Florida Companies, including Amazing Explorers Academy, make Growth “Watch” List

Waterford Lakes amazing explorers school 10 summer
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Orlando, Florida (July 19, 2017) – Amazing Explorers Academy®,  is among 50 statewide companies expected to see significant growth over the next several years. The educational daycare and preschool, focused on STEAM instruction (science, technology engineering, art and math) was selected from more than 500 nominees for Florida Companies to WatchSM, a statewide program managed by economic development group GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation.

The Amazing Explorers Academy® management team, competitive market position and strong community involvement were among several factors that put them in contention for the award.   

“These stand-out companies are all led by entrepreneurs, and have demonstrated their capacity and intent to grow,” said Dr. Tom O’Neal, executive director of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute and associate vice president for the University of Central Floridas Office of Research and Commercialization. “They also all have critical intellectual property or a niche position that gives them a competitive edge in their markets,” he said.

Joining Amazing Explorers Academy® on the Florida Companies to Watch list are the following
Florida-based businesses:

3D Digital

A1A Solar Contracting, Inc


Amazing Explorers Academy

Azure Water Company

Big Top Brewing Company LLC

Boys Electrical Contractors

Captozyme Inc

Clickbooth.com, LLC

Cribb Philbeck Weaver Group

Dixie Belle Paint Co

Dougherty Manufacturing

GenCare Resources

Global ETS, LLC

Global Safety Management

Grimaldi Candy Company

Human Potential Healthcare Workforce Solutions, LLC

Hydra Engineering & Construction, LLC

Hydro-Dyne Engineering

Inspired Technologies


JAX Refrigeration, Inc.

Jaycon Systems

Just Ryt Foods, Inc

K. Parks Consulting, Inc. (KPC)

Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice

Lightspeed Voice

LiveTrends Design Group


Madrid Engineering Group, Inc.

Marion Precision Tool, Inc


Mini Doughnut Factory


Natural Vitamins Laboratory LLC


Raneys Inc

REDCON Solutions Group, LLC.

RedTeam Software

SawStreet LLC


Sorensen Moving and Storage

Spoleto My Italian Kitchen

Stickboy Creative


Verdex Construction

Winco Mfg., LLC

Xplor Inc

Yachtico Inc.

Zennergy LLC

This is a strong group of companies that deserve this special recognition given annually to the state’s top second-stage companies,” said Dr. O’Neal.  Second-stage companies are defined as those with six to 150 full-time employees and between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue. There are many programs and incubators promoting start-up businesses; GrowFL is the only Florida program that focuses exclusively on second-stage companies.

“We are honored to be included in this prestigious group,” said Amazing Explorers Chief Learning Officer. “We thank GrowFL for recognizing the work we are doing to provide children around the state of Florida with an innovative, educational preschool experience that will not only prepare them for elementary school, but for a lifetime of learning and success. When we opened our first franchise in Waterford Lakes in 2015 we had a vision, a vision that is continuing to grow and develop. We will be opening our first franchise in Lake Nona this fall and have plans for six additional franchises over the next year. To receive this award from GrowFL not only recognizes our accomplishments but our future development plans which will continue to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of our youngest citizens.”

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$391 million in total annual revenue in 2016
47 percent increase in total annual revenue in 2016 compared to 2015
1,948 full-time equivalent employees in 2016
48 percent increase in 2016 total employment compared to 2015
693 net new jobs projected for 2017

Increasing Impact
From 2013 through 2016, these companies generated more than $1 billion in revenue and added more than 1,300 employees, reflecting a 137 percent increase in revenue and 219 percent increase in employment for the four-year period. That translates into a 30 percent annual growth rate for revenue
and a 50 percent annual growth rate for employment.

These companies project continued growth in 2017, with a 53 percent revenue increase and 36 percent growth in employment compared to 2016. If their projections hold, these companies will have generated $1.6 billion in revenue and added more than 2,000 jobs over the last five years — a 262 percent increase in revenue and 333 percent increase in jobs since 2013.

Companies named to the list will be officially recognized October 14, 2017 at the Straz, Tampa, FL.

For more information visit www.GrowFL.com/flctw17.

For more information on Amazing Explorers Academy® follow on social media on Facebook, Twitter @amazingexplorer, Instagram aexplorersorlando and LinkedIn.

MEDIA DOWNLOAD: HI-RES STILL PHOTOS available for free/unrestricted use by the media at http://bit.ly/AEAGrowFL.

Media Contact: Katie Dagenais with JoLu Communications, katie@jolucommunications.com 407.803.2499.

ABOUT AMAZING EXPLORERS ACADEMY® The Amazing Explorers Academy® concept was developed by a task force of leading thinkers in multidisciplinary fields, including university professors, technology experts and community leaders who helped identify the new challenges facing the early childhood industry. Amazing Explorers Academy® is a next generation preschool that educates its students through understanding and embracing the characteristics of the generation born into a digital world using STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The Amazing Explorers Academy® vision is to introduce 21st century skills to children at a young age when they are open to learning and curious about the world around them. Amazing Explorers Academy® began in Waterford Lakes, Florida, a suburb of Orlando, in 2015 and began franchising in 2017. Amazing Explorers Academy plans to open seven new schools over the next year, including schools in Lake Nona’s Laureate Park neighborhood.

ABOUT GrowFL GrowFL was created in 2009 as an economic development program focused on assisting second-stage growth companies prosper in the state of Florida. By providing strategies, resources and support to second-stage companies for next level growth through Strategic Research, Peer Learning and Leadership Development, GrowFL helps companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity. Based on the philosophy of Economic Gardening® — to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state — GrowFL, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute, is a critical component to the state’s economic development strategy and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. GrowFL is a statewide economic development organization certified by the National Center for Economic Gardening through the Edward Lowe Foundation.  GrowFL has assisted more than 1000 companies through the Strategic Research and CEO Roundtable programs and recognized 300 successful entrepreneurs through the annual awards program, Florida Companies to Watch.  Learn more at www.GrowFL.com

ABOUT EDWARD LOWE FOUNDATION Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition and educational programs, which are delivered through entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs).  The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. In addition, the foundation has a mission of land stewardship and is committed to preserving the natural resources and historically significant structures at Big Rock Valley, its 2,000-acre home in southwest Michigan. Learn more at www.edwardlowe.org

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