 companies with private investment matching Florida state funding at an 11:1 ratio and having over $2.4 billion in economic impact for the State of Florida.

Dr. Streeter is the inventor of over twenty patents, the author on multiple scientific publications and has served on over a dozen boards and executive committees.

Previously, he served as an Officer in the U.S. Navy, completing a general surgery internship at Naval Regional Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia and then primary Flight School at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

During his military service, he was the first Naval Flight Surgeon selected as a TOPGUN staff instructor. He served on several overseas deployments, including Operation Desert Storm. Dr. Streeter initiated the Basic Combat Medicine Course to train Naval Aircrew on the essential life-saving skills necessary to stabilize combat related injuries in the field.

As the Senior Flight Surgeon at Naval Air Station Fallon, NV he was part of the helicopter aircrew with the Search and Rescue (SAR) team and pilot rescue program where he participated in over 40 real world SAR missions and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for that service, as well as, two Naval Achievement Medals and other awards. After eight years of active duty, Dr. Streeter left active Naval service at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

He earned his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Nevada Reno and his M.D. from the University of Nevada School of Medicine and completed the Essentials of Pharmacology course at Harvard University. He and his wife Maria have two daughters.

In this episode, Zack Ellison and Jackson Streeter discuss:

1. Florida’s Potential as an Innovation Hub: Exploring the state’s growing talent pool, favorable business environment, and increasing investment, positioning it as an emerging leader in innovation.

2. Early Stage Funding for Startups: The importance of securing early-stage funding, particularly for underserved communities like veterans, and how it can significantly impact a startup’s trajectory.

3. Strategies for Founders: Key strategies for startup success, including starting with a solid product-market fit, choosing the right investors, and prioritizing intellectual property protection.

4. Gainesville’s Startup Ecosystem: A look into Gainesville’s vibrant startup community, its internationally recognized incubator system, and how it attracts talent and companies from around the globe.

5. Valuation and Cap Table Management: The consequences of raising money at high valuations and the importance of managing the cap table to avoid pitfalls like down rounds and talent loss.

6. Venture Debt and Dilution: How venture debt can help startups save on dilution, and the strategic benefits of this financing option for growth-stage companies.

7. Innovation in Healthcare AI: Discussions on the potential of AI in healthcare, including predictive analytics, medical imaging, and smart ICU technology, and their implications for the industry.

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A.R.I. is an investment manager focused on providing growth capital to premier startups in underserved regions and sectors in North America. Learn more at