The New Salt of the Earth
[By Eric Wright]
There was a time in history when salt was the commodity that drove empires. Believe it or not our word “salary” comes from salt’s Latin root. This mineral was essential to life, as it not only flavored and helped make products like cheese, it was the only preservative available. Thus it was one of the primary motivators for commerce and of incredible value. Hence, “They are worth their weight in salt.”
The salt of the modern world, that ingredient that shapes, influences and flavors just about everything is now technology. Fortunately, not only is Central Florida America’s tourism capital, the region is also known worldwide for technological achievements and an amazing concentration of tech talent and emerging tech businesses. One of the area’s most influential tech leaders is Carlos Carbonell.
CEO of Echo Interaction Group & President of Orlando Tech Association
Originally he was pursuing a degree in engineering, but the dynamic and creative opportunities in the digital world was something Carlos Carbonell simply couldn’t ignore. As much as anyone else, Carbonell has been one of the faces and certainly a force behind the growing technology and startup scene in Orlando.
Beginning with a marketing firm in south Florida, he saw the intersection between business, technology and digital media. Some of his clients were Silicon Valley based which introduced him to the tsunami of change, innovation and startup life moving across the country. After coming to Orlando in 2008, he launched Echo Interaction Group, one of the most celebrated mobile app developers in the region. They have designed and delivered platforms for Florida Hospital, SunRail, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the Florida House of Representatives and a host of others.
Beyond the success of his own company, Carbonell has been an advocate and an ambassador for Orlando’s growing tech community, which was somewhat disconnected when he moved into the metro area. “I started my own company to create an opportunity, as there wasn’t a vibrant tech startup environment here at the time,” he said.
“I began to talk to other owners about how we could promote the area as an emerging hub, particularly Matt Broffman currently the Director of Innovation with the City of Orlando, Orrett Davis and Josh Brown. My mentors told me there was strength in numbers and you had to coalesce together and unify to develop a voice. We put together a board which eventually led to the formation of the Orlando Tech Association (OTI) which continues to build momentum.”