Starter Studio has selected eight innovative companies for its third accelerator class, which will kick off on January 5th, 2015 at the Canvs coworking space in downtown Orlando. Starter Studio is a three-month program that surrounds startup tech companies with an extensive mentor network in a highly collaborative coworking environment where companies can help each other grow.
“The quality of the applicant pool for our third class was impressive, which made for a very competitive selection process. We are excited to roll up our sleeves and get started with these companies,” said Gregg Pollack, Starter Studio’s Founder.
Companies selected for this class are:
AutoRetainer: Provides solo and small firm attorneys the power to send a fee agreement and invoice in less than 30 seconds from any device. Clients can then sign their contract and pay their invoice online.
Bahamut: Provides an on-demand platform that lets customers and businesses book, track, and manage onsite service jobs.
CodeStart: Gives the absolute beginner a university-level coding education in a fun, easy, and affordable way. Our interactive courses are designed to provide the skills to make your creativity a reality.
Comdash: A fixed asset tracking and management solution that enables companies to maximize their ROI and mitigate losses.
Continuous Classroom: Modernizes the parent-teacher relationship by enabling teachers to share photos, progress notes, and open a secure dialog with parents in a way that promotes child engagement levels, the leading indicator of long-term success
Fattmerchant: A subscription-based merchant services provider that offers unlimited credit card processing for businesses at direct cost for a monthly membership fee
FitnessEngine: the missing link between personal trainers and their clients, designed to help trainers plan custom workout programs, track goals, monitor progress, and facilitate communication
Scholarbounty: An organizational app for college students that automatically imports and organizes homework assignments. Since launching in November, ScholarBounty has organized over 23,000 assignments and is fostering social connectivity based on common academic goals
During the three-month program, the selected companies will focus on building innovative technology products and validating a strong market demand that will drive their growth. Starter Studio’s mentors are technology startup veterans and investors that have founded and financed technology startups. They have committed to be onsite to work with Starter Studio companies and lead weekly educational and speaker sessions.
“We have a fantastic network of mentors and seasoned tech founders committed to working with this class,” said Kirstie Chadwick, Starter Studio’s Executive Director. “Collectively these folks have raised over $100 million for their own tech companies, and they are looking forward to working with the next generation of Orlando startups.”
In addition to intense mentoring, Starter Studio companies are provided with free working space at Canvs and the opportunity to present their companies at Demo Day – Starter Studio’s culminating event that consistently attracts hundreds of attendees.
Orlando Tech Association is partnering with the City of Orlando and Orlando After-School All-Stars for this year’s Hour of Code, happening during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 8- 14, 2014. OTA will coordinate a team of volunteer tech professionals who will spend time teaching basic programming skills in every middle school in the City of Orlando over the course of the week.
The Hour of Code program, which engages participants from all over the world, features game-like, self-directed tutorials from notable figures. Celebrity teachers include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Angry Birds, and Plants vs. Zombies. Through the lessons, children learn basic concepts of computer science with drag-and-drop programming.
OTA is looking for volunteers to visit middle schools over the course of CS Education Week. Volunteers, who can range in experience level from beginner to expert, will spend a few hours at a single middle school helping to introduce children to Hour of Code and help them through the lessons. We have included a map of the participating schools to help you decide which school would be best for you or your team.
We welcome individuals and local tech companies to join us in our goal to provide programming education to every middle school in Orlando during CS Education Week. We believe that our community has the talent and the dedication to help educate local children in the increasingly important area of computer science, and to have fun while we’re at it.
For more information about Hour of Code, visit the website here.
Join Orlando tech and come hang out with Bing’s behavioral scientist, Matt Wallaert, and learn how to think like a behavioral psychologist in whatever you doing: building a product, launching a startup, asking for a raise… you name it, the floor’s open.
Matt Wallaert is a behavioral scientist working at the intersection of technology and human behavior. After several years in academia and two successful startups, he joined Microsoft, where he leads a team of experts who work both internally and externally to use technology and science (including his specialty, social psychology) to help people live happier, healthier lives. Wallaert maintains an active research lab and is a frequent speaker on the science of behavior change. Notable projects at Microsoft include launching Klingon into the Bing Translator and creating Bing in the Classroom, which promotes digital literacy in K-12 schools. Externally, he sits on the board a variety of startups and non-profits, and cultivates pro-social side projects like GetRaised.com, which has helped underpaid women ask for and earn millions of dollars in salary increases.
George Haskell founded FlightFishing in part because there’s something very special about traveling, something that George captures perfectly in his own words:
“There’s a feeling you get when you step off of a plane in a place that you’ve never been before. People don’t speak your language, you’re surrounded by things that you haven’t seen before, food you’ve never tried, scents you’ve never smelled. When you’re inside your own culture the only time you get to experience so many new things is when you’re an infant but when you travel…you get to experience new things again.” More…
Our destiny is often not entirely up to us. We have bosses, obligations, families, bills to pay, etc. These things all put limitations on how we spend our time.
Rudiger Ellis, the founder of Joicaster, was no stranger to this fact of life. Before he became an entrepreneur, he was stuck at a position that he wasn’t particularly passionate about because his old department had been phased out. Eventually, he decided to pursue something that he was more passionate about, so he left that position. Soon after he left, he made another decision that would ultimately give him more control over his own destiny: he decided to become an entrepreneur.
The Orlando Tech Association, along with over a dozen community partners, has begun planning for Tech Week, a collection of events hosted by organizations and businesses from across Orlando’s technology industry. Partners range from the Orlando Science Center to local grassroots Meetup groups, and topics include programming; big data; space technology; gaming; laser and photonics; STEM education; medical technology; simulation; and tech business development, among others.
If I had more twitter followers than 4Rivers and Sonny’s BBQ combined, I would probably move to an ancient temple (with wifi) and declare myself a social media guru. Bess Auer does in fact have more twitter followers than 4Rivers and Sonny’s (that’s over 10,000), and she’s way humbler (and smarter) about her achievement than I would be. When I offered to locate a temple for her new guru headquarters, she said,
“I would never use the term ‘social media’ guru to describe myself (or anybody else) because the technology is moving way too quickly for people to truly become ‘gurus.’” More…
Awesome games usually come from passionate gamers, and the founders of Outhouse Games, a company that was recently accepted into the second class of Starter Studio, have a surprising passion for games. Case in point: I recently asked Chris Borden and Phil Bias, the founders of Outhouse Games, “What’s the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur?” I expected some sort of platitude about the difficulty of designing an MVP or acquiring users or something like that. Instead, he said, “The most challenging part about being an indie developer is finding time to play video games.”
At today’s city council meeting, newly-formed nonprofit Orlando Tech was approved as the City of Orlando’s first E-Street, a designation through the City’s successful Main Street program. As an E-Street, Orlando Tech will receive annual funding from the City and will hire a full-time executive director. More…