This week in the Orlando region, tech job postings are on the rise, local tech startup founder garners national attention and the evolution of vehicle design and innovation takes a major step thanks to the Orlando-based AV leader. Read about all these stories and more in this Orlando Tech Council Weekly Tech Round Up. 

Featured Headlines | Upcoming Events | News from the Orlando Region

Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair

Happy Friday, all. 

Things are heating up in the Orlando region and it’s not just the weather. Companies of all sizes from Amazon & Lockheed Martin to PowerDMS and 3D Media are starting to post openings for tech positions including software developers and network engineers. 

The Orlando Business Journal cites that, “industry job postings in Orlando grew 21 percent from February to March, and the City Beautiful has the 18th-fastest growth rate, outpacing Dallas and New York City.” Last week, the Orlando Economic Partnership published an employment memo based on March 2021 employment data, sharing that over the last two months, Orlando added 18,500 jobs to the economy. And with consumer spending 17 percent above a pre-pandemic baseline in Florida, it is encouraging that things are improving.  You can read more on that article and three others in the hiring alert below.

We have some incredible talent and we need to share stories of the momentum in our community, like the Forbes article featuring Home Lending Pal CEO Bryan Young, that you’ll find below. So, don’t be shy! Let us know what you’re working on, send us your press releases and tag the tech council in your social posts. Together we can make sure the world knows the Orlando region’s tech community as it really is – sophisticated, diverse, and creative.  

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

Kunal Patel, Co-Founder and CTO of BrandXR

This week’s Orlando Profiles in Tech features Kunal Patel, Co-Founder and CTO of Brand XR. He details how a lack of red tape makes our ecosystem unique and gives an unexpected response when asked what he wishes the region had. Read more here.

Headlines

HIRING ALERT – Job postings for tech roles are popping up across the region 

As the economy and community continue to move towards recovering, new jobs postings in tech are starting to pop up across the region. The Orlando Business Journal cites that, “industry job postings in Orlando grew 21 percent from February to March, and the City Beautiful has the 18th-fastest growth rate, outpacing Dallas and New York City.” Last week the Orlando Economic Partnership published an employment memo, based on the March 2021 employment data released, sharing that over the last two months, Orlando added 18,500 jobs back to the economy. And with consumer spending 17 percent above a pre-pandemic baseline in Florida, it is encouraging that things are really turning around. Check out these articles on the topic from the Orlando Business Journal.  

Winner of the Starter Studio & Project Orlando Drive-in Pitch Competition featured in Forbes

Bryan Young moved from Miami to Orlando and teamed up with Steven Better to create Home Lending Pal (HLP), a platform that leverages artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology to create a new and transparent way to purchase real estate. This graduate of starter studio is disrupting the home buying experience, by allowing their clients to discover affordable mortgage options, hidden homeownership costs, and identify lenders willing to work with them. Bringing equity to the lending process, lenders are able to see data necessary for underwriting without the borrower needing to disclose age, sex, or race. Click here to read more.

The evolution of vehicle design and innovation takes a major step thanks to Orlando-based AV leader Luminar’s new partnership with Pony.ai 

The Orlando-headquartered autonomous vehicle company, Luminar, announced a new partnership with Pony.ai (the first to launch and offer a public-facing Robotaxi service in California and in China). “Pony.ai’s vision to create a dynamic, vehicle-agnostic autonomous driving system is very impressive, and it has already demonstrated a clear leadership position for Robotaxi development in China and beyond,” said Austin Russell, Founder and CEO of Luminar. “We’re leveraging the full extent of the technology and product development work we’ve accomplished over the years, and directly re-applying it to Pony.ai’s platform and fleet. This partnership marks a significant milestone towards the realization of safe autonomous Robotaxi services in the years to come.” Click here to read more.

Startup Creates Next Generation 3D Models for Healthcare & Beyond

UCF spin-off D.A.S.H. Orlando is 3D printing models that could change the future of the healthcare industry. By printing anatomically correct 3D models, D.A.S.H. is giving fetal surgeons at Orlando Health’s Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies a tactile way to prepare for these incredibly delicate surgeries as well as a tool for educating parents and families. After being unable to come to an agreement with the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he led research on technology for simulating and teaching healthcare procedures, CEO Jack Stubbs found the right partnership with UCF’s School of Modeling Simulation and Training, and the rest is soon to be history. D.A.S.H. is still moving into their new offices downtown but will be up and fully functional in the next few months and we can’t wait to see more from them. Read more here.

In Orlando, talent is the main attraction

KPMG, one of the world’s largest audit, tax and advisory service organizations, has again chosen Orlando for its next expansion, announcing plans to bring 350 jobs – with plans for more in the future – to its new “National Capability Center” in Lake Nona. This marks KPMG’s second major expansion in Orlando, having just opened its $450 million “Lakehouse” training center – the firm’s learning, development and innovation facility in Lake Nona, and also the firm’s largest-ever capital investment project. This win is especially significant for the region because access to our top talent was cited as a key driver for the firm’s continued expansion and investment. Plus, it further advances Orlando’s growing reputation as a thriving hub for job creation in the area of professional services. Per a recent analysis from Moody’s Analytics Senior Economist Kwame Donaldson, “Over the last 30 years, hundreds of thousands of jobs in professional services has been created in Orlando as the share of these jobs in the private workforce has surged from 7 percent in 1990, well below the national average, to more than 21 percent today.” You can learn more details in the full release here. You can also join me in congratulating KPMG by sharing these social media posts from your corporate and/or personal accounts:

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/   

Save the Date | Upcoming Events

Events for the Week of May 17

Tuesday, May 18
9 a.m., UCF – SBIR/STTR: Post Award Management

Wednesday, May 19
9 a.m., 1 Million Cups (1MC)
4:30 p.m., Synapse – Libate and Learn 33: Mind over Matter – Making founder Wellness a Priority
7 p.m., General Assembly – Data Week | Talk Data to Me: Data Analytics as a Career
8 p.m., General Assembly – Data Week | Storytelling: The Power to Influence in Data Science

Thursday, May 20
1 p.m., General Assembly – Data Week | Empathy and Ethics in Data
4:30 p.m., GrowFL – East Central Florida Networking Happy Hour
5 p.m., Women in Defense Central Florida May Event

Friday, May 21
12 p.m., General Assembly – Data Week | Women in Data
5 p.m., NAWBO – Florida Women in Business Virtual Mixer

Events on the Horizon

May 25 – UCF Innovation Districts – SBIR/STTR: Commercialization Planning & Protecting your Data Rights
May 25-26 – Defense Strategies Institute – Military Virtual Training & Simulation Summit
May 26 – GrowFL – 2021 Statewide Membership Mixer
May 26 – Orlando Economic Partnership – 2021 Florida Legislative Update
May 27 – GrowFL – The Profit Recipe Webinar: Are you running your business, or is it running you?
June 2-4 – VR/AR Global Summit
June 15-16 – 23rd World Aviation Training Summit
June 23-25 – 2021 Serious Play Conference
August 17 – GrowFL – East Central Florida Finalist Celebration
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.

Follow the Orlando Tech Council on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Special thanks to our Orlando Tech Council Members