Is your Manatee or Sarasota county company worth watching?

April 24, 2013 

The Florida Companies to Watch awards program is seeking applications from growing, second-stage companies headquartered in Florida that exhibit innovative business strategies that are "worth watching."

Entries are due May 31 to be considered for one of 50 spots in the winning class of 2013. Winners will be given the rock star treatment in an Oct. 24 ceremony at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando.

Previous winners from Sarasota and Manatee counties are atLarge Inc., Biolife LLC, MethodFactory Inc., MyGreenBuildings and Phoenix Ink.

Florida Companies to Watch celebrates the success of companies that make a significant impact on the state's economy, accounting for 5 percent of Florida businesses and nearly 30 percent of jobs, according to GrowFL, the statewide economic gardening initiative. The awards program is presented by GrowFL and the University of Central Florida in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation.

To be eligible for the award, a company must be a privately held, commercial enterprise that is past the startup phase and is growing. It must be headquartered in Florida, have between six and 99 full-time equivalent employees and revenue of $750,000 to $50 million in 2012.

Judges represent areas of economic development, entrepreneurship, professional industry and small business. Judges look for evidence of steady and/or high growth in employment rates and revenue as well as special strengths and traits, including entrepreneurial leadership, product innovation, social and community responsibility and competitive business practices.

Apply at flctw.growfl.com/program-eligibility.

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