THOMAS O’NEAL, PH.D.
Associate VP for Research & Commercialization, University of Central Florida
We celebrated the 5th Annual Florida Companies to Watch in November at the Hard Rock Live at Universal. GrowFL and the Edward Lowe Foundation team up annually to recognize Florida’s top second-stage companies. The 50 honorees – selected from more than 500 applications statewide – were chosen because of their high performance in the marketplace and signi cant contributions to our state and local economies.
I was proud to be part of this exciting event. As I shook the hands of each CEO, I re ected on the magnitude of their accomplishments. We all know that starting a new business is important, but growing a business is just as significant.
We recognize and support the success of these second- stage enterprises because they are stellar examples of companies worth watching, supporting, and learning from. The roots they form in our state and communities benefit us all. They are well-rounded and are true powerhouses built for success!
This year’s honorees collectively employ 2,019 full-time equivalent employees. Additionally, from 2011 through 2014, they generated more than $1.2 billion in revenue and added 996 new jobs. They are Rock Stars.
The 2015 winners have now joined the more than 200 Florida Companies to Watch alumni. We salute this elite group of companies and will continue to celebrate their milestones and successes for years to come. They are certainly “worth watching”!