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 2017. 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!

Nomination Template can be downloaded here

Example Application can be downloaded here

Partner Webinar Replay can be viewed here

Partner Webinar PowerPoint can be downloaded here

Program Eligibility

Florida Companies to Watch is an awards program that honors second-stage growth companies. Companies from across the state and all industries may participate. Selection is based on steady growth in employee counts and revenue as well as strength in leadership, corporate culture, community support and philanthropy, innovation in management or technology, or other factors that contribute to an outstanding organization.

A company must meet the following for the year ending 2017:

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


For Community Partners
Suggested PR Opportunities and Dates

      • Request nominations from others in your community who work with second-stage businesses – April 27 – May 14, 2018
      • Press Release: “Call for Applications” – May 18, 2018
      • Email “Apply Now” eBlast to businesses and partners in community – May 18, 2018
      • Place Guest Editorial – May, 18, 2018
      • Email “Save the Date” eBlast for the Event – August 24, 2108
      • Email “Register for Event” eBlast – Mid-September 2018
      • Press Release: official announcement of awardees – Mid-September 2018
      • Resend email “Register for Event” eBlast – October 19, 2018


Nomination and Application Deadlines

      • Nominations Open – April 27, 2018
      • Nomination Deadline – May 14, 2018
      • Applications Open – May 18, 2018
      • Application Deadline – July 13, 2018


Selection Process

      • Selection of Finalists – Mid-August 2018
      • Finalists’ Round 2 Application Deadline – end of August 2018
      • HonoreesAnnounced – Mid-September 2018


Awards Ceremony

February 9, 2019

Florida Companies to Watch Awards Ceremony – Featuring the 2018 Honorees

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa!

Get Published

We are providing you with a guest editorial for your use in your local market.  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:

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

Download Guest Editorial  Guest-Editorial – 2018 FLCTW

In addition, here is a press release you can submit to your local newspapers announcing that applications are open.  2018 Florida Companies to Watch Applications Open Press Release

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:

  • Add “Florida Companies to Watch Community Partner” to your email and include the official FLCTW logo.

eNewsletter Resources

  • Applications Open Graphic – 
  • General Florida Companies to Watch Header – 


Go Viral With The News

  • 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.
  • 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!

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.”

Nomination Process for Community Partners

The 2018 Florida Companies to Watch nominations will open on Friday, April 27, 2018 and applications will close on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. 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. Use the nomination template to list your nominees and send back to GrowFL by COB May 14, 2018.  You can still nominate after that date, but please try to get the bulk of the nominations in before May 14, 2018.
  2. GrowFL will upload your nominations into the database.
  3. Each company that you have nominated will receive an email on May 18, 2018 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 COB July 13, 2018.
  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:

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 Florida Companies to Watch.