UCF’s incubator adds customer liaison for clients

UCF’s incubator program hopes to charge up its ability to connect small companies to larger ones by hiring a longtime mentor to facilitate that work.

Ray Villegas, who most recently was CareerSource Central Florida’s economic development liaison, was hired as program manager overseeing the Innovation Districts mentorship and first customer programs.

Essentially, his responsibility will be to help incubator clients connect with customers and larger companies for potential collaboration.

Connections with larger companies can often jumpstart a young business’ ability to grow.

“We believe we are uniquely positioned to provide this type of service to our clients that very few organizations can provide,” said Rob Panepinto, UCF’s director of Innovation Districts strategy and partnerships, in a press release. “We’ve already had success in this realm but believe this move will help us truly push this service and help our clients scale significantly.”

Villegas has nearly 14 years of experience working on making connections between businesses. He has been an integral part of three chambers of commerce and other economic development groups in Central Florida.

In a statement, he praised the incubator program’s track record.

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