More than 50 business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the Orlando region had front row seats to Florida Polytechnic University president Randy K. Avent, as he described the school’s path since its inception and how it’s already making its mark as Florida’s newest public university.
“It’s easier to make an impact when you’re big. But to make an impact when you’re small, you better be really, really good,” said Avent as the guest speaker of the Orlando Regional Chamber’s Business Leadership Roundtable on Dec. 18.
Avent shared how Florida Poly has achieved crucial milestones, like receiving accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in record time and graduating its first four-year class in May 2018. He also explained the University’s role in the development of autonomous vehicle technology in Florida, as well as his vision for growth, which includes a robust research park adjacent to campus.
“A winning strategy is to co-locate academia, industry, and government to work together to solve hard problems,” said Avent. “Our goal is to tear down the campus walls so you can’t tell where the University ends and the research park begins.”
The Business Leadership Roundtable is a quarterly, invitation-only luncheon for top-tier members of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce. The event promotes business relationships and connects decision-makers with successful leaders, providing insight into the practices that helped them achieve success.
“Some of our members may not have known much about Florida Poly or what they’re doing, so this was an opportunity for the Orlando business community to find ways of collaboration,” said John F. Davis, executive vice president of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Probably now that they know more about Florida Poly they want to head over there, see more and maybe get involved.”
Attendees said they were impressed with Florida Poly’s accomplishments thus far and anticipated stronger ties between the University and industry in the Orlando region.
“The type of students Florida Poly attracts is really impressive. A lot of Orlando companies would definitely be interested in doing internships and projects with them,” said Tyler Minton, business developer for Quest Relocation Group.
“We hear a lot about Orlando elevating its high-tech presence, and I can see Florida Poly being part of that,” she added.
Assistant Director of Communications