UCF soft-landing program draws out-of-state and international businesses to Orlando at quicker pace (by Alex Soderstrom)

UCF’s Business Incubation Program in the past 13 months lured at least six new-to-market companies through its soft-landing program, which is aimed at out-of-state and international firms. These firms bring Central Florida the possibility of new high-wage jobs and draw cutting-edge technology closer to potential local customers and partners.

“It was like the floodgates opened,” said Carol Ann Dykes Logue, UCF’s Innovation Districts and Incubation Program director of programs and operations. “As things began to open up, they were chomping at the bit to pull the trigger.”

Since last fall, the companies from outside of the region that have established a presence via the incubator include:

UCF’s business incubators focus on local, early-stage companies with high-growth potential. However, the incubators are willing to take larger, more established firms that seek to establish a foothold in Central Florida. There are a couple reasons the companies may want to open up shop here, Dykes Logue said.

For example, domestic businesses often are drawn to Orlando to expand or generate a customer base in the region, Dykes Logue said. Defense and training firms like FN America, Ravenswood and VRgluv wanted to locate some of their teams at UCF to be near Central Florida Research Park, Orlando’s $6 billion modeling, simulation and training hub.