It's not easy starting a business. Josh Greenberg and Sam Tarantino remember when they created Grooveshark, which now boasts about 15 million users in North America alone. They started in 2006, working on improvised desks of cardboard boxes.
This semester, the two UF alumni said they want to help out young entrepreneurs who need that first boost.
The on-demand music business will host semester-long classes, called Grooveshark University, where entrepreneurs can hone the skills they need to launch their own business.
In addition, the organization is giving away its old office furniture to start-up businesses.
Mayor Craig Lowe toured the organization's office Monday, noting that he thought Grooveshark is the type of innovative business in Gainesville that will help the city grow.
This semester, the organization has a new, 18-person classroom in its Southeast Second Avenue office where about four classes will start on Sept. 15. Applications can be found at www.grooveshark.com/university.
The classes will be taught by Grooveshark employees and will change instructors based on who is most experienced in that day's topic.
The free classes started Fall 2010 with the vision of sculpting the class syllabus based on what the students want to learn, such as iPhone app coding, web coding with Python, creating advertisements and finding investors.
The website co-founders said they know how difficult it can be to start a business, and they want to use their success to help others.
So far, at least one Grooveshark University idea has become a start-up business: Nichemobile.net.
"We remember what that's like," said Greenberg, the chief technology officer of Grooveshark.