Kissimmee, Fla. (August 9, 2021) – For more than two decades, the UCF Business Incubation Program has proven to provide a significant return on investment – nearly $12 returned for every $1 invested.
Where it truly shines is in the creation of new jobs. On July 30, another graduate company of the UCF Business Incubator in Kissimmee showcased its’ value to the local market.
North Star Counseling cut the ribbon on a new, 3,000 square foot facility in the Loop area of Kissimmee. The company currently has nine full time employees and contracts another 50 counselors. North Star currently has a cooperative agreement with Osceola and Orange county’s public school systems.
“Since opening our doors in 2014, the Kissimmee area has been so welcoming and embracing of what we have been trying to build with our company,” says Wilson Villanueva, clinical director and owner, North Star Counseling of Central Florida. “Our company is what it is today because of the support of the Incubator, Kissimmee and Osceola County.”
Villanueva spent a career working in the mental health field. He was an expert, serving as a child protective investigator, a guidance counselor, a professor, and a clinical director.
When he started North Star Counseling, he knew he needed help because he didn’t have the background in business and he turned to the UCF Business Incubation Program.
Villanueva became a client of the UCF Business Incubator in Kissimmee in 2014. At the time, it was just Villanueva and his wife and one employee. The company graduated just a year later, after outgrowing the incubator space.
“It was a true blessing in our lives,” he adds. “It opened my skull bone on how a business should work and continues to do so today.”
Esther Vargas, site manger of the Kissimmee Incubator adds: “North Star Counseling is a model for what the UCF Business Incubation Program can provide for emerging businesses. We help fill in the gaps needed to successfully complete the entrepreneur journey to create profitable and sustainable companies.”
North Star Counseling: Wilson Villanueva, CEO, 407-930-4711, email@example.com
UCF Business Incubation Program: Esther Vargas, Site Manager, UCF Business Incubator – Kissimmee, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Alan Byrd, Alan Byrd & Associates, 407-415-8470, Alan@ByrdConnections.com
About North Star Counseling: North Star Counseling of Central Florida, LLC. is a family focused agency devoted in providing quality service to each individual. Our Community Based Services are focused on family strengths, considering cultural and linguistic diversity. Our agency serves clients with commitment, endeavoring to achieve success towards clients and family goals.
North Star Counseling has been proudly serving our community since 2014. We offer bilingual services (English and Spanish), convenient location with private entrance, handicap accessibility, and spacious therapy rooms. We will gladly assist you with services in the following areas: Anxiety and Panic Symptoms, Depression and Low Self Esteem, Grief and Loss, Couples Counseling, Family Counseling, Behavioral Analysis and Parental Support, Academic / Learning Related Difficulties, 504 Plan and MTSS, Career Counseling, Personal Growth, and Stress Management. For more information, please visit our website northstarcounselingfl.com, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
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 provided vital business development resources resulting in over 300 local startup companies reaching their potential faster and graduating into the community where they continue to grow and positively impact the local economy.
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 Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs. For the 2017/2018 fiscal years, the activities of these participating firms have helped to sustain more than 6,725 local jobs and have had a cumulative impact of over $725 million on regional GDP and over $1.3 billion on regional sales. During the same period, the program has returned more than $12.00 in state and local taxes for every $1.00 invested in the program. In addition, for every $1.00 of public investment the firms also produced $118 of additional regional GDP and $226 of regional sales. For more information, visit Incubator.ucf.edu/.