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Winter Haven Rotarians Host Business Incubation Expert

The Winter Haven Rotary Club hosted Eddie Hill of the University of South Florida Polytechnic at its March meeting. Hill serves as director of new venture development for USFP's Blue Sky business incubation program.

According to Hill, who came to USF Polytechnic from a national-award-winning business incubation program, Blue Sky East in Winter Haven is an excellent complement to the Inland Fiber and Data Technology Park.

"The Inland facility, where Blue Sky East is located, is a huge asset to the city of Winter Haven and will be a critical factor in the location and relocation decisions of many technology firms over next few years," he said. "Winter Haven already has a number of industry-leading technology firms built by local entrepreneurs. Blue Sky will boost the growth of new technology firms in the area and strengthen the operations of current firms who can benefit from our programs and assistance.

"Winter Haven is particularly positioned due to the robust data infrastructure, easy access to land, rail, air, and ship transportation, warehousing options, a low cost of doing business, and proximity to the U.S., Mexico, Central American, Caribbean, and South American markets from a central location."

Hill pointed out university-related business incubators benefit students as well as businesses. "By giving students the opportunity to work closely with multiple entrepreneurs, incubators not only introducing entrepreneurship as a life choice to a new generation of residents, but also give them the practical skill sets to create successful new firms. As such, incubators play a key role in growing an entrepreneurial culture."

Eddie Hill has extensive experience working with entrepreneurs growing startup and early-stage companies in information technology, healthcare and medical office technologies, healthcare services, biotechnology, engineered materials, and business services sectors. He formerly served on the board of the Alabama Information Technology Association, and was active in the Biotechnology Association of Alabama, the Birmingham Venture Club, and the Birmingham Regional Chamber. He holds an MBA from the University of Alabama.

The Winter Haven Rotary Club provides service to others, promotes high ethical standards, and advances world understanding, goodwill, and peace through fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

Thomas Hagerty
Coordinator, Media Relations
University Advancement
University of South Florida Polytechnic
3433 Winter Lake Rd.
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: (863) 667-7077
Cell: (863) 286-9450
Fax: (863) 667-7960
Email: thagerty@poly.usf.edu

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