EVOLVE Business and Professional Magazine May 2019 - Page 18

3… 2… 1... Blast Off: INCUBATION PROGRAMS PREPARE BUSINESSES FOR TAKEOFF by Wilhemina Anderson E stablishing a business requires planning, passion and perseverance – but by utilizing the expertise of professionals, one can ensure a greater chance of success. Tasked with enhancing and facilitating opportunities for fledgling businesses with high-growth potential are two leading ladies in Volusia County. Overseeing the University of Central Florida’s Business Incubation Program in Volusia County is associate director and site manager, Connie Garzon-Bernal. Since taking the helm in 2011, Garzon-Bernal has been a guiding force for countless businesses in the incubation program, leading them through the process from startup to sustainability. Among the programs she is tasked with managing, the “Soft Landing” program rolls out the welcome mat for international companies seeking to expand their footprint into the Central Connie Garzon-Bernal, Florida region. The UCF Soft Landing program helps international associate director and site manager for the University companies, and domestic businesses outside of the region, adapt of Central Florida Business to and establish a presence in Central Florida’s economic markets. Incubator in Daytona Beach, Colombia-based TechFit Digital Surgery is one of the Florida makes the co-working space friendly and welcoming companies participating in the Soft Landing program. As a for businesses. manufacturer of medical devices, the innovative team of engineers create customized products designed to address musculoskeletal problems, focusing on orthopedics, maxillofacial and cranial reconstruction. Working with the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce and Volusia’s economic development teams to help ensure a smooth entrée into the United States, Garzon-Bernal used many tools, including her multilingual background, Titanium Cranial TechFit to assist the company with the required program application process which secured office space for them at the Daytona incubator. “They have their office here to do business development and strategy. This gives them access to our UCF team expertise and the network we have in Central Florida,” said Garzon-Bernal, who also helped introduce them to key players across Florida. Through an introduction to Garzon-Bernal’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University counterpart Stephanie Miller, Executive | 18 | EVOLVE BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE