Entrepreneurial style, corporate culture creates competitive advantage

Apopka-based Electronic Locksmith, Inc. has been named one of GrowFL’s 50 Florida Companies to Watch. Electronic Locksmith was selected as an honoree from more than 500 nominees for Florida Companies to WatchSM, a statewide program managed by economic development group GrowFL in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation. Honorees are expected to see significant growth over the next several years.
Electronic Locksmith’s management team, competitive market position and strong community involvement were among several factors that put them in contention for the award. President Ken Croston said he is “honored to be selected,” noting that “when you have individuals with shared values, committed to a common vision, and executing on a defined strategy in an intentional way, business becomes fun and great things can be accomplished.”

Ken Croston

The 50 companies named the 2018 Florida Companies to Watch generated nearly $1 billion in revenue and added nearly 1,000 jobs between 2014 and 2017. Together, the companies project a 50 percent increase in revenue and 40 percent increase in job growth in 2018 compared to 2017.
“These stand-out companies are all led by entrepreneurs, and have demonstrated their capacity and intent to grow,” said Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL executive director. “They also all have critical intellectual property or a niche position that gives them a competitive edge in their markets,” he said.
“This is a strong group of companies that deserve this special recognition given annually to the state’s top second stage companies,” said Dr. Chris Morton, GrowFL Chairman of the GrowFL Advisory Board, CEO of NanoPhotonica and a 2015 Florida Companies to Watch honoree. Second-stage companies are defined as those with 6 to 150 full-time employees and between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue. There are many programs and incubators promoting start-up businesses; GrowFL is the only Florida program that focuses exclusively on second-stage companies.
Companies named to the list will be officially recognized February 9, 2019 at the Straz Performing Arts Center in Tampa, FL. Tickets are on sale now for the awards ceremony. For more information or to purchase tickets, go here.

About Electronic Locksmith

Electronic Locksmith is known worldwide as the leading choice for electronic lodging locks and parts. With more than two dozen employees housed in a 10,000 square foot facility in Apopka, Florida, Electronic Locksmith is a universally trusted resource, supporting brands and customers in the hospitality industry with literally millions of lock systems that are vital to keeping those businesses running smoothly.

About GrowFL

GrowFL provides strategies, resources and support, including strategic research and peer-to-peer CEO mentoring and leadership development, to second-stage Florida companies. Created by the Florida legislature in 2009 and grounded in the philosophy of Economic Gardening® — growing existing businesses in a community, region or state — GrowFL is a critical component of the state’s economic development strategy and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. GrowFL is certified by the National Center for Economic Gardening through the Edward Lowe Foundation.

About the Edward Lowe Foundation

Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition and educational programs, which are delivered through entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs). The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. In addition, the foundation has a second mission of land stewardship and is committed to preserving the natural resources and historically significant structures at Big Rock Valley, its 2,000-acre home in southwest Michigan.


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