June 29, 2015

GrowFL Announces 2015 Florida Companies to Watch Finalists

Area Companies Among Second-Stage Businesses Competing to Earn Prestigious Honor

(Sumter County, Florida) GrowFL announced the 2015 Florida Companies to Watch finalists. The awards event – now in its fifth year – honors 50 select second-stage companies for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida. More than 500 companies were nominated for this year’s award. The 101 finalists collectively represent $694 million in annual revenue and employ 3,280 full-time equivalent employees.

As an economic development organization partner of GrowFL, Sumter County Economic Development is proud to support this event. Finalists from the local community include:

  • Highway Systems Incorporated, Coleman
  • T&D Distribution, Wildwood
  • The Villages Insurance, The Villages

“The growth of these companies demonstrates their ongoing commitment to our community, and we congratulate each of them on becoming finalists,” states Bradley Arnold, Sumter County, County Administrator.

The Florida Companies To Watch program consists of two rounds of selections. Finalists now advance to the second round, where they will be further evaluated based on their performance in the marketplace, innovative products, services or processes, philanthropy and empowered employees.

“We applaud these first round finalists, all of which exhibit impressive strengths in entrepreneurial leadership, product innovation, social/community responsibility and competitive business practices,” says Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL Executive Director.

Developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, Florida Companies To Watch is a distinguished awards program specifically designed to seek out second-stage businesses from a wide range of industries representing all areas of the state, not just those in major metropolitan areas. In addition to evaluating past growth and projected success, applicant companies are judged according to their special strengths and impact in their markets, communities and within the state – thus deeming them “worth watching.”

The winners will be announced in late August. The 2015 honorees will be celebrated at the awards ceremony November 5th at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Resort.

For more information visit www.growfl.com/flctw/about.

About Sumter County Economic Development

Sumter County’s mission is to provide timely and efficient support to Sumter County’s businesses, to improve their success and encourage their expansion in addition to promoting awareness of the county as a desirable, beneficial and strategically advantageous location for new businesses. Learn more at www.SumterBusiness.com.

About GrowFL

GrowFL was created in 2009 by the Florida legislature as an economic development program focused on assisting second-stage growth companies prosper in the state of Florida. By providing strategies, resources and support to second-stage companies for next level growth through Strategic Research, Peer Learning and Leadership Development, GrowFL helps companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity. Based on the philosophy of Economic Gardening®—to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state—GrowFL, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute, is a critical component to the state’s economic development strategy and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. GrowFL is a statewide economic development organization certified by the National Center for Economic Gardening through the Edward Lowe Foundation. GrowFL has assisted more than 800 companies through the Strategic Research and CEO Roundtable programs and recognized 200 successful entrepreneurs through the annual awards program, Florida Companies to Watch. Learn more at GrowFL.com.

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