FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. Named National Winner of SBA’s 2020 Exporter of the Year Award

Maitland, FL-based Water Treatment Solutions Company Earns Recognition for International Growth Supported by Florida SBDC at UCF and its Partners

September 21, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, Fl – Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. (GWT) has been named the 2020 Small Business Exporter of the Year by the Small Business Administration (SBA), in addition to having been the winner for the SBA North Florida District, SBA State of Florida and SBA Southeast Region competitions. The company will be recognized during SBA’s National Small Business Week, an annual event honoring the accomplishments and contributions of the best small businesses in the nation.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for this prestigious SBA national exporter of the year award” said Nick Nicholas, GWT’s Technical Director and principal. “This award is a testament to the commitment of Genesis Water Technologies’ and our global team to a world with access to a clean safe water supply for both businesses and communities.”

“National recognition of Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. as Exporter of the Year by the SBA is most certainly well deserved. The company has done remarkable work leveraging innovation and proficiency to serve the desperately important water filtration needs of municipalities and industrial clients in 43 counties and counting,” commented Eunice Choi, Regional Director, Florida SBDC at UCF.

“We at the Florida SBDC at UCF, with our partners at Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Export Assistance Center, are pleased to have contributed our international trade and export marketing expertise to the company’s success and its ability to make a difference in the world,”  Choi concluded.

Genesis Water Technologies is a leading water & wastewater treatment solutions company. It was started almost 15 years ago to tackle the issues of water scarcity and inadequate water treatment with innovative and sustainable water & wastewater treatment solutions and services tailored to serving communities and industrial clients.

GWT started exporting in 2009, and with the support and assistance of the Florida SBDC at UCF’s International Trade Services program, developed a robust game plan and go-to-market strategy for foreign markets.  Funded by Enterprise Florida and the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), the company received the FSBDC’s Export Marketing Plan, which provided a roadmap for the international expansion of GWT. With this guidance and the help of the U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), the company has now successfully sold in 43 countries.

Today, GWT’s export business makes up over 40% of the company’s total sales and supports its global workforce.

In addition to the FSBDC at UCF’s International Trade Services, GWT is currently benefitting from the FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council program, which provides a custom-fit advisory board comprised of volunteer independent business professionals to help accelerate GWT’s business growth.

In connection with the SBA’s national 2020 Exporter of the Year, and along with other national winners and finalists, Genesis Water Technologies will be honored in a virtual event hosted by the SBA in Washington, DC that will be held on September 22-24. In addition, and in conjunction with the SBA’s North Florida District Office, GWT and other local 2020 Small Business Week Award Winners will be recognized at a virtual Small Business Week Celebration on October 9 hosted jointly by the Florida Small Business Development Centers at UCF, UNF, FAMU and UWF, a first of its kind Small Business Week Event.

For more information about Genesis Water Technologies, Inc, please visit their website at https://genesiswatertech.com/

— FSBDC —

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 the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation 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 9 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2019, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 2,500 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,000 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.2 billion in sales growth; $62.3 million in capital formation; $213.2 million in government contract awards; and 125 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty 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 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 of professional business consulting to over 12,500 client businesses, resulting in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 2016 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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

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

FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

Central Florida Small Business Wins SBA’s 2020 Exporter of the Year Award

Genesis Water Technologies assists 43 countries worldwide with water treatment challenges

Release Date: September 17, 2020                 Contact: Shannon.Giles@sba.gov

Release Number: 20-69NFL                               Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs & Instagram

WASHINGTON – Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. (GWT) has been named 2020 Small Business Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  The Maitland, Florida-based company will be recognized during SBA’s National Small Business Week, an annual event honoring the accomplishments and contributions of the best small businesses in the nation. This year’s National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover toward a stronger economy.  

Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. owner and Technical Director Nick Nicholas, along with other national winners and finalist for the National Small Business Person of the Year, will be honored in a virtual event that will be held on September 22-24.

“Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. has a tremendous impact in providing access to safe drinking water around the world.  They are a great example of how a small business can flourish by entering global markets.  We are proud that the SBA was able to assist them as they grew into an international company,” said SBA’s Office of International Trade Associate Administrator Loretta Greene.

Under Nicolas’ leadership, the company’s revenues more than doubled in 2019, and GWT started tackling the water supply issues with sustainable water treatment systems.  Nicholas is passionate about educating people about the impact that polluted water has on the world.

Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. began exporting industrial water filtration systems to Saudi Arabia in 2009.  Today, export business makes up 40 percent of the company’s total sales and supports the workforce of 100 employees. GWT received a State Expansion Program (STEP) grant for $2,500, which provided a roadmap for the international expansion of GWT.  The company launched a digital marketing campaign to include translating its website into 24 local dialects and invested in search engine optimization tools to increase traffic to its website.

The company now uses its expertise and solutions to serve municipalities and industrial clients in 43 countries, fulfilling its mission of providing water and wastewater reuse solutions to communities around the world. GWT believes it can make a difference in the world’s access to safe and clean water.

Laketa Henderson, SBA North Florida District Director (Acting) stated “I’d like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Nicholas for winning the title of National Exporter of the Year. This award demonstrates his commitment to growing his business through exporting and international trade, which can often be a difficult task. He has worked with SBA resource partner the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Central Florida to navigate some these challenges. This is a noteworthy accomplishment for Mr. Nicholas and for the SBDC.”

For registration and additional information on National Small Business Week, please visit sba.gov/NSBW .

###

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Cosponsorship Authorization #SBW2020. SBA’s participation in this Cosponsored Activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products, or services of any Cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

 Details and registration information will be posted on sba.gov/NSBW  as events are finalized.

FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

Business Recovery Teams: New Florida SBDC at UCF Program Helps Companies Impaired by COVID-19 Get Back to Business and Get Back to Growth

August 20, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL –  To assist established Central Florida businesses overcome the harm from the COVID-19 pandemic and help them rebuild for long term success, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) has launched a new,  focused, robust, and heavily resourced business assistance program for small- to medium-sized businesses built around providing Recovery, Resiliency, and Continuity support – all strengthened by additional staff and funding.

The newly created Business Recovery Team (BRT) program has been designed by the FSBDC at UCF to help companies develop and implement customized business strategies designed to assist in recovery after the unexpected disruptions of COVID-19 and to build sustainability thereafter, including through realigning their business model and adapting to a new environment. This is a new and distinctive service from the FSBDC.

Business Recovery Teams will be assembled by the FSBDC at UCF – each one ‘custom-fit’ for the participating business – with expert FSBDC consultants with a diverse range of skills.  Experienced business professionals may then be added, as necessary, when specialized skillsets or backgrounds are required. The client-dedicated BRT will then conduct in-depth strategic and business planning aimed at returning the business to health and growth.

Depending on the needs of the company, included in the process could be identification and articulation of company goals aligned with the COVID-19 ‘new normal’; enumeration of a recovery-focused business plan; and definition and deployment of critical business functions and resources. A BRT’s contributions can range across financial, marketing and operational areas of an organization and include:

  • Post-COVID-19 Management Plans and Protocols
  • Financial Analysis, including streamlining and cost analysis
  • Digital Marketing Outlines and Services
  • Industry Market Research & Analysis
  • Business Resiliency Plans for the Future

Like the FSBDC at UCF’s award-winning Advisory Board Council program, which has positively impacted 100’s of Central Florida businesses through revenue growth and job creation. a Business Recovery Team is a powerful management tool to help businesses solve the unprecedented problems of today and create opportunities for tomorrow.

The FSBDC’s Business Recovery Team Program is unique in what it offers participating companies, and is designed to make a difference and get results through:

  • Intensive Engagement with Experienced Consulting Teams;
  • In-depth Financial, Marketing and Industry Analysis and Planning;
  • Innovative and often Groundbreaking Problem Solving;
  • Identification of New Opportunities and Direction; and
  • Results-driven Strategies and Action Plans.

The FSBDC at UCF’s Business Recovery Team program is funded by the CARES Act, and available for a limited time. Businesses interested in assistance from a BRT must complete an application and meet three criteria to qualify for consideration: the company must be three (3) or more years in business; have 2019 revenues of $350,000 or more; and had more than 3 employees as of March 1, 2020.

To apply for a FSBDC at UCF Business Recovery Team, please complete and submit the the application found at https://sbdcorlando.com/covid19-relief/#brt.

— FSBDC —

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 the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation 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 9 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2019, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 2,500 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,000 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.2 billion in sales growth; $62.3 million in capital formation; $213.2 million in government contract awards; and 125 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty 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 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 of professional business consulting to over 12,500 client businesses, resulting in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 2016 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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

Florida SBDC at UCF Helps Central Florida Businesses Obtain More than $40 Million in COVID-19 Assistance

Businesses Receive SBA and Florida Funds to Help Weather Crisis

July 23, 2020

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4879 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – In the face of the economic damage reeked by the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses in Central Florida, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) has helped and is helping companies across the region put disaster assistance programs to work for them, including accessing critically-needed funding and develop recovery, resiliency and continuity plans for the future – all at no cost to its clients.

As of July 6th, the FSBDC at UCF has helped 483 local businesses obtain $40.2 million in COVID-19 assistance:

  • $17.3 million in SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds
  • $11.6 million in SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
  • $11.2 million in Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans (EBL)

In addition, the FSBDC at UCF has launched a COVID-19 Relief Program designed to assist companies with recovery from the pandemic’s economic damage, build resiliency for weathering future disasters and put plans in place to support business continuity and growth into the future. With expanded resources invested in newly formed Business Recovery Teams, participating FSBDC clients can expect significant assistance with developing strategies and action plans to put them on the path back to pre-COVID-19 business performance.

“Accessing this funding and putting plans in place to navigate the ‘new normal’ is and will continue to be critical to our small business clients recovering from the unprecedented damage they have suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Eunice Choi, regional director of the FSBDC at UCF. “Helping them manage through this challenging time and put their businesses in position to grow and succeed again is why the FSBDC is here.”

Consultants at the FSBDC have provided guidance on the most appropriate funding options, eligibility requirements, application best practices, and the approval process and timing. Once funds are received, they have provided recommendations on their best uses and how to be positioned for success in the new economic landscape. In addition, the FSBDC has offered information about relevant webinars and access to necessary market research.

Going forward, its consultants will be providing their high-value, confidential consulting at no cost to help small-and medium-sized businesses with their ongoing recovery.

— FSBDC –

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 the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation 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 2018, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,500 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 6,500 jobs created, retained or saved; $749 million in sales growth; $36.1 million in capital formation; $178.3 million in government contract awards; and 277 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.

 

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty 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 2018, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,500 client businesses, resulting in more than 38,400 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $520 million in government contracts acquired; $201.8 million in capital accessed; and 665 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 2016 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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

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

sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Small Business Institute, SBI

SBI® National Honors won by UCF Students in FSBDC at UCF Program

Student Teams Assist Local Small Businesses with Award-Winning Consulting

July 16, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL –    The Small Business Institute® (SBI®), the premier provider of professional development for those engaged in experiential student team consulting and related entrepreneurship education, research and activities and the link between business, education and community, recently announced that two (2) student teams from the University of Central Florida’s College of Business Administration (UCF CBA) were winners in its annual Project of the Year (POY) competition, taking 2nd place in the 2020 ‘Graduate Specialized’ category and 2nd place in the 2020  ‘Graduate Consulting Project’ category, respectively.

In competition with MBA teams from across the country, the UCF CBA team of students Jonathan Diaz, Carter Howard and Danielle Mayers  won 2nd Place in the ‘Graduate Specialized” category on the strength of its consulting project for a local company, Lost Returns, Inc. of Winter Park, FL. The company is a reverse logistics company specializing in managing lost and found items with a strong niche in the rental car industry. It received the team’s assistance in the form of an in-depth sales and marketing strategy which provided full industry and competitive analyses; professional sales, marketing, and customer service solutions driving scalability of the business; and visibility into both potential new market verticals and competitor positioning to help guide strategic decision making.

The team of Eric Sungadi, Sorabh Gupta and Williams Ambroise was awarded 2nd Place in the ‘Graduate Consulting Project’ category for its consulting work for Oviedo, FL-based Rhythm & Blues Enterprises, the operator of Tiajuana Flats fast casual restaurant franchises in Central Florida.  The team conducted primary and secondary customer research and competitive analysis, and the final report included marketing and operational recommendations aimed at increasing revenues. Both teams worked with faculty advisor Dr. Carl Blencke, an instructor for the UCF CBA’s Department of Management, as part of a management class.

“The UCF College of Business applauds our students on winning these important awards,” said Ron Piccolo, PhD. and Galloway Professor and Chair of the Department of Management. “Our course offering utilizing the SBI® program is an important educational partnership between UCF and the FSBDC which contributes to the quality of the student educational experience at the University of Central Florida.”

“UCF’s and my own congratulations go to the winners of the 2020 Small Business Institute® Awards,” commented Mike Kilbride, Assistant Vice President for Administration and Operational Innovation in UCF’s Office of Partnership and Innovation, with oversight of the Florida SBDC at UCF. “Experiential learning for our students and economic development support for our small business community are both mission critical at the University of Central Florida.

“The success achieved by these impressive students is truly gratifying for the FSBDC at UCF,” commented Eunice Choi, Regional Director for the FSBDC at UCF. “The SBI® program continues to be an excellent way for the FSBDC and UCF itself to support small businesses in Central Florida while also introducing UCF students to the world of business consulting.”

The Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC) sponsors the Small Business Institute® in Central Florida and, in conjunction with the Department of Management at the UCF College of Business Administration, manages the SBI® program locally. It recruits and evaluates FSBDC clients for the program, lends FSBDC consultants as SBI® case supervisors and provides a range of guidance and support. The FSBDC is part of the UCF Office of Partnership and Innovation.

At the UCF College of Business Administration, SBI® is a graduate‐level elective course. Students enrolled in the class provide management consulting services to local small businesses. Each student team has direct contact with the client and produces a professional case report. The report is the ultimate product of the program and is tailored to each business. Case study reports have included market research, marketing plans, competitive analysis, advertising strategy, customer surveys, strategic plans, financial analysis, human resource manuals and business plans.

The SBI® Program is offered as a full-semester credit course through the CBA’s Department of Management. During the semester, the student teams oversaw and implemented extensive research and analysis to determine industry best practices; met regularly to understand company processes and procedures; and performed wide-ranging analysis of business and industry strategies and performance. As a result of their efforts, the students were able to provide a comprehensive analysis and set of recommendations.

SBI® is a nation‐wide program that provides high‐quality business assistance to companies in need while providing an extraordinary opportunity for university students to learn through field case studies. Each project is led and conducted by a group of students under the supervision of an SBI® Director or faculty member. The experience is often cited by students as being one of the most rewarding of their academic careers. In today’s collegiate environment there is a strong emphasis on experiential learning, and the SBI® has been at the forefront of this movement for over thirty years.

— FSBDC —

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 the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation 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 2018, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,500 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 6,500 jobs created, retained or saved; $749 million in sales growth; $36.1 million in capital formation; $178.3 million in government contract awards; and 277 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty 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 2018, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,500 client businesses, resulting in more than 38,400 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $520 million in government contracts acquired; $201.8 million in capital accessed; and 665 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 2016 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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

FSBDC at UCF Expands Staff to Drive Business Recovery-Resilience-Continuity In New Normal

Small Business Development Center adds Consultants and Associates to Assist Central Florida Businesses

June 25, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – The Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) has deployed CARES Act funding to help local companies get back to business and get back to growth, most prominently by adding ten (10) professionals to its staff, six (6) consultants and four (4) associate consultants focused most prominently on assisting businesses overcome the damage from the coronavirus shutdown and help them rebuild for long term success.

Tapping monies allocated to the U.S. Small Business Administration for small business revitalization through SBDC assistance, the FSBDC has launched a focused, robust, heavily resourced set of programs built around providing Recovery – Resiliency – Continuity support – all strengthened by additional staff and funding. At the same time, the FSBDC continues to deploy its core services and programs, including no-cost, expert business consulting; business training; and access to market data and information.

The new consultants and associate consultants joining the FSBDC at UCF put a broad range of skills and experience in play to help small businesses. Their proficiency in finance, marketing, and management build on the expertise of the FSBDC’s existing consultants to offer a powerful set of resources for Central Florida’s small businesses.

“We are excited to add this group of accomplished professionals to our team,” stated Eunice Choi, Regional Director, FSBDC at UCF. “With them in place, we have the resources available to help the small- and medium-sized businesses of Central Florida get back on their feet and set a course back to the success they had earned before the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The FSBDC at UCF is pleased announce that following have joined the FSBDC at UCF as consultants:

NameExpertisePrevious Position
John FinneganSales/Business DevelopmentPresident, Sales Pro Consulting
Jose MolfinoProcess Improvement/Operations/Financial ManagementOwner, Pacific Windtree, LLC
Marcus SmithStartup/Taxes/ManagementLt. Col, USAF Reserves
Sharon SmithMarketing/Branding/Sales/TrainingConsultant, SAS & Co.
Michael TownesSales/Business Development/TechnologyPrincipal, DoWork Solutions

In addition, the FSBDC is pleased to welcome the following as associate consultants:

NameExpertisePrevious or Current Position
Christoffer BogstadFinance/Financial TechnologyUndergraduate, University of Central Florida, College of Business Administration
Eric MoneyhamFinanceRecent Graduate, University of Central Florida, College of Business Administration
Phidiana RemyEntrepreneurship/Communications/ Digital MediaComputer Specialist, UCF IT Support Center
Elliot WeinthalEntrepreneurship/Health CareRecent Graduate, University of Central Florida, College of Business Administration

For more information about the FSBDC at UCF and its Small Business Recovery Initiative, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.

— FSBDC —

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 the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation 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 2018, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,500 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 6,500 jobs created, retained or saved; $749 million in sales growth; $36.1 million in capital formation; $178.3 million in government contract awards; and 277 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.

About the Florida SBDC Network
For over forty 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 2018, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,500 client businesses, resulting in more than 38,400 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $520 million in government contracts acquired; $201.8 million in capital accessed; and 665 new businesses started.
A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 2016 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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

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

FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

State Announces Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program Closure, Availability of Federal Assistance

Media Contact:
Dianne Gross
(850) 898-3486

News Release
April 14, 2020
For Immediate Release

Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.) – With the assistance of the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the administrator of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program has received more than 38,000 applications since the program was first activated on March 17. As of Tuesday, April 14, the bridge loan program approved 1,000 loans, expending the full $50 million of funding appropriated for the program.

“Due to the Congress’ swift action and expedient implementation of immediate and long-term federal disaster assistance for our state’s small businesses, the businesses that applied for and were unable to be funded through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program have options,” said Michael W. Myhre, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “We share in Governor DeSantis’ and our partners at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s commitment to help our state’s small businesses survive and recover from COVID-19. To do that, we are now shifting our full attention to helping the unfunded applicants gain access and secure the vital federal disaster resources available to them.”

On March 26, 2020, Congress passed and the President signed the CARES Act that provides emergency funding for the new Paycheck Protection Program and the expansion of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL), both administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The legislation also provides immediate loan payment relief for current SBA loan program borrowers.

As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting and direction to help affected businesses assess their options and receive assistance in preparing loan applications. Florida SBDC disaster specialists can also assist with other post-disaster challenges.

The Florida SBDC Network recently developed a guide to help small businesses understand available federal disaster loans and provide tips for impacted businesses to do right now to stay afloat. To access the guide, and for more information on resources available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

For individual assistance, small businesses can contact their nearest Florida SBDC office at www.FloridaSBDC.org/locations.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

Since 1976, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s statutorily designated principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide small businesses the intellectual capital and business experience that enables overall business growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity. In 2018, Florida SBDCs provided 112,164 hours of professional business consulting to 11,529 client businesses, resulting in 38,403 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $520 million in government contracts acquired; $202.5 million in capital accessed; and 665 new businesses started. With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 prestigious 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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

Florida SBDC at UCF

Bridge Loan Program Activated to Help Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus

Media Contact:
Dianne Gross
(850) 898-3486

News Release

March 17, 2020
For Immediate Release

Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.) – Florida small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may now apply for short-term, interest-free loans through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program.

The purpose of the loan program, which was activated yesterday by Governor DeSantis, is to help business owners bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other longer-term resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

“As we mitigate against the spread of COVID-19, the health, safety and well-being of Floridians comes first,” said Governor DeSantis. “I understand the harm mitigation strategies will have on small businesses throughout our state. By activating the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, we are providing the opportunity for Florida’s small businesses to receive cash immediately to ensure they can lessen the impacts felt as a result of COVID-19.”

Through the program, qualified small businesses with two to 100 employees affected by COVID-19 can apply for loans up to $50,000 for one-year terms. To be eligible, a business must be located in Florida, have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic injury as a result of the virus.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation. Governor DeSantis has allocated up to $50 million for the program.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the Florida SBDC Network is a key economic development organization that supports disaster preparedness, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation services.

Florida SBDC business consultants, many of whom are Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) Certified Business Continuity Professionals, are available to assist small businesses through the loan application process and with other COVID-19-related challenges at no-cost.

“Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in Florida must be our number one priority,” said Florida SBDC Network CEO, Mike Myhre. “The Florida SBDC Network stands ready to assist Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in helping small businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”

DEO is currently surveying businesses throughout the state of Florida who have been impacted by COVID-19. Businesses and non-profits can access the Business Damage Assessment survey at FloridaDisaster.BIZ Select “COVID-19” from the drop-down menu on the survey page. Response to the Business Damage Assessment survey is not an application for assistance. Businesses interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application.

To complete a bridge loan application by the May 8, 2020 deadline, and for more information about the program, please visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. The state is also working diligently to make an online application available.

For questions regarding the program and for loan application assistance, please contact the Florida SBDC office nearest you at www.FloridaSBDC.org/locations or contact the Florida SBDC Network Headquarters office at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org. The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

Since 1976, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s statutorily designated principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide small businesses the intellectual capital and business experience that enables overall business growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity. In 2018, Florida SBDCs provided 112,164 hours of professional business consulting to 11,529 client businesses, resulting in 38,403 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $520 million in government contracts acquired; $202.5 million in capital accessed; and 665 new businesses started. With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 prestigious 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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

IRI; Innovative Routines International

Software Developer IRI, Inc. Growing. Offers New Products and Services for Big Data Management and Security Markets

Florida SBDC at Eastern Florida State College Assists Company Fulfill Its Shift of Strategic Direction and Improve Processes

December 12, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

                 Martin Duffy, Sub-Center Director, FSBDC at EFSC, 321-433-5573 or duffym@easternflorida.edu

Orlando, FL – Successful business owners seize opportunities when they see them. Even more successful business owners anticipate those opportunities and take steps in advance to prepare their companies to maximize the growth that can be achieved from changing markets and customer requirements.

David Friedland, as a business leader at Innovative Routines International, Inc. (IRI, Inc.), has identified several emerging market opportunities for his company. He turned to the Florida SBDC at Eastern Florida State College (FSBDC at EFSC) for operational advice that would better support IRI’s expansion path.

IRI is a long-running software development company –often called an independent software vendor (ISV) –that specializes in technologies for fast data management and data-centric security for customers around the world, large and small, across multiple industries. Management of big data and the protection of sensitive information are fast-growing segments of the software industry. IRI has been working to capture some of that growth as those segments mature and further evolve.

“We saw the chance to grow more rapidly amid industry changes and the resulting opportunities we’ve encountered,” recalls Friedland. “We were moving beyond one or two core products to a broader data management platform and richer product line offering.  We saw the FSBDC and its strategic consulting as a source of new knowledge that would help us scale better and modernize more of our internal processes.”

Working with Florida SBDC at EFSC sub-center Director Martin Duffy, Friedland and IRI sales director Lisa Mangino set to work in the areas that IRI wanted help in, including sales forecasting, pipeline management, customer marketing, and the streamlining of internal customer handling and financial reporting procedures. They took advantage of the FSBDC’s training seminars, consulting services, and market research tools to leverage existing IRI capabilities in the enterprise software business while adding fresh perspectives and approaches.

“It has been very positive working with the FSBDC,” says Mangino. “It confirmed that some of the things we were doing were right on the money, and highlighted others needing change or enhancement.”

Various FSBDC service strategies worked to IRI’s advantage. The FSBDC’s team approach to seminars brought together partners from the Small Business Administration and local professionals that helped IRI connect with SEO and digital marketing experts. Monthly accountability meetings with FSBDC consultant Duffy served to keep the company on track and build momentum.

“The proof is in the pudding,’ Friedland continued. “Business is up significantly, nearing 30 percent over last year. It’s significant. We credit the FSBDC for not only fattening our pipeline but also helping us manage it more efficiently.  We are now able to pursue the opportunities we have in front of us with more vigor and intelligence.”

“There’s always room to improve and get better,” Friedland states. “If you’re not learning, you’re falling behind. I’d tell any business owner to see the FSBDC if you want to grow, regardless of your current size or track. Just keep an open mind.

For information about Innovative Routines International, please visit www.iri.com/.

— FSBDC —

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 the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation 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 2018, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,500 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 6,500 jobs created, retained or saved; $749 million in sales growth; $36.1 million in capital formation; $178.3 million in government contract awards; and 277 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty 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 2018, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,500 client businesses, resulting in more than 38,400 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $520 million in government contracts acquired; $201.8 million in capital accessed; and 665 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 2016 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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

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

Felipe Barreto

Digital Battlegrounds: First to Play. Learn. Win.

FSBDC at UCF Helps eSport Gaming Arena and Academy Be First into Orlando Market

December 9, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

                 Jairo Batista, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or Jairo.Batista@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Being the first into a market can present risks for an entrepreneur, but it can also be a huge opportunity that offers significant competitive advantages. Those risks can be managed, however, if you are bringing in a business that has proven successful across the U.S. and the world. The major challenge is speed: can you set up and open your business before anyone else beats you to the punch? That’s the challenge that Felipe Barreto faced when he turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance.

Barreto’s vision was to be the first to bring an eSport videogaming arena and teaching academy to Orlando. Playing videogames and participating in eSports tournaments is a major entertainment option worldwide, but there are limits to how much fun can be had playing at home. Having a social presence along with interactivity brings another range of intensity, emotions and competitiveness to gamers.

Add to that an academy where participants – from novices to experts – can receive coaching and training to improve their game, and even become professionals. Teams and tournaments, supported by major sponsors, awarded over $45 million in prizes in 2018 alone to professional gamers. This is a big business and it’s growing.

And so Barreto invented his new business, Digital Battlegrounds. He’d done extensive industry research, engaged in detailed business planning and attracted investors and the necessary capital. Now it was time to open his center and he came to the FSBDC for help.

“I knew that I needed local expertise,” Barreto recalls, “about how to set up a business, how to lease a space, how to hire people. It was clear to me that if I did it on my own, I would waste time, money and wouldn’t do it as well as I would if I had help.”

At the FSBDC, he worked with consultant Lisa Reineck who assembled a team of colleagues with specialized expertise in HR, marketing and business set up, including Jessica Ali, Chuck Wheeler and Jairo Batista.  Together they assisted the client with finding a location; reviewing the lease; store design and layout; obtaining permits, licenses and inspections; establishing a hiring plan; and multiple marketing planning issues.

“Everything I asked for, there was someone there who knows about it, or they could refer me to someone who did,” says Barreto. “Working with the FSBDC was very easy, very fast, very effective, and the input I received was very hands on and practical. They were my ‘go to’; when I had a question or needed help, I’d go to them and they were always there for me. It has been great.”

Barreto achieved his goal: his is the first and only eSports arena and academy in Orlando. In less than three months, he had secured a lease, completed his buildout, installed equipment, and opened the doors for Digital Battlegrounds. And the company is living up to its motto: “Play. Learn. Win.” Gamers are gaming, receiving training at the academy and competing in tournaments, all with specially designed and supercharged gaming equipment, including 32 PC stations, 8 PlayStations and an MC booth for events.

For information about Digital Battlegrounds, please visit https://www.digitalbattlegrounds.gg/.

— FSBDC —

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 the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation 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 2018, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,500 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 6,500 jobs created, retained or saved; $749 million in sales growth; $36.1 million in capital formation; $178.3 million in government contract awards; and 277 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty 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 2018, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,500 client businesses, resulting in more than 38,400 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $520 million in government contracts acquired; $201.8 million in capital accessed; and 665 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 2016 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 www.FloridaSBDC.org.

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