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Posted September 14, 2021


An enterprising group based out of Florida Atlantic University has the ambitious aim of making Boca Raton a force to be reckoned with on the international tech scene.

The city, which has just under 100,000 residents and is located between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, has two universities, its city hall has an innovation office, and it is home to scores of major startups and scaleups. It is located about an hour away from Miami, but soon it will be even closer to the Magic City thanks to its forthcoming link to the superfast Brightline train.

Andrew Duffell is leading the charge. As President of the Research Park at FAU, he is responsible for executing the organization’s mission to foster economic development in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“We bring innovative technology-led companies together with the university to advance common areas of research,” Duffell told Refresh Miami. Through that process, he explained, “new discoveries can be made, and new tech can be commercialized.” The goal is for this innovation to lead to job creation and, ultimately, wealth creation.

The Research Park is headquartered on a 56 acre campus in Boca Raton, with an additional 14 acre location in Deerfield Beach. The organization was established in 1985 as an independent special district created by FAU in conjunction with Palm Beach and Broward counties. FAU Tech Runway, one of South Florida’s long standing accelerator programs, is based out of the Research Park.

The international reach of the Research Park is best embodied by its Global Ventures program, which it launched right before the pandemic. “The aim of Global Ventures is to nurture and facilitate the growth of second stage companies,” said Duffell. The program is open to startups from around the world with six or more employees and around $1 million in annual revenue. Duffell and team help the startups expand their business in the US.


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