Crypto Tutors

Crypto Tutors: Educating Today for the Future of Tomorrow

Cryptocurrency Educational Platform Wins Government Grant with Florida APEX Accelerator at UCF Assistance

April 18, 2024


Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or

                  Kara Vernon, APEX Specialist, Florida APEX Accelerator at UCF, 407.454.3564 or  

Orlando, FL – Foreseeing the future and taking the risk to act upon that vision is both a curse and a blessing for many entrepreneurs, especially in the world of technology; a curse because of the uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring but a blessing for the promise and rewards that success can offer to society and the entrepreneurs themselves. For Nina Blankenship, CEO and Lisa Francoeur, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of Crypto Tutors, a Web3 cryptocurrency educational platform, their vision for future-proofing the workforce through upskilling and re-skilling via research, education, tools, training, and consultation was crystal clear. Their challenge was attracting capital and generating revenue, starting with government contracts. To accomplish this, they turned to Florida APEX Accelerator at the University of Central Florida, the government contracting affiliate of the Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF (FSBDC at UCF).

Crypto Tutors is an online cryptocurrency educational platform founded in 2020 by a diverse group of professionals, offering e-learning courses and specialized tutoring services to individuals, businesses, and communities desiring to increase their knowledge and understanding of cryptocurrency. Through a secure employee portal, Crypto Tutors provides multi-modal education through live tutoring for new hires to C-Level Employees, e-learning, interviews with diverse leaders, and educational resources. Their mission is to up-skill all employees across Web3 from blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the metaverse.

“What makes us unique, what makes us different,” explains CEO Blankenship, “is we understand that emerging technology is not just the future, it’s the present and we’re devoted to ensuring that corporations, governments agencies, and others understand what the enterprise applications and consumer applications of blockchain technology are and ultimately how to derive value from it.”

“I originally was introduced to Kara Vernon (Florida APEX Accelerator at UCF specialist) by attending a webinar about winning government contracts and grants, including how to register to do business with the U.S. government through its System for Award Management ( website,” recalls Blankenship. “She helped me understand how to navigate the website and gain a registration. Without that registration, I would not have been able to apply for government grants. Her help was instrumental, and I really appreciate her patience and kindness. Kara and the APEX Accelerator team have been like family, have become great mentors to Crypto Tutors and been leading us to success.”

Thanks to Crypto Tutors efficacious registration on, success has recently come to the company in the form of winning a prestigious $275,000 National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant aimed at helping ensure university students are qualified to gain Web3 careers. “To have been awarded the National Science Foundation SBIR Phase I award was a tremendous victory for our organization and a tremendous validation,” CRO Francoeur states proudly. “It has given our organization the motivation, the inspiration, and the drive to continue to build for the future. As a disadvantaged, minority-owned business, it is extremely difficult to ensure you are set up for success. As a result of the partnership, the collaboration with APEX Accelerator, we were able to identify a clear path to transact with the government. It’s one of the main reasons why we have such an appreciation and such an affinity for APEX Accelerator” she concluded.

“I’m really excited to see where the future of Crypto Tutors goes,” adds Blankenship. “5 years from now we’ll be able to tell that story and I just know that APEX Accelerator is going to be part of it.”

For information about Crypto Tutors, please visit .


About the Florida APEX Accelerator

The Florida APEX Accelerator (formerly the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center) is part of a national network of APEX Accelerators working to help businesses compete successfully in the government marketplace. The Florida APEX Accelerator is powered statewide by the University of West Florida and funded in part by the State of Florida and local partners. This APEX Accelerator is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense. In 2022, the Florida APEX Accelerator network served 1,387 new clients, resulting in businesses creating and retaining 25,919 jobs and helping businesses secure $246 million in government contracts. For more information, please visit

About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of part of UCF’s Office of the President and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2020, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,800 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,000 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.2 billion in sales growth; $92.4 million in capital formation; $92.7 million in government contract awards; and 86 new businesses started. For more information, please visit

About the Florida SBDC Network

For more than 45 years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2022, the Florida SBDC Network delivered 117,750 hours of consulting to 14,758 small business clients – resulting in business owners securing $446 million in capital, $445 million in government contracting, impacting 23,515 jobs, increasing sales by over $4.5 billion, and creating 825 businesses.

With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Department of Defense, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862