Two Nassau County companies among second-stage businesses competing for state recognition

July 12, 2016

GrowFL Announces 2016 Florida Companies to Watch Finalists

GrowFL has announced the 2016 Florida Companies to Watch finalists.  The awards event - now in its sixth year - honors 50 select second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida. More than 600 companies were nominated for this year’s award.  The finalists collectively represent $598 million in annual revenue and employ 3,028 full-time equivalent employees.
As an economic development organization partner of GrowFL, the Nassau County Economic Development Board is proud to support this event.  Finalists from Nassau County include: dtw Research, Inc., a leader in global visual marketing intelligence for the medical industry, of Fernandina Beach and Science First, a manufacturer of hands-on science education products, of Yulee.

“Both dtw Research and Science First relocated their operations to Nassau County from New Jersey and New York, respectively.  They are proof positive that any size company can thrive here,” stated Laura DiBella, executive director of the Nassau County Economic Development Board.  “We are proud of their accomplishments here in Nassau County and applaud their success.  We (the Nassau County Economic Development Board) are committed to creating a community culture that encourages entrepreneurship and more importantly, we want to inspire and cultivate a climate that fosters innovation.  Pam Statile and Nancy Bell are exceptional leaders and are outstanding role models for future business owners.”
The Florida Companies To Watch program consists of two rounds of selections.  Finalists now advance to the second round, where they will be further evaluated based on their performance in the marketplace, innovative products, services or processes, philanthropy and empowered employees. 
“We applaud these first round finalists who have shown how they stand out in their regions as innovative business leaders, going to the next level to grow their companies.   They are true rock stars,” says Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL Executive Director.
The Finalists represent a unique group of scalable, high-growth enterprises that are already located within Florida. These high growth enterprises are an important segment of our economy and their numbers have been steadily increasing, which contributed to Florida’s ranking of 24 on the Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship. According to this report, “entrepreneurship is not a monolithic phenomenon, and it includes many moving parts. Creating new businesses is a different economic activity from running small businesses, which in turn is different from growing businesses.”  Florida Companies to Watch recognizes the different approach needed to successfully grow and scale a business, and celebrates those that are working to achieve this goal.

Developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, Florida Companies To Watch is a distinguished awards program specifically designed to seek out second-stage businesses from a wide range of industries representing all areas of the state, not just those in major metropolitan areas. In addition to evaluating past growth and projected success, applicant companies are judged according to their special strengths and impact in their markets, communities and within the state – thus deeming them “worth watching.”

The winners will be announced in Mid-August. The 2016 honorees will be celebrated at the awards ceremony November 3rd at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Resort.
For more information visit


As you navigate our website, you can use the “Add Item to Report” button to add any page or property to a custom report that you can print out or save.