Second-Stage Businesses Compete to Earn Prestigious Honor
(ORLANDO, FL) – Applications are now open for the 12th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch® awards program. Each year, GrowFL recognizes the top fifty second-stage companies headquartered in Florida for innovation, community involvement, leadership, and growth. GrowFL is Florida’s only organization that focuses exclusively on second-stage growth companies, providing CEOs the resources and services they need to accelerate their business growth.
Developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, Companies to Watch is a unique way to honor the companies that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes. Since 2011, GrowFL has named 550 companies across the state GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honorees. The companies selected excel in developing valuable products and services, demonstrate past and future growth opportunities, embody entrepreneurial leadership, create quality jobs, and enrich the local communities.
While second-stage companies are the backbone of our state’s economy, they often go unrecognized. In fact, in 2020, second-stage businesses made up only 12% of Florida businesses yet created 34% of the jobs in the state.
“Second-stage businesses are the champions that keep our state strong by stimulating the economy, keeping the workforce employed, and directly impacting communities across the state,” said Jennifer Taylor, President, and CEO of GrowFL. “Now in its twelfth year, GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch continues to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and shine a spotlight on the most deserving companies.”
A typical GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch class is comprised of businesses that collectively gross over $450 million in annual revenue, add more than 350 new jobs per year, average a 30% increase in earnings and experience 20% growth in employees annually.
“As a 2014 GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honoree and entrepreneur myself, I am honored to help celebrate the rockstar companies in our state. Second-stage business owners are leaders who demonstrate resiliency, unwavering dedication to their company and team members, and innovation to overcome challenges that arise,” said David Carrier, GrowFL Advisory Board Chair and CEO emeritus of QuantumFlo, Inc. “GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honorees are well-positioned for continued growth and will significantly impact our state for years to come.”
Eligible applicants must be privately held, second-stage commercial enterprises. Qualifying companies must also be headquartered in the state of Florida, employ between 6 and 150 employees, and earn between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue. A selection panel of judges representing areas of finance, technology, entrepreneurship, and small businesses, as well as past Honorees will review the applicants and select the top fifty honorees to be announced in September 2022.
“GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch is a terrific way for the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council to showcase local businesses thriving in our community. As an organization, this gives us the chance to support and celebrate our second-stage businesses as they grow, while showing top talent that Tampa and Florida offer best-in-class career opportunities,” said Alison Gelbaugh, Economic Development Manager at the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council.
Applications are open through July 1, 2022. For more information and to apply for GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch, please visit https://growfl.com/about-growfl-flctw/.
GrowFL is dedicated to supporting and accelerating the growth of second-stage companies throughout Florida, by providing their leaders focused, efficient, and timely access to resources they deem important, such as connections with other second-stage company leaders, and professional organizations whose expertise, experience, and products lead to the second-stage company’s continued growth and prosperity resulting in diversification and growth of Florida’s economy. Second-stage growth companies have at least six employees, $750 thousand in revenue, and possess the intent and desire to grow beyond second-stage. Website: http://www.growfl.com
About the Edward Lowe Foundation:
Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition, and educational programs, which are delivered through entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs). The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. In addition, the foundation has a second mission of land stewardship and is committed to preserving the natural resources and historically significant structures at Big Rock Valley, its 2,000-acre home in southwest Michigan. Website: https://edwardlowe.org/