Jamie M. Grooms Mr. Grooms is a co-founder of Seaventure Clam Co and has served as Executive Chairman since October 2017. He is committed to making shellfish aquaculture crucial to the food industry and has partnered with Florida Atlantic University/Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, FL. Mr. Grooms has served as Chairman of the Board of Regenx Science Inc since December 2016. Mr. Grooms is a co-founder of NeXtGen Biologics Inc, a medical device company specializing in manufacturing extracellular matrix, and has served as Chairman of the Board since January 2015. Mr. Grooms is a co-founder of AxoGen Corporation and has served in the following positions: Director from September 2011 to August 2019, Chairman of the Board from September 2011 to May 2018, Chief Executive Officer from 2002 to May 2010, and Chairman of the Board from inception to September 2011. Mr. Grooms served as CEO for the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research from 2012 to 2016. The Institute’s mission is to identify support and fund companies that commit to commercialize technologies that were supported by public research funds. Mr. Grooms served as the founding Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Regeneration Technologies, Inc from 1998 to Present. He co-invented the primary value-added technologies that formed the basis of RTIX’s product line. In addition to his executive management experience, he has extensive experience in many areas of med-tech business operations, including Research & Development, laboratory and manufacturing operations. He has developed state-of-the-art medical processing and manufacturing systems, robotics, and other technological innovations, and has held various leadership positions with Virginia Tissue Bank (now LifeNet Health), Osteotech, Inc., and CryoLife, Inc. In addition, Mr. Grooms has served as Director of the University of Florida Tissue Bank from 1992 to 1995. Mr. Grooms holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Old Dominion University.
These companies for the most part have been part of the Gainesville/Alachua community and have employed many of the Gainesville residents. Over the years, I have considered the following questions: Did we as a community get the most out of this relationship? What does the community want from these companies? How does the community interact with these companies to achieve these goals? These questions put to the community could generate some interesting opportunities. The company life cycle offers many potential community interactions. This cycle includes: the startup, growth, public offerings and merger and acquisition phases. Each phase offers unique community opportunities.
My primary conclusion is Gainesville needs a professional managed Investment fund. This fund needs to be meaningful to allow Gainesville to be recognized as a player in the investment community. That number begins at $25 million. The key factor is that it needs to be professionally managed. The funding of this fund should come from the stakeholders that will benefit the most. So, the lead for this fund should be University of Florida. Followed the by Chamber, Real-estate developers, service providers and open the door to Gainesville residents. This fund should not be limited to local investments.
It needs to thrive and network nationally to bring investment dollars here for local company growth and bring back returns from good investments outside of Gainesville.