Young Entrepreneurship Award

Florida Governor recognizes UF Engineering alumnus with Young Entrepreneurship Award

In Engineering Innovation Institute, Featured, Honors & Awards, News

Young Entrepreneurship Award winner

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A co-founder of Gainesville-based drone manufacturer Altavian, Inc. was recognized by Florida’s governor this week with the Young Entrepreneur Award.

Thomas Rambo was an aerospace engineering graduate student at UF when he and several classmates took an entrepreneurship class through the Engineering Innovation Institute and began to develop a business model. He is also an alumnus of UF’s Engineering Leadership Institute.

Erik Sander is the director of the EII. “Thomas and his colleagues are exactly the kind of entrepreneurs we try to produce,” Sander said. “They didn’t care about the hype – they took what they had developed in their labs and applied a solid analytical approach to building up their business.”

Altavian garnered a lot of attention in 2014 when they secured a $4 million contract with the U.S. Army. They have expanded nationally and created 30 new jobs in Florida.

“It’s been extremely gratifying seeing him come back and speak to our current students,” Sander said, “and then be able to offer them great jobs – right here in town.”