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Help to Recognize Florida's Growing Companies

Community Partner Resource Page

Thank you for becoming a Community Partner of Florida Companies to Watch. As a community partner, you are empowered to bring the second-­‐stage companies from your backyard to the statewide spotlight. Florida Companies to Watch seeks candidates from the metro areas of Florida as well as the rural and remote hot spots equally. Representation of all industries is desired. Your involvement automatically puts your organization in the spotlight as well. See below for suggestions to enhance the profile of your organization. Your support of Florida Companies to Watch is greatly appreciated, and we thank you — your second-­‐stage companies will thank you, too! Meet all the past winners of Florida Companies to Watch from 2011 through 2016. Don’t forget to use the official hashtag #FLCTW – see all the action from last year’s event and those that used the official hashtag!

Program Eligibility

Florida Companies to Watch® is an awards program, brought to you by GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation. This program celebrates high-performing second stage companies throughout Florida. Known for their performance in the marketplace, innovative products, unique processes or philanthropic actions, these companies represent a wide range of industries.  To be eligible for Florida Companies to Watch, companies must:

  1. Be privately held commercial enterprise headquartered in Florida (not publicly traded, subsidiary or division of another company or nonprofit).
  2. Employ 6 to 150 full-time equivalent W-2 employees, including the owner.
  3. Have between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants.
  4. Have not won this award in the past.
  5. Demonstrate an intent and capacity to grow based on evidence such as:
  1. Employee or sales growth
  2. Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership
  3. Sustainable competitive advantage
  4. Other notable factors that showcase the company’s success

Nomination Process for Community Partners

The 2017 Florida Companies to Watch nominations will open on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 and are due to GrowFL by COB, March 10, 2017. As a GrowFL, partner we encourage you to nominate second stage businesses in your local community. Your organization will be listed as a Community Partner on the official Companies to Watch website at

Instructions for Nominations by Community Partners
  1. Click here to download the nomination template to list your nominees and send back to GrowFL by COB March 10, 2017.
  2. GrowFL will upload your nominations into the database.
  3. Each company that you have nominated will receive an email informing them that you have nominated them as a Florida Companies to Watch.
  4. The company will be directed to the online application.
  5. Applications must be completed by May 5, 2017.
  6. GrowFL will send reminders to the nominees who have not completed the application; however we encourage you to follow up directly with the companies to encourage them to apply.
  7. We will send you updates weekly on your nominees and their status in the applications process.

Judging Process for Florida Companies to Watch

There are two rounds of judging. Information on judging can be located at the Florida Companies to Watch website,

Round 1: All applications will be reviewed and judged during the first round. Finalists will be selected after Round 1 judging. All finalists will be asked to complete a Round 2 application.
Round 2: All Finalists that complete a Round 2 application will be judged by a select panel of economic development, education and entrepreneurial leaders from throughout Florida. Companies will also go through a significant due diligence process prior to being select as a winner of the 2017 Florida Companies to Watch.

Use this phrase to associate your organization with Florida Companies to Watch:

“[Your Organization Name here] is a community partner of Florida Companies to Watch, which is presented by GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation.”


For Community Partners Suggested PR Opportunities and Dates
  1. Email “Nominate Now” eBlast to those who work with second-stage businesses – February
  2. Press Release: “Call for Applications” – March 13, 2017
  3. Email “Apply Now” eBlast to those who work with second stage businesses – March 13, 2017
  4. Place Guest Editorial – April
  5. Email “Save the Date” eBlast for the Event – May
  6. Press Release: official announcement of awardees – Mid-July
  7. Email “Register for Event” eBlast – June-September
Nomination and Application Deadlines
  1. Nominations Open – February 1
  2. Nomination Deadline – March 10
  3. Applications Open – March 13
  4. Application Deadline – May 5
Selection Process
  1. Selection of Finalists – Early June
  2. Finalists’ Round 2 Application Deadline – Early June
  3. Winners Announced – Mid-July


2017 Florida Companies to Watch Awards Ceremony

October 14, 2017
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Tampa, FL

Get Published

A customizable editorial is included in the kit. It takes an editorial angle based on Edward Lowe, the entrepreneur whose namesake foundation created the Companies to Watch program. As an entrepreneur, Ed Lowe is of interest to business and general-­‐interest readers. Here are a few guidelines for using the editorial:

  1. Edit as needed for length — do not change the facts or intent of the article.
  2. Insert your own voice by writing a new lead and conclusion, or adding your POV.
  3. Insert your name on the byline (a great way to increase your exposure)
  4. Submit the editorial to your local paper or industry publication. Or include it on your organization’s e-­‐newsletter or printed pieces.
  5. Craft the editorial as a blog post.
  6. Use the editorial as a source for factoids and quotes for Tweeting and sharing through other social media.

Announce Your Involvement Graphically

The official Florida Companies to Watch logo is available for your website, e­‐communications or print materials. Look for these formats in this kit:

  1. Add “2017 Florida Companies to Watch Community Partner” to your email and include the official FLCTW logo.
  2. JPG with white background for website or e-­communications
  3. PNG transparent graphic for website or e-­communications
  4. TIF for print use (e.g., Word documents or high-­‐resolution printing). NOTE: EPS is available upon request.

Go Viral With The News

  1. Do you have Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google, Snapchat or other social networking presence? Tell others of your involvement and encourage them to get involved too, and make sure to use the hashtag #FLCTW.
  2. Suggested messages will come your way to mark major milestones of the program. But feel free to craft your own messages, especially if you already have a signature style.

Your Involvement is Official - Tout It!