November 20, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven South, APEX Manager, APEX Accelerator at UCF, 412.888.9401 or email@example.com
Orlando, FL – In the business world, there is sometimes talk of a mystical and magical entity called the ‘unicorn’ startup, which is a company that can be expected to reach $1 billion in revenues without being listed on the stock market. It is the dream of every entrepreneur, investor, and venture capitalist. When Dr. John D. Byrnes, Founder and CEO of the Center for Aggression Management, spoke to investors who wondered out loud if his company could be worth a herd of unicorns, his new challenge became how to best scale up to achieve that level of success. He turned to the Florida APEX Accelerator at the University of Central Florida (Florida APEX at UCF), an affiliate of the Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF (FSBDC at UCF), for guidance.
The Center for Aggression Management, Inc. in Orlando, FL, trains organizations and individuals to use aggression management techniques to identify the pre-incident precursors to hostile and malicious behavior and thus prevent it from occurring. Leveraging work done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service on how to identify someone on the path to violence, Dr. Byrnes deploys a model built around the sequential progression of precursors to assaultive and violent behavior. Understanding these pre-incident precursors enables organizations to get out in front of instances of sexual harassment, abuse, bullying, discrimination and, more recently, insider cyber attackers, all of which is hugely beneficial for workplace security and human resources. “Research has shown that our system’s capability to make people feel safe and more trusting of others enhances teamwork, leadership, loyalty, productivity, performance, and profitability,” explains Dr. Byrnes.
Entitled the Critical Aggression Prevention System (CAPS), the system has been scientifically validated as reliable. Furthermore, the system’s ability to NOT use culture, gender, education, age, sexual orientation, or religion – or mental health assessments – means it does not violate HIPPA regulations at hospitals and health care institutions, FERPA regulations at schools, colleges and universities, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applicable to all organizations.
The Center for Aggression Management and CAPS had a lot going for it, but challenges remained. “I was a training company for 20 plus years, trying to figure out what to do next,” recalls Dr. Byrnes. Now he had CAPS and knew he had to scale the company up. “I knew that I needed to have an app, and a dashboard, and a learning management system of online courses but I had no clue as to how to do it.” It was then that he turned to Steve South, the manager of the Florida APEX Accelerator at UCF.
“Steve South. I can’t say enough about this gentleman,” shares Dr. Byrnes. “He was open armed. He was able to begin to direct me based upon the uniqueness of what I had to offer. I had been a trainer all these years and now needed to become a technology company. I needed to act like a startup, and he helped direct me.” South assisted Dr. Byrnes with developing a variety of government contracting tools and certifications that enabled the company to present itself to the military, federal government, and to large organizations. South also directed Dr. Byrnes to the Veterans Entrepreneurship Initiative (VEI), which provided invaluable training as he evolved into a fledging technology company.
“Steve has been a help all the way along,” continued Dr. Byrnes. “Coming out of COVID, we acquired our very first big client that will be using our entire system: the CAPS mobile app, the CAPS Dashboard, and the CAPS learning management system. We are very slowly beginning to roll it out into a hospital system with over 80,000 employees, 23 hospitals, and 830 ambulatory facilities. The annual revenues, when fully implemented, will be well over $1 million. Of course, we have others coming on as well: a food distribution company with 4,500 employees generating over $100,000 in annual revenues to the Center.”
“To know that there is a team of people that care about us, that care where we are and about how to help us, and how they can help us achieve the best that we can be is huge”, concludes Dr. Byrnes. “The ability to have this APEX team has been a remarkable advantage to building what one day may be a colossus.”
For information about The Center for Aggression Management, please visit https://aggressionmanagement.com/.
— FSBDC —
About the Florida APEX Accelerator
The Florida APEX Accelerator (formerly the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center) is part of a national network of APEX Accelerators working to help businesses compete successfully in the government marketplace. The Florida APEX Accelerator is powered statewide by the University of West Florida and funded in part by the State of Florida and local partners. This APEX Accelerator is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense. In 2022, the Florida APEX Accelerator network served 1,387 new clients, resulting in businesses creating and retaining 25,919 jobs and helping businesses secure $246 million in government contracts. For more information, please visit www.flapex.org.
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 10 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2020, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,800 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,000 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.2 billion in sales growth; $92.4 million in capital formation; $92.7 million in government contract awards; and 86 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.
About the Florida SBDC Network
For more than 45 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, the Florida SBDC Network delivered 117,750 hours of consulting to 14,758 small business clients – resulting in business owners securing $446 million in capital, $445 million in government contracting, impacting 23,515 jobs, increasing sales by over $4.5 billion, and creating 825 businesses.
With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, 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 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.