This week in the Orlando region, new jobs on the rise in Florida, major theme parks reveal new patents, and a high school student partners with UCF to create a lifesaving technology. Check out these stories and more in this Weekly Tech Round Up.

Featured Headlines | Upcoming Events | News from the Orlando Region

Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair

Happy Friday, all. 

Thank you to all our council members and guests who joined our Orlando Tech Council meeting this week. We had a great presentation that dove into the details of the region’s tech talent and led to an engaging discussion on efforts to recruit non-local talent and companies to the area.  

Speaking of recruiting talent, you’ll want to check out some of the articles in this week’s newsletter that highlight the growth trajectory for Florida’s economy, new tech and acquisitions. Thank you to all that have been submitting story ideas and sharing links to articles. If you have tech news, please send us the link so that we can help amplify all the incredible activity taking place in our community.  

And, with all this activity, being connected is more important than ever. The ecosystem directory and community tech calendar are now live. Register your company, space and events to help showcase the diversity of industry and talent in the Orlando region.  

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

Diane Court, Orlando Chapter Director of StartupGrind

This week’s Orlando Profiles in Tech features Diane Court, Orlando Chapter Director of Startup Grind. She details an important thread in the Orlando community and how abandoning silos makes the region’s tech ecosystem unique. Read more here.

Headlines

Tech jobs, sun, and no income tax: experts explain why Florida is poised to keep growing even after the pandemic

Florida’s population grew by 2.7 million — or 14.6 percent — between 2010 and 2020, according to U.S. Census data. This is double the rate of overall U.S. population growth. And, while many may want to assume it’s due to increased snowbird activity, the truth is that there has been a growing trend of workforce choosing to move to the sunshine state and working remotely. In the Orlando region, we’ve seen software company Civix and Sonesta International Hotels opening new offices. Deloitte has invested $63 million in Orlando since 2014, while KPMG chose Orlando for its $450 million global training center, the largest capital investment in KPMG history, according to Casey Barnes, vice president of business development at the Orlando Economic Partnership. Click here to read more.

Disney and Universal’s latest patents tackle robotic eye contact and UV cleaning for rides

Both The Walt Disney Co. and Universal Parks and Resorts filed patents that could help improve operations. Disney’s patent includes technology that will sense eye contact with robotic characters. Universal’s patent details improvements for sanitizing amusement park equipment. While it’s unclear if these technologies will make their way to the Orlando theme parks, both could improve park operations and guest experience. Read more here. 

High school senior invents Smartwatch to detect and treat overdoses

California high school senior, Steve Dou, has invented a smartwatch that will help detect drug overdoses, then automatically send an alert to 911 if necessary. This creation is possible in part because of the University of Central Florida and Orlando Regional Medical Center. When Dou was 13, he emailed a number of research facilities, and UCF answered the call and the two have been working together for three years now. A collaboration with ORMC allowed Dou to establish the threshold measurements. Read more about this incredible collaboration here. 

Skywater Technology goes public

SkyWater Technology Inc., the only U.S.-owned and U.S.-based pure play semiconductor foundry that recently partnered with Osceola County’s Center for NeoVation to operate BRIDG, went public on April 21, uplisting to NASDAQ under the symbol “SKYT.” Its IPO was well-received on Wall Street, with the company’s stock opening 10.7 percent above the initial public offering price, raising $97.44 million. SkyWater intends to use the net proceeds for working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include financing SkyWater’s growth and funding capital expenditures right here in the Orlando region. This public offering is the next in a string of high-profile public offering by Orlando companies and represents another step forward in developing our region’s high technology industry and ensuring long-term success of both our regional and national economy. Read more here.

Six tools to help employers find talent

While the nation continues to take steps toward economic recovery, companies are struggling to fill open positions. To overcome the challenge of ramping up staffing from pandemic-lows to meet growing demand, many employers are turning to skills-based hiring and other tools that will help them attract talent quickly and hire right the first time. In a new blog, we’ve compiled six tools and resources to help employers find talent, effectively reduce their time-to-hire, deepen their talent pool, improve employee retention and increase workplace diversity. If you’re struggling to find the talent you need, I encourage you to explore these regional talent initiatives or contact Partnership Vice President of Talent & Community Development Danielle Permenter, who can help connect you with resources you need to be successful in the post-pandemic economy. 

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/   

Info Session 1: Wednesday, April 28 at 12pm 
Info Session 2: Thursday, May 13 at 12pm 
RSVP: https://newlab.com/event/nsin-propel-open-call-info-session-2/  

Save the Date | Upcoming Events

Events for the Week of May 10

Monday, May 10
11:30 a.m., PNC – Women in Business Week begins

Tuesday, May 11
9 a.m., UCF – SBIR/STTR: Formatting & Readability Tips and Registrations
10 a.m., General Assembly – Developing a Success Mindset
11 a.m., The National Center for Simulation – Webinar: ROI on Competitive Intelligence
11:30 a.m., PNC – Women in Business Week
12 p.m., UCF Business Incubation Program – Business Modeling Boot Camp: Cohort#3
5:30 p.m., Central Florida Foundation – Rally: The Social Enterprise Accelerator is proud to present the Winter 2021 Fellows

Wednesday, May 12
9 a.m., 1 Million Cups (1MC)
11:30 a.m., PNC – Women in Business Week, Women in Tech
1 p.m., Verizon x Lake Nona – First Response: Technology in Public Safety (hosted by Sheena Fowler)
8 p.m., General Assembly – Rezdy x GA present: Driving Better Business Decisions with Data

Thursday, May 13
9 a.m., Orange County – Orange County Contracting Opportunities
10 a.m., Orlando Economic Partnership – SKILLFUL® Talent Series sponsored by JPMorgan Chase | Series 104: Employee Retention
11 a.m., Tech Grove Connect – Can a Medical Application Address a Growing Crisis in Military Training?
11:30 a.m., PNC – Women in Business Week

Friday, May 14
12 p.m., General Assembly – Women in Tech Breakfast: Cultivating Empathetic Leadership

Events on the Horizon

May 18 – UCF Innovation Districts – SBIR/STTR: Post Award Management
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.

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Special thanks to our Orlando Tech Council Members