A Florida TaxWatch economic report
Growing Florida's Startup Companies
The Florida Innovation Hub
at the University of Florida
SUCCESSES IN FLORIDA
To try and provide more support for Florida’s startups, a statewide network of investors and investment groups known as the Florida Angel Nexus has been developed to help grow companies in Florida. The Nexus has teamed up with UCF’s Business Incubator Program and other groups such as the Tamiami Angel Fund, the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research, and the Florida Next Foundation in order to connect qualified companies with the mentorship and capital needed to create a viable company and product.
The Business Incubation Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF) was named 2013 Business Incubator Network of the Year by the National Association of Business Incubators.
According to a regional economic impact study conducted from October 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013, UCF’s program helped generate a direct regional output of $327 million out of a total output of more than $620 million, during that time period. The program directly supported 1,856 jobs, and indirectly supported another 1,500 jobs, in which employees earned an average income of $58,000. These jobs brought $18.5 million in additional tax revenue to state and local governments.3
The Florida Angel Nexus’ partnership with UCF is already seeing success; it has closed three deals, and is on track to meeting its goal of investing $1 million by years end. With this team, the Nexus plans to make Florida the next major innovative ecosystem in the U.S.
IMPROVING THE FLORIDA ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM
According to a 2012 MoneyTree report, California, Massachusetts, and New York attract 70 percent of all investment financing while Florida attracts less than 1 percent.4
According to Blaire Martin, Director of the Florida Angel Nexus, there are five main opportunities to develop Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by developing interconnected Angel groups:
- Investable companies spend too much time raising capital causing talented entrepreneurs to leave Florida
- Lack of early communication between investment groups is time consuming and expensive for both angels and companies
- Lack of an efficient method to start and administer successful Angel Networks, makes it challenging for new groups to gain momentum and trust
- Some potential angel investors miss opportunities to invest by using a portfolio approach of disciplined and systematic due diligence, potentially causing lower returns
- Florida lacks an efficient marketplace to connect entrepreneurs, qualified investors/mentors, potential growth companies, and community resources
3 National Business Incubation Association, http://www.nbia.org/success_stories/awards/2013/ucf.php
4 PriceWaterhouseCoopers MoneyTree report, available at http://www.pwc.com/us/en/technology/moneytree.jhtml
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