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Central Florida Startup Incubators Redraw Map of Where Startups Can Thrive

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FireSpring Fund and Groundswell Startups conclude first-ever event bringing together capital investment leaders from inside and outside Florida with high-potential startups from Orlando and the Space Coast

ORLANDO, Fla. – November 16, 2016 Challenging the notion that Central Florida is a great place to visit, but not one to launch and grow a tech startup, two local nonprofits dedicated to helping startups become investment-ready combined forces to hold their first annual Central Florida Startup Showcase on November 15, in Orlando.

Orlando-based FireSpring Fund, an early-stage investment fund and advanced tech business accelerator, along with Groundswell Startups, a tech incubator on Florida’s Space Coast, put 12 of their startups in front of angel and venture investors from across the United States in a half-day event.

The startups did presentations hoping to garner interest and eventual funding from investment leaders that included Alder Capital, Mosley Ventures, and US Strategic Capital, among others.  

One aim of the event was to educate investors about the blossoming entrepreneurial culture and support for startups in Central Florida. A second aim was to further establish a conduit for information—and investment—between Central Florida startups and investors outside the region.

Donna Mackenzie, executive director of FireSpring Fund acknowledged, “Our region has demonstrated we have the startup places and the talented people, often cited as two of the three essential ingredients of leading tech hubs throughout the world. Attracting outside investment for our startups is the last brick in that foundation. An event like the Showcase positions us to become a “startup star” on the map of tech hubs in the Southeast region.”

The co-founder of Groundswell Startups, John Vecchio, added, “This class of startups continues to validate this will be a very dynamic and high growth area for new companies. Few areas of the country have this level of technical depth in their startups” 

About FireSpring Fund

FireSpring Fund was founded in 2015 with support from local partners including the University of Central Florida, Rollins College, City of Orlando, Orange County, and other business and civic leaders. The fund is a nonprofit 501(c)3 and is led by experienced local business people and community leaders.

 About Groundswell Startups, Inc.

Groundswell Startups, Inc., is a privately funded, nonprofit incubator serving high tech founders in Space Coast, FL. The region offers more engineering talent per capita than any other region in the United States. Groundswell connects emerging founders with a diverse pool of vetted, pro bono mentors (experts in marketing, business development, intellectual property, software and cybersecurity, etc.). Groundswell launched in June 2015. The team has helped six early-stage companies secure angel investment and raised more than $1M in private funding to support their nonprofit efforts.