This week in the Orlando region, we take time to reflect – one year after the death of George Floyd. In headlines, big partnerships that will change the way we travel and the way AI “sees” as well as more exciting company announcements.
Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair
Happy Friday, all.
A lot has changed in a year. As we remember George Floyd one year after his death, we can also reflect on how to support positive change towards equity. After the Pulse tragedy too, we we came together and have only grown in the ways we share our inclusivity with the world. The Orlando Tech Council is proud to be part of this community and we look forward to moving beyond just conversations toward actions – in all aspects of life and business. If you haven’t done so already, take a step toward actionable change by taking the DEI Pledge that the region began at the beginning of the year. Almost 150 CEOs and top executives in the Orlando business community have added their company’s names to the regional effort.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or Sheena Fowler with thoughts or suggestions as to how we can do better on this or any front.
In tech news, we continue to see ground-breaking company and partnership announcements on an almost weekly basis. Three partnerships were made public this week that will continue to advance the region’s travel and transportation initiatives on an international stage and promote the incredible AI research being done here. These partnerships are poised to have global impact across a number of industries.
This week also brought more news of companies choosing Orlando to grow their businesses, bringing with them technologies that will continue to bolster the region as both an established and growing tech and innovation hub. We look forward to welcoming these companies to the community soon.
I’m taking some time off with the family next week, as perhaps many of you are. So there will not be an email from me next week, and we’ll resume the week of June 7. Be safe and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend with family and friends – as we remember those who gave their lives for our country.
Orlando Tech Council Chair
Profiles in Tech
This week’s Orlando Profiles in Tech features Paul Sohl, retired Rear Admiral of the US Navy and CEO of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council. He describes the Orlando region’s boundary-breaking collaboration and tells out-of-towners to “imagine if…” Read more here.
Hitachi and Tavistock team up to improve transportation through Lake Nona
This week, Tavistock announced a partnership with Hitachi with the goal of improving the travel and transportation through Lake Nona. “The objective is friction removal – removing things that prevent enjoying or using an environment. The specifics of how will come from the data,” said Tavistock’s Senior Vice President of Innovation and Brand Experience and Orlando Tech Council member Juan Santos. While the outcomes are currently unknown, this research brings potential opportunities for future partnership with local businesses. Read more here.
Beep secures $20M series-A investment
Local autonomous mobility solutions company Beep announced the closure of its Series-A round with Intel Capital and Blue Lagoon Capital. Beep aligns perfectly with Intel Capital’s portfolio, which includes companies that are transforming the future of transportation. Says Joe Moye, CEO of Beep, “We are thrilled to welcome Intel Capital and Blue Lagoon Capital into the Beep family as we continue to bring the vision of autonomous mobility to life. Our mission is to improve safety on the roads for everyone while positively impacting the environment and delivering mobility-for-all in our public and private communities.” Read more here.
UCF joins partnership working to improve computer vision for AI
Together with colleagues at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and SRI International, UCF researchers have developed a new method that improves how AI “sees.” UTSA Professor Sumit Jha, who leads the team, says, “It’s about injecting noise into every layer… If every layer experiences more perturbations in every training, then the image representation will be more robust…” This technology is important to a number of applications including cancer diagnosis, agriculture, and defects in pipelines, to name a few. Read more here.
UK-based Archangel Lightworks selects Central Florida for first US subsidiary
After winning the grand prize in Space Florida’s 2020 Florida Venture Aerospace Innovation and Tech Forum, Archangel Lightworks has officially selected Central Florida for its first US subsidiary – specifically UCF’s Incubation Soft-Landing Program. With the company’s focus on improving “data and communications infrastructure for the aerospace sector,” Orlando Tech Council member and UCF’s Director of Programs & Operations for UCF’s Innovation Districts and Business Incubation Program, Carol Ann Logue, says Archangel Lightworks represents “exactly the type of company we look for – a talented team with leading edge innovation in a rapidly growing market and a commitment to anchoring their growth in Central Florida.” Read more here.
TogetherHealth chooses our region, creates 300 new jobs
We continue to see economic recovery in the region with yet another project announcement this week. Insurance technology company TogetherHealth will open a new office in Lake Mary in Seminole County, hiring 300 new employees this year. TogetherHealth leverages existing platforms to offer a range of Medicare-related insurance plans to meet the needs of consumers. The Orlando region made the company’s shortlist of nine cities, and TogetherHealth eventually chose Orlando over Dallas due to real estate availability and talent density. The Orlando Economic Partnership worked with CareerSource Central Florida and the company’s consultant, Site Selection Group, to assist the company with its location decision. The Partnership provided population and workforce data, local company testimonials as well as comparative data on the company’s other location options. The Partnership also helped to connect the company for an employer interviews for staffing agency interviews regarding the quality and availability of the local workforce. Read the full release here.
Save the Date | Upcoming Events
Events for the Weeks of May 31
Monday, May 31
Tuesday, June 1
4:30 p.m., Synapse – Libate & Learn: Episode 34: Tactics That Win Customers
7 p.m., General Assembly – Inspiring Change with Data Visualization
Wednesday, June 2
9 a.m., Alliance for Regional Transportation – ART Educational Series: Transform All of Interstate 4
10:15 a.m., VR/AR Global Summit 2021 begins
1 p.m., General Assembly – Free Intro to Python Class Online
4 p.m., General Assembly – Pivoting into Data Science
Thursday, June 3
9 a.m., VR/AR Global Summit 2021
9 a.m., Orlando Regional Chamber – Business Opportunities Network
10 a.m., Central Florida Foundation – Maximizing Historic Stimulus to Transform the Affordable Housing Crisis Across Florida
Friday, June 4
9 a.m., VR/AR Global Summit 2021
Events on the Horizon
June 6-8 – Florida BitCoin & BlockChain Summit
June 12-13 – Small Biz Creative Conference
June 15-16 – 23rd World Aviation Training Summit (WATS)
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
- Tech trade groups sue Florida over social media law – NBC News
- Florida a focal point in Biden’s plan for high-speed trains – Government Technology
- 40 Under 40: Matthew Broffman helps lead Orlando’s charge to be a future-ready city – Orlando Business Journal
- Laser communications start-up launches US subsidiary – BusinessCloud
- The University of Central Florida launches Cyber Security and Privacy Master’s degree as nation faces urgent workforce shortage – Virtual Strategy Magazine
- Miventure offers startups early-stage investment connections – Orlando Business Journal
- Nominations now open for Orlando Business Journals’ 2021 CEOs of the Year
- Power Player behind Orlando’s climate action – Green Builder
- Moving beyond Covid: 3 ways to strengthen restaurants in Orlando and beyond – Orlando Business Journal
- Tech firm Medek accelerates growth in patient monitoring industry – Orlando Business Journal
- StartUPDATES: New developments from healthcare startups – Med City News
*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.