2015 Entrepreneur of the Year: TECHNOLOGY
Englishman Roger Bannister broke the seemingly impossible four-minute mile in 1954. Since then, that record has become the standard for middle distance runners. In fact, today the sport’s elite have shaved 17 seconds off Bannister’s feat. Success tends to breed and motivate success, which is one of the primary purposes of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. For Orlando to become the tech/start-up hub it can and should be, there have to be models who demonstrate the full cycle of concept, launch, acceleration and exit and then reinvestment in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Fortunately, Orlando has numerous examples of such individuals, but one of the most recognized is Gregg Pollack. Once describing himself as a “Hollywood director trapped in the body of a software developer,” he is passionate about Orlando’s entrepreneurial tech community and finding new and creative ways to educate, motivate and collaborate. His most accurate descriptor is probably “founder,” who is the entrepreneur driving the enterprise. Pollack uses the motif of numerous hats to depict the various roles they must fulfill.
Pollack could be described as a teacher, creative director, coder, business leader and, perhaps most importantly, an entrepreneur who has not only navigated the growth of his own business, Code School, but launched Starter Studio to provide a shared setting where businesses could be incubated.
Code School continues to be one of the most unique platforms to teach aspiring techies and the most seasoned developers how to master new software skills, in an interactive and entertaining way and Pollack is still there, guiding its evolution.