Execs: These areas can be a catalyst for change in Orlando tech

For us at eSmart Recycling it is important to be at the forefront of business and entrepreneurship in the Florida area, this is why we love what is happening in Orlando and our Florida ecosystem.

As Orlando’s technology industry continues to grow, area executives see opportunities to add to that success.

The metro area is expected to grow its tech workforce to 65,481 by 2026, up from an estimated 57,746 in 2018, according to CompTIA’s Cyberstates 2019 report. That workforce growth comes as the tech industry generates more than $12.5 billion in estimated economic impact, representing a 10.4% share.

However, the industry still is fighting for influence with the local tourism market, which dominates the region’s economy with a record 75 million visitors in 2018.

Here, participants in Orlando Business Journal’s July 1 Technology Industry Outlook share more on some of the factors that could be addressed to further develop the local tech industry and help it gain a bigger share of the region’s economy:

Stacie Ruth, CEO, AireHealth LLC: We have fantastic technology here at AireHealth. It’s been approved and cleared through the FDA. You would think that’s the biggest hurdle, but the biggest hurdle is customer adoption. Even if you have great technology, without that adoption and ability to commercialize, it will fall flat.”

John Callahan, vice president of technology, Bridg: “When people see the technology, they see something happening, but they don’t know how to use it, design to it or adapt to it. It takes training on your part to train the customer on what it can do. But still, what the customer thinks can be done may be different from what it will do. It takes that learning curve to get over it, especially with new technology.”

Jim Jardon, CEO, JHT Inc.: “We wouldn’t be here if the state and local government didn’t realize they had to pay attention to local technologic groups or we will lose them. And we can’t just do that with a fracas threatening to shut down all the military things out there. The first interaction I recall between the government and the commercial side was when Disney built a fire trainer for the Navy that made a big splash and was very successful. It proved it could be done. For most of us who have been in the defense industry for a few years now, it’s very hard to crack the commercial world, because the business model is so different from writing a request for proposals and praying, going in, making the deal, and delivering.”

Chris Whitlow, CEO, Edukate Inc.: “We have a lot of mainstream companies that want to do business in the mainstream, but we don’t have a lot early adopter commercialized companies willing to take the risk. To incubate within your community, you have to be a consumer of your technology. I would say at Educate, 99% of our customers are outside Florida, not just Orlando, but Florida. As we build technology, it makes sense that your closest customers should be the ones around you that you network with. Often, the greatest challenge is getting local people to use your technology, and I think that would go a long way in building this ecosystem internally like Silicon Valley has done, where they are consumers of their innovation.”

Waymon Armstrong, CEO, Engineering & Computer Simulations Inc.: “As someone who has commercialized and failed to do that, we were a technology looking for a market. We realized after that, we needed a market looking for technology. So how do you get out there and show that so people can go ahead and socialize that through there? It is incredibly tough to do in Orlando.”

For us at eSmart Recycling, our goal is to become the bridge for our corporate partners to empower kids and families in the community with access to technology, therefore providing a measurable economic and social impact in our economy.

Content curated from this source:  https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2019/07/23/execs-these-areas-can-be-a-catalyst-for-change-in.html


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