Florikan Case Study - Economic Development Council of Sarasota



Florikan Case Study - Economic Development Council of Sarasota
Florikan Fuels Growth
with Technology Transfer
Fertilizer maker looks to sale of
intellectual property for capital infusion
“This was an absolute home run for Florikan…
GrowFL helped to clarify that this was the right strategy.”
Eric Rosenthal, President, with Ed Rosenthal, Founder
Florikan E.S.A.
Case Study
The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County is the regional
partner coordinating GrowFL. To find out if your company qualifies for this no-cost,
high value program, please contact Joan McGill, [email protected]
or 941.309.1200, ext. 107. | edcsarasotacounty.com/growfl
Company Profile
Florikan E.S.A.
Sarasota, Florida
Core business:
Manufacturing of
Established: 1981
Employees: 35
$22 million (2012)
Web: www.florikan.com
“GrowFL is a
great resource
for research and
data, and to have
strategies vetted.”
Eric Rosenthal, President,
Florikan E.S.A.
The team at family-owned Florikan
E.S.A. had a choice to make. Facing
shrinkage and consolidation in the
horticultural businesses that Florikan
serves with controlled-release
fertilizers, the company had to find
a new path.
“We were considering different
scenarios, including ramping up
manufacturing to compete in the
agricultural industry – a hugely
expensive undertaking – or licensing
Florikan’s proprietary technology,”
said Eric Rosenthal, the company’s
“Florikan had come a long way since
I started sales out of the trunk of my
car,” said family patriarch and company
founder Ed Rosenthal. “Nonetheless,
analyzing the company’s options for a
new business model required expertise
and resources that Florikan did not
have at the ready.”
Enter the GrowFL Economic Gardening
program, which provides resources and
support to stimulate growth in secondstage companies. For the Rosenthals’
business, the GrowFL experts analyzed
growth scenarios the company was
considering and dove deeper into
market research to reveal opportunities
and challenges for various business
“Collaborating with the experts
from GrowFL, we determined that
technology transfer is the way
to go,” said Jon Rosenthal, Eric’s
brother. “We decided to develop
partnerships with fertilizer
manufacturers already serving the
markets we want to reach.”
In 2012, Florikan announced its first
major intellectual property deal
that will mean substantial growth
for the agri-technology company.
The transaction provides Florikan
the capital to realize its growth
objective and short-term goals, as
well as creating long-term potential
for a royalty stream into the future.
Today, Eric is leading Florikan’s
manufacturing business into
emerging agricultural markets and
new territories. Jon, meanwhile,
is traveling the world on behalf of
the company that bought Florikan’s
technology. He’s setting up
research trials and working to open
manufacturing plants from Brazil to
“This was an absolute home run
for us, far exceeding anything
envisioned in the GrowFL sessions.
GrowFL helped to clarify that this
was the right strategy and gave us
confidence to proceed,” Eric said.
“The program supported us in how
to get it done. We recommend
GrowFL to other entrepreneurs
who have a specific business
problem requiring support. It’s
a great resource for research
and data, and to have strategies
GrowFL delivers critical research and strategy support to help secondstage growth entrepreneurs prosper. Based on the philosophy of
economic gardening, GrowFL is coordinated through the University
of Central Florida through regional partners, such as the Economic
Development Corporation of Sarasota County. GrowFL (www.growfl.com)
helped more than 400 Florida companies create more than 1,400 new
jobs statewide during its pilot program from 2009 to 2011. Programmatic
support for GrowFL is provided in part by the Florida Department of
Economic Opportunity.

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