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INNOVATIONS / growing ideas into enterprises

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

MADE TO ALTR SMALL TOPIC, BIG DISCOVERY: AN ENTERPRISING COMPANY HAS DESIGNS ON IMPACTING FASHION WITH CUSTOMIZABLE BUTTONS. While at a nautical-themed wine tasting, friends Alexandra Gramatikas and Trip Driskell found themselves in a deep discussion over a relatively small topic: buttons. “We started talking about how great it would be if blazers and other articles of clothing could be more customizable,” recalls Gramatikas. “A light bulb went on when we realized we could do this with buttons.” Thus, the duo founded ALTR, a company specializing in customizable button covers. In spring 2012, Gramatikas entered the duo’s button cover idea in the UCF Joust Business Plan Tournament. She was awarded first place for the idea and a well-written business plan. With her prize of $10,000 and a one-year residency in the UCF Business Incubation Program, Gramatikas created the company’s first round of inventory.

ALTR sells UCF and UF button covers. With a prize of $10,000 and a one-year residency in the UCF Business Incubation Program, its founders created the first round of inventory.

Currently, ALTR sells UCF and University of Florida button covers. UF buttons were added to ALTR’s Collegiate Covers line in July. “This is a thrilling time for us because football season is coming up, and students love to represent their teams at games,” says Gramatikas. “We’re really excited to see how the product takes off

CELEBRATING BUSINESS INCUBATION

UCF's business incubator at Daytona Beach International Airport marked its second anniversary in late July.

26 W EDITION 3 / 2013 • FORWARDFLORIDA.COM

The UCF Business Incubator - Daytona Beach International Airport, a partnership among Volusia County, the University of Central Florida and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, celebrated its second anniversary in late July—appropriately enough, with the launch of the Fusion Fitness Designs firm, the new Daytona

within the UCF and UF communities.” Also, the company is partnering with Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, to sell pink buttons for breast cancer awareness. For every one sold, ALTR will donate $1 of the proceeds to Susan G. Komen. In addition, ALTR will be working with UCF in the planned 2014 Cure Bowl, where it hopes to sell special button covers to benefit breast cancer research foundations. A graduate of UCF’s MBA program, Gramatikas is grateful for her experience with the UCF Joust Business Plan Tournament. “Winning the Joust competition has been one of our greatest accomplishments. We are so thankful for all the opportunities it has provided. “We’ve felt supported every step of the way. We couldn’t have made it to this point without the assistance from the UCF community.”

Incubator Research Library and a coworking space initiative. Additionally, Daytona Beach Site Manager Connie Bernal was recognized for her contribution to economic development by being selected one of the top “30 Influential Women in Business from Volusia and Flagler” counties, an honor by the Volusia/Flagler Business Report, a monthly publication of the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

FORWARD Florida Magazine ED#3  

FORWARD Florida Magazine is the definitive resource for and about economic development and the emerging growth companies of Florida’s Super...

FORWARD Florida Magazine ED#3  

FORWARD Florida Magazine is the definitive resource for and about economic development and the emerging growth companies of Florida’s Super...

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