This month, Synapse Orlando shines a light on the regional innovation community, a new tool to help connect and strengthen our innovation community, as well as big headlines and news from across the Orlando region.

Featured Headlines | Upcoming Events | News from the Orlando Region

Message from the Orlando Tech Council Chair

Happy Friday, all. 

I want to start this month’s newsletter by thanking you, the Orlando tech and innovation community, for making Orlando Innovation Week such a resounding success! With multiple, well attended events leading up to Synapse Orlando, the theme “Experience Orlando” was perfect as we gathered for the first time in a long time to engage, learn and experience all that the region has to offer. I would like to especially thank Truist for being the event’s presenting sponsor as well as our partners at Synapse Florida for their commitment to and support of the event. Without their team, the event would not have been possible. I would also like to thank our OTC members – because of your hard work, dedication, and commitment of both time and money, the second year of Synapse Orlando saw some incredible milestones: 

  • 1,500+ registrants 
  • 1,100+ attendees 
  • 4 floors of exhibitors 
  • 4 stages with over 90 speakers in total 
  • And more that you can read about in the headlines below 

We have heard wonderful feedback from panelists, exhibitors and attendees alike and are excited to continue the momentum with new programming opportunities and ways to engage. More to come on that in the new year. 

At our Council meeting this week, David Adelson – Orlando Economic Partnership’s Executive Director of Innovation and Technology – announced the launch of our very own, much-awaited local ecosystem platform. The Orlando Tech Hub is now the place where all innovation and technology enthusiasts from across the region can learn, share, connect and thrive. This will allow users to create customized profiles, participate in discussions, connect with mentors, search through a library of nearly 2,000 resources to help any business, stay up to date on regional news and wins, see all upcoming events in our region, learn about local investors, and much more. This platform brings to life a number of goals that our OTC committees have been working toward. I want to personally invite you to take the time to create a profile and explore the site as well as share this generously with your network – the more connections we create, the more valuable the platform becomes, and the better it can serve our community. 

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 

Headlines

Synapse Orlando by the numbers

Three weeks ago, more than 1,500 Orlando doers, creators, innovators and thought leaders filled four floors of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for Synapse Orlando, and the region’s innovation ecosystem is still buzzing with excitement, synergy and collaboration. With over 70 exhibitors and 113 expert speakers, the region’s premier innovation symposium showcased why Orlando is one of the world’s fastest-growing innovation communities and most-desirable destinations to live, work, learn and play. A huge thank you to presenting sponsor Truist along with all the other sponsors, speakers and volunteers who made this year’s Synapse such a success. If you missed it, you can view a recap here.#InnovationLivesHere.

Congratulations to Beep Inc., Orlando’s most innovative company

Beep Inc., the autonomous mobility company headquartered in Orlando’s Lake Nona, was named the 2021 recipient of the Orlando Economic Partnership’s Schwartz Innovation Award at Synapse Orlando. The annual award is named after the late William C. Schwartz, a pioneer in the field of laser technology who founded two companies in the Orlando region, and honors a local company that has made the greatest impact on the Orlando region’s economy through innovation. Beep’s success includes many firsts in the industry, including recognition as one of the federal government’s first AV Test Initiative Partners, the launch of the country’s first autonomous shuttles in Yellowstone National Park, and the operation of the largest and longest autonomous shuttle network in the country at one location in Lake Nona. Click here to learn more.

The fastest-growing city for entrepreneurs

Orlando is the nation’s fastest-growing big city for entrepreneurs, according to LinkedIn’s State of Entrepreneurship report.  Outranking the likes of Miami, Tampa, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth, which round out the top five, Orlando is recognized for having the highest company formation rates out of any large city in the nation from July 2019 – 2021. The report is based off an analysis of LinkedIn members who self-identified as having a founder or owner role in a company or small businesses with fewer than 500 employees during their first two months of operation. Its findings highlight how the pandemic prompted a new wave of entrepreneurship across the U.S., with new business applications up 24 percent and women-founded companies growing by 81 percent nationally during the period measured. It’s clear that the recent wave of corporate migrations, coupled with our region’s explosive growth, are energizing Orlando’s innovation ecosystem, and furthering an environment ripe for startups to launch, scale and succeed.

Simulation leaders converge in Orlando

On October 19, the 17th Florida Simulation Summit highlighted the strong progress, synergy and development of Central Florida’s multibillion-dollar Modeling, Simulation and Training (MS&T) industry. Touting the strength of the region’s workforce, which is highly specialized in MS&T thanks to our outstanding educational ecosystem, along with the ease of collaboration between businesses, researchers and the military, the Summit focused on the growing importance of cybersecurity and how Central Florida can leverage the combination of digital twin modeling and the region’s MS&T expertise to tackle present and future challenges. Thank you to Orange County and Mayor Jerry L. Demings, the National Center for Simulation, host sponsor Duke Energy and the nearly three-dozen additional sponsors for their support. We are excited to showcase to the world how Orlando’s innovation ecosystem creates an empowering environment to develop, demonstrate, deploy and commercialize the future of this emerging technology.

Local acquisitions signal continued tech momentum

AdTech firm Sonobi’s recent acquisition of Kansas City-based Amply Media represents the latest win for Orlando’s tech community. Sonobi, based in Winter Park, is a pioneer in digital advertising technology, and its acquisition of Amply, a digital push notification platform, will support the local tech firm in its efforts to create more value for its programmatic ecosystem. This announcement comes on the heels of other recent local M&A activity including Orlando-based ITEC Entertainment’s expansion and acquisition by Pennsylvania-based TAIT, Massey Services’ expansions into Virginia and Georgia, Longwood-based BaseballCloud’s multimillion deal to acquire Michigan-based optical tracking solution Yakkertech and Orlando-based Reservations.com’s business combination with HotelPlanner and planned public offering. And that’s not including local enterprise conversational AI startup Kore.ai’s recent Series C funding of $70M. Combined, these announcements are yet more evidence of the strength and momentum of our innovation ecosystem and its ability to generate wealth, opportunity and success for our region’s founders and entrepreneur

Save the Date | Upcoming Events

November 
November 4-7 – Armed Forces Jam 
November 8-12 – NEC Open House + launch of BizLink Orange 
November 9 – Seedfunders Orlando – Startup Investor Showcase 
November 11 – Lean Startup Orlando – A Tale of Two Experts
November 14-19 – IAAPA 
November 18 – GrowFL CEO Academy – HR Strategies for CEOs (virtual) 
November 29 – December 3 – I/ITSEC 

December 
December 8-10 – BioFlorida 
December 9 – GrowFL CEO Academy – Leadership Communication (in-person) 

January 
January 11 – Orlando Tech Council Meeting 
January 20 – GrowFL CEO Academy – Leadership Communication (in-person) 

ICYMI | News from the Orlando Region

*Have a story you would like OTC to feature? Email Lindsey.Sandrin@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