--- “We don’t want to be the biggest incubator in Florida... we want to help as many businesses as we can to grow.”
ORLANDO, Fla., (Dec. 10, 2010) -- Dr. Tom O’Neal, founder and executive director of the University of Central Florida’s Business Incubation Program, presented a paper on entrepreneurial ecosystems recently before the Technology Transfer Society at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Dr. O’Neal, president of the Florida Business Incubation Association who serves on the board of directors for the National Business Incubation Association, is a leading U.S. proponent of business incubation and economic gardening efforts to stimulate local economic growth.
He focused his paper on the network of support enterprises that benefit clients of incubation efforts.
“What we have learned is that incubation programs are most effective when they are integrated into the larger entrepreneurial systems in a given region. Incubator clients do better in urban and rural settings but the effects of certain regional assets on client companies vary,” Dr. O’Neal said.
“Enterprise resources that are important to companies include: lawyers, accountants, transportation (airports), entrepreneurship centers, research facilities and the like---are important to the acceleration of economic growth through incubation and economic gardening,” Dr. O’Neal said.
The UCF Business Incubation Program recently marked its 100th client company at incubation facilities on the university campus and in Orlando, Sanford, Winter Springs, Leesburg, Kissimmee and St. Cloud
“We aren’t in competition,” Dr. O’Neal said. “Our goal isn’t to be the biggest incubator in Florida. We do want to help as many businesses as we can to grow and prosper and create employment,” he said.
“What we have found is that community resources and support skills are important to spur the development and growth of incubator clients and ventures in general within a region. These resources are more plentiful in some regions such as Orlando than others. Other areas need to develop or enhance these assets to provide the maximum benefit to companies. It makes sense intuitively. An incubator on a deserted island wouldn’t be of much value. You need the whole eco-system for companies to thrive.” said Dr. O’Neal
Since its launch 11 years ago the UCF Business Incubation Program has helped more than 150 client company startups, Dr. O’Neal said.
For more information contact:
Dr. Thomas O’Neal, Executive Director, UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-882-1120, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 or LvershelCo@aol.com
About the UCF Business Incubation Program
Since its founding in 1999, the UCF Business Incubation Program has helped more than 160 assisted emerging companies (including 100 current clients) create over $800 million in annual revenue and more than 1,600 new jobs with an average salary of $59,000. With eight – and soon nine – facilities opened across the Greater Orlando community, the Business Incubation Program is a collaboration in economic development between the University of Central Florida, Orange County, the City of Orlando, Seminole County, the City of Winter Springs, The City of Sanford, Lake County, the City of Leesburg, Osceola County, the City of Kissimmee, City of St. Cloud, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council and will be adding Volusia County. For more information, please visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.