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Success Stories

Board Certified Dermatologist and Pediatrician Dr. Aurora Badia founded Florida Skin Center shortly after completing her dermatology training in Albany, New York in 2001. Dr. Badia graduated from the University of Miami before obtaining her medical degrees from the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine and University of Health Sciences School of Medicine. In a mission to fulfill her childhood entrepreneurial dream, she took the leap of faith and started her business nine months before arriving in Southwest Florida via an ad in the Yellow Pages. She officially opened her office doors shortly thereafter with 13 booked appointments.

For the past 17 years, she has developed the practice to be a full-service dermatology center, offering state-of-the-art technology and amenities to her patients in both dermatology and pediatric dermatology. Dr. Badia is unique in her field as she holds a rare dual specialty as a pediatric dermatologist and is the only doctor... Read More

George Woodruff spent over 40 years at IBM, Hughes Aircraft, and Lockheed Martin developing new business in Advanced Technology and Innovation programs. Once he and his wife decided it was time to transition from corporate America, they started Raider Outboards.

Located in Central Florida – near Kennedy Space Center, Raider Outboards design and produce multi-fuel, submersible, lightweight outboard motors and associated parts that include a Safety Jet; transom plates; carts and transportation cages. One of the first successes of the family-owned business came on the heels of winning a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I and II contract for a robotics mast. The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological... Read More

Stephanie Vitori, president of Cheeseburger Baby, originally joined the company as a delivery driver in 2001. After working alongside five other original employees, she was able to learn the business from the bottom up and officially took ownership in February 2004. Since that time, the company has grown to 20 employees and has more than $800,000 in revenues.

Over the years, the business continued to experience steady growth along with its fair share of challenges which came in the form of multiple hurricanes, a recession, and larger franchise burger companies moving into the same block.  After restructuring CBB’s business model to ensure the company ongoing success, it was not until 2017 when Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida that CBB encountered it biggest obstacle in its 18-year history. 

While taking the necessary steps and using savings to prepare and protect the... Read More

Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Mari Rubio moved to Miami in 2009 so she could turn her passion for cooking into a reality. After completing a six-month internship in Southern Italy and graduating from Johnson & Wales University Miami in 2012, she returned  home to Santo Domingo to spend the holidays with her family. Struggling with idle hands and time, she began experimenting with a pecan pie recipe. This experience proved life changing as the recipe was so well received by her friends and family.

After returning to Miami determined to create the same buzz as she did back home, Rubio eventually took the remaining $50 from her weekly allowance to purchase all the ingredients needed to bake her first batch of pecan pies. In less than a year, Rubio found herself, along with her mom and aunt, looking for a company name and kitchen space. Thus, Casa Gioia, which translates to “house of joy” in Italian, was born.

Mari needed help in growing her business, so... Read More

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