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Florida: A Warm Climate For Business Growth

Business Facilities

You can have peace-of-mind when you locate your business in Florida. The state’s favorable business tax structure, government policies and competitive costs make planning for future growth easy. Florida consistently ranks among the best states for business, thanks to its pro-business state tax policies, competitive cost of doing business and streamlined regulatory environment. The state is proud of its welcoming business climate and competitive advantages.

Florida’s government and economic development leaders work together to ensure that the state’s business climate remains favorable to companies of all sizes, including some of the nation’s leading corporations. Florida is working on legislative, fiscal and marketplace initiatives such as insurance tort reform, targeted industry incentives and many more. Florida is also a right-to-work state.

Florida offers a cost-efficient alternative to other competitive high-tech states. Put simply, land, labor, and capital are more affordable in Florida than in California or New York, for example. In addition, for businesses in certain targeted industries or specialized locations, the state offers additional financial incentives. Businesses looking for workforce training, road infrastructure or specialized locations may also qualify for specific incentive programs.

Business dollars go a lot farther in Florida given the state’s tax advantages, tax exemptions and no state personal income tax. Businesses thrive in this low-tax environment, and employees enjoy the benefit of no personal income tax.

Florida understands that businesses need certainty, predictability and efficiency in government regulations. The state’s regulatory agencies and local governments provide quicker, less costly and more predictable permitting processes for significant economic development projects without reducing environmental standards.

Florida offers growing businesses access to capital from private, state, federal and other sources. The state has implemented capital formation initiatives, such as the Florida Opportunity Fund, and economic gardening programs that help Florida businesses expand by offering specialized services such as market information, leadership development, and business management tools.

Read more:  https://businessfacilities.com/2017/08/florida-a-warm-climate-for-business-growth/

Florida’s regional hubs foster next-gen innovation

By Hope Winsborough, Crain’s

Florida’s history as an innovation hub includes such modern-day breakthroughs as air conditioning, Gatorade and even the first smart phone. And while the rest of the nation may think of the state as theme-park central, technology insiders know better.

Florida International University in Miami just announced its new internet of things degree, the first in the U.S. In Orlando, the University of Central Florida’s video-gaming program is ranked top in North America. And Miami Beach recently hosted the fourth annual eMerge Americas technology conference featuring keynotes by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, rap star – and Florida tourism pitchman – Pitbull, and baseball superstar/“Shark Tank” investor Alex Rodriguez.

Public and private entities, as well as nonprofits and investors throughout the state, are collaborating to further Florida’s rich legacy via innovative initiatives designed with technological advancement in mind. The grandfather of them all, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, known as The Corridor, was formed in 1996 to grow high-tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce development and entrepreneurship in a 23-county region. That’s just over one-third of the state’s total.

Read more:  http://www.crains.com/article/news/floridas-regional-hubs-foster-next-gen-innovation

Paving the Way to Tech’s Future

By Chris Gerbasi, Lake & Sumter Style

The Florida High Tech Corridor connects counties, including Lake and Sumter, to resources to maximize their technological development.

Lake and Sumter counties are trying to stake their claim in the still-evolving economy of technology, as a giant network guides a large swath of the state toward growth in the industry.

The Florida High Tech Corridor spans 23 counties banding together in an economic development initiative to market their high-tech assets. The corridor is connected by three research universities—Central Florida, South Florida, and Florida—more than 25 economic development organizations, 14 state/community colleges, 12 regional workforce boards, and numerous industry groups.

The mission is to increase the region’s high-tech presence through partnerships that support the workforce, entrepreneurship, marketing, and research between the universities and industry partners.

The Corridor travels along interstates 4 and 75, so Lake and Sumter are natural partners in the initiative.

“As the state of Florida tries to diversify its economy from hospitality and tourism, it’s certainly more important that we put technology at the forefront,” says Robert Chandler, Lake’s economic growth director.

Read more:  https://www.lakeandsumterstyle.com/paving-the-way-to-techs-future/

Corridor Universities Rank Among Top 50 Worldwide in Patents

For Fifth Consecutive Year, UCF, USF and UF Rival Other Research Hubs in High Tech Growth

HEATHROW, Fla. (June 6, 2017) – The three Florida High Tech Corridor research universities – the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF) – individually ranked among the top 50 universities worldwide that were granted U.S. patents in 2016, according to a list released by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

For the fifth consecutive year, the three Corridor universities collectively beat the patent portfolios of university groups in the established high tech hubs of North Carolina’s Research Triangle and the Silicon Hills region in Austin, Texas.  The Corridor universities were granted a combined 261 patents, while 152 patents were granted to Research Triangle universities (Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina) and 234 patents were granted to Silicon Hills universities (the entire University of Texas system, Rice University and Texas A&M University).

Among the top 100 universities worldwide, USF ranked 11th, UF ranked 18th and UCF ranked 41st.  The list recognizes the significant role patents play in university research and highlights The Corridor region’s growth as a high tech hub through continued innovation and technology transfer from universities to the marketplace.

“For an unbelievable five years in a row, The Corridor has continued to climb the ranks in terms of patents to stand alongside notable high tech hubs across the country,” said Ed Schons, president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.  “The outcome of this report is a testament to the work of our talented researchers, scientists and innovators, and it illustrates the promising and continued growth of our region.”

The NAI and IPO list is based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  For the full list, visit http://www.academyofinventors.com/pdf/top-100-universities-2016.pdf.


About the Florida High Tech Corridor Council

The Florida High Tech Corridor Council is an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF).  The mission of The Corridor is to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship.

A partnership involving more than 25 local and regional economic development organizations (EDOs), 14 state/community colleges and 12 CareerSource boards, the Council is co-chaired by the presidents of UCF, USF and UF.  The Council includes the presidents of two of the community colleges, the president of the Florida Institute of Technology and representatives of high tech industry.

The unique partnership has resulted in a strategic approach to high tech economic development that supports matching funds research, marketing, workforce development and entrepreneurship leveraging governmental, EDO and corporate budgets on a regional rather than local basis.

For more information, visit www.floridahightech.com.


Kissimmee sensor facility partners with school to encourage STEM

By Marco Santana, Orlando Sentinel

Some soon-to-be 11th graders in Osceola County will be part of the first group of students to get an inside look at a sensor research facility in Kissimmee next month.

It will be a test run of what officials at the high-tech building known as BRIDG hope becomes a regular event, one meant to encourage students to enroll in science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses in college.

That would help bolster the region’s STEM workforce, BRIDG Chief Executive Officer Chester Kennedy said.

“It’s part of the sustainable economic transformation we are trying to lead here in Osceola County,” he said. “We need to think about this project in a way that it builds the workforce and starts interest in these careers early on in their lives. We are trying to give kids an inspiration, something that will get them excited.”

The stage for that effort: a 109,000-square-foot building on the former Judge Farms property in Kissimmee.

BRIDG, which only recently opened its doors officially, will host a group of 30 students beginning June 13. Engineers and other tech professionals will explain the jobs and technologies being used at BRIDG to the rising juniors.

The three-day program, which uses a curriculum developed by California-based nonprofit SEMI Foundation, also includes visits to St. Cloud motor manufacturer Mercury Marine and University of Central Florida. Florida High Tech Corridor Council and Osceola County Education Foundation are footing the bill.

Read more:  http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/technology/os-bz-bridg-osceola-school-20170606-story.html 

Florida Trend Spotlight:  High-Tech Corridor

The Florida High-Tech Corridor’s progress toward a significant role in the nation’s high-tech landscape can be charted both objectively and subjectively.  Objectively, jobs and companies can be counted:  A decade ago, the 23 counties that have banded together to market their high-tech assets as the Corridor counted 7,600 companies employing 135,000.  Today, the Corridor encompasses nearly 21,000 tech-related companies and 238,000 technology jobs.

Less precisely measured but just as significant is the collaboration that the non-profit High Tech Corridor Council development initiative and its leaders have engineered into the activities of the high-tech players — the University of Florida, University of Central Florida and University of South Florida, along with 14 community and state colleges, private schools, more than 20 economic development agencies, 12 regional workforce boards and numerous industry groups and private companies.

Read more:  http://www.pageturnpro.com/Florida-Trend/78086-Fl-Trends-High-Tech-Corridor_2017/index.html#1

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stemCONNECT: Cultivating Tomorrow’s Workforce


Since inception, the Florida High Tech Corridor’s mission has been to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship.  Our mission remains unchanged, but the evolution of technology has enabled Corridor programs to transform in ways we could not have imagined more than 20 years ago, specifically stemCONNECT.

We have found that The Corridor’s stemCONNECT program truly does make the connection between academia and private industry by bringing together classrooms and experts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for engaging presentations.

With the recent integration of video conferencing tools, we are realizing the potential of stemCONNECT virtual sessions to impact thousands of students across the region.  Moving forward, The Corridor will focus on development of this program and we have established “stemCONNECT” as the new identity for our workforce initiatives and retire techPATH.


Through the years, Jeff Bindell and Vicki Morelli have been instrumental in the success of our workforce programs and they will continue to lead as stemCONNECT director and stemCONNECT manager, respectively.  stemCONNECT has already introduced high tech careers to more than 4,700 students since we started facilitating virtual sessions in 2013.  It has also become a valuable tool for more than 150 teachers and more than 50 experts who have participated thus far. Jeff, Vicki and I appreciate your support as we strive to grow the total reach of stemCONNECT to middle school and high school students and teachers.

On behalf of The Corridor, thank you for being by our side through this journey and for joining us as we continue to boost the workforce pipeline.  To learn more about stemCONNECT, please visit www.flstemconnect.com.


Ed Schons
President, The Corridor

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Media Contacts:

If you are seeking information about The Corridor or the initiatives of the Council, please contact:

Kacie Escobar
Curley & Pynn Public Relations
(407) 423-8006

We would be happy to put you in contact with industry experts who can speak to a variety of technology topics in their area of expertise. For a preview of the leaders who can share their experience in growing tech-based businesses in the Corridor, explore the videos of our Faces of Technology.