Central Fla., Space Coast Business Briefs - November 2010
Central Florida — The Black Business Investment Fund of Central Florida launched a micro-loan fund last month to provide small, short-term loans to startup and minority businesses in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake and Sumter counties.
DeLand — The National Science Foundation awarded Stetson University $610,000 to renovate and modernize five research laboratories. Stetson is also opening a pet-friendly residence hall that will have room for 36 students and their pets. A dog park has been added.
» Florida Hospital DeLand's Cancer Institute is adding more than 2,000 square feet to its 5,791-sq.-ft. facility in a $5.2-million expansion expected to be completed by March. Enhancements will allow the hospital to offer image-guided radiation therapy, which helps doctors more accurately deliver radiation to a targeted area of the body.
Flagler County — The county and its municipalities have launched an initiative to market the area as a destination for ecotourism. Among the features they're touting: The Florida Agricultural Museum, Marineland, beaches, boating and trails for biking, hiking, horseback riding and birding.
Melbourne — Biometrics company AuthenTec, based in Melbourne, has acquired its former rival, California-based UPEK, in a deal reported to be worth $32.4 million. The companies make fingerprint sensors for computers, mobile phones and other equipment.
Orange County — East Orange County engineering firm Abamis IT Solutions, part of Arteon Corp., won in its first prime contract in mid-September: A $2-million agreement to develop technology for military training simulators for the U.S. Department of Defense Modeling & Simulation Coordination Office.
Orlando — Pacific Life Insurance Co. sold a 713,585-sq.-ft. warehouse in south Orlando in mid-September in the largest industrial building sale in a decade. Liberty Property Trust bought the facility, which is leased to CVS as a warehouse.
» Florida Hospital and United Healthcare reached an agreement in mid-September on a four-year contract after 10 months of heated negotiations that required two extensions. The insurer has about 400,000 customers in central Florida.
» BankUnited has opened a loan office in Orlando and plans to expand its presence in central Florida. The bank was seized by regulators in 2009 and purchased by a private equity group.
» Kodak, which has been a sponsor at Disney theme parks since Disneyland opened in 1955, has pulled out of its arrangements with both the California park and the Epcot Imagination Pavilion at Walt Disney World.
» Orlando-based timeshare company Island One has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reportedly owes $150 million in secured debt and $2 million in unsecured debt. The company has about 700 employees and 11,000 timeshare units.
Sanford — Seminole State College of Florida, formerly Seminole Community College, has received state approval to offer bachelor's degrees in four additional specialties: Architectural engineering technology, business information management, construction, and information systems technology. The college already offered a four-year degree in interior design.