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University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program

Central Florida

Gordon H. Hogan, director

Year established: 1999

Number of incubators in the network: 10

Total amount of incubator space: 141,500 square feet

Incubator clients: 128

Incubator graduates: 85

www.incubator.ucf.edu

Achievements: It might seem as if every town of any size in Central Florida is home to a University of Central Florida incubator. That impression isn’t far from the truth. As a result, the program has made a significant impact on the economic health of that portion of the Sunshine State. The program reports a return on investment of $5.04 for every dollar invested by stakeholders from numerous local and regional governments and consortia. And that’s when the figure includes the four newest incubators, who have yet to graduate clients. Limited to the incubators that have been in business longer, the ratio is more than 10:1.

With one exception, the incubators are truly mixed-use. Clients range from high-end technology and Internet companies to service providers, cosmetics firms, focused financial services companies, a company that captures and bottles rainwater, and even a brewery. The exception is the Photonics Incubator, which is attached to the UCF College of Optics and Photonics, specializing in optical, photonic, laser and other light-related.

The network’s results have been impressive. The program has created more than 3,120 jobs, with about $133 million in earnings and more than a third of a billion dollars in economic impact. A study commissioned by Florida High Tech Corridor noted that from 2009 through mid-2011, “in the midst of the most severe national and statewide economic downturn in decades, the UCF Incubation Program has proven instrumental in the creation of almost 1,500 new jobs with earnings in excess of $62 million.” And many program graduates have remained in the immediate communities or nearby. “The UCFBIP has been successful in scaling up from a one-site incubator program into a networked program that has helped the Central Florida community adopt entrepreneurship as a key component in their economic development agenda,” says Gordon H. Hogan, director.

 

 

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