In this week’s Orlando Profiles in Tech, we hear from Sydney Rossman-Reich, Managing Partner of PRN Real Estate & Investments, Ltd, on what makes the Orlando tech ecosystem unique and what has kept her family business in the region for more than 50 years.

The Orlando innovation ecosystem is rich with high-caliber tech talent and boundary-pushing entrepreneurs. In an effort to foster a more connected community, the Orlando Tech Council presents “Profiles in Tech,” a new series highlighting the region’s top executives, innovators and movers and shakers whose ideas and companies are changing the world right from our own backyard.

To stay up-to-date on all matters tech in Orlando, sign up for the Orlando Tech Council newsletter today!

In this week’s Orlando Profiles in Tech, we hear from Sydney Rossman-Reich, Managing Partner of PRN Real Estate & Investments, Ltd, on what makes the Orlando tech ecosystem unique and what has kept her family business in the region for more than 50 years.

Have you experienced an “only in Orlando” moment? If so, what was it?    

Yes! Almost weekly. Orlando is oddly a very small town, but more than that, our city is an incredibly inclusive place. I moved back to Orlando in early 2020 after being away for more than a decade. I was shocked at not only how welcoming those I met in Orlando were to me, but how easy it has been to get involved, especially in the Orlando technology scene. If you are excited to role up your sleeves and jump in, there are plenty of people and organizations in town itching for the extra energy. 

What brought you to the Orlando region? What’s kept you here?  

My grandfather moved to Orlando in the 1950s, and my family has been here ever since. I grew up in Orlando and was excited to move back home after years away in St Louis, Houston, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Orlando is a city with so much optimistic passion for the future. There are many bright and talented people here excited to build a better future for our region. I have never lived anywhere where the people have so much pride in their community. It is infectious! 

What makes Orlando the right place for your business? How does being in Orlando contribute to your business success or personal growth?  

My family business has been here for more than half a century, and we’ve never wanted to leave. The city and region has grown so much in that time and there is no end in sight. As a real estate developer and tech investor, I have continued to be in awe of the opportunities here for new and established businesses alike. The favorable tax environment and incredible talent pool doesn’t hurt either.

What makes the Orlando tech ecosystem unique?  

The Orlando tech ecosystem is unique in that we have some of the most cutting-edge tech-enabled sectors in the country represented: space, simulation, entertainment. I don’t think Orlando comes top of mind to most folks when they think of an up-and-coming tech city, but we really should. And it is exciting to see how our various tech sectors are starting to integrate with one another and the new businesses emerging from this.

What’s one thing you wish Orlando had? What will it take to make that a reality?  

We need more tech investment in our region from our governmental leaders, businesses, and individual investors. I am a member and board member of SeedFunders Orlando, a group that invests in pre-revenue tech companies in the region. I am regularly shocked by the incredible Orlando-based tech companies trying to raise money here and how difficult it can be to get these companies the capital they need to scale. If we had just a little more gasoline to dump on these fires, I think we’d see our tech sector grow exponentially. Sometimes I think investors in Orlando just don’t know that we have a growing tech scene or how to get involved. I’d love to introduce more investors to the tech opportunities in town.

If you had to describe to an out-of-town friend what it’s like to live, work, learn and play in Orlando, what would you say?  

Orlando is one of the best kept secrets in the country. We’re a city that deeply cares about our community’s direction, is inclusive of all types of people and businesses, and has an incredibly high quality of life. Come join me for a weekend, and I’ll show you around. I guarantee you’ll leave impressed and eager to return.

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.