Tech startup companies are popping up regularly in Orlando these days, but there's still a feeling among some entrepreneurs that the broader business community isn't as involved.
A new effort called Orlando Tech Week, Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, aims to draw wider attention to Orlando's tech startup scene.
“We’re really good at having events for our industry, but holding some of the biggest events together in a single week will draw in more people,” said Carlos Carbonell, founder of Echo Interaction and one of the leaders of the nonprofit organization Orlando Tech Association.
The biggest events for the week are annual events that have been held previously: Orlando Bar Camp, a free all-day meetup; Schwartz Tech Awards, a recognition ceremony for innovators and leaders; and Orlando iSummit, an exposition and conference that brings in nationally known speakers.
iSummit speakers include Robyn Peterson, chief technology officer, Mashable; Jeff Hoffman, founder, PriceLine.com; Chris Crayner, senior VP for integrated media and digital, NBC Universal; and Ryan Feit, co-founder & CEO of SeedInvest.
Anne Deli, president of Orlando Harley-Davidson, sees Tech Week as a chance to connect with young, up-and-coming professionals. She’s been to local tech events before, but she plans to get more involved now.
“We’re trying to get people in that 20- and 30-something age group to think differently about Harley Davidson,” Deli said. “We’re technological in our own right. Our navigation system is better than what you have on your cellphone. We also like to support the business community.”
The Orlando Tech Association is an umbrella group for the city’s tech community, and it recently received city funding through Orlando’s Main Street program
Tech Week events will tackle such topics as big data, space, gaming, photonics, STEM education, medical technology, simulation, and tech business development, among others.
Times and details for some events were still changing recently. Other regular events are also being blended into the Tech Week schedule. For more information the event website is http://week.orlandotech.org/. Following is a list of some of the events:
-- BarCamp Orlando, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday Sept. 27, Bumby Arcade at Church Street Station, 128 W. Church St. A free day of presentations and networking on tech subjects like computer coding, alongside graphic design, music, photography, and new media.
--Orlando Processing: A meetup centered around creative design and computing, including creative coding, generative design, data visualization and media art. 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Church Street Station, 128 W. Church St.
--iSummit, Monday Sept. 29 and Tuesday Sept. 30, The Ballroom at Church Street, 225 S. Garland Ave. Tickets are $299 through Sept. 27 online. Organized by The Florida Technology Journal.
--Schwartz Awards, 6 to 9 p.m., Sept. 30, at the Orchid Garden at Church Street Station, 126 W. Church St. Tickets are $35 and can be bought online. Organized by the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Florida High Tech Corridor and Orlando Tech Association.
-- Startup Showcase, a networking event to meet local emerging companies, at Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant, 6 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 1, $12
--Orlando Tech Meetup Low Country Boil, dinner and meetup, 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2, Walt Disney Ampitheater at Lake Eola, 101 N. Rosalind Ave., $12.