This week in the Orlando region, we celebrate Florida’s scaling second stage companies and investments into our tech community. Read about these stories and more in this week’s Orlando Tech Council weekly tech round up.

Featured Headlines | Upcoming Events | News from the Orlando Region

Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair

Members of the Orlando Tech Community,

I had the pleasure of participating in the 10th annual GrowFL Companies to Watch ceremony this week, honoring second stage companies – defined as companies with at least six employees and $750,000 in revenue with plans to scale – headquartered in Florida. Since being founded in 2009, GrowFL has assisted more than 1,000 Florida-based companies that, on average, scale three times faster than peers. The Orlando Tech Council is a proud partner of GrowFL, which continues to prove its critical role in the ecosystem we talk so much about.

Successful ecosystems are comprised of many entities working together towards a common goal, each playing a significant role. By aligning these entities, the community benefits. We at the Orlando Tech Council seek to better align extraordinary resources like GrowFL for the greater benefit of the talent and companies that make up the Orlando tech and innovation ecosystem.

We have some exciting upcoming announcements that will help us advance this mission. Be sure to follow us on social (links below) and if you’re interested in joining our effort, our next Council meeting is March 2 on Zoom – consider this my invitation. Email Lindsey.Sandrin@orlando.org and she’ll get you signed up.

Stay tuned for more news, events and ways to connect with the Orlando region’s tech and innovation economy. 

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

Profiles in Tech

Chris Morton, Founder/CEO and Chairman of the Board, Nanophotonica

This week’s Orlando Profiles in Tech features Chris Morton, Founder/CEO and Chairman of the Board of Nanophotonica. Read more about why high quality paint brushes were part of his reason for relocating to and staying in the region and what comprises perfect storm that makes Orlando the right place for his business. Read more about Chris’s story here.

Headlines

UCF, tech firm and VC fund launch Central Florida lab to grow blockchain biz

Last week we saw big news for blockchain businesses in the Orlando region when three local organizations – the University of Central Florida (UCF), Neoware Studios and Global Blockchain Ventures, LLC – announced a partnership to launch a $100 million investment fund for blockchain technology and businesses. Orlando Tech Council member and Director of Innovation Districts strategy and partnership for UCF, Rob Panepinto, commented that, “the Blockchain Innovation Lab has the potential to diversify Central Florida’s economy and make the region a ‘center point for blockchain technology worldwide.'” Click here to read more on this news coming out of Seminole County.

Innovation summit offers free admission, goes fully virtual

Synapse summit is back March 8 – 11 and many speakers who call Orlando home will be talking on topics affecting our state’s tech ecosystem, from skill-based hiring to what it takes to IPO. The Synapse team is leveraging some new technology to upgrade the virtual networking and as a sponsor, we look forward to seeing how it all works. It’s important especially in a time like this, when many companies and people around the U.S. are looking for new options of where to move, that we proactively work as a state to tell Florida’s tech story. Click here to find out more about the event.

Save the Date | Upcoming Events

Events for the Week of February 22

Monday, February 22
1 p.m., General Assembly – Tech Week | Using AI For Good
7 p.m., Orlando Developers – ODevs Meetup – Goodbye Lambda, Hello, Kubernetes!

Tuesday, February 23
9 a.m., 2021 Spaceport Summit begins (continues Wednesday and Thursday)
11 a.m., General Assembly – Tech Week | Tech Careers for Non-Engineers
4:30 p.m., Synapse – Libate & Learn | Leveraging a Look Back to Leap Forward

Wednesday, February 24
9 a.m., 1 Million Cups (1MC)
1 p.m., General Assembly – Tech Week | Rapid Innovation Workshop
6 p.m., VR/AR Association – Training and Education using XR

Thursday, February 25
12 p.m., General Assembly – Tech Week | The Ins and Outs of Tech and Startup Funding

Friday, February 26
11 a.m., General Assembly – Tech Week | Investing in Minority & Women-Owned Businesses
11 a.m., Orlando Economic Partnership – Federal Response for Business Recovery with Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy

Events on the Horizon

February 6-March 14 – Creative City Project – Down the Rabbit Hole
February 23-25 – 2021 Spaceport Summit
March 3-4, 2021 – Florida Venture Forum
March 8-11, 2021 – Synapse Summit
March 18, 2021 – Avalon Park Group – The 5th Floor co-working space grand opening

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