By Jim Thomas, CEO, Orlando Tech Association
I believe innovation is the catalyst for positive change in the world. I also believe the greatest innovation happens when we connect as a true community. What if we could bring together the brightest minds in technology with leaders from multiple industries and empower them to serve people and our planet through collaboration and innovation? What if we could do this right here in Orlando?
Every great city that Orlando aspires to be like, or is already compared to, has a thriving technology association. The Orlando Tech Association, with its great history and momentum, is uniquely poised to become the organization that brings together corporate, civic, educational and community partners across Central Florida around technology to advocate for and foster a forward-looking, prosperous region.
The Orlando Tech Association can be successful by focusing on three main objectives: Tell the rich tech story of our region, connect existing and emerging companies to our deep talent pool, and continue to build and advocate for our tech community. We can accomplish this with a progressive vision that focuses on collaboration and inclusiveness and by being actively engaged and authentically telling the story of hard-working, thriving tech businesses and entrepreneurs in the region.
By partnering and featuring our globally leading tech verticals such as space, modeling and simulation, optics and photonics, gaming and mixed reality, health and wellness, and additive and advanced manufacturing, we can truly become one of the nation’s leading tech hubs. As we stand today, if we simply take a holistic look at our existing regional assets from the Space Coast to Orlando and then combine them with the tremendous assets of Tampa Bay, we are already arguably one of the top-five tech regions in the entire country. And we are ready to become so much more.
The greatest opportunity for growth and to “future proof” our region is an aggressive and continual investment into tech and innovation at all levels. The more we embrace opportunities brought about by the development of a robust Internet and global connectivity, as well as harness the digital economy to promote openness, cooperation, communication, the more we will thrive.
Once theorized as visions of a future society, technology like automation and artificial intelligence is now becoming a part of everyday life. These advancements in AI and machine learning are already impacting our global economy, both in terms of individual wealth and broader financial market trends.
As ubiquitous worldwide access to the Internet continues to grow and soon reaches every corner of the globe, a digital transformation is taking place that will enable vast e-commerce opportunities as well as a transparent digital economy that will create exponential opportunities if we choose to pursue them.
As Orlando continues to become a global leader in technology and innovation, the tremendous livability and quality of life of our region will continue to improve. This will make a significant contribution to social change in untold ways as we improve as a region and society.
We do live in amazing times. There is no place in the world I would rather be than right here in Central Florida. Join us on this journey. The future starts now.
State of Orlando Tech / Going Big in 2018!
January 9, 2018, 6–8 p.m.
Exchange Building, Downtown Orlando
Demo Nite — Pitch Your New Tech Idea or Business
January 17, 2018, 6–8 p.m.
Geek Easy, Winter Park
2018 Florida TechMatch
January 19, 2018, 12–5 p.m.
Orange County Convention Center
Launch Orlando! — Strengthening the Community Through Tech
February 9–11, 2018
Credo Conduit, Downtown Orlando
February Tech Forum/Advancements In Sports & Hospitality Technology
February 13, 2018, 6–8 p.m.
Exchange Building, Downtown Orlando