UCF Business Incubation Program Selected as a Network Partner by Veterans Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program recently was named a Network Partner in the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program and will align its ongoing efforts to provide entrepreneurship counseling and training to veterans with the mission of the new statewide program.

Veterans Florida Executive Director, Bobby Carbonell, said the UCF Business Incubation Program was one of two additional Florida state universities and colleges that received funding to participate in and teach an innovative entrepreneurship program for veterans seeking to start their own businesses. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University will also join the existing five partner universities bringing the total number of partners to seven.

“The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program offers veterans in the state access to high value, entrepreneurship education through our world-class state colleges and universities,” said Carbonell. “This education will empower the next generation of great veteran entrepreneurs to make lasting contributions to the state’s economy.”

“We are pleased that Veterans Florida selected our incubation program as a Network Partner providing funding to help veterans and members of the military in establishing their own business,” said Gordon Hogan, Director of the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program.  “We had already launched a Veterans Entrepreneurship Initiative in our established program and are committed to helping veteran entrepreneurs throughout Central Florida.”

Hogan said the UCF Business Incubation Program has mentored over 20 Veteran-owned member companies since the program started in 1999.

Full details about the new Veterans Florida program are available on the Veterans Florida website (www.veteransflorida.org).  Recruitment of veteran students is underway by each college or university who will offer the same curriculum and dedicate existing small business development resources to the program, which is composed of two phases:

Education Phase: During this initial fifteen-week period, selected participants will attend in-class training to be held every two weeks on Saturdays at one of seven participating institutions of higher education. This phase will prepare participants for all elements of entrepreneurship.

The face-to-face instruction will provide an opportunity for hands-on learning and application of fundamental principles facilitated by business experts. The curriculum will include concepts ranging from crafting a business plan to accessing capital for new business ventures. Participants will need to complete online coursework in between the Saturday sessions.

Mentoring Phase: Following successful completion of the educational phase, participants will receive ongoing mentorship from Florida SBDC business consultants and businesses leaders from their local area. This phase of the program will enable participants to receive hands-on guidance to navigate common entrepreneurial challenges and to receive specific feedback regarding their business to drive success.

The program will start with an Open House event in mid-December at each Network Partner’s institution, and the program of instruction will run from Jan. 20 2017 through May 6, 2017.

The UCF Business Incubation Program and Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University will join existing network partners comprised of the University of West Florida, the University of North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Atlantic University and Hillsborough Community College.

# # #

For more information, contact

Bobby Carbonell, Executive Director, Veterans Florida, 850-898-1444 Carbonell@veteransflorida.org.

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

Rafael Caamano, Associate Director UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-   Rafael.caamano@ucf.edu

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

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