This week in the Orlando region, new investment advances the work of local tech companies and a tech leader finds a way of giving back to support the next generation.

Featured Headlines | Upcoming Events | News from the Orlando Region

Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair

Dear members of the Orlando region’s tech community,

This is my last message as your Orlando Tech Council Chair; immediately following this email, your new Chair, Rajiv Menon, will sit at the figurative helm of this ship. It has been an incredible honor to serve as the inaugural Chair of this wonderful organization. As the Orlando the world knows has gotten bigger, the Orlando I know has gotten smaller. Friendships have been forged, connections have been made, and communities have been built. A year ago, we asked who would raise their hand to volunteer to be a community builder.

You answered that call. Thank you.

That said, it certainly hasn’t been the year we expected. Could anyone sitting at our first meeting ever have imagined the world as it sits right now? 2020 was a year no one will ever forget. Amidst what can sometimes feel like chaos in the world, around Orlando, things feel far more promising. Sometimes I’m honest to a fault, so let’s not ignore the facts – we’re surrounded by uncontrolled spread of COVID-19; an untold number of businesses have struggled or failed and our overall economy and workers have suffered.

So without making light of real pain that people feel, we should acknowledge that despite all of that, there are glimmers of hope. There are signs that 2021 will be a very different year: people are getting back to work, there’s a vaccine for this disease that pressed pause on the planet, the government will see a peaceful transition of power. A new day is dawning.

And even through the worst of the darkness – with us being a first year organization and having no formal structure or history to rely upon – our Council had an incredibly productive year developing, orchestrating, and hosting several new programs. Our offerings have helped companies make connections, awarded startups unique opportunities, and imparted critical knowledge to people pivoting during a redefinition of how the world works virtually. It’s a badge of honor that we can point to productive, valuable efforts to keep our community strong.

I’m so proud to see this evolution of our tech community and to see the Orlando Tech Council be one of the success stories of 2020. Thank you to our Leadership team – Sydney, Chris, John, Andrea, Matt, and Kelly. An enthusiastic elbow bump to Sheena, who has truly been the conductor of this train from the get-go, keeping us chugging forward in spite of challenges, big and small (and global). And a huge fist bump to Rajiv, who has poured so much of his passion into OTC design, programming, and efforts; we’re lucky to have him holding the gavel going forward. Mostly, I want to thank each of you for the time, energy, and support you’ve donated to be a part of this project; thank you for believing in this idea and helping make it a reality; thank you for placing your trust in me to lead this diverse, accomplished, talented group of leaders. Thank you.

Nearly every week, I’ve closed this column with a sign-off that I certainly never intended to be recurring, nor did I think would be relevant for a full year. Nevertheless, one final time, I’ll say,

Stay safe,
Adam Scheinberg
Orlando Tech Council Chair

Featured Headlines

OneRail completes $6.7 million late seed financing led by Chicago Ventures and Bullpen Capital

The Orlando-based company OneRail connects shippers to an extensive courier ecosystem to automate, optimize and control the entire delivery supply chain, from the demand signal to the proof of delivery. Read more here

Funding app Miventure to target Orlando brick and mortars after investment round

Miventure was created on the foundation that everyone should have the opportunity to become a business investor no matter their income bracket. Read more here

Call to Action: Volunteers Requested to Serve as Business Advisors to Student STEM Case Challenge

From Orlando Tech Council Member Paul Sohl, CEO of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council:

When you’re thinking about your workforce in 10 years, what do you see?  One thing we know is that the need for an educated workforce is growing substantially, while the students entering STEM related fields is not growing at the same rate, particularly from our most diverse schools where there is huge potential!  Think about it.  

I need your help – kids need to be able to see themselves in fields that they may not have ever heard about.  Our partnering organization (3DE by Junior Achievement) knows that 56% of their students will enter the field of their Business Advisor/Volunteer.  And that’s where you come in.

I need 8 people ~ people who look like these students and who they can imagine coming from a similar background ~ to come with me on an amazing journey for a few hours.  High impact/direct contact (all virtual)/reasonable time commitment (3-4 hours) to be Business Advisors to student teams working through a Case Challenge (like the Harvard Case study concept).  Are you in?  Know someone who fits the bill?  I’d love to chat with you about it. 

It’s a tech business challenge which is why I thought of this wonderful group.

Just 8…that’s all I need.

In your service, Paul

If interested, please reach out to:
Paul A. Sohl, Rear Adm. USN (ret)
CEO, Florida High Tech Corridor Council
paul.sohl@floridahightech.com

Save the Date | Upcoming Events

Events for the Week of January 18

January 18
7 p.m., ODevs – Virtual Meetup – Using AWS with Python

January 20
9 a.m., National Entrepreneur Center – Smart Start 2021 Business Acceleration Series (continued January 27)
9 a.m., 1 Million Cups (1MC)

January 22
12 p.m., General Assembly – Sunshine State Founders: Meet Chris Stegner from Very Big Things

Events on the Horizon

February 12-15, 2021 – Otronicon
February 18, 2021 – GrowFL Companies to Watch
March 3-4, 2021 – Florida Venture Forum
March 8-11, 2021 – Synapse Summit

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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