3 keys to Central Florida's small business success: Incubators, demographics and tourism

Posted on March 31, 2014 – 09:57 am

Central Florida's tourism industry, demographics and incubator programs are helping the region stay busy growing new businesses and creating jobs. Enlarge

Franck Boston

Central Florida's tourism industry, demographics and incubator programs are helping the region stay busy growing new businesses and creating jobs.

Central Florida may not be home to many Fortune 500 companies, but it is stacked with small-to medium-size businesses that hold their own in the corporate world.

In fact, Orlando Business Journal highlights some of the region's corporate superstars in our Fast 50 special feature in the July 19 print edition.

But why is Central Florida such a hub for starting and growing businesses? To find out, I spoke to a few local experts on the subject who identified three key things: local incubator programs, area demographics and a thriving tourism industry.

Gordon Hogan , Director of the University of Central Florida's Business Incubation Program, told me Regional Business Incubator-Support programs and other programs like the Florida High Tech Corridor Council and GrowFL Help make the Region attractive.

"Those that are here want to stay here because we have a business-friendly environment with no income tax and a variety of things that are conducive to start a business and job creation, " he said.

For example, UCF's incubation program plans to create two new programs: one for international companies trying to break into the US market, and one for military veterans looking to start a business. Those businesses would be housed at UCF's incubator offices throughout the region.

"We will give them flexible leases on space and a proper introduction to the community to spread the word, " Hogan said, noting there are companies being vetted right now for the international program.

But Let's Not forget Central Florida's other Business-Friendly Assets that also Help Attract and Grow Business, said UCF Economist Sean Snaith . "Central Florida's Demographics are strong and Growing. Our Market is on a good trajectory, and WE also have a good Quality of life. Also, Central Florida Benefits from a large number of Post-secondary institutions, including community Specialty Colleges and schools like Full Sail University . "

With a growing talent pool like that, Central Florida has to be among the top destinations to grab the eye of fledgling businesses looking to take root and establish long-term growth, said Snaith.

Lastly, WE Should not Dismiss Tourism's impact on the Region's Huge Success, said Jerry Ross , Executive Director with the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando. "Tourism is Our top Industry, and WE need to appreciate what WE have SO many other Because that Drives things. "

Ross said tourism businesses - especially the major theme parks - are key players in why Central Florida has been able to diversify itself into other industries like modeling and simulation, medical sciences and more.

"Theme parks like Disney not only bring lots of new professionals to the area, but they bring lots of new ideas that need to be turned into reality for some type of ride or show, " he said.

Be sure to check the July 19 issue of Orlando Business Journal to see which local companies made ​​our Fast 50 list and are leaving their mark in the region's business community.

Covers tourism, hospitality and sports business

Source: www.bizjournals.com

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  • Avatar Donnie What are some really cool things to see and do in Central Florida besides DisneyWorld and Universal Studios?
    Apr 23, 2010 by Donnie | Posted in Orlando

    I'm taking a vacation with my girlfriend in Florida in June and we're looking for fun things to do besides Disney and Universal. We'll be in Orlando for a bit, also Safety Harbor and the surrounding area, like St. Pete, Tampa, and Lakeland. We're even considering going to the Keys. If anyone has any cool ideas for places to go or things to see that aren't what the regular tourists do, please let me know! Thanks!

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  • Avatar Golden_Lover What is the month to go bass fishing in Central, FL?
    Dec 31, 2008 by Golden_Lover | Posted in Fishing

    I'm planning a vacation to Tampa, FL and want to plan around the best bass fishing time. I use wild golden shiners and will be hiring a guide for Lake Tarpon and another lake like Okeechobee (please refer if you know of a good lake and/or guide). Thanks for your help!

    • Yeah you're in my territory. Early spring as mentioned as soon as the mammoth bugs (love bugs, skeeters, gnats etc) start hatching. I mostly surf fish off Indian Rocks Beach and Tampa Bay but live right on a lake loaded w …pers and ultra light equipment. You'll have a great time. Lake Tarpon is a hot spot. Trust me.

      If it's one thing you don't need a guide for in Florida is big mouth bass fishing.

      Have fun man.

  • Avatar hielvis12 How can I find Florida attractions Online?
    Mar 11, 2007 by hielvis12 | Posted in Orlando

    We are going to florida AGAIN, for the 3rd time,
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  • Avatar untitledchick What to do in Philly (something not touristy)?
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    I already know about the Betsy Ross house and Independence Hall and all that. Anyone have suggestions that are still tied to american history but are the 'off the beaten path' type stuff?

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