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Memorial Held for Gainesville Entrepreneur

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A memorial for Josh Greenberg, the co-founder of music streaming service Grooveshark, was held Friday evening at the Phillips Center. He was found dead in his home July 19.

Grooveshark was started in 2006 by Greenberg and Sam Tarantino while they were attending the University of Florida. The music-streaming service shut down in April 2015 as part of a settlement on copyright infringement lawsuits.

Greenberg told friends he felt free to move forward in his life. He began planning new businesses, and working with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid, and Rich Blaser, co-founder of Infinite Energy, explain how Josh impacted the start-up community in Gainesville. They were part of a group of young entrepreneurs in Gainesville who met monthly to discuss their work.
Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid, and Rich Blaser, co-founder of Infinite Energy, explain how Josh impacted the start-up community in Gainesville. They were part of a group of young entrepreneurs in Gainesville who met monthly to discuss their work.” credit=”Ali Schmitz / WUFT News

Tarantino said Greenberg was always there for him. He mentioned during the memorial that the two talked almost every day for the past nine years. Even during lawsuits, Tarantino said his friend always managed to stay positive.

“He had this comforting, kind of deep voice,” Tarantino said. “I think that’s what I’ll miss most. That we’re not going to have that voice to comfort us anymore.”

Susan Davenport, the interim president of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, said Greenberg’s decision to keep Grooveshark in Gainesville showed his dedication for the community.

“He was passionate about all things Gainesville, and really seeing this community to its full potential,” she said.

Greenberg worked with the chamber on multiple projects, including founding the Gainesville Technology Council, and Gainesville Dev Academy, a new program launched this summer that trains students in computer programming.

During the memorial, former UF President Bernie Machen said Greenberg inspired UF to move forward with projects that kept entrepreneurs and innovators in Gainesville, even after graduation.

“He is a shining example of what we can accomplish here in Gainesville, because he did it,” Machen said. “He did it by helping other in his own selfless way.”

One of the students Greenberg mentored was David Nassau. Nassau, the president of the Entrepreneurship Club at UF, credits Greenberg for many accomplishments in his life, including attending UF.

“I try to be that nice, genuine, giving, sincere person that Josh was,” Nassau said.

Another person Greenberg mentored was Ben Erez.

“Josh loved humanity as much as anyone I’ve ever met,” Erez said. ” His vibe always reassured me things were going to be alright. And I do believe things are going to be alright… the world is just going to be a less interesting and less loving place without Josh in it.”

About Ali Schmitz

Ali is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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