UCF Business Incubation Program plays unexpected role in recruiting companies to Metro Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – A key staffer of UCF’s Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP) recently addressed an entrepreneurship conference at the Digital Metropolis Institute (IMD) at the Federal University of Rio Grande Do Norte–(UFRN) in Natal, Brazil to promote UCFBIP’s Soft Landing Program. The program helps international and domestic companies headquartered outside the region, expand to the U.S. market and establish a presence in Central Florida.

The event entitled Encontro de Atividades Empreendedoras da-UFRN (Gathering of Entrepreneurial activities at UFRN) was attended by an A-list of nearly 200 involved in entrepreneurship, including researchers, professors, business leaders, representatives from SEBRAE–similar to the SBA in the U.S.–site managers and over 40 business owner-members of the Brazilian university’s business incubator. The event promoted entrepreneurship, best practices and exchange of experiences amongst UFRN’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and Brazil’s North-Eastern region.

Ricardo Garcia, Government Resources Manager for the UCFBIP, was invited by UFRN to present the UCFBIP’s Soft Landing Program. The suite of resources provided by the program are designed to help expanding firms transition to new business environments by helping them quickly adapt and connect to the Central Florida business community while reducing risks and cost involved with testing and operating in a new market.

The Soft Landing program, now in its fifth year, is currently supporting 25 international and national companies who’ve established Orlando operations with about 25 percent of them headquartered in Brazil.

“Entrepreneurship is a hot topic amongst Brazilians,” said Gordon Hogan, director of UCF’s Business Incubation Program. “UCF’s Soft Landing program currently has client companies from the U.S., Europe, Australia and South America” Hogan said, adding, “It’s a great program and it has grown faster than we expected.”

Garcia explained to the group how flexible, short-term office space, business contacts, market research and meeting government regulations are among many services the Soft Landing program provides. The goal is basically to reduce barriers for companies unfamiliar with how to conduct business in the U.S. while providing them with access to an educated and enthusiastic workforce and creating jobs in Central Florida.

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For more information about this press release, contact –

Ricardo Garcia, Government Resources Manager, UCF Business Incubation Program 407-823-2346; Ricardo.Garcia@ucf.edu

Gordon Hogan, Director, UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-882-1577 Gordon.Hogan@ucf.edu

Beth Payan or Larry Vershel, Larry Vershel Communications Inc. 407-644-4142 Lvershelco@aol.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.