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Helps Entrepreneurs And Individuals Grow And Connect With The Resources They Need To Succeed.

Could you imagine what Gainesville will look like when sustainable energy powers our homes? When autonomous cars and buses become the norm, and car accidents will be shocking to hear about – not an everyday occurrence? What about when advances in robotics and artificial intelligence have opened up an entire new world of work and play for us and our children? What if Gainesville’s largest stakeholders were all united and focused around one central mission: to push Gainesville and her surroundings to greater heights, and enable the city to prosper in ways typically only reserved for the Silicon Valleys of the world?
These are the questions that have driven an up-and-coming group of dreamers and doers to assemble Gainesville’s finest and challenge them to think bigger and do more. Why? Because it’s not just possible – it’s a challenge worth tackling.

Where did this all begin? On the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street, atop the Holiday Inn. It was January 26th, 2017.

Founder of the world’s largest Audio/Visual Equipment Distributer, UF Professor Martin Schaffel (or “Marty” as he is known by his students) gathered with local student-entrepreneurs Pablo Casilimas, John Crimmins, Isaac Hetzroni, Son Hai Vo, and Justis Mendez to enjoy each other’s company while they discussed the future and problems worth solving.

They talked about healthcare and education. They discussed our infrastructure and the improvements necessary for our country to become globally competitive again. And they mused over the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, the gratitude, and the sighs of relief that come with success and a job well done. Wishing they could do this more often, Marty shared a story he held dear to his heart:

“When my best friend was diagnosed with cancer, we stood in his house and looked up at this beautiful whiskey collection he built over the years. And all we could think about was how when he was gone, no one would be there to appreciate it. When we’re gone, it’ll probably just get thrown out.

So we decided right then and there that we would get all our closest friends together every so often and enjoy a bottle or two, and at the end of the night we’d sign the bottle and someone would take it home as a memento.”

They called it The Empty Bottle Club.

While company rejoiced around fine spirits, the spirit of the club was more about enjoying fine company. It wasn’t about the alcohol – it was a metaphor that we all must drink LIFE to the last drop.
The club grew, and found itself becoming an exclusive who’s-who of sorts for successful entrepreneurs in the Tampa Bay area.

Back on the roof of the Holiday Inn, this Gainesville motley crew decided Gainesville needed its own chapter. The five founders gathered their friends – mostly student entrepreneurs at the University of Florida – and hosted their own version of the Empty Bottle Club. But instead of meeting in massive mansions, they started with a bonfire in Son Vo’s backyard.

Within a year’s time, Gainesville’s “EBC” too had become an exclusive gathering as well, attracting Gainesville entrepreneurs at every stage of the journey. Those who are “hungry” and just starting out, as well as local legends including Ken McGurn, Mitch Glaeser and Rich Blaser. Their events are now exclusively held at startup offices like Feathr as well as San Felasco Tech City and members’ private homes, creating a warmer and more intimate environment.

Today, the EBC is just one of several events put on by its recently-founded parent organization ONESIXONE. The ONESIXONE Group has expanded their mission, to foster organic growth of Gainesville’s startup community. They currently serve by hosting expert-roundtables, workshops, seminars, and retreats that connect early stage entrepreneurs to those who have built companies and had successful exits. Above all, they focus on creating an atmosphere where learning, connecting, and growth feels natural, easy, and fun.

“Our goal is to identify and fill the gaps in what’s needed for this community – not only Gainesville, but her surroundings as well. Right now, we are focused on Gainesville, but our greater vision encompasses Florida and the world at large.”

ONESIXONE believes that by actively pushing for greater collaboration among community leaders, we can build Gainesville into a premier hub for entrepreneurship, technology and talent. Attending one of their events makes it clear that you are a part of something greater and can directly contribute to making the world around you a better place.


Gainesville, FL 32601, US

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