July Orlando Tech Meetup: Demos and Snapchat

Last night’s Orlando Tech Meetup showcased four of Orlando’s up-and-coming startups. Each looking to disrupt VR, AR, crowdfunding, and on-demand tech in the city. The companies were given four minutes to demo their product, then four minutes of Q&A with the audience.

The first to demo was Abe, an artificial intelligence bot for personal finances. Essentially, Abe the bot is your go-to financial advisor. Once given permission to look into your finances, Abe can answer a series of questions. Everything from “Abe, how much debt do I have”? or “Abe, how much do I currently have in my checking account?” The bot is private and secure, with messages self-destructing in exactly 200 seconds after they are sent. Abe currently lives on Slack and will soon be available on other platforms including SMS and Facebook messenger.

Presented by Robb & Keith Twitter: @abethebot

Next up was PingPro a company started in Puerto Rico. PingPro is an on-demand, professional service request platform. It connects consumers with service providers in real-time. To demonstrate how the service works PingPro showed us how easy it was to make the request via their app, where in just moments, three providers called in to answer the requests. In a couple of weeks, the PingPro service will officially launch in Orlando and make the city its new home.

Presented by Luis | Twitter: @PingPro_Orlando

Recent Starter Studio graduate, BackStory, took the stage to demo the latest development in their startup. BackStory connects individuals to charitable causes they care about in simple and meaningful ways. On the new design of the platform, donors are more involved with the project, by having their own section on the site. This section allows user to track how many referrals have donated to a specific cause. Founder of BackStory, Thomas Waterman, announced they’ve locked in their very first client to the project. However, in order to get things moving forward, Waterman asked the crowd for some help. Specifically, He’s looking for a developer to help bring the new vision to life.

Presented by Thomas | Twitter: @backthestory

To end the night we had Rilix, a company from Brazil, who is making Orlando its U.S. headquarters. Rilix is bringing immersive experiences using the latest in Virtual Reality technologies. At the meetup they brought along their roller coaster to let attendees experience the ride live. Each ride is three minutes long and features 30 unique experiences. Rilix is in the middle of the development of their next project, building a VR flying experience.

Presented by Claudia | Twitter: @rilix_coaster

To end the evening, OTA announced that it has officially joined the snapchat world and the crowd was very pleased. For sometime OTA has been looking for ways to integrate snapchat into our social media scene. With much thought and planning OTA has decided to make it a staple where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look into the world of OTA and have a way to send in questions, comments and ideas.

March Orlando Tech Meetup: Meet the Companies

The third Orlando Tech Meetup of the year is just a week away. Four companies will take the stage to showcase the products they have been working on. This month will feature demos about sports fan engagement, recruitment, happier healthcare experience and a way to save money on your commute.

Meet the Companies


IDEA was the winner for the Orlando Magic during Hack The Arena a few weeks ago. The group created a fun way to bring thousands of fans together by playing competitive games against each other during breaks and downtime in games.


Talentify is bringing a new concept of recruitment to the table. They’ve created a way to incorporate recruiting, marketing, and technology all in one. Employers send them the job descriptions and then they find you interested and qualified candidates.


reThink is the number one commuting resource in Central Florida. The company came up with a way that will get you to work and save you money, decrease congestion, improve air quality, and conserve natural resources.

Twitter: @reThink_CFL


Mend has a team with a variety of backgrounds. Everything from technologist, PhD’s, entrepreneurs, developers to creative problem solvers. The team is passionate about delivering a more enjoyable healthcare experience.

Enterprise Augmented Reality Startup With Ties In Orlando Raises $3 Million

This month is off to a great start for Augment who just raised over $3 million dollars from Salesforce Ventures to continue expanding their company operations. Augment, a Paris-based reality startup that planted its roots here, in Orlando, last summer. Since their launch in October 2011, they’ve received $4.7 million dollars.

They’ve designed an augmented reality mobile application that allows businesses to simulate their 3D models in real world, real size and real time. They allow sales and marketing teams to take their pitches to the next level and everyday customers to see innovative technology through an app. They have a huge list of clients that include, Coca-Cola Germany, Samsung, Siemens and L’Oréal among others.

Augment is one of 150 companies in the Salesforce Ventures portfolio. Salesforce Ventures is a corporate investment group that invest in cloud based enterprise companies.

Augment was one of the five companies who demoed at our July Orlando Tech Meetup. The Orlando location for Augment has grown to a team of four and COO Mickaël Jordan, who is hoping to expand the local team with this new round of funding. He told us the key for companies who are just starting out is to find the right sales people from the start.

“To be honest I was concerned that I would not find proper local talents with experience in software sales, but Orlando has a rich ecosystem of software companies and the people working at these companies have an entrepreneurial spirit and are willing to take the risk to join a startup,” said Jordan.

He suggests building relationships with local schools and colleges from the start, which allowed him to recruit from Rollins College for his Sales Development Position. Jordan said, “I’m confident that we will find all the right people we need to grow a strong team here in Orlando.”

We asked Jordan what this $3 million dollar infusion of cash means for their Orlando location and their plans to expand.

“Orlando is our hub to handle North American Inbound Sales, so we plan to expand the team aggressively and will probably have around 20 employees here by the end of the year,” said Jordan.

We look forward to seeing Augment continue to grow here in Orlando and seeing what this next year has in store for them.

Hack The Arena: The Winners and Highlights

Orlando’s first ever sports and entertainment hackathon concluded this weekend. It was a weekend full of innovative ideas and people working close together. Hack The Arena was hosted in partnership with the Orlando Magic ,with the Solar Bears and the Orlando Tech Association. It brought together 75participants who teamed up to create 11 unique ideas to help improve the fan engagement in the sports and entertainment industry.

The teams participated in six challenges including gamification, transportation, data &  analytics, immersive technology, and smart sensors, all in hopes to become the winner.


On Sunday afternoon, teams had the chance to show off their hard work on the big screen and in front of a panel of senior executives from the Orlando Magic and Solar Bears. Among the judges from the Magic were COO Charles Freeman, VP of Technology Jeff Lutes, VP of Business Strategy Anthony Perez. From the Solar Bears, President and CEO Jason Seigel and Director of Marketing Alex Wall. The judges evaluated ideas based on the functionality, creativity of the application, innovation and the commercial potential behind the idea.

Winners of the cash prizes were IDEA and JumboGame, each taking home $1,000.IDEA won for the Orlando Magic. They created a way to engage fans by playing fun competitive games against each other during the down time in games. This application brings together thousands of fans into a single live game, where players join teams to compete against each other.

JumboGame was the winner for the Orlando Solar Bears. They came up with a way to allow sports teams to invite fans to compete for prizes by playing trivia games on the Jumbotron using their phones as the game controller. They are already planning a meeting with the Solar Bears to find a way to implement their ideas in one of their biggest upcoming games on March 19th.



JumboGames- Came up with a way to allow sports teams to invite fans to compete for prizes by playing trivia games on the Jumbotron.

Amway Jam- Created a game that combines trivia and prediction questions allowing fans to earn rewards and collect prizes.

Group of the Game- Web application that allows fans to login using their social media accounts and access their seating information, play a quick game for a chance to be displayed live on the JumboTron and win prizes.

Solar Bears

IDEA- They created a way to engage fans by playing fun competitive games against each other during the down time in games.

Amway Jam- Created a game that combines trivia and prediction questions allowing fans to earn rewards and collect prizes.

Engage- Engage allows teams to activate fans to the Jumbotron by using the devices from the fans hands.

Director of Innovation for the Orlando Magic, Jack Elkins, helped us organize the weekend event. “It is inspiring to collaborate with the Orlando tech community. There were a lot of talented individuals and interesting concepts. Overall the event exceeded expectations,” said Elkins. He hopes to see more events like this in the future.

We look forward to growing this event and bringing it back with additional sponsors. Stay tuned for more information on when the next Hack The Arena will be.

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.

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