DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Dr. James L. Cairns, the entrepreneur who shares his money and vast knowledge and experience with students and innovators through The Cairns Foundation, and as advisor to the Volusia-UCF Business Incubation Program, was recently surprised with the unveiling of a special wall of recognition in the Incubator at 601 Innovation Way.
After sale of his Daytona Beach firm Ocean Design to Teledyne and with a desire to give back to the community, Dr. Cairns established his Foundation and later partnered with the Volusia County -UCF Business Incubator on the Innovation Challenge initiative. The popular event is held annually to help bright students from local colleges and universities toward realizing the successes of their creations so they might contribute to the Volusia County entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“The Innovation Challenge was hatched one day in late 2012 right here in this Incubator,” Dr. Cairns reminisced at the event.
Incubator Associate Director/Site Manager Connie Bernal and Program Director Gordon Hogan hosted about 50 close associates, former employees, start-up company CEOs, college professors and students. Bernal said the incubator team wanted to thank Dr. Cairns for being a mentor, motivator and inspiration to the staff and client companies and as it was his last day on the Incubation Program’s Advisory Board, it was the best time for the tribute of their appreciation of all Dr. Cairns’ work.
“Part of the Incubation process now is to read Dr. Cairn’s book Inventor’s Complete Handbook,” Bernal noted.
A greatly appreciative Dr. Cairns said “what I have done was an extreme pleasure, and at the same time the Volusia-UCF Business Incubator has been a big help to the mission of The Cairns Foundation.”
Dr. Cairns said he thought he should slow down now — since he recently celebrated a milestone birthday – to spend more time at the family home in Italy, but reassured the group that when he’s stateside in the fall, he would “stop by the Incubator for a little mentoring.”
Among speakers at the unveiling who expressed appreciation for Dr. Cairns’ work and theimprovements they’ve experienced firsthand as a result include, Ron Eaglin Chairman, Dept. of Engineering and IT, Daytona State College; Professor Morrison Obeng Ph.D, College of Science and Engineering Bethune-Cookman University; Rick Fraser, key member of The Cairns Foundation and Caelan Hickman, CEO of Sea&Sol Shades, LLC, last year’s winner of the Innovation Challenge.
“I would like to invite additional experienced innovators/entrepreneurs to step up and join us in the very important challenge of mentoring and motivating local start-ups, which will help cultivate more high-growth companies and, in turn, create more jobs in Volusia County”. Bernal said.
* * *
For more information about this release, please contact:
Dr. James L. “Jim” Cairns, Executive Director, The Cairns Foundation Inc email@example.com
Connie Bernal, Associate Director/Site Manager, Volusia County –University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program, 386-872-3101, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 or 407-461-3781, Lvershelco@aol.com
About The Cairns Foundation
Established by Dr. Jim Cairns in 2003, the Cairns Foundation strives to identify and give life-changing boosts to bright, creative young people who otherwise might never attain their full potential. To fulfill its mission, the Foundation provides support to outstanding students through mentoring and funding to help the young inventors realize the technical and commercial successes of their creations.
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 $1.51 billion on regional sales and $2.48 billion on regional economic output. During the last fiscal year, the program has returned $7.95 for every $1.00 invested in the program.