Program Eligibility

Companies in all industries are invited to apply. Candidates may be nominated or apply directly. A company must meet the following for the year ending 2020:

  • Be privately held commercial enterprise headquartered in Florida (not publicly traded, subsidiary or division of another company or nonprofit).
  • Employ 6 to 150 full-time equivalent W-2 employees, including the owner.
  • Have between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants.
  • Have not won this award in the past.
  • Demonstrate an intent and capacity to grow based on evidence such as:
    • Employee or sales growth;
    • Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership;
    • Sustainable competitive advantage; or
    • Other notable factors that showcase the company’s success.

Companies can be considered for the Award Program in one of two ways: (1) anyone who is associated with a successful second-stage company can nominate a candidate by completing a nomination form on behalf of the nominee and (2) companies may simply submit an application form. Third parties that may participate in the nomination process include journalists, employees, bankers, attorneys, chambers of commerce or small business organizations.

Requirements for Entry

All Nominees must submit an application form. Only individuals over 18 years old and authorized to act on behalf of the nominee may submit an application form. All application information and biographical information contained in the application form must be accurate, and the Associates reserve the right to verify all of the information in the application form. Due diligence (including but not limited to credit reports and literature searches) may be conducted to determine an applicant’s eligibility and to confirm the accuracy of the application. Application forms with unverifiable or incomplete information may be disqualified. The Associates are not responsible for application forms that are not received by the Application Deadline due to any reason, including, but not limited to, problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone equipment, software, failure of email or traffic congestion on the Internet or any Web site or combination thereof.

Use of Information

All information provided by the nominee in the application form shall remain confidential, except as follows: The information will be privately reviewed by the judges panel and their affiliates to select the award recipients. Some of the information on the application form may be used for research, educational or other purposes; however, the personal identity of the nominee and the nominee’s company will not be disclosed to any person other than the Award Program judges and their affiliates. If the nominee is selected as an award recipient, the Associates may use the company name, contact information, number of employees, and total annual revenues (in the aggregate) to promote the attributes of the nominee and the Award Program, including, but not limited to, online profiling the award recipients or in an awards book. “Confidential Data” shall mean any data and/or information is of such a nature that a reasonable person would understand such data and/or information to be confidential. “Confidential Data” shall include, but is not limited to, (1) business methods and practices, financial data, business plans and opportunities, pricing, personnel, customers, prospective customers, or suppliers; (2) trade secrets, inventions, processes, methodologies, products, product plans, patent applications, and other proprietary rights, any specifications, tools, computer programs, source code, object code, documentation, technical information or other related confidential business information or data; (3) detailed financial reports, results and projections; (4) personal information of customers, employees, students, and/or donors, including but not limited to, names, addresses, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, financial profiles, credit card information, driver’s license numbers, medical data, law enforcement records, or other information identifiable to a specific individual that relates to any of these types of information (“Personal Information”) ; or (5) any other proprietary information or data of the parties that is maintained in confidence. Confidential Data shall not include information that can demonstrate (i) is or becomes a matter of public knowledge through no fault of the receiving party, (ii) was rightfully in the receiving party’s possession, without obligation of confidentiality, prior to disclosure by the disclosing party, as evidenced by written records of the receiving party, (iii) subsequent to disclosure, is rightfully obtained by the receiving party from a third party in lawful possession of such Confidential Data, as evidenced by written records of the receiving party, without obligation of confidentiality, (iv) is independently developed by the receiving party without reference to or use of such Confidential Data, or (v) is required to be disclosed by law, governmental or administrative process.

Use of Photographs and Recordings

The Associates may use in any medium photographs, video recordings or audio recordings of the award recipients or their employees, whether submitted by the award recipients or taken on behalf of the Associates, to promote the attributes of the award recipients and the Award Program, including, but not limited to, the publication of a book profiling the award recipients. Winning companies will be notified of their selection as one of the Florida Companies to Watch in the middle of October. These companies will be honored at the awards celebration in November 2020.


If, for any reason, the Award Program is not capable of operating as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Associates, that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Award Program, the Associates reserve the right at their sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Award Program. The Associates reserve the right to extend the Application Deadline and the date of determination and notification of the winners for an extension period up to thirty (30) days. IN NO EVENT WILL THE ASSOCIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOST PROFITS OR ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF DAMAGES, ARISING OUT OF PARTICIPATION IN THIS AWARD PROGRAM, EVEN IF THE ASSOCIATES HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.