Resources Available to Small Businesses Interested in Entering the United States Market
This guide showcases resources specifically for Small-Businesses interested in entering the United States market by creating a presence in Central Florida.
There are a number of Central Florida resources for Small-Businesses located outside the region including support, events, accelerators, and more!
The Cenfluence Cluster Initiative Team is available to assist your business in utilizing the significant resources available to support your business needs.
- CENTRAL FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL TRADE OFFICE – The Office is designed to accelerate the access and activity for companies interested in trade in Central Florida including Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties.
- ENTERPRISE FLORIDA – A public-private partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders. EFI serves as the state’s primary entity for trade and export development supporting more than 60,000 Florida exporting businesses. The organization also assists small and minority businesses through its capital programs and supports the defense industry through the Florida Defense Alliance and Florida Defense Support Task Force.
- Check out their 7 Reasons why companies from other countries should move to Florida.
- DUKE ENERGY: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – Their team is dedicated to your project’s success from start to finish with an early preview of power-intensive sites and buildings for specific industries, competitive rates and incentives, sustainable energy solutions, site visits, and stakeholder alignment.
- FLORIDA HIGH TECH CORRIDOR – an economic development initiative of three of the country’s largest research institutions: the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida, and the University of Florida. Its mission is to grow the high-tech industry – and the workforce to support it – in a 23-county region spanning the state. The Corridor facilitates collaborations between partners in academia, industry, and economic development to create communities with unlimited potential.
- Matching Grants Research Program: Fosters applied research between industry partners, and faculty and student researchers at the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida. Its grants directly fund the work of expert faculty and create an opportunity for their students to participate in collaborative research with industry partners in the 23-county region.
- Cenfluence: Establishes organizations within a formal cluster structure with all the benefits that clustering activities offer, resulting in expanded economic opportunities and increased job opportunities for Central Florida. Cenfluence works with local organizations (Cluster Members) to leverage synergies within the cluster community, existing regional strengths, and a well-established global network to address the specific needs of Central Florida businesses.
- FLORIDA MAKES – This service is designed to strengthen Florida’s high-wage manufacturing sector. FloridaMakes understands the unique needs facing manufacturing firms and delivers customer-centric service, creates partners, and increases access to and successful use of outside resources.
- FLORIDA SBDC AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA – Delivers, through certified professionals, training and information to help businesses succeed and positively impact the Florida economy while providing value for our stakeholders. Serving an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia.
- leAD LAKE NONA SPORTS & HEALTH TECH ACCELERATOR – Sources, funds, and drives the growth of early-stage sports & health tech startups globally. leAD works with groundbreaking solutions across the verticals of fan engagement, connected athletes, and health & well-being. Setting out to shape the future of living by accelerating startups through a six-month-long program.
- Opportunity includes free housing for the founders’ team in the brand new Lake Nona apartments next to the accelerator space during the entire time of the program.
- MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL FLORIDA – Their primary objectives are networking and education, sale opportunities using Connex Florida, and lobbying. Companies here in Florida are able to work together, sharing solutions to common problems, as well as developing joint-venture business efforts. Manufacturers find new suppliers or markets for their products locally instead of using suppliers internationally.
- Connex Florida: An online capabilities database and connection platform created for Florida manufacturers. Connex helps your company adapt to changing market demands, connect to an array of resources and locate new business opportunities by identifying new suppliers and customers.
- NATIONAL ENTREPENUER CENTER – Through a cooperative effort of a diverse group of organizations, we offer easy access to professional business assistance, quality educational programming, and practical industry expertise. Each support organization works together to accelerate the growth and development of small businesses throughout the greater Orlando region – all under one roof.
- ORLANDO ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP – A public-private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization. The Partnership represents seven counties in Central Florida, including the City of Orlando, and hundreds of the region’s top private businesses.
- Orlando Tech Community: The Orlando Tech Community, a core component of the Partnership, is a group of private industry, resource organizations, and public partners collaborating with the singular focus of organizing and aligning the region’s resources to accelerate progress towards an innovation-based economy.
- International Resources & Connections: The Partnership works directly with international companies looking to expand into the United States and offers global business assistance, market intelligence, and site selection services.
- RALLY ACCELERATOR – The Accelerator connects entrepreneurs with resources, funding, and mentors to help them build their ideas into self-sustainable ventures that solve pressing community issues.
- Twice a year, they invite promising social entrepreneurs in the early stage of developing their ventures to join their four-month accelerator as Rally Fellows. During the program, Fellows receive mentorship, 1-on-1 coaching, the opportunity to earn a Future-Ready designation, a paid pilot from the City of Orlando, and access to critical networks and community designed to help them develop and/or validate their business and social model.
- SPACE FLORIDA – Space Florida is where leading aerospace companies get everything they need to see their new ideas take off. In Florida businesses can take their place in the new space economy, or any other aerospace market, with direct access to established infrastructure, a skilled workforce, and an environment built for innovation.
- STARTER STUDIO – Works with partners throughout Central Florida to strengthen the tech startup ecosystem and elevate the region in the eyes of investors, educating them about the advantages of investing locally in tech startup companies. The combination of educational programming, and industry-specific and startup-specific mentoring, makes StarterStudio a unique and powerful asset to the economic development of the region.
- UCF BUSINESS INCUBATION PROGRAM – The UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development effort designed to help create and sustain jobs in the community and spur economic growth throughout the region. This goal is accomplished by helping early-stage businesses grow to the point where they need to hire employees in order to continue operating and growing. Since 1999, UCF Business Incubation Program has assisted more than 350 early-stage companies, which have sustained more than 6,725 jobs.
- Soft Landing Program helps technology and innovation-driven companies which are headquartered outside of the Central Florida region to expand into the Florida and USA markets. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
- US COMMERCIAL SERVICE ORLANDO OFFICE – This is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. Located across the United States and in U.S. Embassies and Consulates in nearly 80 countries, its global network of trade professionals connects U.S. companies with international buyers, providing them with market intelligence, trade counseling, and commercial diplomacy support.
- FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL EXPO- FIME will be back at the Miami Beach Convention Center, hosting the largest trade event for medical device and equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in the Americas with over 12,000 trade professionals from more than 110 countries across the world.
- FLORIDA SIMULATION SUMMIT- A collaborative partnership between Orange County Government, the National Center for Simulation, and the Orlando Economic Partnership. The summit highlights the strong progress, synergy, and development of Central Florida’s multibillion-dollar Modeling, Simulation, and Training (MS&T) industry as a showcase to the state, nation, and beyond. The industry has strong roots in the defense sector and over time has diversified into other clusters such as life sciences, healthcare, sports, space, gaming, and other non-defense-related industries.
- FLORIDA VENTURE FORUM- This is Florida’s largest support and networking organization for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists with a series of events that help startups and high-growth companies connect with the capital and services they need to grow and scale. Their membership includes most major dealmakers active in Florida, including seed, angel, and venture funds, as well as most major accounting, law, and investment banking firms active in their space. Their nonprofit mission and track record of transformative success for founders and investors set them apart as a catalyst for growth.
- INTERSERVICE/INDUSTRY TRAINING, SIMULATION, AND EDUCATION CONFERENCE- The world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training event. Held near the beginning of December in Orlando, Florida, USA, I/ITSEC consists of peer-reviewed paper presentations, tutorials, special events, professional workshops, a commercial exhibit hall, a serious games competition, and STEM events for teachers and secondary students. I/ITSEC is organized and sponsored by the National Training & Simulation Association (NTSA), which promotes international and interdisciplinary cooperation within the fields of modeling and simulation (M&S), training, education, analysis, and related disciplines at this annual meeting.
- ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER- The Orange County Convention Center is one of the busiest in the country hosting events from a wide range of industries. In recent years, the Convention Center has averaged nearly 200 events, including 115 conventions and tradeshows that attract more than 1.5 million attendees to the region each year. An event calendar showing upcoming events is regularly updated.
- SYNAPSE- Statewide connector of Florida’s innovation community, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors, and talent to find what they need and share what they have. Through annual events, Synapse invites leaders from all industries, backgrounds, and careers together to showcase their unique solutions, build connections, and demonstrate thought leadership.
- Orlando: Became the region’s marquee innovation event because of the thoughtful way Synapse brings together a curated cross-section of leaders to share their points of view and cross-pollinate ideas. Synapse Orlando sparked new partnerships, investment opportunities, career trajectories, and insights.
- Summit: Synapse Summit is a powerful platform for entrepreneurs and business leaders alike. Many organizations benefited from increasing brand awareness and equity amongst Florida’s innovation stakeholders in the future.
Did we miss a great resource for international companies interested in relocating to Central Florida? Let us know and we’ll add them to the list!
Download the International Resource Guide Here