DBE Certification to Drive More Business Opportunities to Orlando Transportation Engineering & Technology Startup

ORLANDO, Fla. –InNovo Partners, a transportation engineering and technology startup in the UCF Business Incubator near downtown Orlando, will now have more opportunities to not only team on, but also get prime transportation-related government contracts. Co-founders Melissa Bollo Gross and Claudia Paskauskas announced recently that InNovo Partners has been designated as a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) through the Unified Certification Program.

Being a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise under the Unified Certification Program enables small firms, like InNovo Partners, to seamlessly do business with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, the Florida Keys Marathon Airport, the Tampa International Airport, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, the City of Tallahassee, Lee County Port Authority and Votran.

According to Paskauskas, the DBE certification comes with many advantages that will help drive more business opportunities to InNovo Partners.

“The DBE certification gives InNovo a fair competitive edge,” said Paskauskas. “It allows us to access designated funding set aside for small businesses and encourages companies in the private sector to partner with us.”

The aforementioned funding organizations each set individual goals to award varying percentages of a contract’s total funding to certified DBEs. As a result, larger, more established firms are then incentivized to team with small businesses, like InNovo Partners, to satisfy DBE goals.

As a certified DBE, InNovo Partners will also have specific opportunities to receive prime contracts with the Florida Department of Transportation through its Business Development Initiative (BDI). BDI contracts are reserved for competition among other small businesses, allowing firms like InNovo Partners to obtain work directly from FDOT as primes. These specific contracts range up to $1.5 million.

“It is normally very difficult for small businesses to successfully compete against the big players,” said Gross. “The BDI program helps level the playing field for small boutique firms like InNovo and offers us the opportunity to build past performance as a prime contractor and grow our specialized firm from the ground up.”

The DBE certification under the Unified Certification Program comes just weeks after InNovo Partners announced receiving their Woman-Owned Business Enterprise state certification, which provides similar contracting opportunities and advantages with the State of Florida.

InNovo Partners, founded in January 2017, brings innovation to the transportation industry by applying technology and extracting meaningful business intelligence from big data to help local, state and federal agencies make informed decisions on the planning, operations and funding prioritization of transportation systems.

For more information about InNovo Partners, visit innovopartners.com.

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For more information, media contacts:

Melissa Bollo Gross, President, InNovo Partners, 407-222-5507, mgross@InNovopartners.com;

Claudia Paskauskas, CEO, InNovo Partners, 407-432-4866, cpaskauskas@InNovoPartners.com;

Michael Weiss, Site Manager, UCF Business Incubator – Orlando, 321-281-8384, michael.weiss@ucf.edu.

About InNovo Partners

InNovo Partners, LLC, founded in January 2017 by Melissa Bollo Gross and Claudia Paskauskas, is an Orlando, FL-based transportation engineering, technology and planning consultant for the government. As an innovator in the application of technology in the transportation industry, InNovo Partners helps local, state and federal agencies make informed decisions on the planning, operation and funding prioritization of transportation systems. For more information, visit innovopartners.com.

About the UCF Business Incubation Program

The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth / impact enterprises.   Since 1999, this award-winning program has helped hundreds of local startup companies reach their potential faster by providing vital business development resources.

With seven facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Apopka, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs.  Participating companies sustain more than 3,600 local jobs and have had a total impact of $1.51B on regional sales and $2.48B on regional economic output.  During the last fiscal year, the program has returned $7.95 for every $1.00 invested in the program.   For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.