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JU Business Dean Don Capener talks iStart, Trader Joe’s in Florida Times-Union


JU Davis College of Business Dean Don Capener was featured in two Florida Times-Union articles over the weekend, one about iStart Jax and the other about more specialty national retailers finally opening locations in the Jacksonville area.

IStart Jax began three years ago to spur growth of young entrepreneurs on the First Coast, reporter Drew Dixon wrote in a Sunday, Sept. 1, story. Its biggest event so far was StartUp Weekend earlier this year, where Capener was a keynote speaker.

In Dixon’s story, Capener said he wasn’t sure what iStart was aiming for at first, but that it has gained traction.

“A friendly environment for entrepreneurs is the best catalyst for job growth that I know of,” Capener said in the story. “I think it was the essential ingredient in the economic recovery [from the Great Recession] and it’s reducing barriers for small companies.”

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Capener said despite the initial ambiguity of iStart’s mission, he was impressed with the organization after speaking at StartUp Weekend and he’s strengthened his association with the organization.

“I was so intrigued with the vibe at the event that I have stayed associated and asked what else I can do to help some of these budding entrepreneurs to get either the advice they need or connect them with folks who might be funding sources,” Capener said. “I’ve tried to stay involved.

“The energy mostly associated with students from JU, UNF and other local colleges and institutions was palpable.”

Read the entire article by clicking here.

In another story, published Monday, Sept. 2, Capener talks with reporter Matt Soergel about the trend of upscale and specialty retailers finally starting to notice Jacksonville and open locations in the area.

Word is that Trader Joe’s grocer is coming to Jacksonville Beach, for example, while outdoor equipment company REI has its first Florida location at The Markets at Town Center. Upscale places such as Tiffany & Co., Brooks Brothers, Louis Vuitton and the under-construction Nordstrom department store are all at the St. Johns Town Center.

Capener makes the point that national chains are noticing that the area’s lower cost of living leaves more  discretionary income.

“REI is a discretionary expense,” he said in the article. “Nobody says you have to have REI gear to be an outdoorsman. You do that because it’s that share of the wallet that’s discretionary. You can say, ‘I’m going to do that.’ ”

Read the entire article by clicking here​.


9/3/2013 5:30 PM


Created at 9/3/2013 5:29 PM by Rymes, Rebecca
Last modified at 9/3/2013 6:00 PM by Rymes, Rebecca