Economic development in Lake County took a step forward this week with the opening of a new center focusing on providing businesses with multiple layers of support in downtown Eustis.
The UCF Business Incubation Program provides a significant number of services to businesses, including coaching on business growth strategies, mentoring, education, leadership training, and guidance on help with critical functions, such as accounting, legal, marketing and public relations. In addition, the Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF has established an office at MEGA Workspace to work collaboratively with the Incubation Program in serving entrepreneurs.
“This center, which brings UCF’s business assistance programs to Lake County, is a significant step forward to helping our business community grow and reach their full potential,” says Kathleen Dial, economic development director, Lake County Government. “Our focus is on investing in services and programs that help our entrepreneurs thrive.”
The UCF Business Incubation Program has graduated more than 400 businesses throughout Central Florida over more than two decades. In 2022, the current incubator clients were responsible for more than 1,200 jobs and $120 million in revenue.
The Business Incubator in Eustis is the ninth location in the program and joins the other locations in Daytona Beach, Downtown Orlando, East Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Nona, Central Florida Research Park, UCF Main Campus and Winter Springs.
“It’s impressive the commitment Lake County and Eustis are showing toward economic development over the past few years and we’re looking forward to being a part of future growth of this part of our UCF service area,” says Rob Panepinto, director, innovation districts strategy and partnerships and senior strategic advisor, Partnerships and Innovation, University of Central Florida. “We’re already seeing interest in this program from many local entrepreneurs who could have a significant impact on the future of Lake County and our region.”