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Success Stories

Sarah Blake, President of Elipsis Engineering and Consulting initially relocated to Florida in 2002 hopes of accepting a position with one of Central Florida’s largest employers, but decided to accept a position at a large engineering firm after the interview process proved to be lengthy. After 5+ years with the company, Blake accepted a position with a smaller firm to further advance her career, but was soon left unemployed when the recession started in 2009. Blake was able to utilize a stimulus package for construction engineering inspection, engineering, and materials testing to start her own business. She certified her company as woman-owned and disadvantaged through the Florida Department of transportation.

Although the company has experienced strong growth, Blake has faced some challenges along the way. The largest hurdle was and still tends to be that Blake is a young female entrepreneur, in a field dominated by men.

Blake was determined to succeed, and decided... Read More

Nick Nicholas, Owner and Technical Director of Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. (GWT) started working at his father’s company as a sales associate in 2005. After obtaining his MBA, he was promoted to Technical Sales Manager. In that position he led a global technical sales team that designed and engineered customized water and wastewater treatment solutions for industrial, commercial, and municipal clients across the world. Today, Mr. Nicholas has taken over the helm of the company as Technical Director.

The company started with the idea of exporting as key business strategy, but with limited resources export growth was slow. The company initially relied on existing relationships to start exporting. GWT started selling internationally in Saudi Arabia in 2009, but lacked the financial and operational capacity to expand further on its own. The company faced challenges related to exporting such as planning; logistics (managing the right paperwork and other regulatory... Read More

 

Frank Brewer, President of Alpha Omega Global, LLC started his business in 2008 as a consulting firm aimed at providing marketing services. Frank spent 20 years working in the private sector after his service in the U.S. Navy. Six months into starting his business, the economy took a downturn and the company almost went out of business. Frank kept the business going, by trying various service options including consulting and strategic planning. He also got trained in supply chain and international trade.

Frank rebranded the business in 2011 and switched the focus from consulting to transportation/logistics serving more of a global market. Frank worked with several SBA resource and community partners including the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida, as well as the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and the Veterans Business Outreach Center to rebrand and then grow the business. Frank was able to change the business model into a... Read More

Scott Williams, President Folsom Enterprises

Tallahassee, FLA. – Scott Williams, President, Folsom, LLC has grown the company from a 2-person operation to a multi-million dollar enterprise. Williams purchased the business, which at the time was a small sheet metal shop in 2013 for $5,000. He used his knowledge of real estate development to grow the company.

Williams attended Florida State University (FSU) and obtained his undergraduate degree in Finance in 2009. He graduated around the same time of the economic downturn, and was subsequently unable to find a job in finance and started working for a real estate development company. In 2010, Williams purchased a broken cell phone on the internet and later repaired it and sold it for a $200 profit. He immediately identified a business opportunity and his first venture was selling refurbished cell phones, while also maintaining his real estate development job. Over the next couple of years in excess of $200,000 worth of phones were sold through his cell phone business... Read More

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