Amy Beaird, Ph.D., Wins Orlando Business Journal C-Suite Award

September 19 | news

ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2023)Amy Beaird, Ph.D., chief strategy officer (CSO) for the Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor), was named among the Orlando Business Journal’s 2023 C-Suite Award winners. Beaird is one of 23 winners recognized for their outstanding leadership and performance in their areas of expertise.

Since joining The Corridor in 2021, Beaird’s work to establish new programs, secure new funding and forge partnerships has fundamentally changed how The Corridor helps grow the region’s high-tech innovation ecosystem.

Under Beaird’s direction, The Corridor’s Cenfluence industry clustering initiative, launched in partnership with Orange County, has grown to serve over 140 member companies – almost half of which are women- and minority-owned – and earn the 2023 Site Selectors Guild Community Innovation Award. Cenfluence has helped its members secure $6.08 million in funding, while also expanding their partnerships and fostering collaboration.

Beaird’s thoughtful leadership has helped increase The Corridor’s annual budget by nearly 20%. With her guidance, the team secured over $3 million from corporate, local and federal sources for enhanced support services and outreach to entrepreneurs in underserved parts of the region. The Corridor’s was one of several programs made possible as a result. As Florida’s first centralized support system for companies pursuing SBIR/STTR awards, in one year, FL FAST has already trained nearly 500 entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial support organizations, and helped Florida entrepreneurs secure more than $610,000 in critical non-dilutive, early-stage funds.

Beaird has been vital in forging and stewarding strategic partnerships to position The Corridor in national conversations about technological innovation and ecosystem building. She supported efforts by The Corridor, with the Orlando Economic Partnership and Osceola County, to leverage Cenfluence as a resource for NeoCity and establish an industry cluster for semiconductor companies in Central Florida. Her behind-the-scenes efforts were vital to securing more than $50 million from the Build Back Better initiative.

“Few leaders embody the spirit of advocacy, collaboration, innovation and mentorship like Dr. Beaird,” said Paul Sohl, CEO of The Corridor. “The Corridor has expanded its reach exponentially over the last three years, evolving and capitalizing on its potential to make vast impacts both regionally, nationally and internationally. No one deserves more credit for that evolution than Amy Beaird.”

The C-Suite Award honors Beaird’s ability to empower those around her to reach new heights. This award is a testament to each of the honorees’ commitment to their profession and community. Award winners will be recognized at an award luncheon Oct. 19 and featured in the Oct. 20-26 issue of the Orlando Business Journal.

About the Florida High Tech Corridor

An economic development initiative of three research universities – the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida – the Florida High Tech Corridor converges and catalyzes the capacity of high tech, innovative and bright minds across a 23-county region to generate a global ripple effect that advances the lives of people in the communities it serves. Powered by an ethos of collaboration, The Corridor aligns opportunities and resources in academia, industry and economic development to unleash the region’s exponential potential.

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About Cenfluence

Cenfluence is a program of the Florida High Tech Corridor and Orange County that establishes organizations within a formal cluster structure with all the benefits that clustering activities have to offer, resulting in expanded economic opportunities and increased job opportunities for Central Florida. Cenfluence works with local organizations (Cluster Members) to leverage synergies within the cluster community, existing regional strengths and a well-established global network to address the specific needs of Central Florida businesses.

Connect with Cenfluence on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter. Learn more at