Knight Federal Honored by GrowFL as One of 50 2018 Florida Companies to Watch Winners

Statewide Awards Program Recognizes Unique, Scalable High-Growth Companies

2018 Florida Companies to Watch Winner

Knight Federal Solutions has been named one of 50 Florida Companies to Watch for 2018.  The winning 50 statewide companies are expected to see significant growth over the next several years by GrowFL, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute. More than 500 companies were nominated from across the state of Florida, vying for the prestigious title of being honored as one of this year’s 50 Florida Companies to Watch a statewide awards program managed by GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation, a nonprofit organization championing entrepreneurship. Knight Federal’s management team, competitive market position and strong community involvement were among several factors evaluated for the award.

“We are honored to be among the 50 companies named to the 2018 Companies to Watch by GrowFL,” says Chris Baeten, CEO of Knight Federal, a small business providing support services to the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence community. “This recognition builds on several other recent achievements for Knight Federal, including the award of three new major contracts, as well as our recent launch of our nonprofit organization, the Purple Knight Initiative which provides paid internships to combat wounded warriors who are looking to learn a new career in fields that are conducive to their disabilities and desires for employment,” says Baeten. Knight Federal is one of the fastest growing companies in Central Florida, currently employing 90 staff. Baeten’s unique management style and informal approach has propelled the company on an impressive revenue track anticipating $12M in gross revenue this year, growing by 50% annually since inception.

“These stand-out companies are all led by entrepreneurs, and have demonstrated their capacity and intent to grow,” says Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL executive director. “They also all have critical intellectual property or a niche position that gives them a competitive edge in their markets,” he adds.

The honorees represent a unique group of scalable, high-growth enterprises that are already located within Florida. These high growth enterprises are an important segment of our economy and their numbers have been steadily increasing, which contributed to Florida’s ranking of 24 on the 2018 Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship. Companies named to the list will be officially recognized on February 9, 2019 at the Straz Performing Arts Center in Tampa, FL. Tickets are on sale now for the awards ceremony. For more details, visit

“This is a strong group of companies that deserve this special recognition given annually to the state’s top second stage companies,” said Dr. Chris Morton, GrowFL Chairman of the GrowFL Advisory Board, CEO of NanoPhotonica and a 2015

Second-stage companies are defined as those with 6 to 150 full-time employees and generate between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue. There are many programs and incubators promoting start-up businesses; GrowFL is the only Florida program that focuses exclusively on second-stage companies.

About GrowFL
GrowFL provides strategies, resources and support, including strategic research and peer-to-peer CEO mentoring and leadership development, to second-stage Florida companies. Created by the Florida legislature in 2009 and grounded in the philosophy of Economic Gardening® — growing existing businesses in a community, region or state — GrowFL is a critical component of the state’s economic development strategy and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. GrowFL is certified by the National Center for Economic Gardening through the Edward Lowe Foundation. Website:

About the Edward Lowe Foundation
Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition and educational programs, which are delivered through entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs). The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. In addition, the foundation has a second mission of land stewardship and is committed to preserving the natural resources and historically significant structures at Big Rock Valley, its 2,000-acre home in southwest Michigan. For more information visit