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Success Stories

Jeannette Coronado, CEO of JIRACOR, started her business in 2011 along with her husband primarily to provide online training for a certification program. Ms. Coronado is an immigrant from El Salvador and used her background in teaching coupled with her husband, Richard’s technical background. Ms. Coronado wanted to grow her business and live the “American dream.” Ms. Coronado was interested in growing through government contracting. She took some courses in fabrication and assembly to comfortably be able to offer more products and services.

As the company ventured into government contracting, Ms. Coronado ran into some challenges including documenting past performance, securing a line of credit on contracts, and networking within the government sector. She felt she was at a competitive disadvantage among other firms that perhaps had more connections within the government contracting sphere. She worked as the program manager, business development representative, and even the... Read More

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