If you keep up with SSP's news, you know that 2015 was an amazing year for us. Be it winning awards, happy clients, successful projects, growing our company culture, winning new business, and much more, we crushed it in 2015. We're over the moon with our achievements.
So that begs the question, how is SSP doing in 2016? Well, as the title of this blog post states, 2016 is shaping up to be yet another amazing year. Beyond our recent annual snowmobiling weekend trip, that was amazing, we've won the Gator100 again! For the uninitiated, the Gator100 is an award that honors the 100 fastest growing Gator-led or Gator-owned companies in the world. If you want to know more, visit the Gator100 website for more information!
Winning this award validates what we're doing here at SSP. Validates what we have built. Validates the hard work every one here at SSP puts in. Plain and simple, this award goes to every employee that works at SSP Innovations, as every single person has a hand in our success.
For SSP, winning the Gator100 is not just about heading to the University of Florida, grabbing the award and bolting out of town. On the contrary, we arrived days before the ceremony and filled our time with as many activities where we can give back. With that, here's a pictorial of our time...
Our first stop once we arrived on campus was to give a presentation to the students at the Hough Graduate School of Business (below) on interviewing. Specifcally, SSP's take on what students need to do to stand out amongst their peers. We call it BlackOps: Interviewing.
Below: Dean Perry talks about what to say and what not say during the all important, yet seemingly innocuous, "Do you have any questions for us?"
Below: Keith Freeman talks about a study that proves the interviewer's first impression dictates their entire opinion of you (right or wrong). A truly fascinating study. Cliff Notes: Put your best foot forward or else...
Below: Skye Perry kicks off our interviewing presentation with a quick overview about SSP.
The next morning was another packed day. On the way to speaking with the Gator Hatchery entrepreneurs, we of course had to stop and get the requisite photo of our two UF grads in front of their school mascot (below).
This is our second time speaking with the Gator Hatchery entrepreneurs and we absolutely loved it. The Gator Hatchery is a Student Incubator that offers student entrepreneurs workspace, office support, mentors and other resources necessary for a startup to succeed faster.
Below, as SSP was once a fledgling startup, Skye, Dean and Keith speak to the entrepreneurs regarding their respective areas of expertise around what to expect in the very beginning critical stages of a startup.
After our Gator Hatchery meeting, we were off to speak with NPR about what winning the Gator100, for the second time, means to Skye and Dean.
Below, we speak to the man behind the scenes at WUFT that makes everything happen, Ryan Vasquez. Ryan, thanks again for all your help!
3..2...1...we're live! Below, Danielle Prinz, our radio host, asks Skye and Dean a slew of questions around what winning the Gator100 award means to both of them as well as what it's like to work for and with your brother. Dean answered correctly! Click here to listen!
After our NPR interview, we rushed off to the skybox at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for the Gator100 Reception. As you can see from the jumbotron, below, they let the Gator100 award winners know how important they are.
Here you have it: the 2016 Gator100 honorees!
The next morning, a select few of the Gator100 award winners are invited to speak at the Entrepreneurial Experience Sessions & Gator100 Showcase. We were honored Skye was selected to speak with 3 other Gator100 award winners on "Lonely at the Top: Getting Advice & Mentoring When Running a High Growth Venture."
After the Gator100 panels, we've arrived at the moment of truth -- the Gator100 Award Ceremony. We know we've won, but we didn't know our rank at the time. We wondered, is our position based off of some algorithm of our table number? Clearly no...but we still don't know how they assign table number or positioning. We weren't complaining: we were front and center in a phenomenal location.
Counting down from 100, our number is finally called...#29! We were over the moon. To be in the top 1/3rd of all Gator companies worldwide is an amazing honor.
It was a whirlwind handful of days with Gator & Gator100 events, all culminating with the award ceremony. After receiving the award and taking pictures (above), it was nice to sit back down at our table, relax with our award, and take it easy (below).
What do we do for an encore? Simple, win it again. Go for a 3-peat. Looking at all we've achieved and continue to achieve, it's in our sights. What will our rank be? Honestly, our rank isn't the important part. Being anywhere within the Gator100 is achievement. For us, as you can see above, we'll continue to give back and make the most of our time at the University of Florida. It's always a great time...and we're planning on being here again.
Interested in being part of our team? Part of the fun? Part of the success? You know where to click...