The Orlando Tech Community
Over the last few months I’ve grown more and more passionate about helping grow a Tech Startup community in Orlando. I’ve had a some great conversations with some incredible people (Kyle Steele, Orrett Davis, David Rogers, Gregg Pollack, Ryan Price, Johnny Diggz, John Frost) I’ve meet and talked with about this same idea who have the same passion.
A good number of events (and things I’ve read (Paul Graham - Why Startup Hubs Work, Scott Allison - Location Matters)) over the last 3 months have brought this energy to a tipping point of sorts. Orlando is ready, and in my arguments - poised to become a growing tech startup hub over the next 3 years. Here are some points as to why as well as a little bit of a vision for what Orlando can grow into.
Over the last 3 years I think Orlando has undergone some growing pains in making it’s way from a state of design/tech primordial soup to something of more organized matter (probably not to dissimilar from many medium sized US cities). There are so many pieces to the tech and creative landscape in Orlando that make it incredibly ripe for a Tech Startup explosion. Namely, Orlando has a thriving creative community, a growing list of digital agencies, a few really solid Tech Companies and some great community building networks.
Orlando’s past as a primordial soup of creative/digital/entrepreneurial has been pointing directly towards the present.
We have some really incredible things currently happening that are growing the community with some great ones in store. New community’s are taking shape and new meetups are happening, each with a new level of direction. Here is a quick rundown of some regularly happening tech-related events in Orlando. I want to just take a minute to list some of events/agencies/companies and communities that have really stuck out the last 3 months, if you’d like yours added to the list - Drop a comment! Here are some awesome meetups currently happening on a consistant basis.
- Orlando Build Guild
- Orlando Social Media Club
- Orlando PHP User Group
- Urban ReThink Tech Thursday
- UX Orlando
Not only does Orlando have some incredible groups and meetups happening but we’ve got an awesome list of small, medium and large sized design/advertising agencies. Each of these in many ways bringing color to the cities digital presence. Here are just a few (one of which I am an employee).
The companies who have pioneered the space of being a tech startup in Central Florida are doing amazing things. A few companies have moved in and defined the space for Central Florida and each are giving back to this community in incredible ways. All of these companies are doing really cool things for trying to help nurture this growing ecosystem.
Currently, there are two incredibly helpful community building networks that are both interacting with the Orlando Tech community. Both are having and have had a substantial impact on the community thus far.
There is only goodness in store for the collision of tech and entrepreneurship in the city of Orlando. Over the past few weeks a number of events and new services have gotten kicked off and there are some really key events currently being planned for the coming months. All the events listed in “The Present” section are meeting on a consistant basis, most monthly. Lot’s of Here’s a few of them, in chronological order.
As a part of the future and conversations I’ve had with some of the great people working in this City of Orlando. I’ve had my brain pretty attached to the idea of a completely demo-centric meetup for orlando based entrepreneurs, designers and developers working on tech startups. After visiting the New York Tech meetup in June I was very inspired by what they’ve done as a collective recipe for building a tech entrepreneurship community. I think Orlando can have just as much to offer.
Orlando Tech Meetup
So, The Orlando Tech Meetup has been born and will be kicking off in November. The idea is to give 3-5 startups/individuals 3-5 minutes to demo a product that’s been cooked up right here in the middle of the sunshine state. The presentees will then get 3-5 minutes to get real-time feedback from the attendees. And away we go.
We want to encourage open-handedness. We want to encourage idea connecting. We want to encourage failure because it is the precursor of creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Our goal is by no means to cause harm to any of the incredibly awesome existing meetups and/or organizations, our goal is to help them. In all the looking around we’ve done there is not yet a place like the described existing in Orlando. So we want to make that place and help sustain it.
The vision is for this to become a sustaining piece of growing our community into a startup hub. One small victory at a time. How incredible when Orlando has a list of companies being grown as extensive as the NTYM Made list - What an opportunity.
In my mind, there is still a lingering question - It’s a matter of the chicken or the egg. Do we first rise up entrepreneurs creating great products? Or do we need a team of advisors/investors channeling vision and giving fiscal opportunity.
The entrepreneurship is here and is ready.