Do Orlando’s Startup Incubators Have a Brain Drain Problem?

Adam Rowe

Incubators exist to create healthy startups that can then help the incubator out in a virtuous cycle. The problem: Sometimes the startup just leaves the area, drawn to one of the limited number of truly massive tech hubs in the nation. It's a problem that hovers over Orlando incubators. At least, according to a new incubator that thinks it can crack the issue.

Two established Orlando tech companies, Pandera Systems and REV Acceleration, are hoping to invest in locking down Central Florida's tech talent with the launch of Tech and Beers, a new Orlando-based incubator and fund for tech startups. Tech.Co had a chat with REV CEO Ty Tucker on the current problem and how they hope to fix it.

Limited Funding and Space

Ty's views on Central Florida's tech support:

“Today, ninety percent of startups will fail—many of which could have had the potential to share their solutions to real world problems through the implementation of innovative technology, if only they had the money, tools and support to make it happen. While there are many incubators around the world that are helping start-ups achieve great success, we couldn’t help but notice that the support available to up-and-coming tech leaders in Central Florida is sorely lacking.

Many of these programs only provide start-ups with limited funding and space to work, but neglect to consider the extensive level of support necessary to really get a start-up going.”

How to Fix the Problem

So how do they plan on keeping local tech talent in Orlando in order to elevate the city's national reputation as a thriving hub of innovation? The same way most incubators plan to: Plenty of funds, office space and potential seed money. Here's Ty again:

“Tech and Beers fills in the gaps with initial micro-funding, office space and access to potential seed round(s) of up to $1 million, in addition to the stuff that happens on the back-end: operational support, experienced counselling on business strategy, and access to REV and Pandera’s worldwide distribution channel. This includes partners and customers at Fortune 500 companies.”

Joshua Sutton, CEO of Pandera Systems, highlighted the initiative's meetups:

“A huge part of this initiative will be our monthly Tech and Beers meetups, which bring the local tech community together to discuss how we can join forces to accelerate technology growth and innovation in Orlando.”

The next meetup happens Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, and the details are available here.

Entrepreneurs and would-be founders in Orlando should keep an eye out for Tech and Beers events: Regardless of your opinion on Central Florida's brain drain, new incubators are always welcome and meetups are a great way to connect with your local ecosystem.

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Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for the last decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry (and Digital Book World 2018 award finalist) and has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect. When not glued to TechMeme, he loves obsessing over 1970s sci-fi art.

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