Gainesville Companies Receive GrowFL’s “Florida Companies to Watch” Recognition

Altavian, Inc., SEARCH and Shadow Health, Inc. were among the 50 leading second-stage companies chosen for the prestigious “Florida Companies to Watch” award. The Gainesville-based companies will accept their awards on Oct. 23 in Orlando.

The awards program "Florida Companies to Watch" celebrates privately-held, second-stage companies headquartered in the state. To be eligible, applicants must employ from six to 99 full-time equivalent employees and generate between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue or working capital. Awards are selected for demonstrating an intent and capacity to grow based on employee or sales growth, exceptional entrepreneurial leadership, sustainable competitive advantage, outstanding corporate culture, inspired community giving and other strengths.

“These three companies are great examples of this region’s innovative capacity as well as an ecosystem conducive to growing companies in multiple industry sectors,” said Susan Davenport, Vice President of Economic Development for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 2014, Altavian finalized a funding agreement with the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research to support new company creation and job growth. The American Business Awards selected SEARCH, INC. for a “Company of the Year” award recently. The company also received a $20 million contract from USACE Fort Worth District to provide archaeology, underwater archaeology and historic architectural services for military and civil engineering projects. Shadow Health, a Florida Innovation Hub at the University of Florida graduate, announced a $200,000 deal with the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research for equity funding.


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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