This week in the Orlando region, new online tools make connecting the region’s tech community easier, a cherished local event goes global thanks to a major partnership, and government steps up to support entrepreneurship. Learn more about all these stories and more in this week’s Weekly Tech Round Up.

Featured Headlines | Upcoming Events | News from the Orlando Region

Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair

Happy Friday, all. 

This is an exciting day for the Orlando Tech Council as we roll out a new suite of tools that we have been working on – an innovation website that tells the region’s unique innovation story, a tech and innovation directory and a community events calendar. Check out the new assets at InnovateInOrlando.org and read more below.

There are several interesting stories in the news this week that I would like to highlight including the evolution of a local event, the Lake Nona Impact Forum. For the first time, they will broadcast the event to a global audience thanks to a partnership with Microsoft. This extraordinary annual event attracts world renowned thought leaders in health and innovation to the Lake Nona community here in Orlando and now we can truly highlight that leadership to the world.  

As we talk about the incredible innovation taking place in our region, it is important to recognize that not all parts of our economy have equal access to opportunity. The Orlando Economic Partnership is releasing an updated version of the Orlando Prosperity Scorecard today. This valuable tool will be used to develop strategies for the future of our region’s economic and community development efforts.

The City of Orlando recently announced a partnership with the Rollins College-based social entrepreneurship accelerator, Rally – of which I have been a proud Rally Maker for years. Learn more about how local government is walking the walk when it comes to supporting future-ready initiatives in the article below.

And speaking of partnerships, we are thrilled to be bringing back Synapse Orlando this October. As we are preparing for this signature tech event for the region, we’ve created a survey to hear from you about what you liked and what you want to see more of. And this isn’t just any survey, it comes with the opportunity to submit a video clip that can be used as promotion of the event because after all, this is all about giving our region’s tech and innovation companies and thought leaders a platform to amplify the great work being done here in our community.

Stay tuned for more news, events, and ways to connect with the Orlando region’s tech and innovation economy. Also, feel free to share this newsletter with friends and colleagues who can get on our mailing list here.  

Cheers, 
Rajiv Menon 
Founder/CEO, Informulate
Orlando Tech Council Chair 

Profiles in Tech

Drew Sorrell, shareholder and chair, Data Governance Group at Lowndes

This week’s Orlando Profiles in Tech features Drew Sorrell, shareholder and chair of the Data Governance Group at Lowndes. Learn about his “only in Orlando” moment that did not involve any alligators, and how his firm helps technology companies achieve their business goals. Read more here.

Headlines

New online tools for tech companies

Today, we released new tools to aide Orlando tech companies in connecting with and collaborating across the region’s tech and innovation ecosystem. InnovateInOrlando.org is a new online resource featuring information, events, content and connections designed to help the region’s new and established tech companies connect, innovate, raise capital and scale. This new site is dedicated to telling the story of the Orlando region’s tech and innovation history and features an engaging new video that presents a behind-the-scenes peek at Orlando’s diversity of tech talent and industry. It also features free resources including an ecosystem directory that allows tech companies from across the region to list themselves for potential future connection and work and a community calendar for users to submit and promote innovation and tech-focused events to new, diverse audiences. 

InnovateInOrlando.org works to broaden and deepen the interconnectivity of Orlando’s innovation ecosystem while also helping to elevate the region’s profile as a tech and innovation hub, further fueling growth within our startup community and strengthening Orlando’s economic recovery.

Lake Nona collaborates with Microsoft Research for first virtual Lake Nona Impact Forum

One of the most impressive local innovation events is going global thanks to a partnership with Microsoft. “As a result of the pandemic, and the political and social changes that we witnessed in 2020, new thinking about health and wellbeing is needed now more than ever to ensure that innovation is accessible to all,” explained the 17th Surgeon General of the United States and Impact Forum Advisory Board Co-Chair Richard Carmona. “This virtual version of the Impact Forum, open to a truly global audience for the first time, represents our hope that open, fierce conversations about the underlying issues related to health, wellness, and technology will inspire new ways of thinking about how a better of future of health can be equitable for all.” To learn more about this incredible event and how to participate click here.  

Measuring what matters

The Orlando Economic Partnership released the publication of an updated Orlando Prosperity Scorecard that measures Orlando’s advancement towards Broad-Based ProsperityTM  and serves as a regional tool to develop strategies for economic and community development. This enhanced scorecard measures 43 indicators across 13 different themes, selected with feedback from Orlando’s business and non-profit leaders as well as guidance from scholars at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. As the Partnership continues its focus on Broad-Based Prosperity, addressing the opportunities identified by the Scorecard as well as the challenges brought on by the pandemic, we look to shift our strategies away from legacy economic growth patterns and build beyond the baseline set by the Scorecard. For more information about how to use the Scorecard as a tool for your own organization please reach out to Dale A. Brill, Ph.D. 

Business accelerator Rally partners with Orlando to serve more startups and launch new programs

We are excited to see new initiatives from local government step up to support entrepreneurship. This week, the City of Orlando announced they will fund pilot programs that offer first customers to some of the businesses that complete the Rally program. Specifically, these pilot programs will be in areas the City wants to address as part of its Future-Ready City initiative. To learn more about this work, check out this Orlando Business Journal article.  

Synapse Orlando returns October 15

Mark your calendars for the return of Synapse Orlando. The one-day tech and innovation event will be held on October 15, in connection with Creative City Project’s Immerse event. Our Orlando Tech Council is excited to bring together innovation companies from across the region for a day of unique experiences, collaboration and insight. As we plan for this year’s event, we are eager for input from previous attendees. If you attended the 2019 event, please take a few minutes to complete this survey with your thoughts on the past event and what you want to see in the future. If you feel so inclined, you can submit your answers via video, which will potentially be used in future marketing materials.  

A recap of the 2019 event can be found here. For sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to Sheena.Fowler@Orlando.org. We’ll be sure to update you with more information as it is released. 

Defense Industry Seeking Applications From Tech Companies: Deadline May 19

Technology companies new to the defense sector are now invited to apply to participate in NSIN Propel, a program delivered by NewLabDecisive Point, and the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN). NSIN Propel program enables the development of next-generation applications of emerging dual-use technology for government and defense. Apply today
 
NSIN Propel is collaborating with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate (AFRL)—the premier research organization for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) and Cyber technologies—to recruit companies new to the defense sector with technology solutions that can be adapted to address the needs of both the AFRL and the broader DoD community. We are seeking applications from technology companies working in areas including: smart cities, urban tech, mobility, industrial automation, manufacturing, next-gen connectivity, logistics, and supply chain management. 

Deadline to Apply: May 19 
Apply: https://newlab.com/studios/nsin-propel/   

Info Session 1: Wednesday, April 28 at 12pm 
Info Session 2: Thursday, May 13 at 12pm 
RSVP: https://newlab.com/event/nsin-propel-open-call-info-session-2/  

Save the Date | Upcoming Events

Events for the Week of April 19

Monday, April 19
11 p.m., General Assembly – Powering Future Industry Growth with Deep Tech

Tuesday, April 20
9 a.m., UCF – Department of Defense SBIR/STTR Proposal Preparation

Wednesday, April 21
9 a.m., 1 Million Cups (1MC)
12 p.m., General Assembly – Product Week | Designing Products in the Age of AI
4:30 p.m., Synapse FL – Libate & Learn: Understanding Burnout & How to Avoid It
6 p.m., VRARA Central Florida – April Virtual Chapter Event

Thursday, April 22
9 a.m., GrowFL Webinar Series – Learn How to Export Your Products and Services Worldwide
10 a.m., Foundation for Orlando’s Future – SKILLFUL® Talent Series sponsored by JP Morgan Chase begins
2 p.m., leAD Lake Nona Sports & Health Tech Academy – Demo Day
7 p.m., General Assembly – Entrepreneurship in Gaming

Events on the Horizon

April 9-22 – Florida Film Festival
April 22, 29, May 6, 13 – SKILLFUL® Talent Series sponsored by JPMorgan Chase
April 27 – UCF – SBIR/STTR for Start Ups: Building your Team and Preparing your Budget
April 28 – NSIN Propel – Open Call Info Session
May 10-14 – PNC – Women in Business Week (Including Women in Tech on May 12)
May 26 – GrowFL – 2021 Statewide Membership Mixer
May 27 – GrowFL – The Profit Recipe Webinar: Are you running your business, or is it running you?
June 2-4 – VR/AR Global Summit
October 15 – Synapse Orlando
October 15-17 – Creative City Project – Immerse

ICYMI | News from the Orlando Region

*Have a story you would like OTC to feature? Email Sheena.Fowler@Orlando.org

The Orlando Tech Council is composed of private industry, resource organizations and public partners that work to develop new programs with the core objectives: strengthen the Orlando region’s innovation resources, create new opportunities for companies to scale, and to amplify the region’s success stories, raising the global profile of Orlando as a leading community for entrepreneurship and innovation.

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Special thanks to our Orlando Tech Council Members