This month in the Orlando region, we work towards “engagement” and more big local investments and partnerships are announced. That and more can be found in this edition of the Tech Round Up.

Featured Headlines | Upcoming Events | News from the Orlando Region

Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair

Happy Friday,    

We were so excited to have our most recent OTC meeting in person. David Adelson and I discussed the main goals for the council this year, such as increasing membership activity and the focus of the Tech Council – Startup, Growth, Enterprise, and Membership. The chairs of each committee discussed the state and goals for the quarter. If you are a member and haven’t yet signed up for a committee, please do so here.  

We also welcomed a new hire this week who will be serving as the Coordinator for Innovation and Technology at OEP, Brooke Hill. We are excited for her to join the team! 

If you’ve been on the sidelines for some time, maybe wondering how to get plugged back into the growing tech eco culture that makes Orlando so special, let’s chat. I’d love to see how we can get you involved and learn what your company is looking for and needs. 

Be sure to read below for some of the region’s biggest headlines from the past month. The Orlando Tech Grant is back for the third year, some big partnerships were announced, and much more. Also, a reminder to get connected on the Orlando Tech Hub – that’s where we’re consistently updating news, events, connection opportunities, and much more.   

Our next event is a happy hour for the OTC and SIMCFL on March 24th at 6:00 pm, click here to Register.  We hope you can join us. 

Stay tuned for more news, events and ways to connect with the Orlando region’s tech and innovation economy. Feel free to share this newsletter with friends and colleagues who can get on our mailing list here

Have a great weekend and thank you for making this region amazing,
Charlie Lewis 
Founder & CEO, BlueWave Resource Partners 
Orlando Tech Council Chair 


Supporting the lifecycles of our region’s tech businesses

The Orlando Tech Council (OTC) unveiled a new vision this week focused on supporting businesses at each stage in their growth lifecycle. Through this new vision, committees helmed by local industry veterans and self-proclaimed doers and go-getters will identify the most pressing needs of local companies in each stage of growth – startup, growth and enterprise – and create or connect entrepreneurs to resources and programming to meet those needs. This new focus gives OTC leaders and members a hands-on approach to creating more onramps and pathways to growth for our region’s start-ups while also supporting the development of scaling companies and helping mature companies evolve. By helping companies of all sizes in our region’s innovation ecosystem succeed, the OTC will propel the diversification of our economy while also reinforcing Orlando’s growing reputation as a global tech hub. Learn more here.


Transformative investments in Orlando’s future

In the first two months of 2022, several major Orlando employers have made transformative investments in the future of our community. Last week, the Fairwinds Foundation announced the recipients of $300,000 in grants, headlined by a $100,000 donation to Junior Achievement to further its goal of creating a more prosperous financial future for our next generation of leaders. The Orlando Magic and the Devos Family Foundation also announced a $50,000 donation to Heart of Florida United Way as part of the organization’s 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative. Through the initiative, the Magic and Devos family pledged to donate $3 million to 30 area nonprofit organizations over an 18-month period. All of this comes on the heels of Luminar Technologies CEO Austin Russell’s $70 million donation to the Central Florida Foundation. These are excellent examples of how the impact of our region’s business leaders and large employers transcends our economy into the community. And, as our regional economy continues to grow, so too will its philanthropy.

No. 2 in the nation for job growth

Employment made a huge rebound in the nation’s largest metro areas in 2021, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. With the highest gains seen in the nation’s most popular tourist destinations that were hit the hardest by COVID-19 related job losses, Orlando achieved the second-highest job growth rate in the U.S., trailing only Las Vegas. With 1,276,100 jobs reported in December 2021, Orlando added 91,400 jobs, achieving a year-over-year growth rate of 7.72 percent. Most of the jobs were in the service industry, which saw an 8.13 percent increase over the past year as a rebound in domestic leisure travel fueled rapid recovery for our region’s major attractions. With current regional job postings 28 percent above pre-pandemic heights last seen in December of 2019, Orlando’s job growth momentum is poised to help propel our region toward full industry employment recovery, which currently sits only 5 percent below pre-pandemic levels. View the full rankings list here.

Virtual production studio Vu eyes Orlando growth after fundraising round

Investors in Orlando are participating in a Tampa-based virtual production firm called Vu Technologies Corp. Waterfall Ventures Investments, managed by Orlando Tech Council Chair Charlie Lewis, brought 30 Orlando-area angel investors into the $17 million seed round, contributing $1.7 million. Vu plans to add studios in seven cities, including Orlando, before the end of 2022. The studios will be used for film, TV and commercial production that will utilize “fully enclosed spaces where motion capture and real-time compositing [can] take place [for] virtual environments.” Vu’s growth in the state will generate more production work within the area. Learn more here.

Save the Date | Upcoming Events

May 3 – Orlando Tech Council Meeting at 3:30 pm

Please visit the Events section of the Orlando Tech Hub for upcoming events.  

ICYMI | News from the Orlando Region

For more industry news, visit the News section of the Orlando Tech Hub.  

*Have a story you would like OTC to feature? Email

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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.

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

Special thanks to our Orlando Tech Council Members

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