Gainesville Innovation Enablers Ken and Linda McGurn have helped finance and mentor tech companies since the mid-’90s. They opened the Downtown Tech Center in 2003, Founders Pad in 2011, and Hacker Space in 2012 helping create hundreds of high-tech jobs and a thriving tech community. They were instrumental in the redevelopment of downtown Gainesville and were included as two of “50 People Who Made a Difference In North Central Florida Over the Last Century.”
Both served on the University of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisory Board and the UF Business School Dean’s Advisory Board. Ken served as Entrepreneur in Residence, mentoring students and helping to create startup ideas. He and Linda are the first couple in the university’s history to be named Distinguished Alumni at the same time and are UF Foundation Life Time Volunteers. They were named Entrepreneurs of the Year.
They have been recognized for their environmental work including being named Alachua County Conservation Stewards, receiving a number of energy awards from the National Home Builders, a Sustainable Florida Award by Governor Bush, and recognition by the National Alliance to Save Energy. Their solar projects generate almost 2 million kWh of electricity.
Both have been honored by the Chamber of Commerce for their volunteer work, including Linda for her work as co-chair of Innovation Gainesville which was dedicated to expanding high-tech industry in Gainesville. Linda is a past chair of the UF Foundation Board of Directors. She was co-chair of UF Women, which worked to engage women in leadership and philanthropy and was named a Santa Fe College Woman of Distinction. Governor Lawton Childs recognized her as One of Florida’s Finest.
She earned a BSBA in accounting and a JD from the University of Florida. Dr. McGurn has chaired many private and public boards including Gold Standard Multimedia, Integrated Medical Curriculum, Florida Museum of Natural History, UF Center for Real Estate Studies, multi-county WorkForce Board, City Redevelopment Agency, County Housing Finance Authority, State Home Builders’ PAC, and the Apartment Association as well as chairing committees for the Plan to End Homelessness.
He has a BSBA in Management, a Masters in Real Estate and Urban Land Planning and a PhD in Real Estate, Finance and Economics. He is a Vietnam veteran and was a spy, paratrooper, Jungle Expert, and the youngest Captain in the military at age 22.