John Ciocca - FGCU Software Developer Entrepreneur

Making the internet a safer place

Entrepreneurs take the less desirable aspects of existing businesses and make them better.

John Ciocca Creator of youBelong


John Ciocca - FGCU Software Developer Entrepreneur

John Ciocca (‘22) chose an entrepreneurship major to complement skills he had already developed as a software developer while in high school. He saw early success with a mobile application he built and quickly turned his focus to growing the app’s user base. His app, youBelong, was inspired by his brother, who encouraged him to build a social media network that was both safe and fun to use. Existing products have a growing reputation of misusing customer data and violating user’s privacy. John turned to the School of Entrepreneurship to help him build his business. He needed a way to “monetize” the app or find ways to generate revenue from users.


John and Chris Ciocca


John has developed the skills as an entrepreneurship major to market youBelong to new users, monetize the platform, and make it profitable so that it can be self sustaining. youBelong was released not long ago and today, it has thousands of users from over 25 countries. John also took advantage of the School’s Runway Program to raise seed funding for his business, which he uses to continue its growth.

He says that the School of Entrepreneurship and Runway program are one of a kind in what they offer to student entrepreneurs. But more importantly, it’s the people who have had the biggest impact on his entrepreneurial journey at FGCU. Between the staff, students, and mentors, there is always someone around to chat about your business with and help you work through any problems that you may be facing.

RUNWAY PROGRAMEntrepreneurship Major