Innovators of High-Level Disinfection Expand Internationally Assisted by FSBDC at UCF International Trade Program
August 7, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or email@example.com
Jill McLaughlin, International Trade Program Manager, 407.420.4856 or Jill.McLaughlin@ucf.edu
Orlando, FL – Imagine that you are an entrepreneurial small business presented with major growth opportunities in new, but unfamiliar, international markets. With little or no exporting experience, where should you turn for guidance and to learn what you need to know to be successful? For biodecontamination equipment manufacturer CURIS System and Jeff Woodson, its vice president, revenue operations, the answer was and is the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and its International Trade Services Program.
CURIS System, headquartered in Oviedo, FL, is a manufacturer and provider of biodecontamination equipment and solutions. “Our mission is to make biodecontamination safer and easier for pharmaceutical manufacturers, research laboratories, and health care providers,” Woodson explains, “so they can focus on their lifesaving and life-enhancing work without disruption from contamination by high concentration, high consequences chemicals.”
“There are a few things that makes CURIS really standout,” continues Woodson. “The first is the safety and ease of use of our product. Our patented technology allows us to achieve the same level of kill as the high concentration, high consequences chemicals while only using a 7% hydrogen peroxide solution. The other aspect that customers are happy with is the level of support and training that they receive from our team.”
Having built a successful business in the U.S., word spread throughout the biosafety and biosecurity world that CURIS provides a safe and effective solution for biodecontamination challenges. The company was soon approached by numerous different overseas customers and dealers asking CURIS to begin exporting to their countries. Fortunately, Enterprise Florida and the Florida SBDC Network, in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service, offer a scholarship to assist qualified Floridian “new-to-export” manufacturers and service providers with identifying overseas growth strategies through the development of a customized Export Marketing Plan.
“Exporting was brand new to us,” Woodson recalls. “We did not know how to do it and did not have that expertise in house.” It was why the firm turned to the FSBDC and Jill McLaughlin, its International Trade program manager, for assistance. “Being able to connect with the FSBDC and take advantage of the Export Marketing Plan and the consulting services they offer was a huge help in getting us where we needed to be to export,” Woodson states today.
CURIS also took advantage of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), funded by the Florida SBDC Network which had received a grant from the SBA to assist small businesses with export development. Through awards to eligible businesses, the STEP program helps small businesses overcome obstacles to exporting by providing grants to cover costs associated with entering and expanding into international markets. “It helped us cover the travel and lodging costs to get over there and be able to meet with clients and steward our product and support so that they were very happy with the installation and implementation of the product,” shares Woodson.
“The Export Marketing Plan was extremely helpful. As we have grown and expanded around the world, being able to rely on the FSBDC and the resources they have been able to connect us with has been absolutely critical to us being able to successfully grow, especially abroad, but also domestically,” affirms Woodson. “Since connecting with the FSBDC, our export volume has increased by 400% and we’re expecting to grow even faster from there. We’ve been extremely lucky to have the support of the FSBDC. For any entrepreneur, I would highly recommend reaching out to them for the breadth of their services, their support, and the knowledge that they can provide.”
For information about CURIS System, please visit https://www.curissystem.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 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 9 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2022, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $793.9 million in sales growth; $66.7 million in capital formation; $103.8 million in government contract awards; and 160 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 2022, Florida SBDCs provided 157,841 hours of professional business consulting to more than 18,379 client businesses. Based on the results from the network’s latest economic impact analysis, the FSBDC’s services resulted in almost 29,000 jobs impacted; $4.8 billion in sales generated; $381.6 million in government contracts acquired; and $528.4 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, U.S. 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 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.