South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

GrowFL celebrates top 50 second-stage companies in Florida at 13th annual awards

Read Time 6 Minutes

The 13th GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Awards Celebration honored 50 outstanding second-stage companies from throughout the state for their innovation, growth, and communit impact. 

The annual event was held February 15th, 2024 at the Hard Rock Live, Universal CityWalk in Orlando, Florida with Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corporation, as this year’s presenting sponsor.

GrowFL, through diverse programs and services, provides proven methods to help overcome unique challenges facing second-stage companies as they grow. The organization is Florida’s only organization focused exclusively on supporting second-stage businesses. The awards program honors impressive second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida.

Second-stage growth companies have at least 6 employees and $750,000 in revenue and possess the intent and desire to grow beyond second-stage. This small but mighty group of companies make up only 12% of the businesses in Florida yet create 34% of the jobs in our state. In fact, from 2019 to 2022, the 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honorees generated close to 2 billion dollars in revenue and created more than 870 jobs. These businesses, beyond their startup phase, play a significant role in boosting regional economies.

50 honorees were selected after a final round of judging by a panel comprised of past honorees, economic development leaders and corporate partners of GrowFL. Companies were judged on a number of criteria including growth in number of employees; impact of the business in the job market; increase in sales and/or unit volume; current and past financial reports; innovativeness of the product or service; response to adversity; and contributions to aid community-oriented projects.

“GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch was designed to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and to shine a spotlight on the most deserving companies,” said Jennifer Taylor, president, and CEO of GrowFL.

“Second-stage businesses are the lifeblood of our state’s economy, driving innovation, creating jobs, and fueling prosperity. This year’s Honorees span 20 different counties, represent 18 different industries and 32% of them are woman, veteran, or minority owned. This diverse group of honorees can only mean one thing – Florida is the place where entrepreneurs thrive!”

Of the 50 honorees, there were five companies from South Florida represented. Those companies are:

  • Hollywood Woodwork (Broward) – manuafacturing
  • Pointer Construction Group (Broward) – construction
  • Spot Pet Insurance (Miami-Dade) – finance & insurance
  • Streann Media (Miami-Dade) – information technology
  • Weedoo Greenboat, Inc. (Palm Beach) – manuafacturing

South Florida Tech Hub member company, Streann Media, took home an award. Their Founder and CEO, Gio Punzo, made a ststement on social media, “We are super excited about the award that we received. Thank you, GrowFL, for giving us the award and having us attend the wonderful event.”

“What’s amazing about the reward is not just about the products that we have created that are touching millions of users. It’s about the jobs that our technology has created. Millions of people around the world are using our technology, but there’s thousands of people that are working thanks to the technology that we built. We are very blessed that through our technologies, our company is helping communities around the world create new jobs. We are forever grateful.”

“As Chair of GrowFL’s Advisory Board, I am honored to witness the remarkable growth and ongoing success of Florida’s businesses year after year,” said Pete Previte.

“These companies truly embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship and resilience. Like the 600 Honorees before them, they have overcome challenges, continued to innovate, and successfully lead their team. Their inspiring stories of triumph stand as a testament to the exceptional business environment that thrives here in Florida. It is our privilege to celebrate them and their remarkable achievements.”

As an annual awards celebration since 2011, GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch celebrates growing second-stage companies headquartered in Florida. Companies to Watch was developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation as a unique way to recognize and honor second-stage companies that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes, making them “worth watching.” To date, 650 companies across the state have been recognized as Honorees. Many of the past honorees have now grown their companies to stage 3 and stage 4 businesses employing more than 500.

In his congratulatory letter to the 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honorees, Dan Wyant, President and Chairman of the Edward Lowe Foundation, highlighted how second-stage companies are truly our most valuable players.

“Historically, this group has been underserved in economic-development circles where the majority of effort and investment is spent on recruiting large companies from other regions or states. Yet when it comes to job creation, second-stagers punch above their weight, generating more than double their market share. Case in point: In 2022 second-stage companies represented 16% of all business establishments in the United States, but they generated 38.5% of all jobs, according to This is even more pronounced in Florida, where second-stagers made up only 11.9% of the state’s companies in 2022 but represented 34% of all jobs.” You can read the full letter here.

The Edward Lowe Foundation was established in 1985 by Ed and Darlene Lowe to leverage entrepreneurship as a strategy for economic growth and community development. The foundation’s entrepreneurship initiatives focus on second-stage companies, which are growth-oriented firms that have moved beyond startup but have not yet reached maturity. Its peer learning, leadership education, and strategic information programs are geared to help these companies continue growing.

Below is the list of the companies named 13th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honorees:

Company Name County Industry
Alternative Repair & Machining Services Duval Other Services (except Public Administration)
AME International Hernando Wholesale Trade
Aspire Communications Seminole Telecommunications
Baker Design Build Duval Construction
Billed Right LLC Seminole Other Services (except Public Administration)
BlueWind Technology LLC Escambia Manufacturing
Charter Research Sumter Scientific Research and Development
Cigent Technology Inc. Lee Information Technology
Continuum Health IT St. Johns Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
Cromulence LLC Brevard Scientific Research and Development
DACKOR Orange Manufacturing
Data Graphics Inc. Lake Manufacturing
Delamere Industries Inc Hernando Manufacturing
Design Interactive, Inc. Orange Scientific Research and Development
Fort Myers Brewing Company Lee Manufacturing
Fox Logistics Bradford Transportation and Warehousing
GRACE Aerospace, LLC Duval Manufacturing
HOLLYWOOD WOODWORK Broward Manufacturing
Integrated Security Consultants Hillsborough Utilities
International Insulation Products Orange Manufacturing
Kinley Construction Brevard Construction
KMI International Orange Other Services (except Public Administration)
Macrocap Labs Seminole Manufacturing
Mainstream Engineering Corporation Brevard Manufacturing
Martin Aquatic Orange Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
Martinez Construction Services Brevard Construction Orange Management Consulting Services
NLP Logix Duval Information Technology
Nona Scientific Laboratory Marion Health Care and Social Assistance
Optimus Energy Solutions Lake Construction
Paragon Cyber Solutions, LLC Hillsborough Information Technology
Pem-Air Turbine Engine Services Hernando Manufacturing
Pointer Construction Group Broward Construction
Pro-Tec Plumbing Collier Other Services (except Public Administration)
ProfileGorilla Duval Information/Media
PVM, Inc. Pinellas Information Technology
Spot Pet Insurance Miami-Dade Finance and Insurance
SSM Enterprises Duval Manufacturing
Streann Miami-Dade Information Technology
SunBlest Gardens Wakulla Wholesale Trade
SwiftPaws Brevard Retail Trade
SYL Roofing Supply Orange Wholesale Trade
Tech Rage IT Seminole Information Technology
The Association Partner St. Johns Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
Thompson Pump Volusia Manufacturing
TruPoint Communication Solutions Seminole Telecommunications
Volt Lighting Hillsborough Manufacturing
Weedoo Greenboat, Inc. Palm Beach Manufacturing
Young Innovators Academy Seminole Educational Services

By Riley Kaminer

Member Spotlight | Streann

Read Time 3 Minutes

Business: SaaS platform that enables content providers to build their own distribution platforms

Launched: 2016

HQ: Miami

Employees: 48



Miami tech veteran Gio Punzo is passionate about building the next generation of digital tools for content creators. 

Punzo is the CEO and Co-Founder of Streann Media, which develops an SaaS platform that enables users to “build their own Netflix, Spotify, or HQ in less than 24 hours.”

Streann calls their service “Smart OTT” (Over-the-Top), meaning that users can access content from providers through white-labeled web and mobile apps. Content providers have various options to charge for their content, including pay-per-view, recurring subscriptions, and AVOD (advertising-supported video on demand).

In a media ecosystem where digital accessibility reigns supreme, Streann’s products are in high demand. “Now everybody is becoming a content platform,” Punzo explained, noting the wide range of organizations they work with, from television stations to comedians to event organizers. 

Today’s media landscape stands in stark contrast to the pre-digital prevalence of television and radio broadcasters. According to Punzo, this growth of digital, decentralized content distribution has been favorable for Streann’s bottom line: “Everything doubled during Covid.”

Streann expects that this growth will propel them into a $10 million Series B round of funding. Punzo said that Streann has enlisted the help of Boca Raton-based Noble Capital Markets to scour the market for investors who are interested in a front-row seat to their disruption of the media space.

With this Series B funding, the top priority for Punzo and team will be to continue developing their more than 150 tools. This includes a tool that enables content providers to set up their own social content platform. In Punzo’s own words, this helps Streann’s clients “become more like TikTok and less like Quibi.” 

Streann also hopes to further develop its split-screen feature that displays advertisements right beside content. This allows users to watch their programming without having to pause. Companies are a fan of the feature because it increases the likelihood of users catching a glimpse of their advertisements, unlike the skippable advertisements that are common on other platforms.

Streann plans to expand its team in order to make this product development happen. “We’re hoping to hire for everything from web designers to front end developers,” said Punzo.

While his team is global, Punzo is proud of his Miami roots and hopes to source much of their talent from the South Florida community.

“I’ve been getting messages on LinkedIn from people who are planning to move to Miami, so I see a new pool of talent that’s moving in,” Punzo said. 

Since the pandemic and recent growth of the Miami tech ecosystem, Punzo finds it “easier to convince people to move to Miami.” He says that this Series B funding will allow Streann “to be more aggressive with bringing talent to Miami,” thereby contributing to an increase in the quality of the overall talent pool.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Miami to grow,” Punzo said. “I feel there’s a movement.”

But seasoned entrepreneur Punzo cautions fellow founders in Miami not to get swept up in the hype: “You’ve got to keep your focus, appreciate the noise, and see if you can ride [the growth].”

GrowFL celebrates top 50 second-stage companies in Florida at 13th annual awards
Member Spotlight | Streann