Frank just moved to Orlando and he couldn’t be more in love with his new city. When he is not blogging about tech he enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and the arts.
Technology, Art, and Entrepreneurship: An Interview with Nathan Selikoff
This week we had the chance to interview local artist, programmer, and entrepreneur Nathan Selikoff. Nathan’s work, such as the Audiograph or Local Notebooks, consistently represents a fine blend of art and technology.
During our conversation Nathan discusses his path, education, the spirit of Orlando’s art and technology communities, and how recently he has begun to describe himself as an entrepreneur.
“If you want to start something here, you can just start it, and you can find people to help you start it.”
Meet the Startups in Starter Studio Class #5
The next Starter Studio class is here. Beginning February 16th, the class of eight startups will call Canvs home. During the twelve week program the Starters will focus on the lean startup methodology, validating their products, and formulating a business model.
“I am beyond excited about these 8 companies,” said Melissa Wasserman, Director of Operations at Canvs and Starter Studio. “Their ideas and products are great. But what I am most looking forward to is putting these amazing people together and watching the synergies and connections that will undoubtedly take place. February 16th can’t get here soon enough.”
“What do I hope to get out of Starter Studio?” asked future Starter and Founder of ChangeMaker, Thomas Waterman. “A foundation of guidance and support from people who have been here before me and genuinely want to develop passionate starters right here in Orlando.”
Meet the Fifth Starter Studio Class below:
Advancing Technologies: Advancing Technologies has created an innovative solution for contact sports, providing users real-time storable data for concussion detection, biometrics and performance/technique. With a new type of wearable and corresponding app we are creating a better performing athlete while reducing the negative impacts of Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Big Box Of: If you shop locally nationally, you can help more small businesses and have more to choose from. Big Box Of helps you shop local nationally.
ChangeMaker: Connects individuals to charitable causes they care about in a simple and meaningful way.
MouseMelon: We make computer mice for disabled people, wounded veterans, gamers, and virtual reality users.
MoversAtlas: We help people moving to unfamiliar areas of Florida get to know the neighborhood before they ever set foot on the ground.
SQYGL: We are Multi-City Travel, Simplified.
Style Squad: A mobile application that helps users make decisions on outfits or potential purchases by crowdsourcing feedback from their peers.
Zuke Music: Web and mobile application enabling better music creation, delivery, and consumption.
Local Healthcare Startup Pivots to Further Agenda of Modernizing Healthcare
Mend, an Orlando-based healthcare startup, has pivoted in an attempt to further their goal of modernizing the healthcare industry. Formerly, Mend ran a “no-wait” clinic in Baldwin Park that coupled with Mend’s telemedicine app which allowed patients to schedule appointments to speak with doctors in non-life threatening situations.
“Healthcare, in terms of modernization, is a decade or two behind,” said Mend founder and CEO, “healthcare is still using paper.”
Last week the Mend clinic saw its last patient, and took their app offline. From here on out Mend will be devoting all of its time and resources to a new web platform that will focus on reducing wait times, patient no-shows, and patient responsibility. Additionally the web platform will function as a scheduling venue for continuing the telemedicine practice. While the Mend clinics are a thing of the past, facilitating telemedicine will remain important to the startup.
Telemedicine provides doctors with an alternative to traditional patient visits allowing for a significant recovery of time. Rather than requiring patients to come in to the office for trivial follow up appointments and non-physical examination, doctors will be able to schedule phone calls or communicate through messaging.
Mend believes that with its upcoming platform, they will be able to increase patient volume per day while improving the overall patient and provider experience.
According to Mend’s data, no-shows can cost doctors up to $150,000 a year. For primary care physicians, no show-rates can range between 10 and 20% even when reminder phone calls are made to patients. By cutting down the number of patients who need to physically see the doctor in person, the Mend platform will improve patient wait times. In addition to the telemedicine function of the platform, Mend will also try to modernize the way they that physicians hold patients responsible for payment.
Now the Mend team is entirely devoted to the development and sales of the platform, which will roll out in February 2016. By the end of the year Mend hopes to have 80 doctors on board. They have not signed any physicians on yet, “but there’s definitely interest,” McBride said.
Blacksea Odyssey: From Team at Global Game Jam to Studio
Global Game Jam returns January 29-31st for 48 hours of game-making adventure. Last year, the program took place simultaneously in 78 countries at 583 locations resulting in 5,439 free, open source, games.
Last year’s Game jam in January, attracted 135 participants at the Melrose Center and created 23 unique games. This year the festivities have moved across town to Gods & Monsters at the Artegon Marketplace, but the goal remains the same: make great games.
One team from last year’s Orlando chapter of Game Jam is still going strong. Blacksea Odyssey, a team comprised of three UCF game development and design grads, is now Blacksea Odyssey Studio, an independent studio based out of Tampa.
“Having been past participants [at Global Game Jam], we wanted to be as prepared as possible for the jam, so we brainstormed several simple concepts that might pertain to the rumored theme and formed a team before the event,” said Blacksea Odyssey producer Percy Legendre IV of last year’s event.
“We had planned to go all out on this game because being recent (and upcoming) graduates at the time, we chased the idea of taking the idea beyond the game jam if all went well. Thankfully, it did,” Legendre went on to say.
“While some of us had worked with one another, we had yet to test our combined chemistry. Fortunately, we had awesome chemistry. And of course this led us to work together to create an awesome game jam game that everyone loved and would eventually evolve into so much more.”
Blacksea Odyssey has been a fulltime project since May of 2015, though it is not without its struggles. The team originally signed with Mastertonic, an independent games publisher. Soon after Mastersonic went under administration and Blacksea Odyssey was forced to pivot. Blacksea Odyssey decided to self-publish instead, and launched a Kickstarter campaign.
The studio successfully raised $12,300 through Kickstarter from November 11 to December 12, 2015. Now the game is on track to be published for PC in May 2016, and for console in June 2016.
Scenes from Demo Day: The Iron Yard Orlando Graduates Latest Cohort
The Iron Yard Orlando graduated their latest class of iOS Developers this week, their sixth cohort since opening late in 2014. Demo Day, the culminating event of the 12 week program, saw 10 Orlando students demo 5 iOS applications
For some of the graduates, their new education will become the template for a new life, while others will supplement former careers with their new skills.
“We’re so proud of how much these students learned during their time at The Iron Yard,” said Susanna Miller, the campus director of the Iron Yard Orlando, “particularly as demonstrated through what they were able to accomplish in their final projects.”
The final projects included:
- Modern Meal – a grocery checklist app
- UrZone – a proximity notification app using beacon technology
- How Much Trip – a travel planning app
- Get Well – a motivational mental health app
- Tyke Time – a time management and planning app geared towards parents
“We don’t always do group projects, but these students demonstrated mastery not just of the subject matter, of also a rare ability to work together with clients, and with teammates to design, manage, and build excellent apps,” Susanna went on to say.
Now with an empty nest, the Iron Yard will focus on their free kids code courses which will start up sometime next month.