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FireSpring Fund Receives $100,000

“Start here, Stay here,” is the motto that seemed to be at the forefront of the FireSpring Fund’s presentation this morning, just before the Orange County commissioners and Mayor Teresa Jacobs unanimously voted in favor of the Fund’s request for $100,000. District 5 Commissioner Ted Edwards even voted in favor, despite voting against OrlandoIX’s in a similar tech-related request earlier this year.

The FireSpring Fund’s approved ask of $100,000 will go towards funding the first round of companies in the program beginning in 2016. The fund will attempt to improve Orlando’s overall economic condition by cultivating and retaining high growth technology companies.

During the county commission meeting, contributions were made by a wide range of community stakeholders including Eric Ushkowitz, Economic Development Administrator of Orange County, Dr. Thomas O’Neal of UCF, Carlos Carbonell, CEO of Echo Interaction and President of the Orlando Tech Association, Randy Burridge, of the Corridor, and Donna Mackenzie, the Executive Director of the FireSpring Fund.

“As a local government, we try to provide support for entrepreneurs and startups through funding of programs that will provide the necessary resources to help start, grow and sustain businesses,” said Ushkowitz in an email. “I feel the FireSpring Fund is a link in the economic development chain that is currently missing in our community. Seed funding is vital to the technology community and it is lacking right now. I’m proud of the leadership role that Mayor Jacobs and our Board of County Commissioners have taken by approving $100,000 to go towards the FireSpring Fund and I hope it is a big step towards them reaching their goal of raising $1 million to get the fund started.”
According to Mackenzie, the FireSpring Fund will be looking for software, internet, and manufactured product tech companies for selective participation in the future program. The program will offer three tranches of funding distributed based on milestone achievements such as completing the Starter Studio Stage II Accelerator Program.

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