Incubator spinoff organization honored by U.S. Small Business Administration

Orlando, Fla. (April 8, 2024) – For nearly a decade, a team of dedicated veterans worked through the UCF Business Incubation Program to help other veterans grow their businesses.

Today, those veterans and the non-profit organization they formed have been recognized by the United States Small Business Administration as the 2024 North Florida and State of Florida Community Partner of the Year.

“It’s phenomenal what Rafael Caamano and his team have been able to do over the years to help veteran-owned businesses in Florida,” says Carol Ann Logue, director, of programs & operations, Innovation Districts & Incubation Program, University of Central Florida. “VEI has quickly become an integral part of the entrepreneurship ecosystem we have built in Orlando and this recognition clearly shows how important their services have become.”

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Initiative was formed in 2013 when the UCF Business Incubation System was led by Gordon Hogan. He, Caamano and Ricardo Garcia, all veterans and employees of UCF, developed a program for veteran entrepreneurs. The thought was that many of the skills learned in the military had proven to translate into skills needed for entrepreneurship.

In 2019, the group became its own entity and since 2013, has worked with hundreds of veterans, creating tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in revenues.

The annual awards given by the Small Business Awards are often among the most prestigious as they competition is entered by small businesses and organizations throughout Florida. All winners will be recognized at the 32nd annual Small Business Week Celebration on May 10, 2024.




For more information, please contact:

UCF Business Incubation Program: Carol Ann Dykes Logue, 407-635-9882, or Alan Byrd, Alan Byrd & Associates, 407-415-8470,

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 nine facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Eustis, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs. In 2022, current incubator clients supported over 1200 employees and generated over $120 million in revenue.  Nineteen companies graduated from the program and remained in the local community. For more information, visit