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APEX Accelerator at FAU Helps Businesses Access Government Contracts

A group of thirteen men and women, some seated and some standing, posed and smiling around a banner that reads "Florida APEX Accelerator. Innovation. Impact. Amplified. Florida PTAC is now Florida APEX Accelerator."

Through the Florida APEX Accelerator at Florida Atlantic University, businesses can learn the intricacies of constructing winning government contracts and grant proposals from professional business consultants who are highly specialized in the sector.

Florida Atlantic University’s Innovation and Business Development program has been selected as the regional administrator for the newly named Florida APEX Accelerator, a federal network designed to expand the number of businesses in the United States capable of participating in government contracts.

APEX Accelerators provide businesses with the knowledge, resources and relationships they need to scale, innovate and contribute to America’s industrial base and Florida’s economy. FAU is the exclusive administrator of the APEX Accelerator program for Palm Beach and Broward counties, with the goal of helping create a resilient, sustainable supply chain for the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal, state and local government agencies.

“Through the new APEX Accelerator, we are expanding the innovation and business development services FAU currently provides our region’s entrepreneurial and research ecosystem, so they have faster, more streamlined access to defense and government industrial-based contracts,” said Sandra D. Marin Ruiz, Ph.D., assistant vice president, Innovation and Business Development and designated regional director for APEX Accelerator at FAU.

The APEX Accelerator can assist both businesses aspiring to land an initial government supplier contract and established businesses looking to level-up their government relationships. The program helps businesses effectively develop and format a government contract proposal, identify and connect with agencies that may need their product or service, notify them when new contract opportunities become available, help them access other funding opportunities and provide training on new regulations. For current government suppliers, the accelerator offers one-on-one consulting services to prepare their businesses to win larger contracts or advance from local government supply chains to state or federal.

FAU’s Innovation and Business Development services are under the university’s Division of Research. As a multi-college, interdisciplinary division with an integrated business development component, the Division of Research links academic inquiry and discovery with innovators and entrepreneurs in the private sector.

“The APEX Accelerator represents part of the continuing effort of the FAU Division of Research to enhance business development in our local community, which starts at the technology transfer level so that life-changing discoveries in the laboratory can be translated to real-world applications” said Gregg Fields, Ph.D., interim vice president for research at FAU.

FAU’s Innovation and Business Development provides an integrated pipeline, guiding new ideas through every step to become thriving businesses. Included in the pipeline is the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at FAU, a resource closely linked to the APEX Accelerator. Through the SBDC, small businesses receive guidance to access highly coveted grants through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which provide seed funding for research and development and technology commercialization. Businesses already engaged with the SBDC at FAU, or with local business incubators and accelerators, can couple the resources they receive through these programs with the APEX Accelerator to fast-track their products or services to be ready for the government supply chain.

The next phase of FAU’s APEX Accelerator program is to create a network of defense proposal labs throughout Palm Beach and Broward counties, where businesses can participate as cohorts to learn the intricacies of constructing winning government contracts and grant proposals from professional business consultants who are highly specialized in the sector.

“Our goal is to put these enhanced business development tools into the hands of as many qualified businesses as possible,” said Marin Ruiz. “The APEX Accelerator is an opportunity for the innovators in our region to access capital through government contracts and also grants for developing new intellectual property and access to market. These resources are not exclusive to FAU. They are here for the whole community.”

To learn more about Innovation and Business Development and the SBDC at FAU, visit


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