Small Business Institute, SBI

Small Business Institute® National Honors Won by UCF Students in Florida SBDC at UCF Program

Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida

March 21, 2016


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

Orlando, FL –    The Small Business Institute® (SBI®), the premier professional association of small business / entrepreneurship educators and researchers involved in student analysis projects, 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 second place in the 2016 ‘Graduate Comprehensive’ division and Honorable Mention in the 2016  ‘Graduate Specialized’ division, respectively.

In competition with MBA teams from across the country, the UCF CBA team of students John Dovas, Kiara Dyson and Susan Gaines produced a second-place consulting project in the “Graduate Comprehensive’ category for a local company, SuperSlow Zone, Inc. The company, a professional service provider of one-on-one personal training instruction, requested the team’s assistance in an analysis of their franchises with regard to marketing and overhead.

And the team of Robert O’Dowd, Bianca Duffield Ashley Monard and Katrina Green were awarded an Honorable Mention in the ‘Graduate Specialized’ category for their consulting work for Winter Springs-based PowerGrid Engineering, LLC.  The team produced an internal stakeholder analysis, a competitive analysis of their market segment, as well as an actionable Market Intelligence report. 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 Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC) sponsors the Small Business Institute® in Central Florida. The FSBDC, in conjunction with 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 Research & Commercialization (UCF ORC).

“Congratulations to the UCF students who won this prestigious recognition,” said Eunice Choi, Regional Director for the FSBDC at UCF. “The SBI® program is yet another avenue for the FSBDC at UCF and UCF itself to support small businesses in Central Florida while also introducing UCF students to the world of business consulting. It demonstrates UCF’s commitment to our community and to growing the local economy.”

The SBI® Program is offered as a full-semester credit course through the CBA’s Management Department. 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.

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.


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 2014, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 8,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 12,387 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.70 billion in sales growth; $26.1 million in capital formation; $39.7 million in government contract awards; and 105 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 2014, the Florida SBDCs served almost 30,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 42,644 jobs created, retained or saved; $5.8 billion in sales growth; $142.5 million in capital accessed; $210.2 million in government contract awards; and 486 new businesses started.

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