11 February 2019                      View this email in your browser
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Orlando Tech Connector

News, analysis, and opinions
Orlando's innovation community.


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About Us

Welcome to the third weekly edition of Orlando Tech Connector! We've picked up over 200 subscribers in just two weeks - which I think is a decent start.  I'll be very excited, however, when we hit the 1,000 mark. Our newsletter promises to keep you informed about the latest tech, startup, and innovation news, events, and jobs in Orlando.  We will bring you our analysis and opinions as well as those from guest authors from the innovation community.

Why Am I Receiving This Newsletter?

You are receiving this newsletter because you have previously been a subscriber to Orlando Tech Association. OTA's Diane Court has graciously allowed me to email you our newsletter - which promises to keep you informed about the latest tech, startup, and innovation news, events, and jobs in Orlando.  We will bring you our analysis and opinions as well as those from guest authors from the innovation community. Our newsletter is powered by Orlando Venture Sourcing. Please signup if you haven't already done so and forward this newsletter to your friends.

Orlando VC News

R.I.P. "Florida Angel Nexus", "FAN", "Nexus", "FAN Fund"

Here’s some history – abbreviated and I’m sure missing some facts and drama!  It all started in 2013 when Michael O’Donnell and Blaire Martin formed an angel investment group in Orlando, called Florida Angel Nexus, or FAN.  The group expanded, forming chapters in Tallahassee, Ocala, and Palm Beach. The group was instrumental in coalescing accredited investors together in these communities and investing in startups.  FAN morphed over the years into a non-profit and added on support activities for other early-stage investment groups in Florida, and, along the way, shortened its name to Nexus. In 2018, Nexus, facing business model and financial challenges with shrinking state and university support, was acquired by Florida Funders. In 2015, Michael, along with FAN members Ben Patz, Mitch Laskey, and Kathy Chiu, created a committed capital fund in Orlando they called FAN Investors Fund I or FAN Fund. They raised $7M and deployed this capital into early-stage companies throughout Florida.  As it turns out their management entity is called DeepWork Capital and last month they decided to retire the FAN Fund name and rebrand as DeepWork Capital. So "Florida Angel Nexus", "FAN", "Nexus", and "FAN Fund" are all gone - but their legacy lives on.

DeepWork Capital (fka FAN Fund)

Fresh off raising another $11M last Fall, DeepWork Capital is back at work investing.  Last month they made their first investment out of their new fund - $1.5M into Streann Media in Miami.  We've also learned from CB Insights that DeepWork Capital was the most active VC firm in Florida over the last 5 years.  Right here in downtown Orlando!  And another VC firm with an Orlando office, IDEA Fund Partners, was the most active VC firm in North Carolina.   

venVelo is a long-time early-stage investment group located in Winter Park which has invested in Orlando startups since 2014.  Its last new startup investment that we know about, however, was in 2017.  We hear that the group is taking a break and, in VC parlance, gone into "harvesting mode" - managing its current portfolio and seeking liquidity events.  We hope to see them back when they achieve some exits!  

FireSpring Fund
FireSpring Fund is a nonprofit evergreen fund now associated with StarterStudio and its seed stage accelerator program and invests in startups accepted into its accelerator program.  It invested $25K in each of 10 Orlando startups in its cohorts in 2016 and 2017.  The fund did not have capital to invest in its 2018 Orlando cohort of startups. A new partnership and an EDA grant win with Tampa Bay Wave along with (rumored) organizational changes will hopefully result in funding for its 2019 Orlando cohort.

Rally Social Enterprise Fund
The Rally (or EIA) Social Enterprise Fund is a relatively new fund associated with the Rally Social Enterprise Accelerator and invests in startups winning a pitch competition at the end of its accelerator program.  It has invested $25K each in Omnimodal and Yaupon Brothers Tea - startup winners in its first two cohorts.  

Events This Week

Monday - StarterStudio Demo Day Class 10 @ The Abbey 6:00 pm-9:00 pm at The Abbey
Monday - Code For Orlando - Community Action Night 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
Tuesday - Orlando Open Coffee Club 9:00 am-10:00 am at Catalyst Spaces
Tuesday - PropelHER Pitch Competition Luncheon 11:00 am-2:00 pm at Full Sail Live
Tuesday - Blockchain Technology and Business - Dapps featuring DigiTix - Event Tickets on the Blockchain 6:30 pm-8:30 pm at Peaches Dance Orlando
Tuesday - Orlando Magic Leap Developers Mixed Reality Meetup: Tutorial and source code for Plane detection + Magic Leap device demo 7:00 pm-9:00 pm at Echo Interaction Group
Wednesday - 1 Million Cups - Orlando 8:00 am-10:00 am at Rollins College, Bush Auditorium
Thursday - Nerd Nite and Chill 6:30 pm-9:30 pm at The Abbey


Find event details and upcoming events at Orlando Venture Sourcing

News About Orlando Tech

Find more news about Orlando tech at Orlando Venture Sourcing

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Meet the Author
Dennis R. Pape

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