Florida Companies to Watch Spotlights 50 Organizations

Creates New Movement of Support for Top Performing Second-Stage Companies

2013 Fl Companies to Watch AwardOctober 31, 2013 — ORLANDO, FL.–- Ranging in industries from sign manufacturing, textiles, fertilizer, wire and cable, “cows” and college hunks that help people move, online education, mobile apps, construction, energy conversion, defense and aerospace, fifty high-performing companies from across the State of Florida, were honored at the third annualFlorida Companies to Watch celebration event on Thursday, October 24 at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, FL.

Hosted by GrowFL at the University of Central Florida, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation and sponsored by Cherry Bekaert LLP, Florida High Tech Corridor Council, OUC, Filmscape Productions, SunTrust, Edwards Financial Services, Moneycorp, USF Connect, Enterprise Florida and Fairwinds Credit Union and with media and marketing support from Florida Trend, SCB Marketing and i4 Business, Florida Technology Journal, Florida Venture Forum and ACG Capital Connection. The awards event attracted more than 350 attendees in celebration of the impact these companies generate to our state.

Florida Companies to Watch is a unique awards program that honors second-stage growth companies for their impressive employment rates and revenue growth. These companies have a reputation for generating a large portion of new jobs and strengthening Florida’s economy.

One such company was iDatix who received the award for the second year. Their managerial leadership, company growth, and commitment to innovation propelled them to the top of the nearly 600 companies that were nominated for the honor.

The combined impact of the 50 companies selected to this year’s Florida Companies to Watch is immense. In 2012 alone, the companies generated $388 million in total annual revenue and held 1,865 full-time equivalent employees. The companies collectively project the creation of 429 net new jobs for 2013. From 2009 through 2012, these companies generated $1.1 billion in revenue and added 940 employees (both in Florida and out of state), reflecting a 126% increase in revenue and 102% increase in jobs for the four-year period. *Data compiled in August 2013.

Jeff Piersall, CEO of SCB Marketing and an Inaugural Class of 2011 Florida Companies to Watch winner served as emcee for the evening. Featured speakers for the evening were Dr. Tom O’Neal, executive director of GrowFL at UCF and vice president of UCF’s Office of Research and Commercialization, and Penny Lewandowski, vice president of entrepreneurship and strategic direction for the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Nominations and applications for Florida Companies to Watch 2014 are being accepted now at FLCTW.GrowFL.com/nominate. Details about sponsorships are also available.

About GrowFL
GrowFL provides strategies, resources and support to second-stage companies for next level growth. By supporting companies with Strategic Research and peer-to-peer CEO mentoring, GrowFL helps companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity. Based on the philosophy of Economic Gardening – to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state – GrowFL is the program of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida and is a critical component to the state’s economic development strategy and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Between fiscal years 2009 and 2012, GrowFL helped more than 400 companies create more than 4,187 direct and indirect local jobs and contribute more than $581 million to Florida’s economy. By the end of 2013, that number will have grown to more than 700 companies supported by GrowFL. For more information: GrowFL.com

About the Edward Lowe Foundation
The Edward Lowe Foundation inspired the creation of the Companies to Watch program to celebrate second-stage entrepreneurs and their companies. Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a Michigan-based nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through recognition, education and research with a focus on second-stage companies—those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. The foundation also encourages economic gardening, an entrepreneur-centered strategy providing balance to the traditional approach of business recruitment. For information, visit www.EdwardLowe.org

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