APEX Accelerator at FIU Business creates pathways to government contracts and innovation programs

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Florida International University’s College of Business has been selected as the regional administrator for the newly named Florida APEX Accelerator.  Part of the national APEX Accelerator program and the statewide Florida APEX Accelerator network, the Florida APEX Accelerator at FIU Business is focused on creating more government contract-ready companies and connecting local businesses to government led innovation programs.

Formerly known as the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAC) and established by Congress in 1986, there are over 96 APEX Accelerators across the country.  Under the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs, APEX Accelerators expand the number of businesses capable of participating in the broad spectrum of opportunities available to support America’s industrial base. The APEX Accelerators program focuses on building strong, sustainable, and resilient U.S. supply chains by assisting a wide range of businesses that pursue and perform under contracts with the DoD, other Federal agencies, State and local governments and with government prime contractors.

The Florida APEX Accelerator has experienced, knowledgeable government contracting consultants to help Miami-Dade and Monroe County businesses research and bid on government contracts. The consultants will assist local businesses to making selling to the government less complicated and more profitable through research and one-on-one technical assistance.

Since launching under FIU Business in January 2014, the PTAC/APEX Accelerator program helped local businesses secure over $219 million in government contracts through December 2023.

Reliance Contractors, a facility support services company owned by Joshua Becker and Erika Lennis,  is one of the Miami area small businesses that has benefited greatly from the APEX Accelerator program. While Reliance Contractors managed to secure small government contracts on their own in the early  days of their business, it wasn’t until they began working with Florida APEX Accelerator at FIU Business consultant Luis Batista, a specialist in government contracting and procurement, that they learned about the big opportunities available to them. They could reel  in much larger contracts by tapping into key resources and programs, such as SBA’s 8(a), GSA and Mentor-Mentee programs. “Luis came in, and he really helped us strategize,” said Becker, who is now pursuing all the programs.

Arveice Washington
Arveice Washington, U.S. Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs Deputy Director presenting at a January 26, 2023 “Doing Business with the U.S. Navy” workshop organized by the Florida PTAC at FIU and other partners

To further assist small businesses, the Florida APEX Accelerator at FIU Business team will also coordinate with a statewide Technology Transition and Commercialization Specialist under the Florida APEX Accelerator. This individual will play a pivotal role in supporting activities to facilitate the transition of innovative technologies from Federal labs, universities, research institutions into the commercial marketplace and introducing novel technologies into the DoD and other government agencies.

Florida APEX Accelerator

“Small businesses have a big economic impact in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties,” said Jessica Tenney, Florida APEX Accelerator Program Manager at the University of West Florida.  “We are excited to create pathways to contracting opportunities for these business owners through our local Florida APEX Accelerator at FIU Business consulting team.”

“From U.S. Southcom, Homestead Air Reserve Base, and Naval Air Station Key West, there are major military installations in our region. The Florida APEX Accelerator at FIU Business is excited to connect local businesses to these and other Federal/State/local government opportunities,” said Brian Van Hook, Regional Director, Florida Small Business Development Center at FIU.

“We also look forward to raising awareness among Miami-Dade and Keys-based businesses on government innovation programs, such as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs,” he said.

Find out more

To learn more about the Florida APEX Accelerator program and to register, visit:  https://www.flapex.org/