|FSBDCN State Office: The Florida SBDC Network is proud to spotlight Elizabeth Burch of Dignitas Technologies, LLC as an outstanding model of small business success. Burch was recently recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as the State of Florida Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year. She is one of eleven Florida SBDC clients and nominees who won 2013 Small Business Week awards.
Burch started her venture at Dignitas in 2009 when she became Vice President of the company. Founded in 2004 in Orlando, Dignitas has established itself as a leader in innovative system software engineering services for the modeling and simulation community. Eager to accelerate the growth of the business, in 2010, Burch purchased 51 percent of the company, assumed the role as President and converted Dignitas to a Woman-Owned Small Business. Soon after, Burch met with Jill Kaufman, certified business consultant and manager of the FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council (ABC), who accepted Dignitas into the ABC and formed an advisory board with the expertise needed to address the company’s goals.
“Some of the key aspects we sought in our board were sound business finance advice for our type of government business and strong legal advice relative to how we executed contracts and established our intellectual property,” said Burch. “The Advisory Board Council represents knowledgeable business resources that provided us with invaluable experience and guidance for our business. The Advisory Board was able to help us formalize our goals and assist us in developing plans to achieve those goals. Their assistance and guidance has helped mature our business and make it more resilient in our tough budget environment.”
When Dignitas became a client of the ABC in 2011, the company had a staff of 30 and annual revenue of $4.5 million. By the end of 2012, Dignitas had grown to 35 employees and increased its revenue nearly 42% to $6.4 million. Dignitas now leads several Small Business Innovation Research projects and supports a wide range of large and small programs spanning the Live, Virtual and Constructive domains across a diverse customer set.
About the FSBDC Network
In 2011, the Florida SBDCs served approximately 38,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting, training and information, resulting in 43,856 jobs created, retained and saved; $6 billion in sales growth; $98.1 million in capital accessed; $426.2 million in government contract awards; and 1,067 new businesses started.