Mark Davidson has been creating as long as he remembers. He used to build electronics, art projects, and woodworking at home as a child- enough to routinely aggravate his parents. He realized during his undergrad work at UF (chemistry) that he had a real talent for making things work and teaching others. In graduate school, the research passion was added to the mix, and by the time he received his Ph.D. in 1990 (Chemical Eng.), he knew he needed to be in the startup business. He began his first business in 1991 designing and selling scientific instruments. After several years, he accepted an opportunity to manage research projects with Paul Holloway in Materials Science and Engineering at UF, while continuing to start and help start several companies. He has been a faculty member at UF and managed the Microfabritech facility until recently. He is now full time at his latest startup, The Tech Toybox, a non-profit dedicated to teaching others how to make their ideas work. As part of that desire to empower budding entrepreneurs, he has also spent time as director of special projects for FMS, a role in which he oversaw the Startup Quest, as well as several other innovative workforce development programs.
Mike Conroy has been working in the construction industry for forty-two years. He has been managing and developing projects in Gainesville, Florida since 1998. His experience with clients, designers and building officials throughout North Florida has included multi-family, commercial and residential development, as well as large scale projects University of Florida. His depth of experience includes both residential and commercial development in California, Hawaii, and for the last 16 years in Florida. He continues to be active in promoting technological and industrial development in North Central Florida. Mike resides in Gainesville, Florida. He is active in the Rotary and the Gainesville Area Innovation Network. He is past Chairman of the Alachua County Housing Finance Authority. He has been a licensed General Contractor in three different states since 1981 and is currently licensed in the State of Florida as a Certified General Building Contractor.