Our Team

Michael Zaharios III
Program Director
michael.zaharios@flvec.com
Linkedin

Michael is a third-generation entrepreneur and native Floridian having grown up in Daytona Beach. He is passionate about his work, community and family. Acting on his passions, he gives back through volunteering as an organizer for 1 Million Cups, Startup Weekend, Elevate and as a board member of the Leadership Daytona Alumni Council. As the Program Director for FLVEC, Michael works tirelessly to promote and connect Florida's entrepreneurship ecosystem. He believes everyone is an entrepreneur and that the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
Chris Steffen
Program Manager
chris.steffen@flvec.com
Linkedin

Chris is a firm believer in the power that an entrepreneurial rich ecosystem has to transform a community and provide real and substantial economic development. He supports and gives back to the community through his involvement with initiatives such as 1 Million Cups Daytona Beach, the Volusia Proud Mentor Program and Kickstart Weekend. He believes true growth and development occur when you take risks and step out of your comfort zone. As the Program Manager for FLVEC, Chris promotes Florida entrepreneurs and fosters connectivity within innovation ecosystems statewide.

Press






Entrepreneur Feedback



Blair Barbour
Photon-X
Kissimmee

The exposure that the FLVEC has given Photon-X helped our company find its place in the community and facilitated partnerships that contributed to Photon-X's growth. The FLVEC has provided numerous networking opportunities for Photon-X, including nominations and awards that Photon-X has received during our short time in Florida. Photon-X has been able to get our name and technology out to the community faster, enabling Photon-X to work with other companies in order to expand our workforce and develop technology here in Florida. The partnership between FLVEC and Osceola EDC would amplify the coverage that Photon-X has already received. Photon-X fully supports and looks forward to this partnership.
Shailesh Patel
Dredging & Marine Consultants
Port Orange

FLVEC has been a tremendous partner in providing excellent visibility to our firm. They are a partner with an earnest interest in seeing not just startups, but also small businesses such as ours, have support and visibility. More importantly, they are exactly what our county needs to connect focused entrepreneurial assistance to startups that is vital to their success.
Rose Lawless
Gypsy Rose Free
West Palm Beach

I LOVE your organization! It has been a pleasure being a part of a statewide initiative to help entrepreneurs! I learn so much about the other entrepreneurs on the live calls - and the first place I look if I need something is the list of entrepreneurs on the website. I have also contacted several of the organizations on the Resources Tab. I am working with a business counselor from the Women's Business Center right here in PBC because of the Resource List.
Hillary Dube & Ross Rivkin
HNR Gunworks
Inverness

After our article on FLVEC.com we saw an increase in business from new customers and previous customers! I sent out a link to the article to everyone in our e-mail blast list and the response was great. I believe that this website and write up helps small businesses like ourselves as it brings our brand and image to life. It is just myself and my husband running our gun shop and as young business professionals I believe reminding clients of our local small business roots is important. Keep up the good work and thank you!
Wendy Taylor
Strategic Online Marketing
Sorrento

The FLVEC is of value for entrepreneurs as it heightens the awareness of its member services in the Lake County area. Networking with other entrepreneurs has opened doors for future referral opportunities.
Ingrid and Michael Ceribelli
Frankie Alice's Beachside Boutique
Flagler Beach

Thank you so much for the write up about our store. We posted it to our Facebook page, and in less than 24 hours the post was viewed by approximately 2,800 users! And those were all organic views because we did not boost the post purposely in order to see its performance. I couldn't hardly believe it. It was amazing to keep checking the post throughout the day and see the numbers skyrocket like they did. Now, just about 72 hours from posting it, it's to 3,434...again all organic.

Sponsor Feedback


Florida makes it easier than most states to do business and we do our part in Flagler County to help small-business owners take advantage of the wealth of resources and support available to start or grow a business. The Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity partners with FLVEC to help make that connection. We want to ensure entrepreneurs know Flagler County is a great place to take the next step in business and we will help them do it.

We recognized the need to provide a resource kit to help our City’s budding entrepreneurs. We are very pleased that the FLVEC provides just that, and more. Besides being a repository of available resources, the FLVEC enables us to showcase our small business entrepreneurs. We think the entrepreneur profiles FLVEC prepares and showcases are a great way to show our appreciation for home-grown businesses. These profiles also provide encouragement for aspiring business owners in the City. Thank you FLVEC!

In Indian River County, well over 90 percent of our businesses are considered small — they are the backbone of our local economy. We encourage our small-business owners and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the wealth of resources and support available to them. The Chamber’s Economic Development office partners with FLVEC to help make that connection. I’m excited that several of our local entrepreneurs are already featured on the site! We want to ensure that all entrepreneurs and start-up businesses know that Indian River County is a great place grow their business — and we can help them do it.

Anyone who plays in the Economic Development sandbox should know about and utilize Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center (FLVEC). The City of Deltona has a robust Business Retention & Expansion program. One of the major cornerstones for Deltona’s entrepreneurs and small business owners is FLVEC, be they long term in business or just starting-out.

The entrepreneur center is an excellent resource not only for entrepreneurs, but any company that provides business services. Updated constantly, I encourage all Lake County business owners to acclimate themselves with this new tool.