To Phoebe Cade Miles, innovation is synonymous with Gainesville.
She would know.
Her father, Robert Cade, invented Gatorade in 1965. To mark the 50th anniversary of the pioneer sports drink, which Cade devised to protect athletes from dehydration, Miles and a group of local dignitaries recently broke ground for the Cade Museum of Creativity and Invention at Depot Park on South Main Street and Depot Avenue.
“Museums tell stories about things that are important to a community,” said Miles, who is founder, president and CEO of the museum.
In Gainesville, innovation of the sort that Miles’ father helped pioneer, is important.
The museum, which is an expansion of the Creativity Lab, will open in 2017, Miles said. It will feature exhibits like Gatorade: Dr. Cade’s Laboratory, and the Gator Tank, which is a spin-off of the entrepreneurial investment television show “Shark Tank,” Miles said. It will also teach people how to pitch their innovative ideas.
The museum’s motto will be: “Think. Meet. Be,” she said.
The 45,000 square feet building will be built in two phases. The first phase has a budget of $9 million, according to the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency.
In 2004 the Cade family started the Cade Museum Foundation. The foundation worked with the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, the Alachua County Commission and the City of Gainesville for over 10 years to make the Cade Museum possible.
Three years ago the Cade Museum began programs out of the Creativity Lab, across the street from Depot Park
, Miles said. It now offers 3D printers and scanners, computers, laser cutters and more in the fabrication lab.
Classes and camps are offered to anyone interested, and Alachua County schools can hold field trips to the lab. During the groundbreaking, Miles introduced a prototype of “The Science of Electrolytes,” a kit designed to teach kids about the science behind Gatorade.
“I always say that Gainesville is a hub of innovation,” Mayor Ed Braddy said at the ceremony.
He said the Cade Museum is the manifestation of what he is always talking about.
Judson Douglas is the Relationships and Agency Manager of SharpSpring, a marketing automation company that began as a Gainesville startup. He said he loves the expansion of the Cade Museum because its efforts and teaching programs for innovation will help retain creativity in Gainesville.
“To know that this is going to be a new driver of business [in Gainesville] – it gives me goosebumps,” he said.
Douglas said his two sons have been to the Cade Museum many times.
Jacques Daniles, 11, went to the ceremony with his school, the Caring and Sharing Learning School. A sixth-grader now, Jacques said he has been coming to the Cade Museum with his school since he was in third grade.
He said he likes to make music and play with the 3D printers in the lab. He wants to be an inventor when he gets older, he said.
“There’s no limit for how far you can go and what you can do,” Jacques said.
Others in attendance included Congressman Ted Yoho, Alachua County Commission Chair Charles Chestnut IV, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Gatorade Brett O’Brien and
Gainesville Area Chairman for the Chamber of Commerce John Carlson.