Orlando, Fla. – After launching the Downtown Innovation District in January, targeted companies are flocking to be a part of it.
As of September 1, the Downtown Innovation District has nearly doubled in size, with seven companies now committed to the District.
Combined, the companies sustain 31 jobs and are planning to hire an additional 30 to 40 employees over the next 12 months.
“As the effects of the national pandemic affect Central Florida severely, the work we are doing is even more critical than ever,” says Rob Panepinto, director, Innovation Districts Strategy and Partnerships for the University of Central Florida. “Our Innovation District strategy – supporting companies who are primed for significant growth – will help us build a stronger community in the future.”
The growth in the Downtown Innovation District has been varied.
For instance, Datanautix, a company focused on using artificial intelligence to determine key data for companies and organizations, moved from the Winter Springs Business Incubator to the Downtown Innovation District to take advantage of the unique program and resource available.
HKeeper, a real-time task management solution for the lodging industry, chose Orlando for its international headquarters.
Both of those companies have an established track record of success. Datanautix currently works with the Orlando Magic, Red Lobster and Seminole County Public Schools. HKeeper works with hotels in Australia, Russia and throughout the United States.
Three new companies are in the pre-revenue stage. They are:
- FLUIX, designs and manufactures easy, powerful, and state-of-the-art liquid-cooling and wall-mounting PC hardware for gamers and enthusiasts.
- Miventure, a mobile app where anyone can easily lend capital to a small business and earn monthly interest payments. With Miventure, tens of thousands of small businesses can access transparent and fair alternative lending solutions that give them support and publicity in addition to capital.
- Player Epic: an innovative platform that gives aspiring eSports athletes the tools to develop their skills, grow their fanbase, and generate income.
“We are seeing a continued and growing need to support early stage companies in our Downtown location, particularly businesses with a very good foundation which could grow into a significant presence in our targeted industries,” Panepinto says. “If we help these companies come to market successfully, our mission of helping spur economic development, diversifying our economy and creating high wage jobs will be accomplished.”
Being a part of the Innovation District is a core part of the plan for Player Epic’s success. The company’s goals are to hire an additional 10 employees in Orlando over the next year. In three years, it should reach $10 million in revenue with a presence around the world.
The company was formed by former NFL linebacker Johnny Williams with his high school friend, Lawrence Warren, and a teammate from the University of Kentucky, Tatum Lewis.
“For us, being a part of the UCF Innovation District has already been a great experience as we get to interact with leaders throughout Central Florida,” Williams says. “Each member of this company brings very specific experiences, but this provides us with extremely valuable advice and insight we could not find anywhere else.”
UCF Business Incubation Program: Rob Panepinto, director, Innovation Districts Strategy and Partnerships for the University of Central Florida, 407-467-5689, firstname.lastname@example.org or Alan Byrd, Alan Byrd & Associates, 407-415-8470, Alan@ByrdConnections.com
About the UCF Business Incubation Program:
The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth/impact enterprises. Since 1999, this award-winning program has provided vital business development resources resulting in over 300 local startup companies reaching their potential faster and graduating into the community where they continue to grow and positively impact the local economy.
With seven facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs. For the 2017/2018 fiscal years, the activities of these participating firms have helped to sustain more than 6,725 local jobs and have had a cumulative impact of over $725 million on regional GDP and over $1.3 billion on regional sales. During the same period, the program has returned more than $12.00 in state and local taxes for every $1.00 invested in the program. In addition, for every $1.00 of public investment the firms also produced $118 of additional regional GDP and $226 of regional sales. For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.