Award Recognizes High Growth
GrowFL celebrated the mark of the 8th anniversary of its annual statewide awards program, Florida Companies to Watch℠. Presented by GrowFL, in association with Edward Lowe Foundation, Florida Companies to Watch is an awards program like no other. This event celebrates growing second-stage companies headquartered in Florida. Developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, this event is a unique way to recognize and honor second-stage companies that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes, making them “worth watching.”
Companies from across the state and all industries are encouraged to participate. Selection is based on steady growth in employee counts and revenue as well as strength in leadership, corporate culture, community support and philanthropy, innovation in management or technology, or other factors that contribute to an outstanding organization.
Knight Federal was proud to be among the 50 winners of the ‘2018 Florida Companies to Watch’ award. The selection criteria is based on the following: the identification of standout companies expected to see significant growth over the next several years. Honorees were selected from more than 500 nominations by GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation. Factors included: strength in leadership, competitive market position and innovation in technology.
“The 50 honorees represent a diverse range of second-stage companies from across 20 Florida counties,” says Dr. Tom O’Neal, Executive Director of GrowFL. “While some of these businesses are fairly new, others are well-established. All demonstrate an entrepreneurial style that promotes steady growth. For example Knight Federal is a company that was established in 2013 but has experienced steady growth and creation of jobs due to its strategic business development strategies and innovative company culture.”
According to GrowFL, the 50 honorees generated nearly $1 billion in revenue and added nearly 1,000 jobs between 2014 and 2017. “This is a strong group of companies that deserve this special recognition given annually to the state’s top second-stage companies,” says Dr. Chris Morton, GrowFL Chairman and CEO of NanoPhotonica. Second-stage companies are defined as those with 6 to 150 full-time employees and 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. An awards ceremony was held on February 9th, 2019 in Tampa.
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: http://www.growfl.com
About the Edward Lowe Foundation
Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition and educational programs, which are delivered through entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs). The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. Website: http://www.edwardlowe.org