GrowFL Now Accepting Applications 2017 Florida Companies to Watch Awards

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March 14, 2017

Contact: Christine Burres                                  
(561) 416-6092 Ext. 1401

March 14, 2017
News Release
For Immediate Release

GrowFL Now Accepting Applications
2017 Florida Companies to Watch Awards

Second-Stage Businesses Compete to Earn Prestigious Honor

(BOCA RATON, Fla) – GrowFL, Florida’s leading organization in support of second-stage growth companies, is now accepting applications for its annual Florida Companies to Watch® awards program. As GrowFL’s regional partner, the Research Park at FAU is encouraging community stakeholders, EDO’s and other support organizations to nominate companies to watch. The event - now in its seventh year - honors 50 select second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and creating new industries throughout Florida.

Eligible applicants must be privately held, second-stage commercial enterprises. Qualifying companies must also be headquartered in the state of Florida, employ between 6 and 150 employees, and earn between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue. A selection panel of judges representing areas of finance, technology, entrepreneurship and small business select honorees that have demonstrated past and future growth opportunities, entrepreneurial leadership, product innovation, community responsibility and competitive business practices.

“We are excited to again present this prestigious awards program to honor exemplary second-stage businesses who have become an integral part of Florida’s economic landscape,” says Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL Executive Director. “We received a record number of nominations last year and expect the same in 2017.  This, in itself, says a lot about the drive and motivation of entrepreneurs throughout our state.”

GrowFL is a statewide economic development organization certified by the National Center for Economic Gardening through the Edward Lowe Foundation, a national, nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition and educational programs. The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. GrowFL, in turn, helps second-stage companies in Florida overcome obstacles and leads them towards prosperity by providing strategies, resources and support designed to prepare them for next level success.  A typical Florida Companies to Watch class is comprised of businesses who collectively gross over $450 million in annual revenue, add more than 350 new jobs per year, average a 30% increase in earnings and experience almost 20% growth in employees annually.

Applications are open through May 6, 2017. The 2017 Florida Companies to Watch awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 14th at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida. For more information or to apply for Florida Companies to Watch, please visit


GrowFL is generously supported by FloridaMakes, Wells Fargo, University of Central Florida, Orange County, The Corridor, Traction in Florida, Carlton Fields, Engineering & Computer Simulations, Florida Power & Light, NanoPhotonica, OUC – The Reliable One, SCB Marketing, Florida Angel Nexus, Brand Advance, Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center, Blue Sentry, CenterState Bank, Clifton Larson Allen, Enterprise Florida, Florida Capital Advisors, IQ Orlando, Merit Advisors, LP, Nperspective – CFO Services, SunTrust, TriNet, USF CONNECT, U.S Trust/Bank of America, WithumSmith+Brown, and AMTIS.


About Research Park at FAU

The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® is the only state university affiliated research park in South Florida, and is home to 19 high tech, high wage organizations.  In addition, it operates the premier Technology Business Incubator® (TBI) in our region. The TBI is home to the New World Angels, a structured angel investor group and the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, a clearing house for Florida’s technology transfer offices and other publicly funded research institutes. Research Park at FAU is the brand name for the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, an independent special district organized pursuant to Chapter 159, Part V, Florida Statutes to promote scientific R&D in collaboration with FAU and to foster economic development in Palm Beach and Broward counties.



About GrowFL

GrowFL was created in 2009 as an economic development program focused on assisting second-stage growth companies prosper in the state of Florida.  By providing strategies, resources and support to second-stage companies for next level growth through Strategic Research, Peer Learning and Leadership Development, GrowFL helps companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity. Based on the philosophy of Economic Gardening®—to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state—GrowFL, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute, is a critical component to the state’s economic development strategy and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.  GrowFL is a statewide economic development organization certified by the National Center for Economic Gardening through the Edward Lowe Foundation.  GrowFL has assisted more than 900 companies through the Strategic Research and CEO Roundtable programs and recognized 300 successful entrepreneurs through the annual awards program, Florida Companies to Watch.  Learn more at


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