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Applied Genetic Technologies nets $50M in IPO

Through an initial public offering on March 27, Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation raised $50 million, closing up 23 percent by the day’s end.

Offering nearly 4.2 million shares, bidding ranged from $12.50 to $16.82 on the 27th. AGTC plans to use proceeds from the stock sales to fund additional development as well as clinical and preclinical studies of various gene therapies. AGTC is developing gene therapy for the treatment of genetic eye diseases with University of Florida licensed technology.


Hobby Lobby projected to open Gainesville location in late 2014

Hobby Lobby officials recently announced that the company’s Gainesville location should open in late 2014. Reconstruction on the 55,000-square-foot location, formerly Stein Mart, is scheduled to start soon.

In Dec. 2013, the company applied for an $890,000 construction permit for the 6111 Newberry Road location. The store will hire 35 to 50 employees.


Panera Bread & Mattress Firm to Open on Newberry Road

Mattress Firm has begun construction on a 4,000-square-foot store located on Newberry Road. Work on the store is expected to finish in late May with the goal of a summer 2014 opening, said David Hass, a Delray Beach developer.

A new Panera Bread will also open next door to the Mattress Firm. Construction is scheduled to begin in late April, with the goal of opening in late July or early August. Vikki Kaiser, a spokeswoman for the franchise, said the bakery-café will include a drive-thru and patio.


Pearson Embanet to receive $186 million from University of Florida

The University of Florida has agreed to pay an estimated $186 million over an 11-year contract to Pearson Embanet. UF will use both a share of tuition revenue as well as direct payments to meet this contract, which will support a developing online university program.

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In 2013, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill giving UF the ability to create an online university that would offer a complete four-year degree program for 75 percent of the cost of tuition that traditional students pay. The bill gave UF $35 million in startup funding for the first five years and six months to get the program running.

Per the contract, Pearson is charged with creating admission and enrollment support, tracking retention rates, marketing and providing on-demand student support for the program.


Governor Scott Announces Optym To Expand Operations in Gainesville

On April 4, Gov. Rick Scott announced that Optym will expand its operations in Gainesville. The expansion will create 100 jobs and supply a capital investment of $4.8 million to the Alachua County area.

Optym was founded in Gainesville in 2000. The company, a leader in planning and scheduling software for the transportation and logistics industry, is now worldwide, with offices located in Armenia and India.

“Gainesville was a perfect place to start our company due to the terrific pool of talent coming from the University of Florida, as their engineering programs are regularly recognized as some of the best in the nation,” said Optym founder Dr. Ravindra K. Ahuja in a press release. “It made perfect sense that this expansion would happen where it all started in Gainesville.”

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