Press Release

Orlando Technology Community Support Program Returns

The program will provide lump-sum, matching grants to help organizations and companies develop tech-focused events that will unite the local tech workforce and community…

Orlando, Fla. — Today, in collaboration with the Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership), the City of Orlando announced it will once again offer the Orlando Technology Community Support Program. This program will provide lump-sum, matching grants up to $10,000 from a total pool of $65,000 to help organizations and companies develop tech-focused events that will unite the local tech workforce and community.

The Partnership will host an informational webinar on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. to review and answer questions about the Tech Grant process and application. The webinar is for those seeking to learn more about the process and be able to ask questions. Sign up here.

Four key goals provide a framework for the effort: 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.

“As a city, we continue to focus on growing and nurturing a strong tech and entrepreneurial community in Orlando.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

“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,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

In 2018, the Orlando Technology Community Support Pilot Program selected 16 applications to receive a portion of the $65,000 matching-grant award.

“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 panel of six volunteer judges includes industry and community leaders that reflect the breadth of expertise in areas considered critical to assessing the viability of the event.

Richard Milam – Entrepreneur, RPA/AI, CEO Coach, Consultant
A pioneer in the Robotic Process Automation technology movement, Richard Milam brought a revolutionary operational efficiency solution to organizations worldwide with his conception of Foxtrot, the flagship product of the company he founded, EnableSoft, Inc. Subsequent to the 2019 acquisition of EnableSoft by Nintex, Foxtrot RPA is now a key component of the world’s leading end to end Digital Process Automation solution. Prior to founding EnableSoft in 1995, he worked for the inventor of the ATM as an implementer of ATM networks around the world, held sales and consulting positions for several of the largest banking software companies and served in the United States Navy as a nuclear-trained engineer in the Navy’s submarine service.

Mike Felix – Partner, Digital Growth Consultant
Michael Felix is an Engineer turned Full Stack Marketer specializing in working with small business owners and startup founders on optimizing and scaling their sales and marketing efforts. Felix is co-founder of Guerrilla Launch, a digital growth agency specializing in digital marketing, sales coaching, design, and development. Felix was also instrumental in the founding and growth of various minority-focused technology and business organizations, including the re-chartering of the National Society of Black Engineers in Central Florida, Black Orlando Tech, The Collective Orlando and Black Business Orlando. Felix focuses his daily efforts and energies on creating content and platforms for entrepreneurs and professionals to gain soft and hard skills, grow their network and gain resources that would enable them to grow their professional careers.

Kathy Chiu – Managing Partner, DeepWork Capital
Kathy Chiu is a managing partner at DeepWork Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in Florida-based, early stage technology and life science companies. Previously, Chiu was a strategy and business development consultant specializing in new market entry and has clients ranging from US-based Fortune 500 to foreign technology companies. She also ran an angel network and was an investment professional at Denver-based iSherpa Capital, a wireless technology venture capital firm. She served as a product manager at Lefthand Networks and Level (3) Communications and also worked as a quantitative financial analyst at Cornerstone Research and in the corporate strategy department of Compaq Computers.   

Stacie Ruth – Co-Founder & CEO, Airehealth
Stacie Ruth brings two decades of Fortune 500 leadership experience in the healthcare and telecommunications industries, having served as an executive in both commercial and operational roles for Philips Healthcare. In addition to leading several sizable global business units in the patient care and clinical informatics segments, she opened new strategic markets in the emerging spaces of medical wearables, population health and connected digital health. Ruth partnered with Jason Eichenholz to co-found AireHealth, an award-winning health-tech and digital therapeutics startup headquartered in Orlando. AireHealth’s portable nebulizer and connected care app helps more than 100 million people in the U.S. living with respiratory illness, including 29 million children.

Orrett Davis – Commander of Growth & Founder, Mighty Orbit
Orrett Davis is a growth marketer, startup advocate and technology enthusiast that works closely with high-growth technology companies. Davis has helped to foster startup and entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout the country, is the founder of the largest tech meetup in the Southeast and received recognition from the White House during the Obama Administration for his contributions to the Orlando tech community.

Matthew Broffman – Director of Innovation, City of Orlando
Matt Broffman is the Innovation Official for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. In this role Broffman leads the Digital Platform and Service Design team focused on taking a user-centered approach to municipal services both online and in-person. Prior to joining the City, Broffman founded and operated Bungalower.com, a local news site for downtown Orlando and the surrounding neighborhoods. Broffman previous roles include consulting with newspapers across the country on helping them improve their user experience and find sustainable business models, working as a product manager for local data startup Korrelate, which was purchased by JD Power and Associates, and as the senior product manager at Tribune Interactive where he was responsible for Tribune’s eight newspaper websites including LATimes.com, ChicagoTribune.com and BaltimoreSun.com.

All judges will submit written disclosures of conflicts of interest and recuse themselves from evaluating the specific application for which there is a conflict. Additionally, the Orlando Economic Partnership staff will not serve on the judging panel.

The full grant program overview and application can be found at orlando.org/orlandotechprogram. Applications must be submitted through the website by midnight on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

Announcements of awardees will be made by posting to the Partnership website during the week of February 17, 2020.

For questions, contact Vanessa Zabala, director of innovation, at vanessa.zabala@orlando.org