Women’s Business Center in Orlando to Hold Grand Opening March 12

Mayors Dyer, Jacobs to Join Florida Institute of Technology President Catanese

MELBOURNE, FLA. — The Women’s Business Center in Orlando, Central Florida’s newest resource for economic growth, will hold a grand opening from 2-3 p.m. Thursday, March 12 at the Exchange Building, 101 S. Garland Ave. in Orlando.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs are scheduled to join Florida Institute of Technology President and CEO Anthony J. Catanese at the public event.

Operated by Florida Tech and led by new director Shea Glenny, the center will serve Lake, Orange, Osceola, Volusia and Seminole counties and focus on fostering economic vitality by increasing the impact of women-owned companies in Central Florida.

It will provide new and synergistic programs to propel these companies forward in all industry sectors. Given the prevalence of technology in today’s economy, the center will also provide unique expertise to leverage and enable technology for innovation and growth.

“I want to leave a legacy of three core values for our center: producing premium thought-leadership content; being an authoritative voice on the dialogue about women in entrepreneurship and tech; and laying the cornerstone for a women-managed investment fund specifically for woman-owned startups,” Glenny said.

Funded in part by a $750,000 U.S. Small Business Administration grant, the center will be structured to drive economic development goals that are aligned with key emerging industry clusters in the Central Florida region. Areas of focus will include:

  • Access to capital and financial fluency
  • Leveraging technology for innovation and growth
  • Developing business models and plans
  • Navigating the entrepreneurial ecosystem

“The center will shine a spotlight on women entrepreneurs,” said Florida Tech President and CEO Anthony J. Catanese. “By raising the visibility of these successful women by showcasing the jobs they create, the wealth they generate and their achievements, we hope to create an environment that enhances their progress while inspiring future leaders.”

Mayor Dyer said the addition of the Women’s Business Center will further strengthen the region’s economic potential.

“Florida Institute of Technology brings an award-winning program to Orlando with its Women’s Business Center and adds another resource to our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he said.  “Strategically located in Canvs, downtown’s tech co-working space, the Center will help women start and grow businesses in our growing technology industry.”

Florida Tech and its Women’s Business Centers have unique expertise assisting tech and tech-enabled companies, Glenny added.

And Glenny herself has plenty of valuable experience to offer.

Best known in Orlando for bringing the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneur development program, 1 Million Cups, to town in 2014, she also that year launched and hosted Orlando’s first city-wide celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week through a series of workshops called the BIG Exchange.

Besides voluntarily connecting ambitious local entrepreneurs to the right resources, Glenny, a veteran public relations professional, has been working with local digital marketing agencies and content marketing departments on online marketing strategies, startup launches and business development initiatives.

She has volunteered in the first StarterStudio class, has been published in the Kauffman Foundation’s 2014 Thoughtbook and has been a featured in Full Sail University’s Internet Marketing Bachelor’s degree program curriculum on content marketing.

“Shea brings extraordinary vision and experience to this exciting new asset for our community,” said Leslie Hielema, vice president of Florida Tech’s Orlando Center. “We are delighted to have on our team an inspiring and engaging woman of such extraordinary passion, commitment and leadership to help drive economic growth for entrepreneurs in the region.”


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