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Orlando Chosen as Kickoff City for Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Tour
Orlando, Fla. – Revolution’s Rise of the Rest® tour with Revolution Chairman and CEO and AOL Co-Founder Steve Case will kickoff its eighth nationwide tour in Orlando on April 29, 2019 followed by stops at the Space Coast, Tampa, Miami and finally San Juan, Puerto Rico. With the belief that high-growth companies can start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities, each Rise of the Rest bus tour visits five cities in emerging startup ecosystems located outside of Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston.
“Rise of the Rest has helped put countless startup cities on the map, proving that innovative, investment-worthy tech is not just coming from hubs like Silicon Valley and New York City,” said Tim Giuliani, CEO and President of the Orlando Economic Partnership. “However, the goal of Rise of the Rest is to entice additional investments. Building awareness of Orlando’s tech community, and attracting investment is what will lead to real change.”
Over the course of five days, the Revolution team, led by Case, will visit the fastest growing local startups, hear directly from innovators, spend time learning from local policy and business leaders in each city.
At each stop on the tour, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund will invest $500,000 in five promising local startups that win the pitch competitions in each visited city ($100,000 will be awarded in each city).
“By investing in our innovation infrastructure and building on our existing economic strengths and diversification of workforce and industry, we will drive job creation,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “Rise of the Rest will serve as a catalyst to further promote innovation and encourage a culture of entrepreneurship in our region.”
“Rise of the Rest will have an immense impact on Orlando, both in terms of its industry and its economy, at no cost to the city,” said City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The national attention and funding it will bring to our technology ecosystem and assets is unparalleled, showing the world that, when it comes to Orlando, they don’t know the half of it.”
While Orlando is commonly known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” the region’s modeling and simulation expertise has launched growing industries like virtual reality, gaming and smart transportation. Below are some factors feeding Orlando’s tech growth:
- Orlando has more tech talent – Orlando is producing more software engineers in our pipeline than cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Austin. Orlando’s tech economy includes 153,723 total workers and 13,259 software engineers—in fact, Orlando’s tech talent pool has grown 27 percent since 2012 and is adding more tech graduates than any other Florida market (CBRE). Not to mention, there are more than 550,000 college students within a 100-mile radius of Orlando.
- Startups in Orlando get major funding – Orlando’s startups attract extensive local funding while also making major exits. Fintech company Finexio completed a funding round of $4 million after relocating to Orlando from Silicon Valley. Prior to that, Orlando-based Fattmerchant was awarded more than $2.25 million over 18 months from strictly local investors.
- A village of support for entrepreneurs – The region supports one of only two National Entrepreneur Centers in the U.S. and the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program, a top-ranked program in the country.
- Orlando is a boomtown for job growth – This year, Orlando had more STEM job growth than any other region in the nation—including Silicon Valley (Forbes 2018). Recent data shows Orlando is the No. 1 metro in job growth for the fourth year in a row, outpacing cities like San Antonio, Austin and Seattle in percent employment growth.
Rise of the Rest’s Orlando day will culminate in a pitch competition with a $100,000 investment for the winner. The application portal is now live and Rise of the Rest is seeking a minimum of 75-100 application submissions from the Orlando region’s top innovative startups.