This week in the Orlando region, UCF is top-of-the-list for game design, a new medical training program Center of Excellence and details behind how Osceola County landed SkyWater to turn around BRIDG.

Featured Headlines | Upcoming Events | News from the Orlando Region

Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair

Members of the Orlando Tech Community,

The Orlando region continues to roll forward on a number of tech fronts.  

This week, UCF topped the Princeton Review’s list of best graduate schools for game design for the second year in a row, besting programs from across the globe. Full Sail University also made the top 25 list, and both schools made the top 50 list for undergraduate programs in game design. Congratulations to our friends and OTC members from both schools. 

In Celebration, AdventHealth’s Nicholson Center has announced a formal partnership with Lumenis Ltd., a global leader in minimally-invasive, clinical solutions for Surgical, Ophtalmology and Aesthetic markets. Within the Nicholson Center is now a dedicated Center of Excellence medical training program for Lumenis’ world-leading, innovative energy-based technologies. 

Also in Osceola County, we learned more about how county officials sealed the deal with SkyWater to revive Bridg after much uncertainty about its future in 2020. The Center for Neovation is an important asset to our community and we are excited to see all that SkyWater brings to the region. 

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

Renuka Sastri, co-chair of 100 Women Strong, and chair-elect of the Orlando Tech Council’s Ecosystem Committee

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This week’s Orlando Profiles in Tech features Renuka Sastri, a digital strategy professional, co-chair of 100 Women Strong and chair-elect of the Orlando Tech Council’s Ecosystem Committee. Read more about why cross-pollination makes for a good atmosphere to grow your business and more. Click here to read.


UCF tops Princeton Review’s list of top 10 graduate schools for game design

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The Princeton Review’s annual list of top programs in game design was released this week. For the second year in a row, UCF took the top spot globally in the list of best 25 graduate programs, besting other top schools globally including NYU, UCLA and RIT. Full Sail University also made the list at #23. Both schools also made the list of  50 top undergraduate programs in game design, coming in at #14 (UCF) and #49 (Full Sail University). Read more and see the lists here.

Lumenis announces Nicholson Center as new center of excellence, hosts successful transoral endoscopic laser microsurgery program

Together with Israeli-based company Lumenis, AdventHealth’s Nicholson Center has announced the creation of a dedicated Center of Excellence at the Celebration-based medical center. According to their website, Lumenis is “a global leader in the field of minimally-invasive clinical solutions for the Surgical, Opthalmology and Aesthetic markets, and is a world-renowned expert in developing and commercializing innovative energy-based technologies, including laser, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio-Frequency (RF).” This partnership will allow medical professionals from around the world to train on these best-in-practice techniques. 

How Osceola County landed semiconductor maker SkyWater and saved Bridg

The new agreement with SkyWater brought Bridg out of a period of uncertainty in 2020. How did the two groups connect and what attracted SkyWater to NeoCity and the Center for Neovation? It all comes down to the state-of-the-art capabilities that Bridg has over other locations. Read more about the deal and the high wage jobs the agreement will be bringing to the economy here.


Call for nominations | Earnst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Winning Women

Earnst & Young is now accepting nominations for two exciting distinctions. See qualifications below. Nominations can be made by April 16 by clicking the associated links.
Entrepreneur of the Year:

  • CEOs of high-growth, scaling, for-profit businesses
  • CEO must ahve been in the role for at least two full years
  • The company must have at least two full fiscal years of financial information

Winning Women:

  • Women business owners who are the founding CEOs (at least a 51% owner) of any privately held company
  • The company must be less than 10 years old
  • The company must have reported at least $2M in revenue during each of the past two fiscal years

First workforce data released for 2021

New information on Orlando’s workforce underscores the importance of diversifying the job types available to Orlando residents and highlights the challenges related to the upskilling and reskilling that will be necessary over the next 10 years. The data analysis shows that no industry, either in Orlando or the U.S., has reached employment levels above a pre-pandemic baseline. You can read the full workforce analysis here. Workforce data for February was just released today showing Orlando’s unemployment rate is 6.5 percent, just below the U.S. rate of 6.6 percent. The region added 14,000 jobs from January to February mainly in Leisure and Hospitality and Education and Health Services.

If you haven’t done so already, please provide your input on the 2021 Workforce Needs Survey to help us better 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. Complete the survey today.

Save the Date | Upcoming Events

Events for the Week of March 29

Monday, March 29
6 p.m., General Assembly – How to Tell A Story With Data
9:30 p.m., General Assembly – How Technology Has Changed the Hospitality Ecosystem

Tuesday, March 30
5 a.m., General Assembly – How We Got There: Venture Capital

Wednesday, March 31
9 a.m., 1 Million Cups (1MC)
8 p.m., General Assembly – Networking Skills to Land Your Dream Job

Events on the Horizon

April 6 – UCF – An Intro to the SIR/STTR Programs
April 8 – Central Florida Tech Grove – Combat Casualty Care Training Success Story: Blending Learning and Content Delivery
April 13 – UCF – National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal Preparations
April 20 – UCF – Department of Defense SBIR/STTR Proposal Preparations
April 27 – UCF – SBIR/STTR for Start Ups: Building your Team and Preparing your Budget
June 2-4 – VR/AR Global Summit
October 15 – Synapse Orlando
October 15-17 – Creative City Project – Immerse

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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