By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
Scott Chelsey rolled into Volusia County four years ago with family tradition in his vest pocket: event preparation and promotion.
"My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my dad all did this, and my father still does," Mr. Chelsey said. "We're very well known in the Northeast."
Mr. Chelsey is CEO of Festival Designs, one of about a dozen upstarts at the University of Central Florida's Business Incubator at the Daytona Beach International Airport, 601 Innovation Way. Mr. Chelsey is seeking to get more large events around Volusia, then the world.
"I have big plans for this region and big plans for this county," he said. "They've built infrastructure in Daytona Beach to have a quarter of a million visitors a day."
Mr. Chelsey is speaking with area cities about events to draw more than 100,000 visitors a shot - and their dollars - to the county. He said a few events are in the works, but none are ready to be announced yet.
"We're working with the city of Ormond Beach for an event that'll happen in January 2013," he said. "We're working with the city of Holly Hill for a very significant event in the month of December."
Additionally, Festival Designs is getting into the quincentennial of Juan Ponce de Le-n's landing on Florida's Atlantic coastline. Several communities claim to be the exact location of his first foray onto La Florida. That means a lot of folks want to have events.
"We're working with (the Florida Department of State's Viva Florida 500) to do a large event in this county," Mr. Chelsey said. "Those will be announced in the coming weeks."
The company opened in June, and entered the business incubator in August. The business is a twin enterprise of Mr. Chelsey's 3-year-old company, CKS Productions.
"Festival Design is the design aspect of events," he said. "CKS is the promotion. What we're doing is building 10 signature events in the Volusia region, and put teams together to go around the country and the world."
In five to 10 years, Mr. Chelsey believes the two companies will employ about 600, and create about 40 manufacturing jobs in Volusia. Support workers will also be in the mix.
"A lot of those would be in (integrated technology)," he said. "A lot of stuff we're doing is 3D digital design. We're going to be doing a lot of stuff with lighting."
The business incubator celebrated its first anniversary in July. In 2010 the Volusia County Council approved $1.4 million to renovated a 10,000-square-foot facility to house it. Additionally, the county gave the university $750,000 to run it for three years.
"The business incubator is a place to start a company," Doris "Connie" Bernal, site manager, said. "The entrants have a lot of resources to work with here. They have professionals who help them with a number of areas."
Mr. Chelsey said the incubator has been a big asset to his business partner, Cathy Pulliam, and him.
"They guide you and give you lots of support," he said. "They understand that as an entrepreneur there are more downs than ups. In addition to cheerleading, they hook you up with resources. They realize we're trying to do 25 things as new business owners. They bring resources to you."
That includes investors seeking new businesses to fund, Mr. Chelsey said. "The statistic that keeps sticking in my head is that 87 percent of the people who go into the incubator are successful."