Dr. O'Neal welcomes participants to Florida Business Incubation Association Bi-Annual Conference

ORLANDO, Fla., --- Dr. Tom O’Neal, president of the Florida Business Incubation Association (FBIA) and founder and executive director of the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program, welcomed participants representing nearly 30 business incubation programs throughout Florida at the FBIA bi-annual conference held at the Innovation Hub at the University of Florida in Gainesville recently.

Dr. O’Neal told the group that business incubation is a growing trend that remains one of the most cost-effective economic development programs Florida has to offer.

Business growth was hindered by the national economic recession but thanks to efforts by local communities across Florida and business incubation specialists, incubation programs have grown in size and scope to help turn the tide with respect to small business growth and success, Dr. O’Neal told the group.  Internationally-based companies will play a larger role in the future growth of incubation, he explained.

“Business and industry are globalizing and startup enterprises that focus on international markets are becoming increasing important,” Dr. O’Neal said.

The UCF Business Incubation Program currently accommodates two international based client companies and Dr. O’Neal said that within five years he expects international enterprises to comprise up to 10 percent of incubation client companies.

The FBIA Bi-Annual Conference featured presentations on crowd source funding for startup businesses, Enterprise Florida programs to support and strengthen startup enterprises, global marketing, intellectual property, business models and commercialization of public research.

About the Florida Business Incubation Association (FBIA)
Since its founding in 1998, the Florida Business Incubation Association has held bi-annual statewide meetings and been a unified voice for all the Florida incubators. FBIA plays an integral role in developing and/or identifying programs that help provide greater service to incubator clients. FBIA teams up annually with the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) to award conference scholarship opportunities to Florida incubation professionals. Please visit FBIA on www.fbiaonline.org or on Facebook on www.facebook.com/FLBIA

About the UCF Business Incubation Program
Since its founding in 1999, the UCF Business Incubation Program has helped more than 200 emerging companies (including more than 134 current clients) create over $363 million in annual total economic output and more than 3,120 new jobs (taking direct and indirect and induced impact into account) with an average salary of $59,000. With ten facilities across the Greater Orlando community, the Business Incubation Program is a collaboration in economic development among the University of Central Florida, Orange County, the City of Orlando, Seminole County, the City of Apopka, the City of Winter Springs, the City of Sanford, Lake County, the City of Leesburg, Osceola County, the City of Kissimmee, City of St. Cloud, Volusia County and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.  For more information about the Program and its clients and graduates, please visit www.incubator.ucf.edu and UCFBIP on Facebook, on www.facebook.com/ucf4bip.