University Economic Development Association


Economic Diversity and Inclusivity

Award Category: Place+Innovation
Project Site: Economic Diversity and Inclusivity
Submitted By: The University of Central Florida
Contact: Dr. Thomas O'Neal, 407.882.1120

Case Study

Founded in 1999, University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP) is a network of eight incubators which support and unite innovators and entrepreneurs from the region’s universities and communities. The incubators are strategically located to provide early-stage companies throughout Central Florida with the tools, training, and infrastructure to evolve from startups towards business maturity. The UCFBIP’s core services address the common needs of small businesses, and engage the entire spectrum of support resources throughout Central Florida for transformative economic impact throughout the region.

UCFBIP exemplifies ecosystem interconnectivity. Supported by UCF, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, and local governments across the region, UCFBIP has created and implemented a vast network of academic, government, and industry partners that integrate seemlessly into the program to increase the opportunity for company growth and economic impact. Its speciality programs encourage diversity to support the unique needs of minority and veteran entrepreneurs, and the two industry-specific incubators – photonics and life sciences – support the growth and development of two of the regions most critical, and fastest growing, industry clusters.

From July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016 alone, the UCFBIP sustained 4,710 jobs, and had a total impact on regional GDP of over $725 million. Every $1 of public investment directly resulted in an estimated $7 in regional GDP, and resulted in an estimated $7.41 is returned in taxes.

Finalist Presentation

UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists presented at the Annual Summit in Milwaukee on October 22 and 23, 2018. Summit attendees then voted for the best initiative in each category.