Over the past years, Rafael Caamano has played an important role in several University of Central Florida (UCF) Business Incubation Program facilities. He was actively involved with the openings of the City of Winter Springs, City of Sanford, and the City of Kissimmee business incubators. He also served as one of the transitional managers for the City of Orlando incubator.
Caamano began his career as part of a US Army elite advanced war-fighting experiment called Force XXI. His passion towards entrepreneurship began shortly after embarking in his own business endeavor. Caamano is currently an Associate Director for the UCF Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP)-Kissimmee, where he cultivates emerging enterprises into job creating economic engines. Maintaining a healthy balance of community involvement is very important to Caamano. He participates in diverse philanthropic and volunteer activities, including: Advisory Board Member for Community Base Care of Central Florida, The President Office of Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, the Downtown Kissimmee Area Council, and most recently the Florida Business Incubation Association. He holds an MBA from Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.
Jim Greenwood, President of Greenwood Consulting Group, Inc., has been involved in the incubator industry since 1984. He co-developed and then managed for 11 years the Los Alamos Small Business Center, which was one of the first incubators in the southwestern United States. Mr. Greenwood has consulted with over 80 communities throughout Florida, the rest of the United States and Canada on incubator issues ranging from feasibility studies and business plans to assessments of existing incubator programs. He served on the board of directors of the National Business Incubation Association, and has been a presenter at every NBIA annual conference since 1989. His writings appear in several NBIA publications, and he was a consultant to NBIA’s handbook on incubator feasibility studies and business plans.
Cris Johnsrud consults with and helps train entrepreneurs to win grants and contracts, evaluate the commercial market potential of innovations and new technologies, and devise commercialization strategies for product and business development. She is the principle of Pathfinder Research, Inc., that since 2002 provides research, consulting and management services to accelerate technology commercialization and build the innovation economy. She is also a founding partner of Research2Revenue, LLC, a company devoted to helping entrepreneurs write, win and manage grants—including SBIR and STTR grants. Prior to forming these two ventures, Cris was director of research and strategic planning at the Southern Technology Applications Center at the University of Florida where she led successful local and national proposal teams and managed projects related to entrepreneurship, business incubators, benchmarking, best practices and strategic planning. She is currently a member of the executive committee for the Santa Fe College Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED), a local Gainesville business incubator. Cris holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Florida where her research activities focused on how corporate culture affects the success or failure of organizational partnerships, including NASA's early program to involve small businesses in space-based R&D on the shuttle. In 2002 she led a research project funded by the US Department of Commerce Technology Administration that focused on emerging trends in business incubation. That report was published in 2003 and is available online through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Tom currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Research and Commercialization at The University of Central Florida (UCF) and Executive Director of the UCF Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP) and also the Florida Economic Gardening Institute (FEGI). O’Neal has been part of UCF’s Office of Research and Commercialization team working to help UCF become a leading metropolitan research university since year 2000. O’Neal areas of responsibility additionally include the sponsored programs office, technology transfer, compliance, and the UCF Venture Lab. Tom has assisted in the formation of numerous spin-off companies for technologies developed at UCF, and in Oct. 1999 established the UCF Technology Incubator of which he serves as the Founding Director. The UCF Business Incubation Program has expanded to 10 locations under O’Neal’s leadership. The Incubator was named the Incubator of the Year in 2004 by the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), where he is currently serving on the NBIA’s executive board. Tom is a big proponent for Entrepreneurship and is currently teaching classes at UCF in the field, and advocates for it wherever he can. Tom is the current president of the Florida Business Incubation Association (FBIA), and has been since 2004.
Michael Weiss currently serves as the program development manager for the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program. In this role, he oversees the digital communications and marketing initiatives of one of the business largest incubator programs in the country. Mr. Weiss is also responsible for developing new projects and processes for the Program, as well as consult with clients regarding marketing, public relations and branding efforts.
Prior to joining the UCF Business Incubation Program, Mr. Weiss served as the assistant director of public relations for UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, as well as the associate director of public relations for Bonnier Corp. Mr. Weiss also holds a master’s degree in mass communication, as well as a graduate certificate in corporate communication, from the University of Central Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Florida Atlantic University.