Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Brightline rebranded as Virgin Trains USA in new partnership
Today Brightline, the privately owned passenger-rail company, rebrands itself as Virgin Trains USA to reflect a new partnership with the Virgin Group. Brightline operates trains and stations in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami. The Virgin Group, a British conglomerate formed by Sir Richard Branson, will be a minority investor in Brightline. “The partnership will allow Brightline to leverage Virgin’s industry-leading expertise and customer experience to establish a powerful new brand,” Brightline stated in its announcement this morning. More from the Orlando Sentinel and see the news release from Virgin Group here.
» Read more about Brightline in Florida Trend's December issue, due on the newsstand November 29.
Florida businesses hope to bounce back as tourists return
Red tide and blue-green algae ravaged Florida’s ecosystem and businesses across the state reported laying off workers and even closing their doors. For now, the fish, birds and tourists are just starting to flock back. More from WINK News.
Led by Ashton Kutcher, money is flowing to Miami startups
One issue that continues to dog Miami’s startup ecosystem is where startup funding is coming from. Serge Elkiner, founder and CEO of YellowPepper, said finding local funding is an even bigger problem than finding local talent. Groups like 500 Startups, TheVenture.City and Rokk3r Fuel are starting to shore up some of that problem. More from the Miami Herald.
Florida Trend Exclusive
No barriers: Women foster Miami's entrepreneurial growth
Women head many of the key incubator and accelerator programs in Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. One factor in the emergence of a concentration of women leaders is the lack of an old boys’ network in the relatively new accelerator space, the women say. More from Florida Trend.
Universal Orlando raises starting pay to $12 an hour
Universal Orlando workers will be getting a raise as company announced plans to increase minimum pay to $12 an hour in February. The pay hike — a 20 percent jump from previous $10 hourly minimum — comes about two months after Walt Disney World Resort and its union reached a contract deal that sets in motion a series of pay increases to bring the minimum to $15 an hour by late 2021. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
MarineMax — the nationwide boat retailer that’s headquartered in Clearwater and generated $1.05 billion in revenue in 2017, up from $942 million in 2016 — recently lent the skills of members of its Houston-based service team to NASA for a project that will help astronauts someday explore reaches of space beyond the moon, including Mars.
» More from the Business Observer.
Florida Orange Juice Has Roots In World War II Military
This is citrus harvesting season in Florida, where oranges make up the largest part of an industry that contributes $8 billion a year to the state economy. Yet, few know that the citrus business owes much of its success to the U.S. military.
» Read more from WJCT.
In case you missed it: