ORLANDO TECH COMMUNITY GRANT

And the Winners are…

2022 WINNERS

iBuild Central Florida Program: iBuild Camp
Award: $10,000

iBuild Central Florida will be hosting a summer camp for middle school students served by Frontline Outreach. The camp will offer building information modeling training used in the construction industry combined with hands-on real-world projects. Community organizations will also provide mentoring services during the camp. This early digital literacy exposure and mentoring will lead to the ability to articulate to high school programs to continue their growth in technology skills and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Indienomicon Program: MeGa Health Jam
Award: $10,000

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

From these ideas/concepts, teams are formed and prototypes are built and presented within 48 hours. The objective is to develop rapid prototypes using gaming technologies and/or game theory to create solutions for the healthcare industry which can then be invested in and commercialized either independently or through partnerships with corporations. The unique element of MeGa Health Jam is the focus on the involvement, awareness, enthusiasm, and adoption by leaders within the local healthcare industry and beyond.

Seed Funders Orlando Program: VentureScaleUp
Award: $10,000

VentureScaleUp (VSU) is a 12-week accelerator program for high-growth entrepreneurs building scalable businesses in Central Florida. VSU is a workshop-focused peer-to-peer program where founders work on accelerating their startups with discussions on planning to scale, keeping focused, understanding markets and competition, optimizing team organization and growth, learning financial planning, succeeding at raising capital, and effectively pitching to investors.

VSU provides mentorship, strategic advice, and inspiration through its mentor network of role models, investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs that have built startups that have scaled. VSU offers entrepreneurs access to Florida angel, seed, and early-stage capital funding sources that open doors to funding.

Social Employment & Educational Impact Program: TechStars Startup Weekend
Award: $7,820

TechStars Startup Weekend is a global phenomenon in over 150 countries with close to 200,000 alumni. Over a single weekend, participants will pitch brand-new business ideas, form teams, validate customers, present to a judging panel and compete for prizes.

The purpose is to give participants a first hand experience of launching a startup business regardless of their experience and background. Training in innovation methodology, customer discovery, pitching, and tools such as business model canvas and value proposition canvas is included. This is not just theory, each team typically interacts with 50-100 customers over the weekend, and multiple teams will validate their ideas with pre-orders or letters of intent from customers.

StarterStudio Program: Co-Founder Finder Events
Award: $10,000

Co-Founder Finder Events – speed dating for co-founders and key startup roles! If 1M Cups and speed dating had a baby, this would be it – The Goal: finding prospective co-founders and key startup roles (CTO, Sales, Biz Dev, Dev Lead, etc) within the local community. June and October events where founders pitch their company, themselves, and the skills/roles they need. Attendees select companies through an app then queue for 1:1 speed convos around the venue. Event concludes with participant votes in the app. The company voted “most interesting” wins six months in the UCF Downtown Incubator ($900 value) and a scholarship to a StarterStudio $450 – $1500 value depending on stage). All attendees and companies registered into TechHub during the event.

Tech Forward Program: Forward Into Tech
Award: $10,000

Tech Forward is a nonprofit organization that exposes marginalized communities to cloud and SAAS (software-as-a-service) based technologies and careers paths to help participants be more marketable, obtain higher-paying jobs and career opportunities

Our Forward Into Tech program works to clear the path to certification for minorities and individuals in underserved communities pursuing Salesforce, AWS, or other SaaS (software as a service) careers by providing cost-effective and flexible training programs. Participants can expect access to SaaS curriculum and courses, certification vouchers as well as job placement assistance and career readiness services.

Tech Sassy Girlz Program: Tech Sassy Girlz Day Conference
Award: $10,000

Tech Sassy Girlz (TSG) is a signature program of Collegiate Pathways, Inc. TSG is an open access, self-select, out-of-school program for underrepresented girls in middle and high school. The Tech Sassy Girlz Day Conference is our largest event! It is a free one day STEM conference for girls. The annual conference includes an introduction to STEM through hands-on demonstrations, engineering design challenges, STEM challenges, and an opportunity to hear from women in STEM about their career trajectory. Additionally, the girls have an opportunity to network with women technology leaders.

2021 WINNERS

Black Orlando Tech Program: BOT Tech Cohort Project
Award: $15,000

The BOT Tech Cohort Project is an accelerated applied training program for participants to gain intro to intermediate level skills and certification (if applicable) within a particular topic in technology resulting in increased opportunities that will socio-economically benefit the local minority community.

The cohort will comprise of up to 10 Tech Cohorts, each taught over a 10-week duration, recurring in trimesters.

The BOT Tech Cohort leadership team will facilitate the training sessions through introductory level knowledge, topics, exercises, and activities, which lead to more advanced levels of training activities to create a stronger pipeline to a relevant certification.

DataKind Program: DataDive
Award: $10,000

DataKind proposes to unite the Orlando-based Data for Good community by hosting a regionally-focused ‘DataDive’ event. This high energy, marathon-style event rallies together teams of volunteer data scientists, developers, and designers that tackle the data challenges of local mission-driven organizations in 48 hours or less. Having run these events both in person and virtually for nearly a decade, DataKind anticipates bringing together up to 150 pro bono technologists to work with three or more social impact organizations to build data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that amplify their ability to do good in the world.

Foundation for OCPS Program: Ignite Ingenuity Challenge
Award: $5,000

Ignite Ingenuity: Innovate for Today and Tomorrow Challenge will activate the tech talent pipeline by exposing and engaging hundreds of Orange County Public Schools middle school students to the compelling world of computer science. This event allows students to explore their creativity, problem solving and team building skills as they develop solutions to authentic problems through mobile app development. This engaging, interactive event hopefully will ignite their imaginations and ultimately lead to a career in technology; thus increasing the much needed technology talent pool.

Intern Pursuit Program: Skills-based Hiring Study
Award: $5,000

Intern Pursuit is an intelligent intern management platform marketed to employers. The platform increases workplace diversity and inclusion and accelerates the hiring selection process using our proprietary AI machine learning algorithm. The algorithm matches employers to student candidates based on six key trending Future of Work skills, job preferences, and culture fit. The six key trending skills are tracked from initial sign up, assessment of candidates, and the performance development plan.

Orlando Science Center Program: Otronicon
Award: $10,000

On Presidents Day Weekend, February 18-21, 2022 , Orlando Science Center (OSC) will host the largest in-person and virtual gathering of Orlando’s modeling, simulation, and video game communities. Otronicon is a technology expo filling all four floors of the Science Center with the latest tech advancements. Attendees are immersed in the future of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and art, interact with industry leaders and educators, discover STEM career possibilities, learn from industry pros, and engage in workshops and presentations. Community led sessions start before the expo, highlighting partner businesses in Orlando and Central Florida.

StarterStudio Program: Investment Education Series
Award: $10,000

StarterStudio has historically hosted annual investor showcase events upon graduation of its Seed Cohorts, introducing newly fundable companies to the local investment community, in spite of a shortage of tech-knowledgeable Angel/Early capital for Central Florida startups. In 2021, StarterStudio will deliver an experiential education series introducing novice investors to local investment entities, allowing qualified, investment-curious individuals to become acquainted with the practices, processes, and people who lead local investment clubs, groups, and funds. This will be accomplished through two hybrid events and a semi-monthly podcast series targeted at regional accredited investors not already engaged in tech investing.

2020 WINNERS

Black Orlando Tech Program: BOT Tech Startup Series Project
Award: $10,000

Black Orlando Tech (BOT), is a non profit 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.

The BOT Startup Series Project is an entrepreneurial development program for participants to gain the skills needed to launch a successful tech startup company resulting in increased opportunities that will socio-economically benefit the local minority community. The series will comprise of 1 topic a month over 6 to 8 months. The BOT Startup Series leadership team will facilitate the training sessions by partnering with local organizations and leaders who can provide expertise and resources.

The BOT Emerging Tech Talk is a monthly series for participants to gain insight into emerging technology and skills in Orlando and around the world in order to highlight local entrepreneurs, startups and leaders resulting in increased opportunities that will increase partnerships to benefit the local minority community. The series will comprise of 1 emerging tech topic to be covered every month for 3 months and then a networking event to encourage facilitating relationships and partnerships. The leadership team will facilitate the series by finding local organizations and leaders who can share expertise and provide resources.

DevFest Florida Program: DevFest
Award: $2,000

We are a community-run organization dedicated to helping developers, designers and entrepreneurs interested in learning about the business of technology. We do that 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. With DevFest Florida, our goal is to augment efforts to include more junior developers, entrepreneurs and underrepresented communities by designing sessions and workshops specifically geared towards their needs. By helping them leverage their skills, they will be able to keep up with new technology and business trends plus broaden their knowledge on startup opportunities in our local community.

Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida (DSACF) Program: Down Syndrome Entrepreneur Academy
Award: $2,000

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida (DSACF), founded the National Down Syndrome Entrepreneur Academy in 2016 right here in Orlando. As an organization, DSACF is committed to offering hope, acceptance, and empowerment to all individuals with Down syndrome and their families. The Down Syndrome Entrepreneur 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. The Academy begins with a cohort of aspiring “CEOs” meeting for classes led by business experts who serve as instructors/speakers covering various topics ranging from brainstorming the idea, evaluating the market, advertising/marketing, technology, to actually producing and selling a product/service. The first 6 sessions are weekly meetings (bootcamp) before switching to monthly meetings where the entrepreneurs report on progress while continuing to receive guidance and instructions.

GetChoGrindUp Program: GetChoGrindUp Xperience
Award: $2,000

Our mission is to help students transition from college into the real world of adulting. One of those factors is finding your dream job. Our team combined has over 49 years of experience in the education system. The goal of our event is to create an atmosphere that connects employers with Florida’s top student talent. This event will be 3-hours long, during the last week of March, with a focus on the Modeling and Simulation Industry. We plan to have 5 companies and over 100 students attending. Each company will have a table as well as 5 minutes on stage to pitch to the students about opportunities at their company. The last hour of the event will be for a panel of speakers to talk about their journey and how they got to where they are today.

Indienomicon Program: Indienomicon Pro Series Events
Award: $5,000

Indienomicon was formed to solve the brain drain problem and ensure that Orlando became a successful long term home for the game development community and recognized as a global leader in the space. The event brings together the innovative and creative video game communities from across the region o to provide opportunities for networking, business development, education and career advancement.  With the Pro Series Events, Indienomicon will create talks, workshops, and roundtables with recruited notable experts/speakers/trainers from across the global games industry that will share a variety of incredibly useful topics, experiences, strategies & tactics used to grow their companies.

MedSpeaks Program: MeGa Health Jam
Award: $5,000

MedSpeaks is an LLC that functions as a public benefit organization working with health leaders and startup entrepreneurs to find ways to work together and solve problems in the health and medical industry. Our goal is to bridge the healthcare ecosystem to elevate awareness as to the innovation and gaps within our market. Our keystone event is called MeGa Health Jam (medical gaming + healthcare jam). MeGa Health Jam is 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.

Orlando Game Space Program: Level Up Academy Summer Camp
Award: $2,000

The Orlando Game Space is a curated, vetted, gaming technology specific co-working facility located in downtown Orlando. Dedicated to offering the resources, equipment, knowledge, connections to grow and scale gaming technology companies. Level Up Academy seeks to offer Summer Camp scholarships so that more children from all socioeconomic backgrounds have the opportunity to learn how to make games. Game developers frequently work with companies outside of the game industry and a diverse team with all perspectives is required. The same skills you would use to make the next great video game are also in-demand at the worlds top space, tech, automotive, simulation, health, and theme park companies. The demand is growing and we cannot leave any group of children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to enter this field and learn these skillsets.

Digital Orlando Program: Digital Orlando
Award: $2,000

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. Digital Orlando 2020 will explore the top 10 tech trends that will shape the region’s culture, companies, and communities. Topics range from Artificial Intelligence, VR and 5G to Smart Tech, Education, FinTech, Digital Health and more. Attendees will experience a power-packed day of networking, interactive tech demos, speaker presentations, discussions, and panels led by a diverse group of national and regional technology leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovation experts.

Orlando Science Center Program: Orlando Electronic Interactive Entertainment Convention
Award: $2,000

Orlando Science Center (OSC) is an informal STEM education institution and hands-on museum serving communities in Central Florida and beyond with a mission to inspire science learning for life. We create accessible and inclusive learning experiences that merge immersion and interactivity to elicit emotional and social responses that engage students and visitors with the world and people around them. The annual Orlando Electronic Interactive Entertainment Convention, OTRONICON, hosted by OSC 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. Leaders from across the spectrum of industries represented at OTRONICON partner with OSC to highlight available resources and to show the public how digital media technologies impact our daily lives. Leading up to the signature event, OSC also works with partners to host exciting engagement events and activities across the community to spark awareness.

VentureScaleUp Program: VentureScaleUp
Award: $10,000

VentureScaleUp is a mentorship-driven advanced business accelerator with a mission to identify, nurture, and accelerate Orlando’s high-growth entrepreneurs, with a team comprised of world-class entrepreneurs with early stage venture operational experience who have founded, scaled and exited companies.

VentureScaleUp’s 12-week program removes barriers to growth and accelerate startups by providing mentorship, strategic advice, and inspiration. The program provides high-growth entrepreneurs with workshops, one-on-one mentoring, one-on-one investor meetings, open office hours, and a demo day with its network of mentors, advisors, connectors, investors, and role models.

StartUp Weekend Orlando Program: VentureScaleUp
Award: $6,000

The organization “Social, Employment & Educational Impact Corp” was created in 2014 with the mission to provide programs that help educate, connect and create employment opportunities in the Orlando community. Startup Weekend Orlando is an annual 54-hour event
that provides participants with a one-of-a-kind experience in entrepreneurship. Participants come together on Friday night to pitch ideas, then form teams and execute on their ideas under guidance from experienced mentors over the weekend. On Sunday night, they pitch their progress to a panel of experienced judges to win prizes. Highly successful events were delivered in 2017, 2018, and 2019 (70-100 attendees, 20-25 mentors and 10-20 volunteers). Received media attention after 2 successive FIRST PLACE wins in the TechStars Global Startup Battle competition across 150+ cities

StarterStudio Program: Pitch Night
Award: $5,500

At StarterStudio, we build founders. Our programs equip them with business competencies and soft skills essential to success in any venture. From the first spark of an idea, we empower people to discover their potential, take risks, test ideas, and take action. As Orlando’s only nonprofit tech accelerator, we provide the connections and educational resources for tech starters and the entrepreneurial-curious.

StarterStudio’s Pitch Nights have been a platform for Orlando to showcase our tech startups for the last two years. With attendance growing, we’re looking to take our Pitch Nights to the next level. Convening business, tech, and talent around an engaging event, we highlight Orlando as a tech hub. Our re-imagined Pitch Night is designed with one idea in mind: collaboration breeds innovation. Our region is full of promising ideas and help provide connections to help them flourish. It’s our mission to open up new opportunities by spending an evening with community to help others on their road to success.

Tech Sassy Girlz Program: Girlz Day Conference
Award: $7,500

Established in 2012, Tech Sassy Girlz (TSG) is the signature program of Collegiate Pathways, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Orlando, FL. Our 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. Tech Sassy Girlz is an open access, self-select, out-of-school program for girls in middle and high school.

The Tech Sassy Girlz Day Conference is TSG’s largest event! It is a free one day STEM conference for girls in middle and high school in the Central Florida region. The annual conference includes a campus tour at the University of Central Florida, an introduction to STEM through hands-on demonstrations, engineering design challenges, STEM challenges, and an opportunity to hear from women in STEM about their trajectory and more! Additionally, the girls have an opportunity to network with women technology leaders.

Techqueria Orlando Chapter Program: Orlando Chapter Foundation
Award: $2,000

Techqueria is 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 Techqueria Orlando chapter would help connect the founders, employees and potential members in Orlando, to help increase the amount of representation of latinx in tech in the area, and strengthen the relationship between the existing folks already there to help them succeed in their careers and consequentially help the general startup ecosystem in the city.

The Maker Effect Foundation, Inc. Program: Orlando Chapter Foundation
Award: $2,000

The Maker Effect Foundation (TMEF) mission is to activate and amplify the efforts of makers as they learn, build, and work together in their communities. We believe everyone has the power within them to make or create something, but often they need help to get started or to take their work to the next level. This project would provide 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. Existing hands-on technology activations include Learn-toSolder, Make-a-Shirt (screenprinting), Take-it-Apart (electronics disassembly), Mold-a-Makey (injection molding). These offerings would be scaled through partnerships with local makerspaces and FIRST robotics teams to support the capacity needed for the Title 1 students.

Questions?

Any questions regarding the Orlando Technology Community Support Grant Program may be directed to Lindsey Sandrin.

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Lindsey Sandrin

Director, Innovation & Orlando Film Commission

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Orlando Tech Council

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Orlando Tech Community Grant

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