Gabe Ruiz, Advanced IT Concepts, Florida SBDC, Small Business Person of the Year

Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. Founder Gabe Ruiz Named 2017 SBA Small Business Person of the Year

Credits FSBDC at UCF as Helping Make Rapid Growth Possible

Friday May 12, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – For most small businesses, their greatest challenge is stable and continuous growth, and the faster they can achieve that growth, the better. Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. is a central Florida company that has, on the strength of its founders’ diligence and hard work, and with the help of the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF), turned their company into a small business success story.

Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel (Gabe) Ruiz retired from the U.S. Army in 2006. Since then he has leveraged a military career in information technology and an entrepreneurial spirit as owner and CEO of Advanced IT Concepts, Inc., which provides IT consulting services and value added resale of computer hardware and peripherals to both the government and private sectors, into a fast growing small business.

Blending his military, consulting and corporate experiences, Mr. Ruiz and his wife Sandra founded AITC, Inc. in 2010; AITC, Inc. is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and has also earned certification as an SBA 8(a) Minority-Owned Business.

It was in late 2011 that Mr. Ruiz decided to seize the opportunities that he saw for the company and, working with the FSBDC, embarked on a mission to accelerate AITC’s growth. It was then that he turned to the FSBDC at UCF, in particular its Growth Acceleration Services and its Advisory Board Council program.

Since that time, under his leadership the company has grown dramatically from 13 employees and revenues of $4.4 in 2013 to 31 employees and $14.7 million in 2106. That translates to an extraordinary growth rate of 169% between 2013 and 2016, making AITC one of Florida’s fastest growing companies.

It was on the strength of AITC’s extraordinary 2016 results – both as a business and as a member of the community –that Mr. Ruiz won recognition as the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for the North Florida District. Revenues grew from $6.3 million in 2015 to $14.7 million in 2016. The company won huge multi-year government contracts, including a 5-year, $45 million U.S. Army contract, a 5-year, $70 million medical simulation contract and additional multi-year contracts totaling approximately $15 million.

In the community, Mr. Ruiz and the entire AITC team support and participate in numerous important causes, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Wounded Warriors, Nemours Children’s Hospital and United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida. And the success of the customers being served by Mr. Ruiz and AITC is imperative to the safety and welfare of our country, including supporting the U.S. Army, Air Force, Veterans Administration and Department of Interior.

Mr. Ruiz generously credits the FSBDC with assisting him in accomplishing this remarkable growth. In his own words: “The FSBDC at UCF has been a true and invaluable partner to AITC. From our first meeting with Growth Acceleration Services consultant Roger Greenwald who showed a true caring attitude and superb business knowledge, we have received expert advice in areas such as Marketing, Business Development, Budgeting and Forecasting, Operational Effectiveness and more.”

“Additionally, the FSBDC at UCF has facilitated AITC’s participation in the FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council program,” Mr. Ruiz continued. “The ABC provided a team of senior business experts that contributed guidance in all business areas. Today, we are a much improved, stronger and better positioned company due in great part to the outstanding support and guidance provided by the FSBDC at UCF.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. 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 2015, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 7,000 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in more than 7,300 jobs created, retained or saved; $990 million in sales growth; $74.4 million in capital formation; $101.7 million in government contract awards; and 111 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2015, the Florida SBDCs served almost 45,500 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 217,849 jobs created, retained or saved; $29.3 billion in sales growth; $947.4 million in capital accessed; $2.1 billion in government contract awards; and 3,857 new businesses started.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com