Venture Capital Slow But Sure - Florida's High Tech Corridor

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					      Florida High Tech Corridor Council
       Member Economic Development

 Citrus County Economic Development Council
 DeSoto County Economic Development Council
 Economic Development Commission of Florida’s           9        THE FLORIDA HIGH TECH CORRIDOR
 Space Coast
 800.535.0203                                                    An Introduction to Growth
 Enterprise Flagler
                                                     13          MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
 Hardee County Economic Development Council
                                                                 A Med-Tech Wonder                                             Medical technology clusters in Central Florida area among the nation’s largest.
 Hernando County Office of Economic
 352.799.7275                                        19          M O D E L I N G , S I M U L AT I O N & T R A I N I N G
 Highlands County Economic Development
 Commission                                                      Making It Look and Feel Real
 863.385.1025                                                    Simulation business is a bristling reality along the High Tech Corridor.
 Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Economic
 Development Department
                                                     25          O P T IC S & P HOTO N IC S
 Manatee Chamber of Commerce Economic
                                                                 Lighting the Way to Growth
 Development Council                                             Optic and photonic firms yield more than $9.7 billion annually here.
 Metro Orlando Economic Development                  31          I N F O R M AT I O N T E C H N O L O G Y
 Commission Lake County Office
                                                                 Info-Tech Highway
 Metro Orlando Economic Development
                                                                 Central Florida is rich haven for information technology companies.
 Commission Orange County Office
 407.422.7159                                  35          MICROELECTRONICS
 Metro Orlando Economic Development
 Commission Osceola County Office                                Chips, diodes, circuit boards
 407.518.7676                                              The diverse, miniature electronics-manufacturing sector creates new
 Metro Orlando Economic Development                              jobs almost daily.
 Commission Seminole County Office
                                                     41          AV I AT I O N & A E R O S PA C E
 Nature Coast Business Development Council
                                                                 Flying High                                             Aerospace industry packs a big economic punch in Central Florida.
 Ocala/Marion County Economic Development
 352.629.2757                                      44 The Corridor’s Fastest Growing Technology Firms
 Pasco Economic Development Council
 888.607.2726                                          47 Where’s the Money?                                               Intellectual and venture capital take root along the Corridor.
 Pinellas County Department of Economic
                                                        53 Cultivating the Talent Pool                                             Education and industry home in on developing talented workers for growing demand.
 Polk County Office of Economic Development
 863.534.4370                                          57 The Year of the Incubator                                                   High tech incubators nurture young and growing companies.
 Sarasota County Committee for Economic
                                                       61 Raising Research                                        Matching grants, federal dollars, industry contributions, all help raise the research
 Sumter County Economic Development Council                     bar in the High Tech Corridor.
 Volusia County Department of Economic                 65 Directory of Florida High Tech Corridor Companies
 386.248.8048                                                                                 Published by
                                                                                              Maddux Report
 Please visit the Florida High Tech Corridor's Web                              P.O. Box 202 • St. Petersburg, FL 33731-0202
 site at and sign up to         Phone: 800/226-4394 or 727/823-4394 • E-mail: • Web site:
                                                     The Maddux Report is a monthly business magazine that covers the general corporate, technology, finance and development
 receive a monthly eNewsletter about news and                                 scene in the Tampa Bay area and other sections of Central Florida.
 initiatives happening along the Corridor.
                                                                        Contributors to include Frank Ruiz and Bridget McCrea. 2002                                                                                                                                                     5
    O V E R V I E W S TAT I S T I C S

Florida’s High Tech Corridor, which spans from the Tampa Bay region to the Space Coast, includes 6 primary clusters - information
technology, medical technology, microelectronics, optics/photonics, modeling simulation and training, and aerospace.

    C O M PA N I E S B Y P R I M A R Y P R O D U C T                                  A word on how this directory was built:
                                                                                      The “core” of Florida High Tech Corridor
                                                                                      technology companies was identified based
                                                                                      upon the American Electronics Association
                                                                                      definition of standard industry codes
                                                                                      (SICs). However, this directory has been
                                                                                      structured to exclude most retailers and
                                                                                      leasing/rental companies, and to add spe-
                                                                                      cial additions for Photonics, Medical,
                                                                                      Aerospace and Information Technology.
                                                                                      Inclusion in industry clusters was not sole-
                                                                                      ly defined by industry codes, but also by
                                                                                      membership in industry associations and
                                                                                      self-identification. Sources for company
                                                                                      information, including employment and
     Information technology companies comprise a full 75% of all technology           financial data for the 2000 tax year,
     companies in the Florida High Tech Corridor. Of the remaining companies,         include private providers such as Dun and
     the largest sectors are Medical (17%), Microelectronics (13%), Other tech-       Bradstreet and Harris InfoSource.
     nologies (17%), and companies that produce products in more than one
     technology cluster (Multiple – 17%).

    T E C H N O L O G Y C O M PA N I E S




     Total Tech
     Employment:                Over 158,500
     Total Employment:          2.6 million
     Total Number of
     Tech Companies:            More than 6,800
     Combined Annual
     Revenue:                   $50 billion

Sources:USF Office of Economic Development
Guy Hagen, Assistant Director
Thomas King, Data Coordinator

Visit for this and all current information this cluster.

8                                                                                                        2002
                                                                                                      TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

High Tech and Mickey
Universities, businesses and the Corridor Council keep high tech growing in
Central Florida.

          ho doesn’t love Florida oranges? And how about that              contribute to the growth on Florida’s High Tech Corridor. Among

W         Mickey Mouse, isn’t he a doll? And, oh yes, how about
          all those high tech companies in central Florida? Huh?
Well, maybe Florida’s high tech conglomeration doesn’t have quite
                                                                           them are a pro-business environment; expedited permitting; compet-
                                                                           itive construction and operating costs; a large, available workforce,
                                                                           quick-response training programs; favorable taxation on manufactur-
the sex appeal of the state’s other big industries – citrus and            ing equipment; strong university support; comprehensive utility serv-
tourism – but economically, high tech packs a similar punch.               ices; and outstanding quality of life.
Central Florida is home to one of the fastest-growing high tech-               Florida’s labor force of 7.3 million ranks as the nation’s fourth
nology regions in the nation: the Florida High Tech Corridor,              largest, another attraction for any high tech company considering the
which stretches from the Tampa Bay region on the west to the               Sunshine State as home. Florida attracts nearly 5,000 new residents
Space Coast on the east.                                                   each week. Nearly half of the state’s 15-million residents live along
   More than 6,800 new and emerging high tech companies call the           the Corridor. High tech jobs are now found across the Corridor’s 21
Corridor home. Together they employ more than 161,000 people.              central and west central Florida counties: Levy, Marion, Flagler,
Thanks in large part to the Corridor’s wealth of high tech companies,      Citrus, Sumter, Lake, Volusia, Seminole, Brevard, Orange, Osceola,
Florida is among the top five states in high tech employment. Florida      Polk, Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota,
also ranks fourth in communications services, fifth in electro-medical     DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands.
equipment manufacturing and is among the top eight states in semi-             In the five years since the Florida Legislature formalized the
conductor manufacturing employment. It is also the fourth-leading          Corridor Council with state funding, the region has seen many mile-
state in high tech exports.                                                stones. One of the latest will have lasting impact … Lockheed
   Tampa Bay, Orlando and Melbourne all boast strong high tech             Martin’s success in winning the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft contract
bases and are adding new jobs faster than the national rate. One of        from the Department of Defense will put renewed emphasis on the
the key reasons for all of this can be attributed to the pivotal role      Corridor’s aviation and aerospace sector. When added to major
played by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, a consortium             industrial successes like the expansion of Agere Systems in Orlando
that consists of two anchor metropolitan research universities – the       and Uniroyal Optoelectronics in Tampa, the density of the Corridor’s
University of Central Florida in Orlando and the University of South       high technology activity becomes increasingly apparent. Says
Florida in Tampa – as well as community colleges, businesses and           Berridge: “This is about clustering. Economic developers know that
economic development partners. University and industry research            once you attract several companies in any one industry that it is like-
shows that about 2,700 of the companies in this bustling region            ly to evolve, just as Silicon Valley evolved in the San Jose area.”
began here after the Corridor Council’s inception in 1996. Early on,           The Council, in partnership with Enterprise Florida, the Metro
the Council played an important role in keeping large companies like       Orlando Economic Development Commission, the Tampa Bay
Agere Systems and Uniroyal Optoelectronics committed to the area.          Partnership, UCF and USF, has successfully lobbied for new state
   Randy Berridge, a former AT&T executive in Florida and now the          and local incentives that are attractive to high tech businesses. Money
Corridor Council president, helps lead the organization as it focuses      for research is always an attraction for businesses. Since 1996, the
on six target industries: aviation and aerospace; information technol-     Council has supported 290 research projects, for a total of $25.2 mil-
ogy; medical technologies; microelectronics; modeling, simulation          lion provided to UCF, USF and more than 145 corporate and insti-
and training; and optics and photonics. Together, those sectors now        tutional partners. Corporate and federal matches amounting to $55
produce more than $50 billion in annual revenue. “The Florida High         million bring the program’s total to more than $80 million.
Tech Corridor Council provides the muscle that our local economic              How does Florida’s High Tech Corridor compare with the nation?
development organizations need to attract, retain and grow high tech       Studies and surveys have shown that a couple of the top concerns for
industry,” Berridge says. “Our goal is to work with those groups to        high tech executives are the development of a qualified workforce and
build the most secure economic future possible for our area.” No one       the support of research universities. The Corridor is a strong source
denies that Florida’s tourist industry is one of the state’s largest and   of both because of the partnerships that have been formed between
most economically favorable assets. But today, Florida’s economic          local high tech companies, economic development organizations,
base is being diversified with a burgeoning high tech industry,            community colleges and UCF and USF, the two founding universi-
Berridge says.                                                             ties. “This is helping to develop the Corridor into one of the coun-
   Industry and government leaders point to a list of benefits that        try’s top high tech regions,” Berridge says.                         fht 2002                                                                                                                           9

Medical Technologies is an encompassing definition for a large group of health and biomedical related companies, including biotech
(products based on organic tissues), pharmaceuticals, and especially electromedical and device manufacturers. This cluster also
includes specialized medical information technology companies (informatics, genomics, and services) and research and development
companies. Although they share certain characteristics (such as FDA regulation and global healthcare markets), medical technology
companies tend to fall into one of two effective categories – device/manufacturing, and pharma/biotech.

                                                                                            Central Florida’s largest medical tech-
     Number of Companies:                    371
                                                                                            nology companies include Linvatec
     Number of Employees:                    approximately 11,600
                                                                                            ($200 million revenue) and Baxter
     Combined Annual Sales:                  $3.2 billion
                                                                                            Healthcare, both located in Pinellas
     Largest Employers:                      Baxter Healthcare (over 1,000 employees)
                                                                                            county (local revenue not disclosed).
                                             Linvatec Corporation (over 900 employees)
                                                                                            The majority of these companies reside
                                             Tyko Kendall Company (over 850 employees)
                                                                                            in Pinellas (29.9%), Hillsborough
     Most “Typical” Company:                 $540,000 revenue, 7 employees
                                                                                            (17%), and Orange (10.8%) counties.

                                                                                            Companies within this cluster are
  C O M PA N I E S B Y P R I M A R Y P R O D U C T
                                                                                            diverse, and provide a wide range of
                                                                                            professional services, research, and

                                         C O M PA N Y E M P L O Y M E N T B Y C O U N T Y




Source: USF Office of Economic Development
Guy Hagen, Assistant Director
Thomas King, Data Coordinator

Visit for this and all current information this cluster.

12                                                                                                        2002
                                                                                                           MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES

A U.S. Wonder
Medical technology clusters in the Central Florida Corridor are among the
nation’s largest.

            hen Brunilda Delgado comes to work

W           each day in St. Petersburg, she dons
            an outfit that makes her look like an
astronaut walking on the moon. She dresses in
white, from head to toe, including her shoes,
which are larger than her own. The white head-
piece she wears covers everything but her face as
she hunches over a large machine called an
extruder in an environmentally controlled
“clean room.” There, workers make plastic tub-
ing and other components that fit into medical
devices such as catheters. These lifesaving
devices that Delgado helps make are used across
the globe for medical applications such as the
injection of cancer-fighting drugs, or the extru-
sion of bodily fluids during critical patient treat-
   Though she works in a small company in St.
Petersburg, Delgado is representative of a large
group of workers. She is one of more than
11,000 people in Central Florida employed by
one of more than 370 companies that comprise
the medical technology industry in this fast-
growing High Tech Corridor. These companies
produce combined annual revenue number-
ing in the billions of dollars, greatly bolster-
ing the state’s economy.                             The Central Florida medical technology cluster ranks among the nation’s top five and it continues to
   Delgado works at St. Petersburg-based             grow rapidly.
NDH Medical Inc., a manufacturer of med-
ical plastic components. The firm is typical: The majority of medical            1,000 workers and more than $660 million in yearly revenue. Tampa’s
technology companies in Florida’s High Tech Corridor are small,                  Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals has hired more than 650 (though it
employing fewer than 20 people. While most medical technology                    has recently has had cutbacks); R.P. Scherer North America of St.
companies in this sector are concentrated in Pinellas County, the med-           Petersburg has more than 750 employees; and Critikon Co. LLC,
ical technology industry in this region has spread through the middle            which produces electronic medical equipment, has more than 700
of the state from Tampa Bay eastward to Orlando, Melbourne and                   workers.
Daytona Beach. They produce products as diverse as antibiotics to                   If it is a job in a medical-tech firm you’re after, Hillsborough and
prosthetic devices, says Randy Berridge, president of the Florida High           Pinellas are the places to be. Therein lies the heaviest concentration of
Tech Corridor Council, which leads high tech economic development                med-tech firms in Central Florida. About over-half of all med-tech
for the region. “While the western end of the Corridor is generally              firms make Pinellas and Hillsborough counties home. A recent study
considered the leader in this sector, Orange and Brevard counties on             done by the University of South Florida ranked Tampa Bay first in the
the eastern end also have growing medical technology industries,”                state in production and acquisition of medical patents. Whether large
Berridge says.                                                                   or small, together, these companies comprise one of the largest con-
   The most typical company in the region has annual revenue of over             centrations of medical technology firms in the United States, accord-
$500,000 and 17 employees, Berridge says. But, there are some large              ing to research conducted by the University of South Florida. The
players. Baxter Healthcare Corp. in Largo is perhaps the largest, with           region’s medical technology cluster ranks among the nation’s top five. 2002                                                                                                                                 13

And, it is growing. The number of workers at    roots in the 1960s, when many medical tech-       Central Florida and the University of South
medical technology firms more than doubled      nology firms were focused on electronics and      Florida, has a special role in this type of eco-
in the last decade and grew by 10 percent in    were attracted to the area by a workforce and     nomic development, says Guy Hagen, assis-
2001 vs. 2000.                                  supplier base refined by the defense industry.    tant director of the Office of Economic
   What is particularly intriguing about this   But regardless of why medical firms call          Development at USF. “Industries in all sec-
large and growing gathering of medical firms    Central Florida home, they seem to feed off       tors, including medical, are requiring increas-
is its depth and breadth. The companies in      one another. Some make things; others sup-        ing levels of sophistication in their workforce
the cluster range from health and biomedical    ply components. Some make medicine; oth-          and products,” Hagen says. “The leading
manufacturing enterprises to biotechnology,     ers distribute it and medical supplies interna-   U.S. technology regions have one thing in
pharmaceuticals and device makers such as       tionally. “There is a large benefit to being      common and that is a strong research univer-
NDH. Also included are specialized medical      located near other medical companies,” says       sity. Leading companies – new economy and
information technology companies, as well as    Geary Havran, president of NDH Medical            old – have a vested interest in building rela-
research and development firms, such as         and chairman of the newly formed Medical          tionships with researchers to improve their
Layton BioScience Inc., a California-based      Manufacturers Consortium in St. Petersburg.       products and processes.”
company that created a research and develop-    “For one thing, being close together helps to         Some difficulties that companies every-
ment facility in Tampa. The cluster produces    attract other firms,” Havran says. “Also,         where, including those in Central Florida,
a combined $3.2 billion in yearly revenue       many of the medical companies become sup-         face lie in developing relationships with exec-
yielding thousands of jobs that involve pro-    pliers or buyers of the others. Most of our       utive alumni, vying for industrial research
fessional services, research, manufacturing,    customers, for example, are other medical         grants between faculty and companies, and
distribution, surgical instruments and other    companies that use the components that we         developing peer relationships between
supplies and medicines.                         manufacture.”                                     researchers and private sector technology
   No one seems to know exactly why there is       Coupled with the efforts of the Florida        leaders. That’s why both USF and the
such a large and growing contingent of med-     High Tech Corridor Council, the University        University of Central Florida in Orlando
ical companies here. The cluster put down       system, which includes the University of          have structured themselves to bridge that gap

14                                                                                                                 2002

by offering up the broad connections they        that laws and regulations passed by the state’s    for artificial or non-donor implants.
have nationally.                                 legislature will not be harmful to the indus-          A year ago, a top USF researcher, Joachim
   “Our industry base represents diversity in    try. “This will help us compete favorably with     Sasse, developed connections with Co.Don at
technology,” says Hagen. “Central Florida        firms located in other parts of the country or     a series of academic conferences. He met Tim
has weathered the recent economic downturn       the world,” he says.                               Ganey, president of Co.Don’s U.S subsidiary,
relatively well because we have a history of         Efforts are under way to make medical          at a Houston conference in March 1999.
manufacturing in several sectors. It also        equipment for the biomedical industry exempt       Sasse’s interest in Co.Don was piqued by the
demonstrates that the timing and potential       from use tax, for example. Other objectives        company’s focus on joint cartilage repair,
are present for great benefits to result from    include working closely with economic devel-       Sasse’s specialty. The researcher later contact-
collaborative partnerships” as are evident in    opment organizations to jointly market the         ed Dr. Richard Streeter, director of USF’s
the medical technology sector.                   area, to help strengthen the existing industry     Office of Economic Development. Streeter,
   As growth continues, consortiums have         and to attract other medical technology firms      in turn, helped to establish seed funding for
developed within the various high tech clus-     or organizations to Central Florida.               Co.Don to build a research partnership facil-
ters, such as the Medical Manufacturers              The collaborative effort of the Florida        ity. Eventually Co.Don landed a matching
Consortium that Havran heads. This relative-     High Tech Corridor Council, the university         grant through the Florida High Tech
ly new consortium has begun to aggregate the     system and the medical companies appears to        Corridor Council. Primarily through
scattered medical technology cluster, by pro-    be working. One has only to look at the            Streeter, USF then worked with local eco-
viding a forum for senior-level industry exec-   recent story of how Co.Don AG, a German            nomic development organizations and
utives to share information about best prac-     tissue-engineering firm, decided to build a        Co.Don to encourage and assist them in
tices, industry trends, regulations and other    U.S. branch near USF. Co.Don specializes in        investing $3.5 million to $4 million in a local
important factors affecting this industry.       autologous tissue therapies. It’s a process that   research and development production house.
Among the medical consortium’s goals are to      includes removal of tissue from a patient’s        This allows Co.Don to better capitalize on
develop closer ties and more extensive dia-      own body that is then cultured and replaced        the partnership with Sasse, and to penetrate
logue with Tallahassee lawmakers to insure       in the patient, hopefully negating the need        new and untapped U.S. markets.               fht

16                                                                                                                   2002
     M O D E L I N G , S I M U L AT I O N & T R A I N I N G S TAT I S T I C S

In general, “modeling, simulation and training” refers to specialized digital media, interface technologies and virtual reality tools,
and integrated device systems for the purpose of training and human performance. Products range from interactive training devices
to integrated, simulated environments and even physics-based simulations of real structures and events. Most products in this clus-
ter comprise a mix of specialized software and computing elements.

                                                                                                 Central Florida has perhaps the largest
     Number of Companies:                    150
                                                                                                 presence of simulation companies in
     Number of Employees:                    Over 3,800
                                                                                                 the entire U.S. The largest of these
     Combined Annual Sales:                  Over $3.5 Billion
                                                                                                 include CAE Systems Flight Simulation
     Largest Employers:                      Coleman Research (over 1,200 employees)
                                                                                                 (over $80 million in revenue) and
                                             Boeing (over 1,000 employees)
                                                                                                 Coleman Research (over $76 million in
                                             Jardon & Howard Technologies (over 600 employees)
                                                                                                 revenue). The presence of the NCS
                                             CAE Systems (over 500 employees)
                                                                                                 and the University of Central Florida’s
     Most “Typical” Company:                 $2.5M revenue, 17 employees
                                                                                                 Institute for Simulation and Training
                                                                                                 best explains why the overwhelming
  C O M PA N I E S B Y P R I M A R Y P R O D U C T                                               majority of these companies are locat-
                                                                                                 ed in Orange County (56.9%). The
                                                                                                 significant increase in revenue report-
                                                                                                 ed over last year stems from a number
                                                                                                 of exceptionally large companies that
                                                                                                 disclosed revenue to research sources
                                                                                                 this year.

                                        C O M PA N Y E M P L O Y M E N T B Y C O U N T Y




Source: USF Office of Economic Development
Guy Hagen, Assistant Director
Thomas King, Data Coordinator

Visit for this and all current information this cluster.

18                                                                                                             2002
                                                                                  M O D E L I N G , S I M U L AT I O N & T R A I N I N G

Making It Look And Feel Real
Simulation business is a bristling reality along the High Tech Corridor.

        light simulators made at CAE in Tampa seem akin to some-

F       thing out of the movie “Star Wars.” A large hulk of metal is
        perched atop gangly hydraulic legs that move up, down,
forward, and back. Inside, one enters what appears to be an exact
replica of a C-130 aircraft. The gadgets, dials and lights display
everything a pilot needs to lift the plane from a pseudo Miami
International Airport runway into the air and en route to Canada
or elsewhere.
    These simulators, which are designed to replicate a particular
flight exactly and react to pilot error in a real sense, sell for mil-
lions of dollars and are used to train pilots to fly. Better to crash
in one of these, than to take a multimillion aircraft up and make
mistakes in the air. The U.S government as well as airlines and for-
eign governments regularly purchase simulators like these. More
than 475 workers have jobs at CAE because these simulators are
in demand. The workers are just one pool in a high tech corridor
where more than 20,000 people work at 120 simulation and mod-
eling companies within Florida’s High Tech Corridor, according
to the National Center for Simulation, a 180-member industry
association based in Orlando.
    The number of workers employed by simulation companies
might actually be greater than the current estimate of 20,000, says
Russel E. Hauck, mayor of Altamonte Springs and executive
director of the National Center for Simulation. An independent
study by Dr. Bradley Braun in 1999 states that 1998 employment
in this industry in the Florida High Tech Corridor totaled 25,000
direct jobs and about 25,000 indirect jobs. “Part of the problem
in estimating the number of workers lies in the diversity of activ-
ities, products, technologies, and applications in simulation,”
Hauck says.
    In Orlando, students conduct research at the University of
Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation and Training, an inter-
nationally recognized research institute. There scientists and a
staff of 125 researchers and students work to harness the capa-        More than 7,000 workers are employed by the modeling and simulation industry in
bilities offered by simulation, virtual reality, high-density data-    Florida’s High Tech Corridor. They make a range of state-of-the-art products includ-
bases and the latest computer science. “The modeling simula-           ing a simulator that mimics the human body and the CAE flight simulator above,
tion industry is in a state of transition,” says Brian Goldiez, the    which teaches pilots to fly.
institute’s interim director. “As computer technology grows,
simulation is evolving from a customized product to a commercial                done there. Because of the Institute, UCF offers the nation’s first mas-
product, more of a commodity. That shift offers a world of opportu-             ter’s degree in simulation.
nity.”                                                                             A simulator uses sounds and sights to make someone feel that they
    Based in the University of Central Florida Research Park, the               are experiencing an actual situation. Because they can recreate experi-
Institute is helping to capture the powerful potential of advanced sim-         ences, simulators hold great potential for training people for almost
ulation technologies. Scientists predict that worldwide communica-              any situation. As pilots attest, flight simulators are as real as flying an
tions, medicine and education will be transformed by the modeling,              airplane. Also, entertainment simulators, such as the Atlantis ride at
simulation, training, and virtual reality research and development              Sea World, provide theme park goers with thrills and spills, typically, 2002                                                                                                                                 19
  M O D E L I N G , S I M U L AT I O N & T R A I N I N G

without actual harm to the people enjoying       researchers in simulating U.S. Army airdrop       ECC International; and Jardon & Howard
the rides. That ride was built by AAI, anoth-    systems. With the Cray computer serving as        Technologies. CAE (formerly Reflectone) in
er Florida simulator firm.                       the “brains” of the simulator, methods are        Tampa is also among the larger firms.
   Lockheed Martin Information Systems,          being developed to model the interaction              The military provides the biggest market
which also has headquarters in Orlando, is       between paratroopers, the aircraft and the air-   for simulators. Hauck says military activities
designated the Training and Simulation           flow around the aircraft. This will help          in Central Florida contract for about $1 bil-
Center of Excellence for the Lockheed            designers better understand those conditions      lion a year for simulators of many types. In
Martin Corp. It provides customers with          leading to improved design and more effec-        Daytona Beach, for example, the Raydon
training solutions that range from stand-        tive deployment of airdrop systems.               Corp. recently won a $2.3-million contract
alone simulators to war-gaming centers to           “Florida has perhaps the largest presence      to build 15 Army air defense training simula-
complete schoolhouses. “Ongoing internal         of simulation companies in the entire United      tors that will train gunners and commanders
research and development, as well as cus-        States,” says Guy Hagen, assistant director of    to detect and shoot down enemy aircraft.
tomer-sponsored research, keeps us in the        the University of South Florida’s Office of       Raydon’s gunnery trainers will simulate the
forefront of such areas as software, synthetic   Economic Development, who has studied the         firing of the Linebacker’s 25-mm chain gun,
environments, architecture and systems inte-     industry. While most simulation and training      7.62-mm machine gun and Stinger anti-air-
gration,” says Nicholas J. Ali Jr., Lockheed     employees are in Orange and Brevard coun-         craft missiles.
vice president.                                  ties, companies are spread across the                 “Raydon’s training simulators will allow
   Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI), the well-        Corridor, from Tampa Bay in the west to           thousands of simulated missiles to be fired at
known maker of Cray supercomputers, used         Melbourne and the Space Coast.                    the cost of firing only a few live missiles at
simulators to produce such films as “Titanic,”      Most typically, the companies are relative-    live targets,” says Mike Riley, Raydon’s direc-
“Antz” and “Men In Black.” Others are used       ly small, employing 10 or fewer workers and       tor of new products and business. Raydon
to recreate medical situations, offering doc-    yielding yearly revenue of about $1 million.      also has developed a driver simulator that is
tors new methods for treatment. Again, using     However, there are several large players, such    currently in use in Volusia and Orange coun-
a Cray supercomputer, SGI techniques assist      as Lockheed Martin, a defense contractor;         ty high schools for teaching driver training.

20                                                                                                                 2002
  M O D E L I N G , S I M U L AT I O N & T R A I N I N G

“It is my understanding that Orange County           In Brevard County, the Space Coast           proposed Olympic venues for the Florida
may opt for doing all of its driver training on   Economic Development Council in                 2012 Olympic Committee in support of its
these simulators,” says Hauck. With 21 years      Melbourne received a $10,000 grant for its      bid for the 2012 Olympics. These are venues,
of experience in the simulation industry,         simulator work with the U.S. space program.     or stadiums, that have not yet been built.
Hauck adds that these types of simulators         Overall, the state awarded more than $2.6          Lockheed Martin has produced a high-
exemplify the great diversity of devices com-     million to help counties improve and pro-       fidelity truck driver simulator that is a real
panies are creating.                              mote military installations. “This program is   truck cab mounted on a motion platform,
   In another sign that the Corridor is laden     basically meant to help a locality make its     very similar to a flight simulator. And
with a thriving simulator industry, Orange        case why bases are important,” says David       Sarasota-based         Medical        Education
County landed $418,000 worth of state mil-        Bishop, a spokesman for Gov. Jeb Bush.          Technologies Inc. (METI) has developed a
itary-infrastructure grants – the most of any        The range of simulation, modeling and        human patient simulator that replicates the
region in Florida – to help the Army agency       training in Central Florida is wide. The        human body and faithfully models and repre-
responsible for the area’s nationally known       devices are used in medical, law enforcement,   sents body physiology. The device was initial-
simulation-technology industry. The money         public safety, entertainment, industrial        ly developed for training anesthesiologists but
will be used to support projects at the Army      processes, architecture, transportation and     has been expanded to include simulation for
Simulation, Training & Instrumentation            simulation-based acquisitions.                  other medical problems and traumas
Command in the Central Florida Research              One company, Orlando-based Veridian          (
Park.                                             Corp., has produced a virtual reality-based        What’s in store for the future? Steady
   About $345,000 is pegged for building an       system for training deaf and hearing-           growth, says Hauck. “Modeling, simulation
advanced, computerized training facility for      impaired people. The prototype device is        and training sales in this region are expected to
research and development. Some of the             actually in use and undergoing evaluation at    grow to about $1.8 billion by 2003,” he says.
money will go the National Center for             Lake Sybellia Elementary School in Orange       And, following the national trend, most of the
Simulation, the industry trade group that is      County. The same company has developed a        new growth here is expected to be in commer-
also located in the business park next to UCF.    3D computer graphics simulation of several      cial products rather than military.           fht

22                                                                                                                 2002
     O P T I C S & P H O T O N I C S S TAT I S T I C S

Optics and photonics refer to technologies based upon the manipulation of light. These include sensors, lasers, displays,
precision optics (mirrors and lenses), fiberoptics and telecommunication optics (routers, multiplexers, etc.), and many other
complex devices.

                                                                                            The largest photonics companies in
     Number of Companies:                    151
                                                                                            central Florida are primarily oriented
     Number of Employees:                    Over 7,100
                                                                                            toward aerospace and defense, such as
     Combined Annual Sales:                  Over $9.7 Billion
                                                                                            Honeywell and Lockheed Martin (local
     Largest Employers:                      Honeywell (over 2,000 employees)
                                                                                            revenue not disclosed but probably
                                             Lockheed Martin (over 1,000 employees)
                                                                                            well over 1 billion each). The largest
     Most “Typical” Company:                 $900,000 revenue, 6 employees
                                                                                            of the most “typical” photonics compa-
                                                                                            nies include Sensidyne (over $40 mil-
  C O M PA N I E S B Y P R I M A R Y P R O D U C T                                          lion revenue) and Schwartz Electro-
                                                                                            Optics (over $25 million revenue). The
                                                                                            majority of central Florida’s photonics
                                                                                            companies are located in Orange
                                                                                            (20.7%), Pinellas (18.7%), Brevard
                                                                                            (17.3%), and Seminole (14.7%)

                                         C O M PA N Y E M P L O Y M E N T B Y C O U N T Y




Source: USF Office of Economic Development
Guy Hagen, Assistant Director
Thomas King, Data Coordinator

Visit for this and all current information this cluster.

24                                                                                                       2002
                                                                                                            O P T IC S & P HOTO N IC S

Lighting the Way to Growth
Optic and photonics firms yield more than $9.7 billion annually in
Central Florida.

       t happened one sunny Florida day during spring, 2000.

I      Two professors at the University of Central Florida’s
       Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers
(CREOL) got together with one of the many venture capitalists
that stroll through the center each week and developed what
potentially will become Florida’s next $1-billion-a-year compa-
ny – Optium Corp.
   The tiny Orlando-based company is developing new optic
technology products that can transmit and receive fiber-optic
signals at speeds up to 40 gigabits per second. That’s about 16
times faster than today’s fiber optic networking standard. The
data is transmitted through light.
   The firm, backed by more than $40 million in venture cap-
ital, plans to develop products for a market that promises to
yield $10 billion in sales by 2004, according to its chief execu-
tive officer, Paul Suchoski. Optium’s projected share of that
market? About $1 billion, according to the company’s projec-
tions. Only time will tell. Of the many high tech companies in
Central Florida, only Melbourne-based Harris Corp. tops that
mark ($1.8 billion in 2000).
   Just how Optium got its start was “a combination of things,
including serendipity,” says Dr. Eric Van Stryland, CREOL
director, speaking about the glowing promise at Optium.
   “The idea behind what they are developing is smaller, faster,
cheaper,” Van Stryland says. “It’s the only way to go.
Technologies that exist today are too big and too expensive,
making it prohibitive for people like us to use.”
   It was suggested to professors Guifang Li and Patrick Li Kam
Wa that they get together with yet another professor, the
third co-founder, Paul Yu, to ensure that their way of doing
things would work, Van Stryland says. The three realized          The optics and photonics cluster in the High Tech Corridor numbers more than 154
                                                                  companies employing more than 7,000 workers and yields annual revenues of nearly
that the technology, which had been researched at CREOL,
                                                                  $10 billion.
could radically alter the economics of high-speed data
   Thanks in a large part to the economic development efforts of the         ic and optic firms have grown like weeds across Central Florida from
Florida High Tech Corridor Council, CREOL and industry leaders,              the Gulf shores of Pinellas County in the west to the Atlantic Ocean
Optium was able to raise more than $35.5 million in venture funding.         in the east. Having gotten its beginnings during the ‘70s and ‘80s from
That was on top of $8 million it received in 2000.                           aerospace firms such as Lockheed-Martin Marietta, Harris Corp. and
   Optium’s investors include Corning Co. and a firm headed by the           others, today’s optics and photonics cluster of high tech firms now
former chief executive officer of JDS Uniphase, a top fiber optic            numbers more than 150 in Central Florida. Together, they employ
equipment manufacturer. Other backers include Battery Ventures of            more than 7,000 people and yield more than $9.7 billion in sales
Boston and Boca Raton-based Qtera Corp., which Nortel Networks               annually, adding greatly to the state’s economy, according to a 2000
bought in 1999 for $3 billion. Optium brought in Suchoski to head            study conducted by the University of South Florida in Tampa.
the company in February 2001.                                                   Central Florida’s optics and photonics cluster ranks among the
   Optium is only the latest story in an area of Florida where photon-       nation’s top four such regions, behind California and the Northeast 2002                                                                                                                           25

Corridor. The cluster supports more than           balloon to 60 people and 71,000 square feet            Most of the optics and photonics compa-
41,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to      in a planned Lehigh Valley facility in the near     nies in this region are relatively small,
a 1999 University of South Florida research        future, says Suchoski.                              employing seven people or fewer with yearly
report.                                               “Our goal is to be there by the first quar-      revenue of $900,000, the USF study shows.
   The state itself is a market for optics and     ter of 2002,” he says. “The primary reason          But there are some big firms such as
photonics. Many large, medium and small            for the expansion is the talent pool is much        Honeywell, primarily a St. Petersburg aero-
companies – many of them aerospace compa-          stronger in Lehigh Valley than it is in Bucks       space company that makes use of optics.
nies – either integrate or buy products from       County. The general feeling is that Lehigh          (Honeywell Corp. reports annual revenue of
the optics companies in the cluster.               Valley is one of the five or six strongest talent   more than $8 billion.) Lockheed Martin is
   “This serves to attract and build optics        pools in the country for this kind of work.”        another big player with more than $500 mil-
activity, especially in the aerospace, micro-         Optics and photonics are technologies that       lion a year in revenue. It makes military elec-
electronics, biomedical, entertainment and         use or manipulate light. The technologies are       tronics and missiles and has offices in
display markets,” says Guy Hagen, assistant        used in devices for telecommunications,             Orlando, Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach.
director of the Office of Economic                 medical, military manufacturing and other           Others include Clearwater’s Sensidyne Inc.,
Development at USF.                                industries.                                         which makes toxic and combustible gas
   Optium set up shop in the Central Florida          Physicians use light to trim cataracts from      detection systems, among other products;
Research Park near UCF, where many other           an eye, or for surgery of other types. The mil-     Litton Laser Systems Inc. of Apopka, which
optic firms are located. It has a 30,000-          itary has various uses for light devices, includ-   makes search and navigation equipment; and
square-foot facility where it is developing var-   ing as potential weapons. And, the telecom-         Schwartz Electro Optics Inc., an Orlando
ious new technologies in controlled environ-       munications industry now uses light of vary-        company making laser-based sensors.
ments called “clean rooms.”                        ing colors to transmit data at very high               About one third of the companies in this
   It also has branched out with a 10,000-         speeds, making it possible for companies to         cluster specialize in fiber optics and lasers.
square-foot facility in Chalfont, Pa., that        deliver important materials across continents       But the cluster is diverse in its market scope.
employs 10 people. The branch is expected to       in just seconds.                                    Companies oriented to manufacturing, com-

26                                                                                                                     2002

munication and electronic optics equipment           and photonics research facilities, UCF’s           The FPC will be replacing the current Florida
are also well represented in this cluster.           CREOL facility. Established in 1985,               Electro Optics Industry Association, which,
   Among those is Digital Lightwave Inc., a          CREOL has assisted the region in its efforts       along with the Corridor, has recently spon-
Largo company that produces optical test and         to attract, retain and grow high technology        sored a study of the industry and its work-
diagnostic equipment for the gigantic interna-       companies by offering companies access to          force. The ERISS Corp., a world-leader in
tional telecommunications industry. This rel-        world-class faculty and research and a highly      workforce technology and database manage-
atively young company was founded in 1991            trained workforce. Subsequently, Central           ment, completed this study, Berridge says.
on the premise that high-speed optics would          Florida has become a major player in the              The Corridor is a shining example of how
come to play an increasingly important role in       optics and photonics industry. “If you talk to     industry, the Council and the university sys-
network development, due largely to light’s          companies in the area, you will find that we       tem all come together to help the state’s
superior capacity and speed as a communica-          have worked with a large number of existing        economy grow, while producing high-paying
tions medium. Digital Lightwave’s CEO,               companies on different projects,” says Van         jobs and a growing list of high tech compa-
Gerry Chastelet, says this is only the begin-        Stryland, CREOL’s director. “We have made          nies, Berridge says.
ning for optics and photonics. The growth of         a larger impact here than with startups.”             “We are not a business,” says Van Stryland
the information technology field is based in            The photonics cluster, largely the result of    of CREOL. “But we can have tremendous
large part on the optics and photonics indus-        the state’s strong relationship with the defense   impact on a region. We can help in many
try. Due to this close relationship, it is fitting   and aerospace industries, shows promising          ways besides workforce development. We can
that the Corridor, which is currently home to        signs of rapid growth.                             serve as the corporate research lab for those
more than 5,200 information technology                  “Another development that shows the             small companies without major laboratory
companies, is also home to a growing optics          industry’s growth along the Corridor is the        resources. And we can provide a knowledge
and photonics sector.                                resurgence of an industry association called       base, seed technologies and ideas, and work
   One of the chief reasons for this growth          the Florida Photonics Cluster (FPC),” says         with local economic development agencies to
can be attributed to the presence of one of the      Randy Berridge, president of the Florida           help attract, retain and grow new high tech
country’s recognized state-of-the-art optics         High Tech Corridor Council in Orlando.             industries.”                               fht

28                                                                                                                      2002

“Information Technology” refers to companies or divisions whose primary function is the development and delivery of digital data
and communications, including software, databases, Internet/networking, and computer systems design and integration. Though
generally classified as a service industry, information technology companies can be considered as manufacturing value-added knowl-
edge (electronic) products.

                                                                                            Approximately 3 out of 4 high tech
     Number of Companies:                    5,202
                                                                                            companies in Central Florida are based
     Number of Employees:                    over 64,500                                    on information technology. Tech Data
     Combined Annual Sales:                  $25.8 billion                                  Corp. (headquartered in Pinellas
     Largest Employers:                      Sykes Enterprises, Inc. (over 17,000)          County) reports the largest total rev-
                                             GTE Information Services (over 3,800)          enue at more than $20 billion (includ-
     Most “Typical” Company:                 $140,000 revenue, 2 employees                  ing branch divisions), and Sykes
                                                                                            Enterprises reports at over $600 mil-
                                                                                            lion. The greatest percentage of infor-
  C O M PA N I E S B Y P R I M A R Y P R O D U C T                                          mation technology companies are
                                                                                            located in Orange (16.8%),
                                                                                            Hillsborough (16.2%), and Pinellas
                                                                                            (15.6%) counties.

                                         C O M PA N Y E M P L O Y M E N T B Y C O U N T Y




Source: USF Office of Economic Development
Guy Hagen, Assistant Director
Thomas King, Data Coordinator

Visit for this and all current information this cluster.

30                                                                                                        2002
                                                                                                   I N F O R M AT I O N T E C H N O L O G Y

Info-Tech Highway
Central Florida is a rich haven for information technology companies.

        he Holy Grail of selling to local governments has

T       always been market aggregation. Local governments
        in the United States spend more than $20 billion on
information technology annually – about the same amount
spent by state governments.
    Yet few information technology companies have been
able to capture a significant part of the market, because
unlike the state governments, local government units such
as police, libraries and cities are widely scattered.
    GovStreetUSA, a tiny company nestled in the back
offices of its parent, Interlink Communications Systems in
Clearwater, is attempting to reach the fragmented local gov-
ernment market for IT equipment by putting up a store-
front online (
    There, the company offers governments a chance to view
IT equipment, fill out government forms accurately and
make purchases at competitive discounts that they might
not find elsewhere. The merchandise is delivered overnight,
much the same way IT distribution giant Tech Data Corp.
in Clearwater does business.
    “This is not your typical Harvard School of Business
business model,” says GovStreetUSA President Tom Straub.
“It’s unique.”
    GovStreetUSA’s business model is considered among the
first of its kind to solve the dilemma of local market aggre-
gation. And, GovStreetUSA serves as a good example of the
more than 5,000 information technology companies doing
business along Florida’s High Tech Corridor, which stretch-
es across the center of the state from Tampa Bay through
Orlando and on to the shores of the Atlantic and the Space
    While some, like Verizon Data Services in Tampa, are
large (Verizon Data employs 3,800), most are relatively
small with average yearly sales of $140,000 and two
employees. But IT companies abound along the
Corridor.                                                      Information technology companies within the High Tech Corridor produce more than $24
    Information technology companies along the                 billion in revenue and employ more than 40,000 workers.
Corridor are growing in numbers at remarkable rates,
according to a study conducted by the University of South Florida’s           information technology might be the fastest growing high tech sector
Office of Economic Development.                                               in the region. The results include the following: Internet Service
    The study indicates a staggering 60 percent growth in the region’s        Providers were the fastest-growing segment in 1998, increasing nearly
information technology sector between 1997 and 1998. The compa-               20 percent from 1997 to 1998. But this is changing. More than one
nies employ more than 67,000 workers and yield combined annual                half of Florida’s information retrieval companies reside in the Corridor
revenues of more than $26 billion. Three-fourths of all high tech com-        as well as about one third of the state’s computer services and design
panies in the region fall into the information technology sector.             and software companies. Information technology firms in the
    There are some impressive results from that study that indicate that      Corridor yielded combined revenue of more than $1.7 billion in 1998. 2002                                                                                                                             31

Today, that figure surpasses $24 billion. Small    tion.”                                             need.”
companies like GovStreetUSA signify an                In other words, a company that provides            Randy Berridge, president of the Florida
important area for entrepreneurial growth          customer-relationship management such as           High Tech Corridor Council, recognizes that
and targeted economic development.                 an outsourced help desk is IT.                     supplying a trained workforce is one of the
   Guy Hagen, assistant director at USF’s             So, too, is Highlander Engineering Inc., a      biggest challenges facing the continued
Office of Economic Development, believes           Lakeland firm that provides software and           growth of the Corridor. The Council, which
that a lot of the rapid growth in IT firms in      services for use in other industries. This high-   was founded in 1996, plays a key role in help-
recent years has come among small, entrepre-       ly specialized company provides software that      ing to keep and attract high tech companies
neurial enterprises. He attributes this to rela-   often is embedded, or placed, inside the com-      to the region.
tively low capital investment requirements         puterized workings of, say, telephone switch-          The Council has strong ties with econom-
coupled with high demand for IT services.          ing equipment or an X-ray machine.                 ic development organizations and its two
The report shows that while Orange,                   While the IT industry in Central Florida        founding anchor universities – the University
Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties have the        promises to become one of the fastest grow-        of Central Florida and University of South
largest concentrations of IT firms, overall, IT    ing of the high tech sectors, this potential for   Florida. It has served as the cohesive element
companies are somewhat equally distributed         growth will depend in a large part on the          that has brought many of the new IT compa-
throughout the 21-county region that com-          nation’s workforce shortage in IT, Hagen           nies to Florida’s widely recognized technology
prises the Corridor.                               says.                                              region.
   What these companies do and what they              “University support in the form of                 “Just 24,200 degrees were awarded nation-
produce varies widely. Hagen defines the sec-      increased capacity to provide IT training,         ally in computer science in 1994, despite the
tor as “companies or divisions whose primary       both on the degree and non-degree levels, has      fact that some 130,000 new IT jobs were cre-
function is the development and delivery of        been identified as critical for addressing this    ated then and each year thereafter,” Berridge
digital data and communications, including         problem for Florida and its High Tech              says. “Across technology sectors, attracting
software, databases, Internet and networking,      Corridor,” Hagen says. “The number of new,         and retaining skilled labor is the No. 1 con-
and computer systems design and integra-           trained IT employees is only a fraction of the     cern of high tech employers nationwide, and

32                                                                                                                    2002
Florida is no different.”                       the company’s specialized products.                 ognized state-of-the-art optics and photonics
    Richard Streeter, executive director of        Today, Florida is ranked among the               research facilities, the University of Central
USF’s Office of Economic Development,           nation’s top eight regions in computer-related      Florida’s Center for Research and Education
points out that regions that provide a long-    services. Berridge says being ranked that high      in Optics and Lasers (CREOL), he adds.
term solution for educating and training        is “one more indication that the high tech              Some areas of information technology are
workers will win the high tech business.        community sees this as a vibrant and growing        growing at breakneck speeds. One subsector
That’s one big reason why Streeter, Berridge    high tech community.                                in particular that is pegged for astounding
and others, are pooling resources and devel-       One specific area that has seen tremendous       growth is customer relationship manage-
oping methods for getting community col-        growth in this sector is Lake Mary. Currently,      ment, or CRM.
leges and high schools involved in training     that area is home to a host of IT companies             A report from Frost & Sullivan, a New
future workers for IT jobs.                     that are world leaders in their sector.             York market research firm, shows that nation-
    Not every company will find qualified          There are many reasons why the Corridor’s        ally, the CRM industry generated $25 billion
workers here. Consider Highlander               IT sector is burgeoning. One is that compa-         in 2000 and is projected to reach $60 billion
Engineering, which because of its specialized   nies tend to “cluster” around each other. Also,     by 2007. This is due mainly because more
work must seek engineers from a global mar-     the IT sector is closely related to other high      companies are outsourcing their customer
ketplace.                                       tech sectors, such as the Corridor’s large          care, help desk and telemarketing calls to
    “We have very few employees who were        optics and photonics cluster.                       firms like Sykes Enterprises Inc., a Tampa
living in Central Florida before we recruited      “Due to this close relationship, it is fitting   company that provides various customer rela-
them,” says David Barnett, marketing vice       that the Corridor, which is currently home to       tions services.
president for Highlander. “Most have relocat-   more than 5,200 information technology                  A quick look at Sykes’ growth indicates
ed here from somewhere else – including         companies, is also home to a growing optics         exactly what the Frost & Sullivan report
three from Europe … We will probably            and photonics sector,” Berridge says.               shows. Sykes, which has more than 17,000
always have a harder time recruiting than           This growth has also been encouraged by         employees globally, has a strong history in
most other software or IT firms” because of     the presence of one of the country’s most rec-      Central Florida.                           fht 2002                                                                                                                         33
     M I C R O E L E C T R O N I C S S TAT I S T I C S

“Microelectronics and semiconductors” essentially signifies companies that manufacture computer components and subsystems,
including printed circuit boards, integrated circuits and processors, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and microsystems, and
of course silicon wafers. This cluster also includes support companies such as contract manufacturers/assembly shops, as well as
circuit design and research and engineering companies.

                                                                                            Jabil Circuit is headquartered in the
     Number of Companies:                    264
                                                                                            Pinellas County, and reports over $4
     Number of Employees:                    approximately 18,000
                                                                                            billion in annual revenue alone. Other
     Combined Annual Sales:                  over $6.2 billion
                                                                                            large local companies include Cirent
     Largest Employers:                      Intersil Corporation (1,932 employees)
                                                                                            Semiconductor (now Agere) and
                                             Cirent Semiconductor (over 1,600 employees)
                                                                                            Intersil, as well as Group Technologies
                                             Jabil Circuit (over 1,000 employees)
                                                                                            Corporation. The majority of these
     Most “Typical” Company:                 $530,000 revenue, 7.5 employees
                                                                                            companies, by count, are located in
                                                                                            Pinellas (22%), Brevard (19.7%),
  C O M PA N I E S B Y P R I M A R Y P R O D U C T                                          Seminole (12.5%) and Orange (11%)

                                         C O M PA N Y E M P L O Y M E N T B Y C O U N T Y




Source: USF Office of Economic Development
Guy Hagen, Assistant Director
Thomas King, Data Coordinator

Visit for this and all current information this cluster.

34                                                                                                        2002

Chips, diodes, circuit boards
The diverse, miniature electronics-manufacturing sector creates new jobs almost daily here.

      magine a soldier going on patrol behind

I     enemy lines with a computer strapped to
      his body and a small display tucked away in
his pocket. A miniature camera is mounted on
his headset. It beams pictures of what he sees
back to home base. He receives instructions
through the headset and knows that his mission
is successful.
    While this scenario is, for the time being,
futuristic, Palm Bay-based Paravant Computer
Systems Inc. is helping to make it possible. It
and its 150 employees are working on a $3.8-
million contract to help develop the Pentagon’s
Land Warrior experiment, which promises to
outfit soldiers of the future just as described
above, to make them more efficient and lethal.
    Paravant is one of more than 264 microelec-
tronics companies doing business within
Florida’s High Tech Corridor.
    The sector lies along a stretch of the state that
is called home by more than 6,800 high tech
companies. Paravant’s sector includes companies
such as Agere Systems, which makes computer
chips, and others like Reptron Electronics Inc., a
Tampa firm that produces computer compo-
nents, circuit boards and computer subsystems.
    Paravant exemplifies the diversity of products,
services, and components being created in the
Corridor. The microelectronics sector in which
it operates creates new jobs almost daily.
    These are distributed through 21 central
and west central Florida counties, with
nearly 18,000 microelectronics workers                The High Tech Corridor’s microelectronics sector employs more than 24,000 workers in such diverse jobs
employed in such diverse labor as manufac-            as computer components, manufacturing electron tubes, printed circuit boards, resistors and semicon-
turing Paravant’s computer components, to
manufacturing electron tubes, printed circuit
boards, capacitors, resistors, semiconductors and more.                           the founding of the Corridor Council. But it is one worth retelling, for
    Included in this sector are some mighty giants. Agere Systems (for-           it has led to hundreds of jobs, the continued well being of the high
merly known as Cirent Semiconductor) in Orlando, Intersil Corp. in                tech sector, and it has helped to attract more high tech companies to
Palm Bay and Uniroyal Optoelectronics in Tampa are three manufac-                 Central Florida – many of them microelectronics firms.
turers with combined employment of more than 3,500 workers. These                    In 1995 Agere Systems, then known as AT&T Microelectronics
companies produce microelectronics that fit in almost anything elec-              and most recently as Cirent Semiconductor, part of Lucent
tronic, including automobiles.                                                    Technologies Inc., was considering making a multimillion dollar
    Were it not for the founders of the Florida High Tech Corridor                expansion investment in Madrid, Spain, rather than in Orlando. The
Council, Agere and Uniroyal Optoelectronics might be elsewhere. The               company was being lured to Europe by a promise of more than $90
Agere story is particularly intriguing, and dates back to 1995, prior to          million in economic benefits. 2002                                                                                                                                  35

   That’s when University of Central Florida     effort was the beginning of what is today the   industry.
President John Hitt and others stepped in to     Corridor Council. The following year, Hitt         The model would cover a region between
do all they could to retain the investment       and Castor discussed continuing what they       Florida’s Space Coast on the east, through
here.                                            had done for Lucent by creating an environ-     Orlando and to the Tampa Bay area in the
   Keeping the expansion meant $600 million      ment conducive to attracting, retaining and     west. The Council’s first meeting was held in
to the local economy and more importantly        growing high tech industry. The payoff for      July 1996.
600 new jobs. Hitt and University of South       Central Florida would be continued econom-         “To my knowledge there isn’t another area
Florida’s then President Betty Castor, plus a    ic growth and many more jobs.                   in the country that boasts an organizational
number of state and local economic develop-         The Florida High Tech Corridor Council       infrastructure and history like the Council,”
ment organizations, mounted an effort to pro-    was born soon after, with UCF and USF           says current Council President, Randy
vide enough economic incentives to make          becoming the anchor research universities.      Berridge.
staying in Orlando worthwhile to Lucent.         The Council united economic development            “Conceived by the presidents of the
   With innovative thinking, the team kept       officials and the heads of 15 high tech com-    University of Central Florida and the
Orange County in the win column. After all       panies. Soon after, the Council convinced       University of South Florida – the area’s two
was said and done, Lucent decided to stay in     Lucent to locate its $300 million Bell          state universities, the Florida High Tech
Central Florida rather than make the move to     Laboratories Advanced Development and           Corridor Council has pushed the envelope of
Spain.                                           Research Facility to the Orlando plant.         what can be accomplished through relation-
   According to Mike Watson, CMOS oper-          Another coup.                                   ships built between educational, economic
ations vice president for Agere Systems, “The       To make the dream of the Council a reali-    development, governmental and business
Agere Orlando semiconductor manufactur-          ty, supported by representatives of high tech   leaders,” Berridge adds.
ing facility is strong today for many reasons,   companies, Hitt and Castor convinced legis-        The Florida High Tech Corridor is an
but especially because of the partnership we     lators to appropriate $925,000 for the cre-     example of what can be accomplished when a
enjoy with the University of Central Florida     ation and implementation of their model for     region works together on its growth as an
and the University of South Florida.” The        attracting, retaining and growing high tech     industry leader, he says.

36                                                                                                              2002

   “Where else will you find a dozen local         Corporation in Palm Bay, with its more than      tion – what matters most is that together they
economic development organizations leaving         1,000 workers, are helping pave the way for      are forming a high tech region, says Chris
their logos and egos at the door to pursue the     smaller and newer microelectronic firms. For     Stellwag, director of communications for
good of the region as a whole?” he adds.           instance, Agere Systems and Intersil have        CAE/USA’s Military Operations and
   Most recently, Uniroyal Optoelectronics         hosted high tech “chip camps” for math and       Training. His company makes simulators.
established its large facility in the Sabal Park   science teachers.                                But CAE also uses products and services from
area of Tampa and a state task force has esti-        These Camps have provided teachers a          many other firms, including information
mated that these investments will result in a      chance to learn more about the semiconduc-       technology companies in the Corridor. For
$1.3-billion impact on Florida’s economy           tor industry, part of an overall plan to get     many reasons, including the sharing of skills,
over five years. That, too, was a microelec-       more students in high school interested in       expertise and knowledge, “it’s a great benefit
tronics feather in the cap of the Corridor         microelectronics work. It is interesting that,   to be surrounded by other companies in an
Council, the university system and Central         with proper training, a high school student      environment that is high tech,” Stellwag says.
Florida economic development booster               could make as much as $25,000 a year after       Also, it is easier for all high tech firms to
organizations.                                     graduation – an attractive figure to any high    attract and retain a solid workforce when
   But the microelectronics sector dates back      school student.                                  people know they are coming to an area that
to the 1950s, when another big player, Harris         “It is crucial that students get excited      is a known high tech region, he adds. “If we
Corp. established its presence in Melbourne.       about science and math careers at a young        can create the perception and the reality of a
Harris is a Goliath, employing more than           age,” says Steve Titus, vice president of        high tech region, then we’ll win in the end
25,000 people. And there have been many            Intersil. “The continued growth of the region    because we have advantages here that other
others since, including such heavyweights as       into a high tech center can only be accom-       regions or cities in the country don’t have,”
Jabil Circuit in Tampa, which employs more         plished with the development of a high-qual-     says Stellwag, an Orlando resident. “In addi-
than 1,300 people and reports over $4 billion      ity workforce.”                                  tion to high tech, we have a high quality of
in annual revenue.                                    But, whether the companies are informa-       life and a lower cost of living than other
   The big companies like Intersil                 tion technology, medical technology, simula-     areas.”                                     fht

38                                                                                                                  2002
     AV I AT I O N & A E R O S PA C E

Florida’s aerospace cluster includes a variety of high-technology industries that manufacture products for aerospace, avion-
ics, and space applications in both the private and government sectors. With the presence of NASA, Cape Canaveral, and
several federal defense administration centers, central Florida has attracted top technology companies for nearly 50 years.

                                                                                            The largest central Florida aerospace
     Number of Companies:                    182
                                                                                            companies include Harris Corporation
     Number of Employees:                    Over 44,000
                                                                                            (which reports over $1.8 billion in
     Combined Annual Sales:                  Over $3.6 billion
                                                                                            sales) and Rockwell Collins (with over
     Largest Employers:                      Harris Corporation (over 29,000 employees)
                                                                                            $330 million in sales and over 1,400
                                             Northrop Grumman (over 1,600 employees)
                                                                                            employees). Honeywell and Northrup
     Most “Typical” Company:                 $660,000 revenue, 8 employees
                                                                                            Grumman are also exceptionally large
                                                                                            employers, although their local rev-
                                                                                            enue was not reported. The majority of
  C O M PA N I E S B Y P R I M A R Y P R O D U C T
                                                                                            aerospace companies are located in
                                                                                            Brevard (32.4%), Orange (20.3%) and
                                                                                            Pinellas (12.6%) Counties.

                                         C O M PA N Y E M P L O Y M E N T B Y C O U N T Y




Source: USF Office of Economic Development
Guy Hagen, Assistant Director
Thomas King, Data Coordinator

Visit for this and all current information this cluster.

40                                                                                                        2002
                                                                                                          AV I AT I O N & A E R O S PA C E

Flying High
Aerospace industry makes up a substantial part of Central Florida’s economy.

        omeone trying to figure out the

S       state’s aerospace industry might sim-
        ply point to Lockheed Martin and
say, “That’s the aerospace industry right
   In a sense, he might not be far from the
truth. In aerospace, Lockheed Martin is
Florida’s giant, employing 9,000 workers in
Orlando alone. It has more than 100
Lockheed Martin locations in 47 Florida
cities. Its Ocala production facility, for
example, hires 590 people. In all, the com-
pany employs more than 11,000 people
and spends about $1.9 billion a year with
Florida-based subcontractors, many of
which are in the Florida High Tech
   But, while Lockheed Martin is certainly
large and successful, it isn’t the only aero-
space company here. When Lockheed
Martin is successful, so too are some of the
more than 1,500 companies that comprise
the state’s aerospace sector, according to Jim
Bodine, chairman of the Florida Aviation
Aerospace Alliance and member of the
Florida High Tech Corridor Council.
   Consider St. Petersburg-based
Custom Manufacturing & Engineering             With more than $6 billion in contracted U.S. Department of Defense projects, Florida’s aerospace industry
Inc. (CME), a woman-owned small                makes up a healthy part of the economy. The bulk of those contracts are in the High Tech Corridor.
business that produces various highly
specialized components for larger defense and aerospace companies.               Many aerospace companies make their home along the 21 counties
   Behind the walls of its 30,000-square-foot facility, 50 workers ham-       of the High Tech Corridor that stretches from the Tampa Bay area in
mer out monitoring and control gadgetry, electronics, communica-              the west to the Space Coast in the east. Though generally considered
tions electronics and electromechanical assemblies that fit into the          a tourist and agriculture state, Florida is also home to a large contin-
U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor jet fighter.                                       gent of aerospace companies lumped under the defense moniker.
   Though the F-22 program is generally considered a Georgia-based               But, because of the diversity of the products and services of these
project – the prime contractor is Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in              companies, often they are cast by economists and analysts as micro-
Marietta, Ga. – CME is one of 265 Florida firms producing products            electronics, simulation, information technology, or some other desig-
or services for it under subcontracts from Lockheed.                          nation.
   In another similar example of how one thing leads to another in               Lockheed Martin isn’t the only giant in the land of sunshine,
aerospace, more than 100 Florida companies are producing subcon-              oranges and Mickey. Boeing has facilities along the Space Coast and in
tracted products or services for another aircraft project known as the        the Orlando area, Raytheon has defense and aeronautics facilities in St.
C-130J program. Again, while the prime contractor is Lockheed                 Petersburg and Largo, and Northrop Grumman, the missile maker,
Martin in Georgia, aerospace companies such as Auto-Trol                      has a facility in St. Augustine.
Technology of Longwood and Zeus Components of Lake Mary are                      Those are some of the largest companies. The majority of other
intimately involved in building the plane.                                    aerospace companies are smaller, less well-known perhaps, but no less 2002                                                                                                                               41

important in helping boost the number of             The division is considered an industry         our ongoing needs,” says Nettie Johnson,
jobs available in the Florida market.             leader in experience and technologies related     manager of communications for Lockheed
   With more than $6 billion in contracted        to electro-optics, millimeter wave radar,         Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando.
U.S. Department of Defense projects, the          image and signal processing, advanced mate-       “This has improved in recent years with more
state’s aerospace industry makes up a substan-    rials, electronic packaging and large system      high tech firms locating or expanding opera-
tial part of the economy, “the bulk of which      integration.                                      tions in Florida.”
exists along the Florida High Tech Corridor,”        Also, Lockheed Martin Corp. has desig-            But, more work needs to be done if the
says Bodine.                                      nated the Orlando facility as a Center of         state is to provide a constant flow of trained
   Each year, the National Aeronautics and        Excellence for smart munitions and the Ocala      and skilled workers. Johnson believes that the
Space Administration as well as commercial        facility for electronic assembly and printed      continued development and growth of the
aerospace firms, award more than $4 billion       wiring board and wiring assembly manufac-         University of Central Florida’s School of
to Florida firms. And, those numbers do not       turing. Major programs include the Joint Air-     Engineering has greatly aided companies like
include the many contracts awarded to the         to-Surface Standoff Infrared for Night            hers to recruit talent.
state’s many subcontractors                       System.                                              “These efforts need to continue,” Johnson
   All kinds of aerospace projects are done          While it is pleasant to be working in the      says. “A major challenge is ensuring that cen-
here. Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire         land of relatively fine weather, the aerospace    tral Florida public school systems receive ade-
Control division in Orlando designs, devel-       industry faces some challenges. Uppermost         quate funding in terms of teacher salaries,
ops and builds advanced combat systems            among these problems is a lack of trained and     facilities and infrastructure to meet today’s
including ground- and air-launched tactical       skilled workers. Also, Florida is facing com-     needs. To attract and retain skilled, high tech
missiles; ground-launched air and missile         petition in aerospace from other states as well   workers, industry and government must help
defense systems; airborne fire control and sit-   as globally.                                      tackle this problem in order to ensure contin-
uation awareness systems; and air-launched           “The challenge in Florida continues to be      ued growth of the high tech workforce.”
strike weapon systems, including smart            the availability of technologists, engineers,        The competition issue shouldn’t be treated
munitions and penetrators.                        and skilled technicians and operators to meet     lightly, says Bodine.

42                                                                                                                  2002
    “The challenge facing Florida’s aerospace     ness. Florida’s SpacePort Authority has the             “It should also be noted that the defense
industry is mainly one of worldwide compe-        point for this effort. But, the Florida High         department is pressuring companies to con-
tition,” he says. “International competition      Tech Corridor Council can and does provide           solidate their facilities,” Bodine says. “If
has dramatically reduced the U.S. share of the    significant help in this effort.                     Florida can become a more cost competitive
world’s space launch business.”                      The defense segment of Florida’s aerospace        location, this consolidation will take place in
    Within the U.S. at least a dozen other        industry also faces a competitive challenge.         our favor. If it doesn’t, then Florida stands to
states, such as Alaska and Virginia, have         The worldwide competition for defense con-           lose a significant portion of its defense indus-
established or are planning space launch facil-   tracts is fierce. The U.S. is no longer the only     try.”
ities to compete with Florida. Also, launch       source for modern, high tech aerospace                  And, there is one final problem, Bodine
related revenues – where Florida is strongest     weapons. Europe’s aerospace industry is a            says. Though we have some giant companies
– are declining as a percentage of total space    strong competitor.                                   operating here, Florida’s aerospace industry is
revenue. Satellite manufacture, satellite serv-      Other U.S. states are active supporters of        comprised mainly of small and medium com-
ices and ground equipment are increasing as       their defense industry in competing with             panies that are subcontractors and suppliers
a percentage of total space revenues.             Florida’s industry for contracts. The U.S.           to larger ones. Those small companies tend to
Currently Florida is saddled with an expen-       Defense Department’s fiscal year 2000 budg-          get lost when economic development groups
sive, cumbersome government-developed             et increased by eight percent and some fore-         and legislators take an overall look at the
launch complex, Bodine says.                      cast it will continue to increase for at least the   state’s aerospace industry. This can change
    To retain its position as the premiere        next 5 years.                                        with guidance and lobbying by the Corridor
launch location Florida’s space launch facili-       At that rate, the $6 billion a year that          Council.
ties must become more efficient and cost          Florida has typically received will rise to             “Florida has an opportunity to take advan-
competitive, Bodine adds.                         about $8.8 billion in five years, if Florida         tage of the growth of the aerospace industry,”
    Fortunately, Florida’s leadership in          does nothing more than maintain its current          Bodine says. “But it won’t just happen on its
Tallahassee is aware of these challenges and is   position. That equates to more than 14,000           own, as it has in other industries. Are we up
supporting changes in Florida’s space busi-       direct, new high-paying high tech jobs.              to the challenge?”                           fht 2002                                                                                                                              43
  2 0 0 2 TA M PA B AY / C E N T R A L F L O R I D A F A S T 5 0 / R I S I N G S TA R S

Fastest Growing Technology Companies in the Corridor
   Each year the global accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP           one that: produces technology; manufactures a tech-related product;
sponsors surveys to find the fastest growing technology companies. To      uses tech intensive or unique technology in problem-solving; consid-
be eligible for regional rankings for 2001 in the combined Tampa Bay       erable effort to research and development of technology.
Technology Fast 50 and the Central Florida Fast 50 listings shown on          Rising Star status honors similar companies that have been in busi-
these pages, a company must have been in business for at least five        ness for less than five years. This program is also sponsored by the
years, show 1996 revenues of at least $50,000 and be headquartered in      Tampa Bay Partnership, the Economic Development Commission of
one of the 21 counties of Central Florida. A technology company is         mid-Florida, and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.           fht

 1 PPi Technologies                      4477%   10 Digital Lightwave Inc.                1566%    19 DocuLex, Inc.                          543%
     1249 Tallevast Rd.                             1550 Lightwave Dr.                                 175 Fifth St. SW, Ste. 300
     Sarasota, FL 34243                             Clearwater, FL 33760                               Winter Haven, FL 33880
     Packaging                                      Industry Communication Equipment                   Software                                      

 2 LexJet Corporation                    4049%   11 OpenNetwork Technologies              1356%    20 Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated        416%
     1435 S. Osprey Ave.                            13577 Feather Sound Dr.                            100 N. Tampa St.
     Sarasota, FL 34239                             Clearwater, FL 33762                               Tampa, FL 33602
     Inkjet Media Technology                        Software                                           Integrated Information Technology                                             

 3 Jagged Peak                           3980%   12 NexTrade Holdings, Inc.               1077%    21 Omega Systems, Inc.                    396%
     2005 E. Fowler Ave.                            301 S. Missouri Ave.                               10500 University Ctr. Dr., Ste. 160
     Tampa, FL 33612                                Clearwater, FL 33756                               Tampa, FL 33612
     Internet                                       Software                                           Software                                            

 4 Lentek International, Inc.            3795%   13 Highlander Engineering, Inc.          1003%    22 Pilgrim Software, Inc.                 381%
     P.O. Box 593812                                208 E. Pine St.                                    2807 W. Busch Blvd., Ste. 200
     Orlando, FL 32859                              Lakeland, FL 33801                                 Tampa, FL 33618
     Technological Goods                            Software                                           Software                                              

 5 Blue Ocean Software, Inc.             3558%   14 Intermedia Communications Inc. 903%            23 Hi-Tech Electronic Displays            380%
     15310 Amberly Dr., Ste. 370                    One Intermedia Way                                 13900 US Hwy. 19 N.
     Tampa, FL 33647                                Tampa, FL 33647                                    Clearwater, FL 33764
     Software                                       Communications/Networking                          Electronic Display Manufacturer                                          

 6 AirNet Communications Corp.           3088%   15 America’s MediaMarketing, Inc.        828%     24 Hancock Information Group, Inc. 342%
     100 Rialto Pl., Ste. 300                       15120 County Line Rd.                              2180 W. S.R. 434, Ste. 3170
     Melbourne, FL 32901                            Spring Hill, FL 34610                              Longwood, FL 32779
     Communications/Networking                      Media and Technology                               Internet                             

 7 ImageLinks, Inc.                      1973%   16 IMRglobal Corp.                     817%       25 Optima Technologies, L.L.C.            341%
     4450 W. EauGallie Blvd., Ste. 164              100 S. Missouri Ave.                               6041 Siesta Ln.
     Melbourne, FL 32934                            Clearwater, FL 33756                               Port Richey, FL 34668
     Software                                       Business & Technology Solutions Provider           Computers/Peripherals                                           

 8 Coleman Technologies, Inc.            1593%   17 SPEEDCOM Wireless Corporation         625%     26 Jabil Circuit, Inc.                    312%
     20 N. Orange Ave., Ste. 300                    1748 Independence Blvd.                            10560 9th St. N.
     Orlando, FL 32801                              Sarasota, FL 34243                                 St. Petersburg, FL 33716
     Communications/Networking                      Communications/Networking                          Manufacturing                                        

 9 Indigo Investment Systems, Inc. 1569%         18 Synergon Solutions, Inc.              564%     27 IntelliNet Technologies, Inc.          306%
     8320 S. Tamiami Trail                          1335 Gateway Dr., Ste. 2008                        1990 W. New Haven Ave., Ste. 312
     Sarasota, FL 34238                             Melbourne, FL 32901                                Melbourne, FL 32904
     Software                                       National Service & Support Provider                Communications/Networking                                        

44                                                                                                                  2002
28 Paravant Inc.                        285%   36 Sawtek Inc.                          170%   44 SCC Soft Computer                   131%
    3520 US Highway 1                             1818 S. Highway 441                            34350 US Hwy. 19 N.
    Palm Bay, FL 32905                            Apopka, FL 32703                               Palm Harbor, FL 34684
    Computers/Peripherals                         Electronic Components Manufactuing             Software                                           

29 Network Specialties, Inc.            285%   37 Cumberland Technologies, Inc.        167%   45 SIMSOL Software, Inc.               117%
    7402 N. 56th St., Ste. 445                    4311 W. Waters Ave., Ste. 501                  3452 Lake Lynda Dr., #120
    Tampa, FL 33617                               Tampa, FL 33614                                Orlando, FL 32817
    Communications/Networking                     Software                                       Software                         

30 Market Technologies Corporation 253%        38 Stromberg, LLC                       166%   46 Reptron Electronics Inc.            114%
    5268 Village Market                           525 Technology Park, Ste. 165                  14401 McCormick Dr.
    Wesley Chapel, FL 33543                       Lake Mary, FL 32746                            Tampa, FL 33626
    Software                                      Software                                       Electronics Distributor                                     

31 Doyen Medipharm, Inc.                247%   39 Catalina Marketing Corporation     162%     47 MEDai, Inc.                         110%
    625 McCue Rd.                                 200 Carillon Pkwy.                             602 Courtland St., #400
    Lakeland, FL 33815                            St. Petersburg, FL 33716                       Orlando, FL 32804
    Machine Manufacturing                         Electronic Marketing/Communications            Medical/Scientific/Technical                          

32 Alcorn McBride Inc.                  239%   40 Kreisler Manufacturing Corp.         151%   48 Recoton Corporation                  95%
    3300 S. Hiawassee Rd., Bldg. 105              5960 Central Ave., Ste. H                      2950 Lake Emma Rd.
    Orlando, FL 32835                             St. Petersburg, FL 33707                       Lake Mary, FL 32746
    Software/Semiconductor/Equipment              Manufacturing                                  Marketer of Consumer Electronic Accessories                                       

33 Identitech, Inc.                     205%   41 Nicholas Financial, Inc.             141%   49 Sterling Research Group, Inc.        88%
    780 S. Apollo Blvd.                           2454 McMullen Booth Rd., Bldg. C               600 1st Ave. N.
    Melbourne, FL 32901                           Clearwater, FL 33759                           St. Petersburg, FL 33701
    Software                                      Software                                       Market Research                              

34 Software Resources, Inc.             193%   42 Constellation Technology Corp.       138%   50 Super Vision International, Inc.     71%
    2180 W. State Road 434, Ste. 6136             7887 Bryan Dairy Rd., Ste. 100                 8210 Presidents Dr.
    Longwood, FL 32779                            Largo, FL 33777                                Orlando, FL 32809
    Software                                      Manufacturing                                  Fiber Optics                                 

35 FARO Technologies Inc.               176%   43 Gold Standard Multimedia             136%
    125 Technology Park Dr.                       320 W. Kennedy Blvd., Ste. 400
    Lake Mary, FL 32746                           Tampa, FL 33606
    Medical/Scientific/Technical                  Internet/Software Development                        

  2000 Rising Star Award Winners in the Florida High Tech Corridor

 1 Z-Tel Communications, Inc.       126806%     3 in.Vision Research                   456%   5 SurgiLight, Inc.                     288%
    Tampa, FL                                     St. Petersburg, FL                             Orlando, FL
    Telecommunications Services                   Software                                       Medical/Scintific/Technical                                     

 2 Riptide Software                     527%    4 Intergrated Technology
    Orlando, FL                                   Solutions Group                      323%
    Software                                      Tampa, FL                          Software
                                         2002                                                                                                                   45
                                                                                                                  V E N T U R E C A P I TA L

Venture Capital: Slow But Sure
Intellectual and venture capital are taking root in the Corridor.

          espite the fact that nationally it was a bit harder for start-up         “No one expects to invest in a company and take it public with

D         technology companies nationwide to get venture capital in
          2001 (perpetuated mostly by the burst of the dot-com bub-
ble), Florida ranked sixth among the states for the second quarter of
                                                                                no revenues in less than a year,” he says. “Looking ahead, we see a
                                                                                small number of very large financings coming in while general avail-
                                                                                ability of venture capital for small and early-stage financings will
the year. The state pulled in 3.2 percent of the ven-
ture funding during that period, according to the
National Venture Capital Association in New York.             And the Winner Is ….
    A total of 31 Florida companies netted $311.8
                                                              Florida Digital Ventures Snags a $130-million VC infusion
million in venture capital funding between April
2001 and June 2001. That’s up 39 percent from the                By far the biggest venture capital prize last year was awarded to Florida Digital
first quarter of 2001, but still down 6 percent from          Network Inc. of Orlando. The fastest-growing provider of communications services
the same period in 2000, when the dot-com boom                to Florida’s business market, the company recently announced the simultaneous
was still in full swing. Some of the state’s larger ven-      closing of a third-round $50-million equity investment and an $80-million loan
ture capital deals were signed with central Florida           facility, giving the company $130 million of fresh capital.
companies like Florida Digital Network, Optium                   The equity financing was led by new investor WallerSutton 2000 and also
Corp., TriCo Wireless and Cytura Corp.                        included John Hancock Life Insurance, CIT, GE Capital, Fleet Securities and First
    Capital flowed into the state’s high tech firms           Union Securities, as well as existing investor, M/C Venture Partners. Fleet National
despite the fact that the state did not renew its             Bank and CIT led the $80-million senior debt facility, which was also agented by
CAPCO program. CAPCO firms raise venture capi-                First Union National Bank and BNP Paribas.
tal from insurance companies. The way this money is              First Union Securities Inc. advised on the placement of equity in the transac-
invested is tightly regulated because the insurance           tion. “The greatest opportunity for communications providers is targeting under-
companies receive tax breaks for putting money into           served small-business customers with a bundle of voice and data services. Many of
early-stage Florida-based technology companies.               the ICPs focused on the small business segment have been forced to scale back
(Only five states – New York, Wisconsin, Missouri,            their business plans because of the difficulty in obtaining financing,” says Frank
Louisiana and Florida – currently have CAPCO                  Murphy, senior analyst in First Union’s Equity Research Group. “With this funding,
laws.) Started in 1999, this “certified capital compa-        FDN is well-positioned to gain a significant market share of small business cus-
ny” status contributed to the record amounts of ven-          tomers.”
ture capital that flowed into the region’s companies             FDN, a statewide facilities-based integrated communications provider (ICP),
during 2000. A mechanism for developing venture               plans to use the cash infusion to expand its network and infrastructure in Florida
capital infrastructure in certain states where extra          as well as to offer a broader package of enhanced services to its customers.
help is considered necessary, the CAPCO program               “Attracting investment in these capital markets is a testimony to the strength of
included companies like Advantage Capital Partners            our business proposition, the ability of our employees to serve our customers and
and Stonehenge Capital Corporation, both of                   the capability of our network,” says Mike Gallagher, FDN’s CEO. “We’re pleased to
Tampa, which were certified and licensed by the               not only be attracting additional equity from our original investors, but to also be
state, which in turn allocated tax credits to insurance       the first investment from WallerSutton’s newest equity fund. Our investors are all
companies.                                                    seasoned participants in the telecommunications sector.”
    “Unfortunately, the CAPCO program won’t be                   Only time will tell if they’ve found a winner, but FDN is certainly on the move.
there to maintain support for the High Tech Corridor          The company has steadily expanded its service territory from Jacksonville to Miami
companies after the flurry of investments from the            over the past two years, and now provides local, long-distance and high-speed
initial allocation of tax credits,” says Tim Cockshutt,       Internet service to customers in Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale
managing director for Advantage Capital Partners.             and the Space Coast.
Without that support – and factoring in the money                FDN currently has over 50,000 business telephone lines in service and is grow-
lost on dot-com portfolio companies and investments           ing by approximately 1,000 customers per month. “While many of our markets are
– Cockshutt says venture capitalists have returned to         already profitable,” says Steven Russell, FDN’s CFO, “this capital structure gives us
the traditional criteria for investing: seeking out com-      a fully funded business plan and will enable us and to further expand in Florida.”
panies with profit and longevity potential. 2002                                                                                                                           47

trend down.”                                     structure, telecommunications, networking         Triangle Park area in North Carolina.
                                                 equipment and services, and software/infor-           Grace Venture Partners also led the Series
Pockets of Potential                             mation services.                                  A funding round for SoftMountain Inc., the
   John Montelione, partner at Sarasota-             Grace Venture Partners concentrates on        eighth new high tech company created by
based New South Ventures, a venture capital      East Coast investments and those involving        MILCOM Technologies of Orlando. MIL-
firm that incubates and funds very early-stage   the commercialization of military technology.     COM Technologies conceives and creates
companies, sees potential in the state’s bio-    Not long ago, the firm completed three deals,     technology companies using a proven, risk-
science, medical device and agricultural-        two with early-stage firms and another with a     mitigation development process that has
based firms. His own firm is currently setting   more mature technology company. It invest-        attracted a number of top-tier venture capital
up a formal fund and looking forward to          ed, for example, in Winter Park-based             firms. MILCOM forms high-growth advance
investing in even more promising companies       Exigent Inc., which produces process con-         infrastructure communications companies
in the near future. “Up until this point we      sumables used in the manufacturing of inte-       based on well-funded, proven technologies
used our own money,” says Montelione.            grated circuits.                                  that are typically acquired from major
“Now we’re raising a formal fund because we          Exigent’s founders, in partnership with the   defense companies.
think it’s a great time to invest.”              University of Central Florida’s Center for            Right now, Grace says his venture firm is
   Ned Grace, managing director of               Research and Education in Optics and Lasers       looking for portfolio companies that fit into
Orlando-based Grace Venture Partners LP,         (CREOL), developed the core technology. Its       three categories: communications, software
says his own firm is focusing on seed and        first product is an advanced polishing pad used   and semiconductors. “That’s where our focus
early-stage information technology invest-       to remove excess material from wafers during      is,” says Grace, adding that within those cat-
ments. Grace Venture Partners’ first fund is a   several steps in the semiconductor manufac-       egories his firm seeks out new companies in
$20-million cache that invests between           turing process. Grace Venture Partners invest-    need of seed and early-stage funding, and
$500,000 and $2 million in companies that        ed in a $2.5-million Series B Preferred Equity    that have the potential to become cash-flow
are participating in rapidly evolving indus-     round in July 2001 as a co-investor with the      positive in a reasonable time frame. “We want
tries such as wireless and broadband infra-      Aurora Funds, which is based in the Research      companies that can take our capital and the

48                                                                                                                 2002

capital of the co-investors and turn them-        customer base. “The biggest challenge,” he       span the corridor.
selves into profitable companies,” he adds.       says, “was trying to select amongst the com-        As a group, these investors rely on a
   Grace sees the Florida High Tech Corridor      peting venture capitalists.” The venture capi-   “power of one” philosophy, and as a result are
as a favorable spot for high technology com-      tal will be used to continue aggressively        able to take on the complex process of mak-
panies to grow and prosper. He points to the      building its market leading position in the      ing investments and make the best choices in
available labor force, lack of income taxes and   U.S. and to accelerate its expansion into        the shortest amount of time. “By banding
access to both Orlando and Tampa airports as      international markets.                           together they share the knowledge and the
the most attractive features. “In my opinion                                                       workload,” says Fox.
the area has a lot more going for it than, say,   Free Flow?                                          Start-ups in the Corridor are also getting
Silicon Valley,” says Grace.                         At Orlando’s Central Florida Innovation       infusions from private investment clubs and
                                                  Corp. President Richard Fox says funding is      individuals who make investments. For the
Swimming in Success                               indeed flowing into start-up companies. For      most part, however, it’s the later-stage tech-
   David Brogan, CFO of Tampa’s Blue              those new companies, funding typically starts    nology firms that attract the majority of the
Ocean Software Inc., considers his company        with infusions of seed money from private        state’s venture capital. According to Fox, that’s
“solidly profitable and debt free.” The 54-       investors then progresses to early-stage ven-    because venture firms like to follow other
employee firm, a leading developer of cost        ture capital. The Corridor’s larger, high-       leaders, and typically wait until another firm
effective help desk, PC inventory and systems     growth companies are also getting funded         has done the due diligence and evaluated the
management solutions, snagged a $25-mil-          and attracting later-stage venture capital.      strength of the company’s management team.
lion investment from Summit Partners, a pri-      Private investors that buy chunks of small          “What I’ve found is that in this sector
vate equity firm based in Boston and Palo         start-ups are nearly all Florida based, says     there are fewer leaders than there are follow-
Alto, Calif., in the second half of 2001.         Fox. He points to the Central Florida Venture    ers,” says Fox. In fact, Fox says “A round”
Getting the capital wasn’t challenging, says      Group. Composed of about 30 wealthy, pri-        high technology investors in the state are few
Brogan, because it already had a profitable       vate investors, the group makes investments      and far between, while “B” or later-round
model, innovative product offering and solid      in high-growth, high tech companies that         investors are much more prevalent.           fht

50                                                                                                                  2002

Cultivating the Talent Pool
Education and industry home in on developing talented workers for
Central Florida’s growing demand.

        hane Adgie is a 19-year-old with a bright mind for com-

S       puters who recently joined Job Corps, a federally subsi-
        dized program with operations here, where he plans to
receive computer-related training and certifications that will
make him a valuable hire for the thousands of Central Florida
companies crying for tech-minded workers.
    Cultivating an entire region of high technology firms from
their early stages and into mature companies requires much
more than just physical locations and funding – it takes a pop-
ulation of talented individuals who can work together to make
these companies successful. Getting there means growing a
qualified workforce – an undertaking that’s critical to enabling
companies along Florida’s High Tech Corridor to capitalize on
the growing high tech industry. As part of the Florida High
Tech Corridor Council’s goal to attract, retain and grow high
tech industry in the region, the group is working to prepare
tomorrow’s employees early in their educational careers. And
that means working with the area’s vast number of private col-
leges, universities, community colleges as well as primary, sec-
ondary and high schools to produce a homegrown and qual-
ified base of technology workers.
    Adgie plans to make himself available to the state’s high       The Florida High Tech Corridor Council is working to prepare tomorrow’s employees
tech work pool. “I just hope I can serve as an inspiration          early in their educational careers to fill the growing demand for trained workers.
to others,” says Adgie, who until he joined Job Corps, was
a high-school dropout headed who knows where. Now, Adgie
is acquiring a high school diploma in addition to Microsoft-related                The Tech 4 Consortium won national recognition with a $1.1 mil-
certifications in computers, networking and the Internet – all of              lion National Science Foundation grant, which began in 1999 and is
which will make him exactly what the high tech companies want: a               funding three years of educational programs, instructional materials
trained worker.                                                                for enhanced curriculum, faculty development and “traveling” mod-
    At the core of the Council’s efforts is the Tech 4 Consortium, a pro-      ule labs created to introduce and encourage thousands of students
gram that’s dedicated to high tech educational needs in the universi-          throughout the state to pursue careers in a wide range of technology
ties, community colleges, technical centers and public schools along           fields.
the Florida High Tech Corridor. Its goal is to help area students gain             Major Tech 4 Consortium initiatives include the establishment of
the background they need to take advantage of exciting high tech               a two-year associate degree in semiconductor manufacturing at
career opportunities.                                                          Valencia Community College in Orlando and Chip Camp, a free one-
    The Consortium, which works with employers to address their                or two-day program that gives teachers experience with the semicon-
high tech education and training needs, provides the impetus for a             ductor manufacturing environment and helps them incorporate that
vast array of educational programs reaching beyond the university and          new knowledge into their curriculum.
community college level and deep into the Corridor’s public school                 The Council calls Chip Camp a “highly successful program that
systems as they continue to help prepare area students for a future in         gives high school math and science teachers experience with the kinds
the high tech workforce.                                                       of high tech industry careers their students might pursue.”
    Participating in the Consortium are representatives from the                   To date, more than 650 educators have participated in 15 Chip
University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida,             Camps – 10 of which were held at Agere System’s manufacturing facil-
community colleges across the region, Career Connection initiatives,           ity in Orlando and five at educational and corporate facilities in
the state’s Welfare to Work program and area high tech companies.              Brevard, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota and Volusia counties. 2002                                                                                                                             53

   Future plans for the Tech 4 Consortium        community colleges – a program that’s been        skills that such companies have identified as
include camps similar to Chip Camp that          well received and subsequently augmented by       being critical to their business success. “That
will focus on each of the region’s high tech     a $1.2 million grant from the National            will help us conceive what skills are necessary
sectors, a “clean room” science module for use   Science Foundation. The money will go for         to be a productive member of a particular
among the schools and development of tai-        further development of such programs,             segment of the IT workforce,” says Kovac.
lored presentations targeted to K-12 schools     which have been used as a national model for          Spearheading the Web survey system is Bill
to increase interest in science and math.        cooperation between community colleges            McDermott, director of workforce develop-
                                                 and groups like the Florida High Tech             ment for the Council, who says the survey
Filling the Need                                 Corridor Council. So far, Kovac says the pro-     will help not only employers, but education-
   Mike Kovac, executive director for high       gram has been instituted at Hillsborough,         al institutions and students as well. The end
tech partnerships at USF, calls investment in    Brevard and Seminole community colleges,          result, he says, will be a real-time barometer
workforce development one of the key ele-        as well as St. Petersburg College.                of exactly what’s going on in the information
ments of successful high tech regions. Early        Yet another program in development by          technology sector as it relates to specific, nec-
on, he says, industrial leaders who served as    Seminole Community College (SCC) and              essary skill sets. “The primary users will be
advisors for the Florida High Tech Corridor      the Florida High Tech Corridor Council is a       companies, which can use the results inter-
Council recognized that workforce develop-       competency-based Web survey system that           nally to help zero in on particular skill sets
ment was a pivotal issue. Pursuant to that       matches the skills of workers with the needs      required within the company,” says
need, those leaders invested in training pro-    of employers and coursework available at          McDermott. “It will be an invaluable recruit-
grams with the region’s community colleges,      local educational institutions.                   ment tool for them.”
the University of South Florida and                 The end result will be a Web-based listing         Driving the need for the Council’s work-
University of Central Florida and in compa-      of competencies in the information technolo-      force development efforts, says McDermott,
nies like Lucent Technologies.                   gy arena that will be accessible to the public.   is the fact that a significant shortage of near-
   High technology training modules, for         The list is being compiled from high tech         ly 60,000 information technology workers is
example, have been developed for the area’s      companies across the Corridor, and includes       projected for the year 2005. It’s a sector that

54                                                                                                                  2002
grows at about 160 percent annually – a rate      base of talented workers for high technology   “Until we do that we’re not going to have a
that Florida’s traditional workforce can’t keep   companies. Workforce Florida Central, for      tech-savvy market.”
up with. “Central Florida needs homegrown         example, is a non-profit organization that        M.J. Soileau, vice president of research at
talent – not talent that’s dependent upon         aids the state and federal governments in      UCF in Orlando, says the High Tech
companies attracting employees from outside       local workforce development and welfare        Corridor as a whole is making significant
the state,” McDermott explains. “Anything         reform. WCF enlists the help of more than      progress when it comes to workforce devel-
we can do to enhance our ability to create the    100 Central Florida leaders to guide it        opment. In addition to the region’s larger
talent inside the system will result in our       through building the Central Florida econo-    institutions, the community and smaller col-
being much better off going forward.”             my through workforce development and wel-      leges have also been aggressive about seeking
   Such initiatives also help ease a continual    fare reform.                                   funding and resources in an effort to better
challenge that both companies and educa-                                                         prepare students for jobs in the high tech
tional institutions face: keeping new gradu-      More Workers Please                            arena.
ates in balance with what the economy                Marty Donsky, marketing manager for the        And at the university level, Soileau says
requires. Richard Fox, president of the           Florida       Technology       Practice   of   UCG’s tech-related programs are in very high
Central Florida Innovation Corporation in         PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP in Tampa, calls     demand. A new major was just instituted
Orlando, says technology often changes faster     workforce education much more than just        called “IT,” as opposed to computer science
than institutions can adjust, leaving graduates   training college students to go to work in     or computer engineering, and 300 students
unaware of the latest topics and lacking the      information technology companies. The root     signed up for it during the first semester it
most up-to-date skills. “It’s a continual chal-   of such training begins in grade school, he    was offered. “There’s much effort being put
lenge,” says Fox, “and one that the communi-      says. “It’s about teaching kids what comput-   forth at all levels and across the entire corri-
ty colleges and universities are aware of and     ers are all about and making computers an      dor,” Soileau adds. “The students coming out
strive to overcome.”                              everyday part of their life, and making com-   of these programs will be well-equipped to fill
   Throughout Central Florida a number of         puters and information technology an inte-     positions at every level of the information
groups are working to develop and cultivate a     gral part of the classroom,” says Donsky.      technology landscape.”                       fht 2002                                                                                                                        55
                                                                                                      H I G H T E C H I N C U B AT O R S

The Year of the Incubator
High tech incubators nurture young and growing companies.

          lthough the year 2001 may be remembered for many reasons,            Community College and the NASA-Kennedy Space Center, this

A         along the Florida High Tech Corridor it may be viewed as the
          “year of the incubator.” It was a year when established facili-
ties graduated successful companies and welcomed new tenants, new
                                                                               incubator accelerates the formulation, growth and success of small,
                                                                               technology-based companies in Brevard County. The incubator
                                                                               operates in a 10,000-square-foot facility housed on the Titusville
facilities opened their doors and plans were laid for even more incu-          campus of Brevard Community College.
bators.                                                                           Successful recent FNBIC graduates include American Services
   National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) of
Athens, Ohio, describes business incubation as a dynam-
ic process of business enterprise development.                   Finding The Pot of Gold
Incubators are facilities that nurture young firms, help-        Incubated company finds success in the “real” world
ing them to survive and grow during the start-up period
when they are most vulnerable. They provide hands-on                When Tami Kilger moved her company into the Seminole Technology Business
management assistance, access to financing and expo-             Incubation Center (STBIC) in 1997 its annual sales were less than $500,000.
sure to critical business or technical support services.         When it moved out in early 2001, the five-employee company’s sales were at
They also offer entrepreneurial firms shared office serv-        about $4.5 million. Founded in 1995, Kilger’s company is Sanford-based
ices, access to equipment, flexible leases and expandable        Rainbow Distributors Inc., a firm that distributes telecommunications products
space – all under one roof. The NBIA says that an incu-          like wire, cable, connectors and traffic signals.
bation program’s main goal is to produce successful                 Kilger, company president, started her business from home after working for
graduates, namely those businesses that are financially          a similar company, where she developed a yearning for the freedom of entre-
viable and freestanding when they leave the incubator,           preneurship. Her husband Kyle, now vice president, joined her about a year
usually six months to three years after entering it.             later and soon the pair was at the helm of a successful company. Rainbow
   Incubators are important for a basic reason: starting a       Distributors was one of the first tenants in the STIBC, and got there purely by
new business is tough. Nationwide, nine out of 10 new            accident, according to Kilger. “We were looking for affordable space in Seminole
businesses fail in their first year, usually because of lack     County,” recalls Kyle Kilger. “We found the incubator one day while driving
of training in standard business practices or being              around the industrial area where it’s located, and thought ‘Hey, that looks like
undercapitalized. However, business start-ups that col-          a nice place.’”
laborate with an incubator have a high first-year survival          Little did they know that the STIBC was more than just a nice place. Upon
rate. About 87 percent of them are still in business,            learning of its status as an incubation center, the Kilgers grabbed the oppor-
according to the NBIA. Plus, an average of 84 percent of         tunity to get less-than-market rental rates and a host of services for growing
companies that have graduated from an incubator stay             their firm. “One of our biggest problems was that most of our money went for
in their communities, giving the concept a true eco-             inventory and equipment, so we needed low rent,” says Kilger, adding that
nomic value for the communities that incubate and                along with that the company got a host of networking contacts in banking,
hatch the fledgling companies. Like venture capitalists,         accounting, printing and other areas. “Wayne Hardy, the director, knows every-
incubators impose selection criteria upon prospective            one,” says Kilger. “You can ask him for just about any type of referral and he’s
clients. According to the NBIA, typical incubator clients        bound to know someone. Within 24 hours he’ll come back with four of five
are 43 percent mixed use and 25 percent technology,              names.”
with the remainder split between manufacturing, service             Since graduating from the incubator, Rainbow Distributors has obtained a
and other entities.                                              line of credit with the help of a banking contact that the Kilgers met through
                                                               the incubator. They also purchased a city block in Sanford where the company
Long Established                                               occupies one of the two 20,000-square-foot buildings that it now owns.
   For years the Florida High Tech Corridor has boasted        Looking ahead, Kilger says Rainbow Distributors will soon print its first catalog
a number of business incubators, with the                      and expand into the adjacent building, which they bought as an investment
Florida/NASA Business Incubation Center (FNBIC)                and as insurance that they “wouldn’t have to move again” anytime soon. “We
being one of the oldest in the region. Managed through         also plan to add some employees,” he says, “and double our inventory over the
a joint partnership between the Technological Research         next few years.”
and Development Authority (TRDA), Brevard 2001                                                                                                                             57

Technology Inc., which offers a range of tech-    number of top-tier venture capital firms. It       Internet access, administrative support and
nical services to commercial entities and gov-    forms companies based on well-funded,              access to university laboratories and facilities.
ernment agencies; Command and Control             proven technologies that are typically             The incubator also provides a networking
Technologies Corp., which provides high-          acquired from major defense companies.             environment for entrepreneurs in need of
performance command and control comput-           SoftMountain Inc., for example, is the eighth      venture capital, legal assistance and business
er systems, software and consulting services      company since 1997 to be created by MIL-           advice.
to government and commercial launch vehi-         COM. The firm is developing software appli-           With little access to capital being the
cles, ranges and spaceports; and ExecuSys         cations that can be adapted to run on any          biggest complaint that Kovac hears from
Inc., a developer of large-scale enterprise       computer with any pre-existing software.           start-ups, he’s hoping USF’s new incubator
information and decision support systems for                                                         can help fill the funding gap that many high
the automotive, government and health care        Welcome Newcomers                                  tech companies face during their first years of
sectors.                                             Until last year, the Tampa Bay area could       business. “We can introduce them to the ven-
    In Sanford, Seminole Community                not boast an incubator even though business        ture capitalists and other investors,” says
College’s incubator, began graduating com-        and university leaders spoke of it frequently.     Kovac, “and help find money sources for
panies this year. Wayne Hardy, coordinator of     But bringing it to fruition would have to wait     entrepreneurs who are interested in starting
small business development at the Seminole        until August 2001, when TechVillage Tampa          companies.”
Community College/Seminole Technology             Bay opened its doors. A not-for-profit tech-
Business Incubation Center (STBIC), oper-         nology business incubator, the facility to help    Concept to Completion
ates the incubator, which has been open since     start-up technology companies develop their           Sarasota and Manatee counties are poring
March 2000. Hardy says the most important         products or services into viable commercial        over their own incubator drawing board. The
things his incubator provides are a physical      ventures. Space for the incubator is provided      end result, according to Kathy Baylis, vice
location for start-up technology-based com-       by the University of Tampa. The facility pro-      president of economic development for the
panies and management assistance services.        vides office space, communications support         Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce,
“In most cases technology entrepreneurs are       and mentoring services in the areas of man-        will be the South Tampa Bay Technology
very comfortable with technology, but not         agement, human resources, accounting and           Accelerator. Currently in the evaluation
with the essentials of running a growth com-      legal services, financing and marketing to         stage, the incubator will be a joint venture
pany,” he says. “Incubators serve as places of    early-stage technology firms. Its initial build-   between the two counties. “At this point it’s
training, mentoring and providing these new       ing is 3,000 square feet with office space for     just an outline of a business plan,” says
businesses with a full range of resources.”       four companies.                                    Baylis, “but we’ll be doing a market feasibil-
    In Orlando, the Central Florida                  “Our goal is to create an environment in        ity study soon to look at how we can best
Technology Incubator (CFTI) launched in           which for entrepreneurs can focus solely on        partner with other groups that are starting
October 1999 and is filled to capacity. It is     developing their core technologies and turn        incubators to see if there are synergies that
strategically located in the Central Florida      them into thriving businesses,” says Eric          we can share.”
Research Park near the University of Central      Helman, interim executive for TechVillage             Overall, the Florida High Tech Corridor is
Florida. Executive Director Tom O’Neal says       Tampa Bay. “For the Tampa Bay community,           embracing the fact that in order to attract,
the 24,000-square-foot technology business        Tech Village will offer a comprehensive set of     retain and grow high tech companies, every-
development center recently expanded into         services dedicated solely to growing our own       one involved must put time and effort into
its second building, which he expects to also     technology companies.”                             helping those companies through the critical
fill up quickly. Are about 24 companies are in       Later in the year, a second Tampa incuba-       start-up junctures. The efforts will surely pay
the incubator, representing a variety of indus-   tor opened at the University of South              off, says Richard Fox, president of Central
tries.                                            Florida, in 11,000 square feet of space in         Florida Innovation Corp. in Orlando. The
    A successful for-profit incubator is MIL-     Telecom Park. Known as the USF Incubator,          Corridor spawns about 550 new technology
COM Technologies in Maitland. It creates          the facility has two components, says Mike         companies each year, he notes, making the
companies that develop advanced communi-          Kovac, executive director for high tech part-      creation rate higher than that of Austin,
cations products and applications that solve      nerships at USF. The first is an academic          Texas, a city with about the same population
critical commercial problems and capitalize       component that involves undergraduate and          as the Orlando MSA.
on market needs, partnering primarily with        graduate students in four colleges. “They             “There are more high tech companies in
defense contractors, but also with federally      have access to courseware in how to set up a       the Orlando MSA and the Tampa MSA sep-
funded research and development centers and       company, global marketing and everything           arately than there are in the city of Austin,”
universities.                                     associated with entrepreneurship,” says            says Fox. “If you put the two together and
    MILCOM Technologies creates technolo-         Kovac. “The other component is the incuba-         look at the Corridor, it comes out as being
gy companies using a proven, risk-mitigation      tor itself.” The latter provides high tech ten-    one of the top 10 in the country for new high
development process that has attracted a          ants with services such as high-speed              tech companies.”                             fht

58                                                                                                                    2001
                                                                                                             RESEARCH FUNDING

Raising Research
Matching grants, federal dollars, industry contributions all help to raise the
research bar for the High Tech Corridor.

        he Florida High Tech Corridor Council has played a signifi-         and development team and is nearing completion of its state-of-the-

T       cant role in stoking research and development across Central
        Florida. The American Electronics Association (AeA) recently
reported that Florida ranks fifth in the United States in terms of high
                                                                            art R & D facility. The UV Florida project will be funded by a por-
                                                                            tion of the potential $3.6 million State of Florida research & devel-
                                                                            opment incentive program available to UOE and will enhance
tech employment and the state’s proactive support, through programs         UOE’s extensive on-site R & D program. The initial goal of the
such as the research and development incentive, promotes the                project will be the development of UV (350-400nm) AlGaInN-
advancement of Florida’s technology industry.                               based LED devices. Ultraviolet LEDs, when packaged with a tri-
   The Council, which announced 95 new research grants in August            colored phosphor, generate a brighter, purer and more efficient
2001, reports that it has given more than $25.2 million in just five        “white” LED device than the current method of packaging a high
years with its External Matching Grant program. Corporate and fed-          brightness blue LED with yellow phosphor. High brightness UV
eral matches amounting to $55 million during that period bring the          LEDs (>2 mW) represent a tremendous opportunity to establish
program’s total to more than $80 million in research dollars invested       new markets in solid-state white lighting, medical diagnosis, optical
in more than 290 research projects with 145 companies and institu-          storage and compact sensing devices in the chemical, environmental
tions.                                                                      and biological markets.
   The program, which partners the Council’s founding universities             Through the collaborative project, each university will provide
– University of Central Florida in Orlando and University of South          research in its specific area of technical expertise. The University of
Florida in Tampa – with high tech industry leaders, will support the        Florida will focus on the epitaxial growth and processing of UV LED
95 projects this year with the council providing $7.1 million that will     devices while the University of South Florida and University of
be matched by more than $8.9 million in corporate and federal funds         Central Florida will provide structural measurement and electrical
for a total of more than $16 million.                                       and optical characterization, respectively. UOE will benefit, not only
     “The Corridor’s two universities are committed to developing           from the results of the focused UV Florida project, but also from the
partnerships with our local industry,” says M.J. Soileau, vice presi-       resources of knowledge, sophisticated measurement equipment and
dent for research at UCF. “The Council’s External Matching Grant            the talent of the students that each university offers.
program allows us to not only build these relationships with high              “This is a win-win situation for the universities and for UOE,”
tech companies from our area but also facilitate the creation of new        says Robert L. Soran, president and COO of Uniroyal Technology
jobs through research conducted in conjunction with university              Corporation. “Aside from the benefits each university will derive
staff.” This program has led to a variety of patent applications and        from the funds of the incentive program, the universities and UOE
royalty agreements between the two universities and their partners.         will benefit from the exchange of knowledge between the research
And, in a study conducted last year by TaxWatch, a state watchdog           professors and UOE’s world class scientists. In addition, students
group, it was revealed that for every tax dollar invested in this initia-   have the opportunity to conduct research on cutting-edge technolo-
tive, approximately three dollars have been generated in Florida’s          gies and, upon graduation, should be ready for high tech positions
economy.                                                                    with UOE. We are excited about the opportunities ahead through
                                                                            our partnership with Florida’s universities.”
Tapping the Program                                                            Uniroyal certainly isn’t alone. Recipients at USF, for example,
   One high tech firm that’s taking advantage of the external match-        include Shekhar Bhansali, who received $46,450 to develop micro-
ing grant funding program is Tampa-based Uniroyal Optoelectronics           fabricated MEMS sensors for defense applications, and Lawrence
(UOE), a semiconductor manufacturer and subsidiary of Uniroyal              Dunleavy, who received $100,000 to develop precision characteriza-
Technology Corp. In August 2001 the company announced a long-               tion for wireless and millimeter-wave design and who is working with
term collaborative project, “UV Florida,” with three of Florida’s lead-     partner companies that include Raytheon Systems, Intersil and Trak
ing research universities – University of Florida, University of South      Communications.
Florida and University of Central Florida – to accelerate UOE’s                Other grant recipients were Julie Harmon, who with a $25,000
development of ultraviolet (UV) light emitting diodes (LEDs), the           grant is studying radiation effects on polymeric systems used in space
cornerstone for efficient “white light” LED devices.                        environments in partnership with Honeywell; and Rudolf Henning,
   Uniroyal Optoelectronics has assembled a world-class research            who received $47,000 to continue developing better satellite com- 2002                                                                                                                          61

munications forecasting with partner compa-       ematics and science education for kinder-              Hagen says the Florida High Tech
ny Custom Manufacturing Engineering.              gartners through eighth graders and for             Corridor Council via its prominent institu-
   “We are proud that the money invested in       training teachers to utilize technology in the      tions has some of the most flexible and inno-
this program is having such a far-reaching        classroom. A $2.5 million award from the            vative programs available for developing
impact on our region,” says Dick Streeter,        state Department of Education to improve            promising technologies. “With the current
USF’s executive director for economic devel-      mathematics and science education is the            dearth of venture financing, these partnership
opment. “In fact, federal and corporate           largest ever received by the College of             programs are the only game in town for help-
matches alone have led to approximately a         Education and one of the largest ever               ing to develop promising new technologies,”
220-percent return on the state’s invest-         received by UCF. As a result of the $1.3 mil-       says Hagen, “and getting them past the
ment.”                                            lion federal grant from Tech IMPACT, UCF            idea/high-risk stage into manufacturability.”
                                                  will share its tech-training model for use in          Companies and projects that can match
Funding Galore                                    developing a state technology certification         with university researchers, create an eco-
   Institutions and organizations across the      for Florida teachers.                               nomic impact in Central Florida and success-
Florida High Tech Corridor were awarded a             “We’ve experienced a great last couple of       fully compete in an expert review process
higher-than-usual volume of grants and            years,” says Soileau, noting that a significant     have the best chance of getting funded. “We
research funding last year. Such capital infu-    portion of UCF’s research is directly related       could use more programs like these,” Hagen
sions laid the groundwork for even more           to the High Tech Corridor’s External                says, “because the demand is greater than the
innovation and technology to be spun off          Matching Grant program done in conjunc-             available funding.”
from the universities, colleges, community        tion with both USF and UCF.                            In optics and photonics, for example, the
colleges and other fine institutions located          “We’ve put about $1 million a year on the       University of Central Florida’s Center for
throughout Central Florida.                       table for faculty use, but they can only get it     Research and Education in Optics and Lasers
   The region’s two largest universities          if they have a solid partnership with a region-     (CREOL) is perhaps a central element for the
claimed the lion’s share of the grants and        al, tech-based industry,” says Soileau. The         establishment of so many optic firms in the
research funding. Research at the University      purpose of such applied research programs is        area. The center is constantly developing new
of Central Florida in Orlando was funded at       to attract, retain and grow technology-based        technologies and research produces new
record levels in 2001: $65 million in total.      companies in the region, he adds. The strict        enterprises.
The number represents not only a record           criteria for awarding such funds, and the best         One faculty member, Peter Delfyett for
high for the university, but also a 58-percent    way to make a judgment as to whether the            example, has developed a single diode laser-
increase in funding over the previous two         technology is indeed important to the indus-        based system that can broadcast 60 separate
years. Thirteen researchers received awards       try, is to first determine if the industry itself   channels of information through a strand of
totaling $1 million or more.                      will co-fund the project.                           fiber. That’s the equivalent of sending 100
   Federal research, typically used as a bench-       “Any company would be willing to spend          movies a second transmitted from a single
mark for comparing research institutions          34 cents to mail us back a letter saying, ‘yes,     source. Other researchers are working on
nationwide because the criteria are constant      this is very interesting research and we hope       laser-based x-ray sources that can be used for
where state and private funding standards can     the university will fund it,’” says Soileau.        next generation lithography to make comput-
vary, doubled from $16 million in 1999 to         “But it takes much more to put a dollar out         ers smaller and faster.
$31 million in 2001. UCF also doubled its         for each dollar that the university will spend         For other companies and the economy as a
state funding from 1999 to $26 million in         of its own internal money.” So far, Soileau         whole, the Florida High Tech Corridor
2001, though private funding remained the         says the program has been very successful,          Council offers a wide variety of programs to
same as 1999, at $8 million, a slight decrease    and that it includes companies that range in        improve central Florida’s workforce, technol-
from $12 million in 2000.                         size from Lockheed Martin and Harris to             ogy and commercial infrastructure, Hagen
   The largest single award of the year, $2.6     one- and two-person start-ups.                      adds, “not to mention building awareness of
million, went to James Taylor, a professor of         The University of South Florida in Tampa        the region as a whole.” In addition to the two
civil and environmental engineering at UCF,       brought in $171 million last year in grants         major universities, other groups also received
for a water treatment and distribution blend-     and research funding, according to Guy              grants. In Orange County, for example, a
ing project conducted for six west Florida        Hagen, assistant director at the office of eco-     total of $418,000 worth of state military
cities and counties. Taylor’s total contributed   nomic development. Companies that have              infrastructure grants – the most of any region
to $14.5 million in funding received by the       successfully spun off technology from the           in Florida – was awarded to help the Army
College of Engineering, the highest-awarded       university include Saneron Biotherapies, a          agency responsible for the area’s nationally
unit on campus. The College of Education          stem cell therapy developer; HIMCO, a               known simulation-technology industry.
was second, receiving $8.5 million.               healthcare data-mining firm; and a micro-           Overall, the state awarded over $2.6 million
   The College of Education has been              electronics and wireless design software com-       to help localities improve and promote their
awarded leadership roles in improving math-       pany.                                               military installations.                     fht

62                                                                                                                    2002

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