Press Release

Orlando Technology Community Support Program Awards 15 Recipients

A total of two maximum grants of $10,000 were awarded to the nonprofit organization Black Orlando Tech and Venture ScaleUp, a mentorship-driven business accelerator.

Orlando, Fla. — Today, in collaboration with the Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership), the City of Orlando announced the Orlando Technology Community Support Program has awarded 15 recipients a portion of the $65,000 grant to develop tech-focused events that will unite the local tech workforce and community. A total of two maximum grants of $10,000 were awarded to the nonprofit organization Black Orlando Tech and Venture ScaleUp, a mentorship-driven business accelerator.

Recipients were selected based on how each application met the four key goals that guide the program: increasing the connection and collaboration among startup and existing tech companies; building the tech talent pipeline; catalyzing private capital investments; and increasing Orlando’s reputation as a tech hub.

“A key part of growing and nurturing a strong tech and entrepreneurial community in Orlando is the grassroots and volunteer driven organizations that commit to making Orlando a great place for tech entrepreneurs,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “This grant program is about supporting those organizations so they can focus more on their impact to our community and less on fundraising for the next initiative.”

“We are pleased to continue to partner with the Orlando Economic Partnership on programs that fuel our unique culture of collaboration, strengthen our tech talent pipeline and increase Orlando’s reputation as a tech hub.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

In 2018, the Orlando Technology Community Support Pilot Program selected 16 applications to receive grant awards.

“This program continues the regional focus on aligning the efforts of the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Sheena Fowler, Partnership vice president of innovation. “Working as a convener for our entrepreneurs and startups, our goal is to bridge our entrepreneurs to the larger business community.”

This year’s recipients represent the breadth of diversity in the Orlando tech ecosystem.

Black Orlando Tech (BOT) – a nonprofit organization working to increase the awareness, activities, network and resources for local minorities who pursue careers in technology by over 10,000 people by the year 2025.

DevFest Florida – a community-run organization dedicated to helping developers, designers and entrepreneurs interested in learning about the business of technology by creating an environment where technology experts, entrepreneurs and aspiring individuals can share their own experiences, failures and successes to help each other grow their career and business.

Down Syndrome Entrepreneur Academy – founded by the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida (DSACF) three years ago in Orlando, the Academy is a 15-session program for teens and adults with Down Syndrome who are interested in learning how to start their own micro-enterprises.

GetChoGrindUp Xperience – helps students transition from college into the real world by creating an atmosphere that connects employers with Florida’s top student talent with a focus on the Modeling and Simulation Industry.

Indienomicon – brings together the innovative and creative video game communities in Orlando to provide opportunities for networking, business development, education and career advancement.

MeGa Health Jam – a healthcare-meets-gaming technology “hack-a-thon” where attendees from many technical and business disciplines pitch ideas in order to develop rapid prototypes that help address or solve real world healthcare problems.

Level Up Academy Summer Camp – dedicated to offering the resources, equipment, knowledge, connections to children from all socioeconomic backgrounds to learn how to make games.

Digital Orlando – brings together leaders across the spectrum of Orlando’s tech and innovation ecosystem including entrepreneurs, talent, corporations, support organizations, universities/educational institutions, government, economic development, investment capital and innovation enablers.

Orlando Electronic Interactive Entertainment Convention – OTRONICON, hosted by Orlando Science Center, is a four-day event held in mid-January explores the science, technology, careers and innovation behind simulation, robotics, video games, virtual reality and digital media industries.

VentureScaleUp – a mentorship-driven advanced business accelerator with a mission to identify, nurture, and accelerate Orlando’s high-growth entrepreneurs by removing barriers to growth and accelerate startups by providing mentorship, strategic advice and inspiration.

Startup Weekend Orlando – an annual 54-hour event that provides participants with a one-of-a-kind experience in entrepreneurship where participants come together to pitch ideas, then form teams and execute on their ideas under guidance from experienced mentors, culminating with a pitch competition in front of experienced judges who award prizes.

StarterStudio –convenes business, tech and talent around an engaging event, highlighting Orlando as a tech hub and fostering collaboration to breed innovation.

Tech Sassy Girlz – the signature program of Collegiate Pathways, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Orlando with the mission is to empower middle and high school girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields through college preparation, career readiness, mentoring and entrepreneurship.

Techqueria Orlando chapter – the largest community for Latinx professionals in the US, providing the resources and support that they need to thrive and become leaders in the tech industry.

The Maker Effect Foundation, Inc. – activates and amplifies the efforts of makers as they learn, build and work together in their communities by providing a free hands-on technology activation option to each of the 2,000+ Title 1 students that currently attend Maker Faire Orlando through an existing free admission program.

Learn more about this year’s Orlando Technology Community Support Program recipients.