The Florida High Tech Corridor Wins SBA Growth Accelerator Competition

May 18 | news

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 18, 2023) – The Corridor Wins SBA Growth Accelerator Competition

The Florida High Tech Corridor has been selected as a Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage One Catalyze winner by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). The prize recognizes The Corridor’s efforts to foster an inclusive innovation ecosystem with $50,000 in Stage One funding to build partnerships with organizations that support rural entrepreneurs throughout Central Florida.

The Corridor’s Cenfluence clustering initiative led the development of the application and will leverage existing regional assets in new ways to reach beyond urban city centers and serve organizations based in rural communities throughout Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties.

Stage One of the project is to engage rural assets and stakeholders in Central Florida communities and conduct needs assessments for the region’s rural businesses. By establishing strategic partnerships in rural communities, Cenfluence can accelerate reaching underserved Central Florida entrepreneurs to provide visibility, connections and economic growth to new parts of the region.

“The Corridor exists to serve our regional innovation ecosystem and it’s an honor for our team to be recognized by the SBA as a national leader through this competition,” said Florida High Tech Corridor CEO, Paul Sohl. “As we leverage the power of the region, the impact of new rural connections and partnerships catalyzed by this award will enable talented innovators to access resources and bring their creativity to the table.”

The SBA received 355 submissions for this year’s competition, while only 40 were selected as Stage One winners. Stage Two applications open this summer and could provide an additional $150,000 to continue expanding business support resources to more rural communities in Central Florida.

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