currently accepting applications

About the Grant Program

The Orlando Technology Community Support Grant Program (the Program) expands the City of Orlando’s continued commitment to creating an environment for entrepreneurship as a critical component of the region’s innovation ecosystem. In collaboration with the Orlando Economic Partnership’s Orlando Tech Council (OTC), the grant program provides funding support for Orlando technology focused activities and programs.

Four key goals provide a framework for the program:
1) Increasing the connection and collaboration among start-up and existing tech companies
2) Building the tech talent pipeline
3) Catalyzing private capital investments
4) Increasing Orlando’s reputation as a tech hub

What activites are supported?

Funding

The Program will provide lump-sum, matching grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 from a total pool of $65,000 to help organizations and companies develop tech focused activities and programs that will unite the tech workforce and community. Partial awards (amounts other than those requested in the application) may be made according to the judges’ determination based on the merit of the application and in consideration of the full portfolio of awards to be given. Concurrent grants cannot be funded.

How do I apply?

Award Process

The application process will be announced on December 4, 2020. Only complete applications conforming to the specified format and requirements will be evaluated and eligible for funding. Applications must be submitted through the designated page within the Orlando Economic Partnership’s website by midnight on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.*

*The deadline for the grant has been extended on 1/8/21. All applications must be submitted by midnight on the 12th to be considered.

The appointed judges will complete and submit their individual evaluations of qualifying applications to OTC support staff by noon on Friday, January 29, 2021. Compiled evaluations will be returned to the judges accompanied by a tally sheet reflecting the scores for each application. Final award determinations to be made by consensus agreement among the judges present at a called virtual meeting during the week of February 10, 2021. Announcements of awardees will be made by posting to the Partnership website during the week of February 20, 2021.



Evaluation

This is a competitive grant program. Applications will be assessed by a panel of five volunteer judges recruited by the Orlando Economic Partnership to reflect breadth of expertise in areas considered critical to assessing the viability of the activities and programs. Judge’s expertise will represent at least two of five areas:

• Entrepreneurial ecosystem building: Increasing Orlando’s reputation as a tech hub

• Access to capital: Catalyzing private capital investments

• Cross-sector innovation development: Increasing the connection and collaboration among start-up and existing tech companies.

• Talent development and cross-industry integration and building the tech talent pipeline

• Marketing and Communications: Impact to the community



JUDGES

Sydney Rossman-Reich Managing Partner, PRN
Chair, Orlando Tech Council Programming Committee

Sydney Rossman-Reich is Managing Partner of PRN Real Estate & Investments, Ltd, a family real estate development firm that has been operating in Orlando since the 1950s. She is currently the Programming Committee Chair of the Orlando Tech Council and is a newly appointed Board Member of SeedFundersOrlando. She previously worked at Facebook, Khan Academy, and McKinsey & Co and has her MBA and Masters in Design Innovation from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and McCormick School of Engineering, respectively.

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 sciences companies. Previously, Chiu was a strategy and business development consultant specializing in new market entry and has clients ranging from U.S.-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 Senior Vice President of Virtual Care, Best Buy Health

Stacie Ruth has recently joined Best Buy Health as Senior Vice President of Virtual Care after two decades of industry experience. in 2018, she founded local HealthTech start-up AireHealth alongside local Entrepreneur Dr. Jason Eichenholz.  AireHealth is an in-home, virtual respiratory care company allowing persons with compromised lungs to proactively address their respiratory care with the support and oversight of their provider.  Today she serves on the company’s Board of Directors. 

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
Co-chair, Orlando Tech Council Marketing Committee 

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 finding 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. 

 

CRITERIA

Qualifying applications will be evaluated across six categories with numerical scores to be assigned by each judge:

1) Technical compliance to application guidelines. In cases where a simple majority of evaluations finds an application to be outside the Program guidelines, the project will be disqualified
(1 point)

2) History of producing the activity/program or similar activity/program
(2 points)

3) Dedicated organization to plan the activity/program
(2 points)

4) Effective marketing strategies, having a significant and positive impact on the perception of the City of Orlando as a dynamic community and tech hub
(2 points)

5) A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
(1 point)

6) Proven audience seeking specific programming
(2 points)

 Total score potential: 10 points 

Suggestions

1) About the Organization (250 words)
Describe your organization’s mission/goals.  What skills and experience does your team have that is relevant to this proposal?

2) About the project blurb (100 words)
In 100 words or less what is the program/event, who is it impacting and why is this important.

3) About the project (500 words)
Explain the proposed project, how it was developed, its purpose, and the beneficiaries (who will benefit, geographic areas affected). Please tell us how this proposed idea demonstrates the solution you chose and makes it easier for entrepreneurs to start and grow new businesses. How will you accommodate for social distancing or virtual programming?

4) About the team
How and why is this team positioned to execute on your proposal? What proof can you provide?

5) Timeline of events
Provide the cadence and timeline of the proposed project in bulleted format.

6) Impact of event (250 words)
Why is your event or program needed? Clearly state and define your goals. Within this statement, please explain who you are you addressing, what short-term and long-term value your audience will see from the organization’s work, and why this is important to pursue.

7) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (250 words)
Please explain your organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion philosophy and how it is implemented (currently or how you are planning to do so in the future). If you work with other organizations, please explain how you build equitable relationships within your collaborations

8) Scalability and sustainability (250 words)
How will you sustain and scale this program?

9) Evaluation and Measurement (250 words) 
How do you know your organization’s activities are successful? What measurement and evaluation approaches do you use, including key indicators that you track over time?

Please discuss if you are currently tracking, or open to tracking, the following metrics:

• Increasing knowledge and skills for entrepreneurs
• Entrepreneurs starting or growing a business
• Reducing barriers that directly impact entrepreneurs
• Access to capital
• Etc. 

10) Budget
Please provide an itemized budget detailing how you would use the grant funds, your own funds, and other funder funds

Proof of 10% match of funds requested

Identify who else is supporting your project and in what way 

what must i have to apply?

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to receive a Program award, each applicant must have: 

• A minimum 1-year history of producing the activity/program or similar activity/program;
• At least one dedicated (paid or volunteer) administrator;
• A reputation for excellence and credibility and be capable of attracting attendees on regional levels.
• 10% match of funds requested, may be in-kind. Proof must be shown with application. 

How will the award be granted?

Grant Payment

If deemed necessary to initiate the activity/project, a portion of the approved funding may be paid in advance as specified and validated in the grant application. Advance payment shall not exceed 50 percent of the total grant funding awarded. Subsequent to or in the absence of any advance payments, funding support shall reimburse costs already incurred and as payable upon successful milestone completion specified in the activity/project plan portion of the grant application or as determined by OTC staff in cases where awards are deemed appropriate by judges in the absence of predetermined milestones.  

Grantees are required to provide a report compile a report with pictures, receipts, etc. Details are listed in the rubrics attachment. OTC staff may inspect events on-site and throughout the planning duration, including as part of the milestone verification process. 

*If report isn’t submitted within 90 days from the completion of the event, awardee will be disqualified from ever applying to a City of Orlando grant.

Questions?

Any questions regarding the Technology Community Support Program may be directed to Sheena Fowler.

Sheena Fowler

Vice President, Innovation

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