We believe that a better connected entrepreneurial community is a stronger and more effective one. We are committed to creating a cohesive & abundant entrepreneurial ecosystem that will put Orlando on the map as a top location for founders to start, grow and reinvest.We do this by connecting, cultivating and celebrating Orlando Entrepreneurs through our alliance, resource center, events calendar, and podcast. Are you an Orlando based entrepreneur, investor, or entrepreneurial advocate? Join us.
On our Podcast Show our host, Josh Wilson, interviews and highlights Orlando’s favorite startups, business leaders, investors, and those who support and lift up the entrepreneurial community. Learn about their journey and gain insights from their successes and set-backs.
Orlando Entrepreneurs was founded by David Brim in mid 2017. David Brim is a serial entrepreneur and investor focused on helping to fund early stage companies and commercial real estate projects. He is the managing director of Founder Funders, and Chief Strategy Officer (founding partner) of Orlando Opportunity Fund as well as Bright Impact, a consulting firm and software that helps manage and measure the impact of Opportunity Funds.
A graduate of the University of Central Florida, where he majored in marketing, David is the only two-time winner of the school’s Joust Business Plan Competition. Brim has founded numerous businesses in Central Florida across industries such as marketing, technology (SaaS & online directories), real estate, and e- commerce. Some of David’s ventures were accepted and graduated from the UCF Business Incubator Program. His marketing agency Brand Advance, founded in 2009, was bootstrapped to over $2.5M in sales. One of his tech startups, GroupTable, reached 10,000 users before exit.
In addition to his passion for advising, consulting and investing in startups, David is an active real estate investor and investment real estate specialist. He blogs at Filled to the Brim and is the author of Land More Customers through Online Marketing, a book that reached # 13 on the Amazon Best Seller list within its category during 2014 and was also utilized in Entrepreneurial Marketing classes at the University of Central Florida. Brim is an entrepreneur mentor at the Blackstone LaunchPad at UCF, and a member of the National Economic Gardening strategic research team and Orlando based GrowFL team, where he has helped over 1,000 second stage company entrepreneurs grow their business. He has helped coach / judge numerous Orlando business competitions and mentors many startups in the area. Through his 10+ years in entrepreneurship within Central Florida, he has leveraged many local entrepreneurial resources and helped others to do the same. Through these experiences he found that there was no central location to help entrepreneurs find the right resources they need at the right time. He created Orlando Entrepreneurs to fill that void as a Network & Resource Center with the mission to connect, cultivate, and celebrate Central Florida entrepreneurs.
Josh Wilson is a serial entrepreneur and the host of the Orlando Entrepreneurs Podcast. On this show we interview and highlight Orlando’s favorite startups, business leaders, investors, and those who support and lift up the entrepreneurial community. If you would like to be a guest on the show or would like to have a conversation about the show please contact him: Josh@OrlandoEntrepreneurs.org“I really didn’t have a choice,” Josh confides, regarding entrepreneurship as a necessity. “Being an entrepreneur speaks to who I am. It’s the way I take charge and connect directly with what matters most in my life.” Hustle has never been a question for Josh. Selling scrap plywood from his dad’s job site to other kids for their skateboard ramps or even candy to classmates after school, young Josh delighted in the art of business. And growing up, he’s never been one to take a predictable route when he could instead zigzag. He wrestled alligators for a nature park, brokered millions of dollars in deals as a real estate broker, fought fires as a firefighter, built entrepreneur centers, worked in a venture capital fund, built a consultancy, founded an online health and fitness company, and is a serial podcaster. Some successes and even more failures discouraged him but he is unwilling to give up finding just the right fuel for his fire. Throughout the many pivots in his professional life, Josh knew that he could always depend on his perseverance to carry him through. Inspired, he realized that his business wasn’t a simple product or service but inspiration itself! In addition to hosting the Orlando Entrepreneurs Podcast, Josh also hosts a nationally focused entrepreneurship Podcast called Bet the Jockey.
Casey Margarite Field is on mission to create spaces where people can use their unique gifts to build the world together. She believes that Orlando is one of these places. An Order of Pegasus graduate from UCF with her Finance and Economics degrees where she served as the chair of the Dean’s Student Ambassador Program, Field has been a part of the growing Orlando business ecosystem for six years.
Although she has traveled to over 16 countries, started a few of her initiatives, and graces the stage every once in a while with local hip hop teams, Field says that nothing brings her more energy than seeing an entrepreneur’s idea take flight.
She is currently the Program Manager at StarterStudio where she runs the Ideation Stage Accelerator, Parramore location and builds the education programs for the community. She is also the Curator of Orlando Global Shapers and a huge advocate for sustainable innovation. Field is excited to help build the story of the Orlando Entrepreneurs as the ambassador program lead.
Christina is a graduate from the University of Central Florida, where she received a degree in Human Communications and Mass Communications. As the Director of Communications for Bright Impact, she has helped write and design educational content on the Opportunity Zone initiative. She has also helped develop relationships with fund managers, service providers and entrepreneurs who are working within the OZ capital market. Christina has a prodigious reputation for intuitive customer satisfaction and developing respectful partnerships. She works as a marketing specialist for Brand Advance, so she spends the majority of time brainstorming sales strategies and researching information to stay on top of the latest trends within the marketing industry.
We are fortunate to receive insight and support from many leaders within our entrepreneurial community.
Danya Shea is your go-to community builder and on-call Chief Marketing Technologist. As a digital native she stays on top of rapidly changing trends in consumer behavior and expectations. Driven by financial objectives, data-driven decisions and high-impact collaborations, she is guided by a deep understanding of the new rules of the new economy to accelerate business growth. Shea’s leadership and teaching on empathy in business and modern business design has earned her recognition by the Orlando Business Journal as one of twelve 2016 Economic Game Changers, Women Who Means Business and a 2015 Top 40 Under 40. As a thought leader, she has appeared on FOX35, PBS, NEWS13 and in the Orlando Sentinel. Glenny has worked with key collaborators to bring important entrepreneurial programs to the Orlando area. Examples of programs she’s co-launched in Orlando are 1 Million Cups, Global Entrepreneurship Week, BIG Exchange and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. She previously served as the Co-Creator and Director of WeVenture, a program funded by the Florida Institute of Technology, focused on accelerating women owned businesses across in Central Florida. More recently she served as the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) & Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Central Florida.
Carol Ann’s professional experience is primarily in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. She has worked extensively with universities, federal laboratories, entrepreneurs and small-mid sized technology companies. Her focus has been primarily on the business aspects…market analysis, commercialization strategies, business planning, capital acquisition, strategic partnerships. Since 2002 she has been a site manager for the UCF Business Incubator in the Central Florida Research Park. It is one of eight incubator sites that are part of the UCF Incubation Program. The UCF Business Incubation Program is part of the Office of Research & Commercialization. As Site Manager, she works daily with 45-50 clients who are all early stage technology companies that have been accepted into the Incubation Program to receive comprehensive help starting and growing their businesses. The incubation program provides them office & lab space as well as coaching, lots of connections, and visibility….basically anything they can possibly provide them to help them grow quickly, be successful and becoming a thriving company in the community creating high value jobs. Specialties: technology commercialization, partnership development, information research & analysis, business coaching, business development, entrepreneurship.
Senior Executive with a blend of extensive finance, operations, sales, and customer relationship management qualifications – a reputation for achieving results through identifying new opportunities, building management teams, moving products to market, and driving revenue to achieve corporate objectives.
Focus: Capital Raising VC, Angel, IPO / Public Markets / High Growth Companies / Strategic and Operational Planning / Financial Planning & Analysis / Public Company SEC Reporting / Mergers & Acquisitions / Due Diligence / Business Operations / Strategic Market Planning / Technology & Internet Technology Assessments / Product Launch / Revenue Management & Recognition/Systems Implementations / Process Improvement / Lean Management Social Media Marketing / Ecommerce / Internet Marketing / Mobile / Technology & Software Development / Hardware / Content Management / Non-profits
Rupert Meghnot started his first business at 20, and is still going strong. Originally a poli sci major, he has an M.B.A. from Rollins, and patents in consumer electronics, motion simulation and virtual reality. He taught at UCF (Entertainment Technology at Rosen College) and Full Sail (Project Management in their Game Design Masters program), the former students of which are now managing $2+ billion in game IP. Having consulted 350+ high-tech startups in the areas of project management, product development, strategic & market planning, and capital acquisition, he’s now incubating game startups via Burnout Game Ventures, LLC. Called a “venturator”, BGV is more than an incubator/accelerator/publisher. They provide startup Clients with all the people, resources, processes and motivation to create quality products fast. With more than 450 people in their Talent Pool, 95 of whom are working on 9 projects for six startups, they have 38 game releases scheduled over the next 24 months, and have already begun ROI payments to investors. His goal is to help make Orlando the “engine” of the $110 billion game industry, creating 50 companies and 500 high paying, high-tech jobs in the process. In addition to his role at Burnout Game Ventures, Rupert is also a mentor for entrepreneurs at Starter Studio and through his “meal with a mentor” initiative. He was previously a co-organizer of Orlando’s 1 Million Cups, a program to foster entrepreneurship in local communities developed by the Kaufman Foundation. During this role he was tasked with identifying, reviewing, mentoring and selecting startups for presentation at their weekly “Guppy Tank”. During this position he also focused on raising the awareness of the 1 Million Cups event and brand, to attract entrepreneurs, investors and service providers to each event.
My primary expertise is in advising and directing new venture business, technology, and product development. I have strong technical, communication, organizational, and business skills with technical expertise in optics, photonics, optical networks, acoustics, electronics, communications, and medical devices. I have authored or coauthored numerous business plans and investor presentations that have resulted in over $200M in institutional venture capital funding. I have hands-on experience as both a CEO and CTO during a new ventures’ formative stage. I was a key player in a number of corporate technology spin-outs while I was at Milcom Technologies, a venture capital backed corporate technology commercialization firm in Orlando, Florida. Prior to joining Milcom, I founded and was President of Photonic Systems Incorporated (PSI) in Melbourne, Florida. This firm specialized in the development of optical information processing technology products for both government and commercial customers. I secured venture capital funding for the firm and was responsible for the firm’s technical leadership position in its field, which resulted in the award of over $7 Million of government research and development contracts which he managed. Before founding PSI, I worked as a Group Leader at Harris Corporation and as a Member of the Technical Staff at Texas Instruments. I am a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of UTEK Corporation. I was previously an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Central Florida Technology Incubator. I am a member of AUTM, IEEE, SPIE, and OSA. I ams the coeditor of a book, the author of 3 book chapters and some 50 publications, and was the organizer of numerous national and international conferences in the field of optical information processing. I earned an A.B. in Physics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Physics from Duke University. Specialties: My firm, AlphaLaunch, is a leading consulting group providing technology startup launch services. We are technology entrepreneurs with business experience. We are focused on providing your startup or early-stage technology business with the tools it needs to get noticed and funded
Ron Stocknopf Ben-Zeev is the founder, president, and CEO of World Housing Solution Inc., a company that focuses on building sustainable structures for the United States military. Along with Ben-Zeev’s entrepreneurial endeavors, he is also very active in the Central Florida community. He organizes local TEDx events, is an adjunct professor (and served as entrepreneur in residence) at Rollins College, and is the founder of several entrepreneurial groups, such as 1 Million Cups and Startup Weekend. Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. Before graduating from the Wharton School in 1986, he lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central America, and Europe. Ben-Zeev is fluent in four languages, and uses his entrepreneurial skills to grow and build his businesses by building relationships around the world.