Levan Center will create a global impact on the South Florida innovation ecosystem which includes a focus on emerging industries
NEWS PROVIDED BYAlan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation
Feb 09, 2021, 09:07 ET
FORT LAUDERDALE/DAVIE, Fla., Feb. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Business and community leaders from across South Florida and the country are supporting the Alan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation, which calls Nova Southeastern University (NSU) home. Slated to open in July 2021, construction has begun on the 54,000-sq-ft space that occupies the top floor of the Alvin Sherman Library on the NSU campus. The Levan Center’s goal is to develop, nurture and attract the talent and innovation that will propel the South Florida Region (Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties) into the foremost hub in the country’s global tech and innovation ecosystem.
Located in Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County, the Levan Center will concentrate on being the gateway and connector between entrepreneurs, leading companies, students, and potential investors in the region. It will offer incubator and accelerator programs for early-stage and young-startup companies; mentoring opportunities; a technology-focused makerspace; a showcase and pitch area; technology and innovation skills classes, and more. Additional programming will include access to a purpose-built cybersecurity training range, industry certifications, specialized workshops, seminars and short courses, industry leading speakers, boot camps, pitch sessions and hackathons complemented by a thoughtfully designed co-working space for people to collaboratively develop their skills. The Levan Center is a continuation of a long-standing public-private partnership with NSU and Broward County.
The Alan B. Levan|NSU Broward Center of Innovation has already launched virtual programming including scheduled panels and workshops focused on trends, challenges, opportunities, and strategies impacting the global startup ecosystem.
“My highest priority as Mayor is to bring high paying jobs to Broward County,” said Steve Geller, Mayor of Broward County. “I will work with our friends and partners in the business community to accomplish this. The new Alan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation will help to provide the infrastructure to accelerate job growth, particularly in high-tech industries and other careers that require high levels of training and skill.”
In addition to being ranked among the top locations in the country for entrepreneurial activity, Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County is home to a number of corporate headquarters and major operations including American Express, AutoNation, Chewy, Citrix Systems, Magic Leap, Microsoft, Modernizing Medicine, Motorola, and UKG (formerly Ultimate Software Group), just to name a few.
John Wensveen, Ph.D., NSU’s Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of Levan Center, is working on attracting and retaining industry-leading entrepreneurs, technology, sources of investment capital and seeking out resources to create a premier innovation center. He is cultivating mentors and developing the core programming to support the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Broward County and South Florida which includes a special focus on the defined targeted industries: aviation & aerospace, financial services, global logistics, headquarters, life sciences (health/medical), manufacturing, marine industries, and technology.
“This is a dream position and an opportunity for NSU to be a changemaker fostering an innovation mindset in Broward County and beyond, resulting in a hub of scientific, technology and innovation development,” said Wensveen. “The Levan Center will connect students, faculty, staff and the community creating products, solutions and accelerate job growth in high tech industries that will drive revenue creation and investment opportunities.”
Recently announced, the Alan B. Levan|NSU Broward Center of Innovation Board of Governors represents a wide range of leadership from well-known national corporations, organizations, university, and government. Together they will work together with Alan Levan, Chairman of the Board of Governors and Chairman of BBX Capital and Bluegreen Vacations, to oversee the infrastructure of the Levan Center.
Board of Governors include:
- Ron Antevy – President & CEO, e-Builder
- Ron Chenail – EVP & Provost, Nova Southeastern University
- George L. Hanbury II – President & CEO, Nova Southeastern University
- Marcell Haywood – CEO, Encompass Onsite
- Bertha Henry – Broward County Administrator
- Keith Koenig – CEO, City Furniture
- Alan B. Levan – NSU Trustee; Chairman, Alan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation; Chairman, BBX Capital Corporation; Chairman and CEO, Bluegreen Vacations Corporation
- Lisa Lutoff-Perlo – CEO, Celebrity Cruises
- John Machado – CTO, Ultimate Kronos Group, formerly known as Ultimate Software Group
- Harry Moon – EVP, Chief Operating Officer, Nova Southeastern University
- George Platt – NSU Trustee; Managing Partner, LSN Partners
- Licenia Rojas – SVP/GM & CIO, American Express
- Carl Schramm – Professor, economist, author; former CEO, Kauffman Foundation
- Bob Swindell – CEO, Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance
- Javier Villamizar – Operating Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisors
- Jonathan Wolfe – Sr. Director, AutoNation
About the Alan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation:
The Alan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation (Levan Center) is a public-private partnership between Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and Broward County. The Levan Center is focused on three themes (innovation, technology, entrepreneurship) and four pillars (Ideate, Incubate, Accelerate, Post-Accelerate). The Levan Center serves the NSU, Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County, South Florida communities resulting in breakthrough ideation, new technologies, job creation, talent skills pipeline, new company formation, and scaling of early-stage and young startup companies. Each of the four pillars are supported by customized programs, events, and wraparound services. The Levan Center is an economic development engine for Broward County and South Florida with potential for national and international impact. By powering the innovation ecosystem, the Levan Center is a major stakeholder in the establishment of a tech hub for Broward County and South Florida. For more information, please visit nova.edu/innovation.
About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): At NSU, students don’t just get an education, they get the competitive edge they need for real careers, real contributions and real life. A dynamic, private research university, NSU is providing high-quality educational and research programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree levels. Established in 1964, the university includes 15 colleges, the 215,000-square-foot Center for Collaborative Research, the private JK-12 grade University School, the world-class NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, and the Alvin Sherman Library, Research and Information Technology Center, one of Florida’s largest public libraries. NSU students learn at our campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, and online globally. With nearly 200,000 alumni across the nation and globe, the reach of the NSU community is worldwide. Classified as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is one of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification and is also the largest private institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit www.nova.edu for more information.