This week in the Orlando region, there’s new energy and access to capital in the accelerating $30B sports tech sector and new rankings highlight the Orlando region’s strength in startups.

Featured Headlines | Upcoming Events | News from the Orlando Region

Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair

Members of the Orlando Tech Community,

The Sports Tech sector is projected to be a $30 billion-dollar market – and the Orlando region is poised to be a major hub thanks to the new LeAD Lake Nona Sports & Health Tech program. It is programs like this that have proven to accelerate company growth in a number of regions. Read more about this new program in the featured articles below.  

On the topic of startup growth – a new ranking released this week placed the Orlando region in the No. 2 spot for U.S. cities with the most startup business with a nearly 11 percent startup formation rate, creating more than 25,000 jobs. This ranking placed the Orlando region above traditional heavy hitters including Austin, Miami, Denver and Atlanta, showing that with efforts like Starter Studio, the Blockchain Innovation Lab and LeAD Lake Nona, we are on the right path.  

Finally, while it’s exciting to see a light at the end of the tunnel of the fully remote lifestyle, the economy still has a long way to go. I was inspired to see so many companies in the region hiring including Falcon’s Creative and Home Lending Pal and as you’ll read more about in the featured article below, the new chip manufacturer, SkyWater, is hiring too. While we’re talking about hiring, we have to give a big round of applause to Orlando Tech Council member Fattmerchant for being recognized this week by Forbes as one of America’s top startup employers of 2021.  

We hope you enjoyed the Synapse Summit as much as we did. We look forward to gathering (hopefully safely in person) this fall with Synapse Orlando. We’ll have more on that announcement soon.  

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

Rajiv Menon 
Founder/CEO, Informulate
Orlando Tech Council Chair 

Profiles in Tech

Kelly Trace, founder of Headquarters Coworking

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This week’s Orlando Profiles in Tech features Kelly Trace, the founder of Headquarters Coworking and co-chair of the Orlando Tech Council’s Marketing Committee. Learn more about how her hometown community pulled her back to the region after college and why she reminds people, “before we had characters, we had cowboys.” Click here to read more.


New sports tech VC fund vies to capture its piece of a soon-to-be $30 billion industry

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Launched by Adidas founder Adi Dassler, the Berlin-based LeAD, an early-stage sports and health tech accelerator, will now partner with one of the country’s leading wellness communities Lake Nona for the Lake Nona LeAD program now accepting applications. The company has a combined portfolio valuation of $135 million. Read more about the program in the Forbes article.

A new ranking places Orlando in the no. 2 spot for U.S. cities with the most startup business

Orlando ranks no. 2 for U.S. cities with the most startup activity based on average startup formation rate. Orlando has a startup formation rate of 10.95% with more than 4,800 annual startup formations creating more than 25,000 new jobs in the region, 16.68% of all new jobs.  
Click here to read more. 

Orlando’s Fattmerchant among top startup employers in America

The Orlando headquartered fintech company Fattmerchant made the ranks of Forbes list, America’s Top Startup Employers of 2021. The payment processing film was able to stay nimble through the pandemic and secured a majority investment from Greater Sum Ventures in 2020. Read more in this Orlando Business Journal Article.  

Survey to understand Orlando’s workforce needs

Pre-COVID-19, Florida employers told us a skilled workforce was the top priority for 2020. Then, COVID happened. While vaccines are on the way, a high-quality workforce is Florida’s best long-term economic development strategy and is crucial to becoming the No. 10 largest economy by 2030. That’s why we want your input on the 2021 Workforce Needs Survey. We need your help to understand your company’s evolving workforce needs and the impact the pandemic is having on your recruiting and training goals. The results of the survey will be incorporated into the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2021 Florida Workforce Needs Study. Please complete the survey today.


Save the Date | Upcoming Events

Events for the Week of March 15

Wednesday, March 17
9 a.m., 1 Million Cups (1MC)
10:30 a.m., VR/AR Association – VRARA Enterprise Forum
1 p.m., Lake Nona Innovation – Lake Nona: Life Inside the Living Lab

Thursday, March 18
10 a.m., The 5th Floor – Grand Opening Ceremony
12 p.m., Orlando Innovation Economy Group – A New Vision for Building Orange County’s Innovation Economy
5 p.m., Women in Defense – Women in Contracting Virtual Event
6 p.m., General Assembly – DEI Across Industries

Events on the Horizon

June 2-4 – VR/AR Global Summit
October 15 – Synapse Orlando

ICYMI | News from the Orlando Region

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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

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