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Orlando Is Pick For NBIA Headquarters

[ 0 ] Aug. 13, 2014 | SBO Editor


Orlando has been selected as the headquarters of the National Business Incubation Association. The new global training center for Business Incubation & Innovation will be located in Central Florida Research Park

The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), the world’s leading organization advancing business and entrepreneurship, announced  it will relocate its headquarters and the formation of the Global Training Center for Business Incubation & Innovation to Orlando from Athens, Ohio, to service more than 2,200 members worldwide.

Orlando’s nationally recognized incubation and entrepreneurship resources have earned praise from American City Business Journals as one of the top places in the country to grow or start a small business. Orlando recently was ranked Florida’s top city for overall friendliness toward small businesses by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.

NBIA Selects Orlando

“NBIA selected Orlando because of its reputation as being the home of entrepreneurship and innovation, making it the ideal place to expand our programs and enhance our mission,” said Karl R. LaPan, NBIA’s Board Chairman and interim President and CEO. “The fact that the Orlando region has one of the best business incubation network systems in the world is icing on the cake.”

Already home to the National Entrepreneur Center – one of only two such centers in the nation – Orlando also boasts the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP) – one of the largest in the Southeast and named the 2013 NBIA Incubator Network of the Year.

“The UCF Business Incubation Program is one of the best in the country, and Orange County has been a proud supporter and funder of this program for over a decade,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “Along with a number of other small business, minority development and entrepreneurial programs that are already established in our community, NBIA’s relocation of their headquarters to Orange County is a perfect fit with our focus on growing jobs by creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Global Training Center for Business

NBIA officials said they plan to establish the new headquarters and Global Training Center for Business Incubation & Innovation in the Central Florida Research Park and look forward to partnering with existing incubation and entrepreneurship programs throughout the region, as well as developing global partnerships. With more than 900 member organizations worldwide, NBIA provides education, advocacy and networking resources to early-stage companies.

Incoming NBIA Chairman Elect and Executive Director of the UCF Business Incubation Program Tom O’Neal said, “The relocation of the NBIA to Orlando puts the region in the forefront of innovation-related activity in the world. By working with the NBIA and having direct access to its expertise, we hope to further strengthen the region’s innovation culture by building stronger and more successful companies.”

While UCF’s BIP focuses on startup companies, currently serving 148 clients across four counties, the university has expanded its entrepreneurial resources to include services for innovators in multiple stages, from students to small businesses to second-stage companies and more. It recently formed a new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to allow seamless access for clients in any stage.

NBIA says it also plans to work closely with Orlando’s National Entrepreneur Center, which has coached and trained more than 100,000 businesses and facilitated more than $150 million in loans since its inception in 2003.

Initially, NBIA considered more than 30 cities for its new headquarters, narrowing its final list to Orlando, Atlanta, Denver and Phoenix.

Partners on the project include the Orlando Economic Development Commission, University of Central Florida, Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Orange County, the City of Orlando and the National Entrepreneur Center.

National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship, with 930 organizations and 2,200 professional members in the U.S. and around the globe.

UCF Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP) is a non-profit community resource, which provides early-stage companies with the tools, training and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth/impact enterprises. Since 1999, this award-winning program has helped hundreds of local startup companies (including nearly 150 current clients and more than 100 graduates) reach their potential faster by providing vital business development resources. 

Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) is an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF). The mission of FHTCC is to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship.

Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership that attracts, retains and grows jobs for the region. The This has led to more than 176,750 jobs announced; $9.5 billion in capital investment; and more than 79.7 million square feet of office and industrial space leased or constructed. For more information, visit www.OrlandoEDC.com.

National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) is home to a variety of independent business organizations that offer free business coaching, low-cost business training, and a variety of networking events and business resources designed to accelerate the growth and development of small businesses.


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Category: Features