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Success Stories

Florida Poly Professor Hopes to Prevent App Collusion

A researcher at Florida Polytechnic University is working on the cutting edge of Android technology as he and a group of peers try to stymie criminals before they create a new kind of malware. Karim Elish, an assistant professor of Computer Science, started working on Android security when attending Virginia Tech for his Doctorate, which […]

Vision for Central Florida Innovation District Previewed at Event

The Central Florida Development Council hosted an informational preview event on Monday to continue the process of outlining a vision for the Central Florida Innovation District (CFID) and seek feedback. Community leaders, CFDC investors, area landowners and the public were invited to the meeting at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland. The goal of the meeting […]

Polk Graduate Focusing on Future in STEM at Southeasten University

Despite the language barrier, a new school and an unfamiliar culture one Polk graduate is now excelling at a Polk institution of higher learning hoping to pursue a career in medicine. Jessica Echevarria moved to the United States from Cuba when she was seven, knowing only how to say “Yes,” “No” and a few other […]

Polk Graduate has Sights Set on Developing New Technology

Local Jenkins High School Graduate Pursues Love for STEM at Florida Polytechnic University. At age 19, Elise Araiza already knows she wants to be a mechanical engineer. The Florida Polytechnic University student is majoring in that, with a concentration in nanotechnology, cementing her love for science and math that developed at George Jenkins High School […]

Small Business Award Named After First Leader of Economic Development in Polk County

One man was so well-respected, so instrumental, so admired when the county began emulating the state Department of Commerce’s initiatives nearly 35 years ago that the Central Florida Development Council has named its small-business award in his honor. Addressing Jim Brantley, the first director of the agency that has since been renamed the Central Florida […]

The Lunz Group Representing Polk on GrowFL’s Companies to Watch List

The Lunz Group is an honoree in GrowFL’s 50 Florida Companies to Watch, a recognition that highlights the full-service architectural firm’s growth in the past few years. It is the only Polk County business to be recognized. The Lunz Group is an architectural firm in Lakeland that specializes in working with clients to design projects […]

Retired General and Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker Talks About Flying, Stem and Life

Retired United States Air Force General Lori Robinson thinks it’s important that parents pay attention to their children and where their natural tendencies lie, especially if those might be in a STEM-related field. Speaking anecdotally, the guest speaker at the Central Florida Development Council’s October 16th Annual Meeting said she hears about students who come […]

From Humble Beginnings to Valedictorian, Mulberry High Grad Looks to a Career in STEM Fields

Another student is using valuable lessons from Polk County Public Schools and taking them to higher education, this time to Stanford. Mulberry High School biology teacher Stace Alcala played a major role in Brenda Alvarez-Lagunas’ love of science, challenging her in such a way that the 2019 valedictorian is now attending Stanford University in California […]

Visioning the Central Florida Innovation District

Polk County and the cities of Lakeland and Auburndale have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together with the Central Florida Development Council to develop a vision for the Central Florida Innovation District (CFID). “Collaboration and coordination are key to both the establishment of a vision for the Innovation District and the realization […]

Investors Face Upcoming Deadline to Apply to Develop in Opportunity Zones

Investors are beginning to take notice of 19 “Opportunity Zones” in Polk County that are ripe for development. “We are working closely with a number of developers and businesses on advanced manufacturing, agri-tech and residential projects in four of Winter Haven’s Opportunity Zones,” said Bruce Lyon, president of the Winter Haven Economic Development Council. Because […]