By: Josh Wilson
EASE Applications: Our Story
For some time, Dr. Munro and Dr. de la Roza had observed the anxious expressions of family members on returning to the waiting room at the end of the surgery, and their sense of relief on learning that all had gone well. They started texting updates to nervous families throughout their child’s surgery. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. Little did they know that they would be transforming medical communication and opening a window into the operating room.
At the end of the surgeries, families were overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for a simple picture of their loved one or a short text explaining what was happening during the surgery. Families repeatedly told them that it was as if they “never left their loved one’s side”, and had never felt “so at ease” while awaiting the outcome. Following extensive research, Dr. Munro and Dr. de la Roza soon realized that a text update approximately every thirty minutes could impact the waiting room experience like nothing before. The addition of pictures and videos from the operating room only served to enhance that experience.
As they updated more families during surgeries, the surgeons themselves began to take notice and became more involved. Dr. William DeCampli, a pediatric cardiac surgeon and the co-director of The Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, began updating families with a short video at the end of the surgery to let them know “your little one did great and I will be out to see you shortly.” The impact of this type of medical communication was tremendous.
Dr. Munro and Dr. de la Roza started conceptualizing and refining their solution with the help of Patrick de la Roza to become an easy to use, HIPPA compliant software platform that they would call “Electronic Access to Surgical Events” or EASE. The EASE system was developed, the apps were created, and on March 4, 2013 EASE Applications, a company dedicated to improving medical communication, was officially launched by Dr. Hamish Munro, Dr. Kevin de la Roza, Patrick de la Roza, and Dr. William DeCampli.
Since that day, EASE has been focused on improving medical communication, reducing anxiety, increasing understanding, and creating a better healthcare experience. EASE is bringing hospital communication and the surveying of patients and their families into the 21st century. Created by doctors for families, the team will not rest until everyone in a surgical waiting room can stay connected to their loved one throughout the medical experience.
Created by doctors for families.
Mr. de la Roza has built and led high-performance teams with a demonstrated track record in strategy, business development, leadership, and execution. Mr. de la Roza has over 20 years experience in a variety of industries including health care, real estate, and retail. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of EASE Applications a communications platform for improving patient satisfaction and family experience. As a co-creator of EASE, he helped take the company from an idea to a nationally recognized platform in top-ranked US hospitals. He previously provided executive oversight for a 50,000 square foot medical innovation, surgery training and education institution at Advent Health. The Advent Health Nicholson Center trains over 15,000 clinicians a year in the latest surgical techniques and medical innovations. Mr. de la Roza’s strong entrepreneurial background has allowed him to successfully launch two startups, provide strategic direction, execution of business operations and acquire investor funding.
In his other roles with Advent Health, he was responsible for developing the overarching and unified digital marketing and brand strategy, content strategy, social media strategy and search engine optimization strategy for Adventist Health System. Mr. de la Roza also has an extensive background in residential and commercial real estate sales. During his tenure, he led the sales and marketing efforts at Baldwin Park in Orlando, Florida.
By: Josh Wilson
Fred B. Clayton
President and CEO, Orlando Union Rescue Mission
Freddy Clayton is a fifth-generation Floridian who joined the Board of Directors of the Orlando Union Rescue Mission in 2010. He served as Vice Chairman until he became President and CEO in 2015. He began his professional career as a lawyer, handling litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and left the practice of law to enter business. He co-founded and sold two successful businesses, the first of which manufactures systems that generate and dispense fragrances for commercial applications. The second company creates and distributes interactive, web-based training programs for medical personnel. He received his A.B. from Davidson College and his J.D. (with honors) from the University of Florida College of Law. He and Susan, his bride of 40 years, raised their two grown sons in Orlando. Freddy and Susan are members of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Orlando, where they have been active in leadership roles and various ministries since they joined the church 30 years ago.
One of our significant efforts over the past two years is to educate the community about the Mission’s programs and objectives. Most folks think we are a shelter for slightly dangerous men, and that we house those guys every night, feed them supper and breakfast, and then release them every morning to torment nearby neighborhoods. That impression is hugely misleading. Our ministries focus on long-term residential programs that equip our guests to escape homelessness permanently. Guests live with us for an extended period, typically from six months to two years, while they get the education training, counseling, and other assistance to enable them to live independently and self-sufficiently for the rest of their lives. We have two major facilities – our Men’s Home where 120 single men live with us, and our Family Home, where we serve 136 men, women, and children. Everything – food, shelter, clothing, toiletries, and personal items – is free to our guests, and we accept no (really, not a penny) of government funding. We are funded entirely by private, voluntary donations.
We have an accredited high school for adults on our campus, and every adult who moves into the Mission must get a high school diploma (we award actual diplomas, not GED certificates). We have an in-house substance-abuse recovery program for the majority of our adult guests, who need that help, and we participate in Celebrate Recovery, the Christ-centered 12-step program. We have a full preschool, where we educate and care for the young children of our guests, and we have a full range of after-school activities every day for our school-age kids (tutoring, homework monitoring and help, physical activity, Bible studies, social time, and arts education). Our adult guests participate in Jobs Partnership, a faith-based jobs-preparedness program that has been very successful, and participation in our chapel activities is mandatory.
Send Fred a message to schedule a tour and see the impact this organization is having in Orlando.
Here is a link for our website:
By: David Brim
Orlando’s startup community received a boost Friday in its effort to shift the city’s business image from one that highlights tourism into one known more for technology.
Former America Online CEO and Chairman Steve Case announced that he had chosen Orlando as the kickoff location for the latest version of his Rise of the Rest five-city tour, which awards $100,000 to a startup at each stop.
The eighth tour, which includes stops in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, the Space Coast and San Juan, Puerto Rico launches April 29.
“We want to reposition [Orlando] as not just about hospitality and Disney but also about building businesses and startups,” said Case, who has been leading his Rise of the Rest tour since 2014. “There is a lot of excitement but it needs a catalyst to get more people investing.”
I am very excited that Steve Case has recognized Orlando’s startup community to be one worthy of attention and investment. Orlando does have investment-worthy startups and has been able to attract investors, even though many of these investments often go unnoticed by the media and general public. I’m noticing an increase in attention overall, even though we still have a long way to go to catch up to Silicon Valley, Boston, Atlanta, or even Miami.
The press that the Rise of the Rest initiative, organized by the former CEO of AOL Steve Case, has been able to attract locally also is great for our startup ecosystem. It shows other investors that may be conditioned to focus on other asset classes that a highly respected national business figure does indeed see Orlando’s startup community as a viable and fertile location for investment.
I’m looking forward to seeing the pitch contests and what company will earn the $100k investment.
Keep rocking Orlando! Onward and upward.
By: Josh Wilson
Bill Peppler, COO of Kavaliro
With more than 20 years of experience in the technology, financial staffing, and consulting industries, Bill Peppler, COO is responsible for overseeing operations and developing additional new markets for Kavaliro across the United States. Before coming to Kavaliro, Peppler worked in the Orlando, Seattle and San Diego markets for international staffing and recruiting organizations. He has recruited for clients such as Microsoft, Amazon.com, Boeing and various Fortune 500 customers. After establishing an office in Seattle, he was offered an opportunity to do the same for clients in Southern California. He has been recognized as an employment expert in such publications as CNN Money, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Inc Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Orlando Business Journal and The Orlando Sentinel among others. Peppler has lead Kavaliro to being named as a Best Place to Work in various Business Journals, successfully had Kavaliro named to the Inc. 5000 7 consecutive years, and has brought about technical innovation that provides custom-tailored solutions.
Peppler is also a Founding Partner of the successful HR technology company, FYRE, which had a successful exit through strategic acquisition to Peoplenet/BullHorn in only 36 months and is still a leader in the HR automation industry.
Peppler received his BA degree from the University of Central Florida in 1996 and a Master’s degree in Business Management from Troy State University in 2002.Honors:
- 2011 Orlando Business Journal 40 Under 40 award winner
- 2010 UCF Alumni Association Board of Directors
- 2010 Mentor of the Year for the University of Central Florida Professional Selling Program
- 2010 Florida Technical College Advisory Board
By: Josh Wilson
Ethan Founders Story
As far back as he can remember, GoodTix Founder and President, Ethan Curtis, knew he wanted to work in entertainment. “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I always knew it would involve entertainment. I wanted to bring people together to share special moments.” His lifelong passion led him on a circuitous path of varying roles; from performer to songwriter to event producer to owner of what has become Florida’s premier recording facility, Plush Studios. Eventually, Ethan landed in talent management, where he found immediate success helping to build the career of Gen-Z phenomenon, Baby Ariel. By the end of his first year working with Ariel, she had amassed over 40-million followers online, secured a major record deal with Atlantic Records and a book deal with Harper-Collins, produced and starred in her own web series, launched her own clothing line, penned a multitude of major brand deals including partnerships with Converse, Neutrogena, EA Games, Instagram, MTV and Nickelodeon, had been named “one of the most influential people on the Internet” by TIME Magazine, graced the cover of Billboard Magazine, and landed a spot on Forbes’ 2017 list of “top entertainment influencers.”
“The success we had found with Ariel’s project was amazing. In that first year, it seemed as though a week couldn’t go by without us receiving some new sort of accolade encouraging yet another self-administered pat on our own backs. It was nice at first, but after a while, my sense of accomplishment didn’t match up with the success that others seemed to perceive. The honors we were getting acknowledged that we were doing better than others in our field, but they didn’t confirm that we were doing any good. I had landed the cool job I had always wanted, but I was now at an age where cool alone didn’t do it for me anymore. I began to seek out a deeper sense of fulfillment from my work.”
“A few months into my early onset midlife crisis, I was attending a show in Orlando. I knew the act’s management and they had put me on the list, so I got to cut straight through the massive crowd of screaming teeny boppers. When I walked into the venue, I realized that it wasn’t that full, yet hundreds of kids were standing outside wishing they could switch places with me. I found out that the majority of people outside hadn’t bought or couldn’t buy tickets but were still camping out in the hope that they may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of their teen idol. They never got their glimpse, but throughout the entire show, the screams outside far surpassed those inside the venue. The promoter could have easily passed out all the unsold tickets and let the outsiders in. Instead, they chose to hold onto the tickets to avoid angering those who had purchased theirs and in case any last-minute buyers decided to walk up.”
“At the end of the show, over 100 tickets still remained, but the second the artist had walked off of the stage, every single one of those tickets had lost 100% of its value. They were now just worthless pieces of paper. Thirty minutes earlier, they had been worth $90 each. What a waste, I thought. It would have cost them nothing to give those tickets away, and in return, the packed house would’ve made for a better show and increased merchandise and drink sales. My three years in undergrad as an economics major started to flash through my head. I began to think about the same scenario but on a macro scale. If this show alone had allowed $9000 worth of inventory to spoil, how much value are we throwing away each year throughout the live-event industry as a whole? How can we capture some of that value before it’s lost for good? How can we help those on the outside who can’t afford a ticket without alienating those on the inside who can? I realized at that moment that if I could answer those questions, I would solve a major market inefficiency that exists within my industry while simultaneously reconnecting with my original motivation for pursuing a career in entertainment by bringing those outsiders in to share in the experience.”
Tom Founder’s Story
From a very early age, Tom was drawn to the entertainment industry, particularly music. “I fondly remember, when I was about four or five, curling up next to the radio and falling asleep listing to the hits of the day, memorizing all the lyrics, and later when I was about eight or nine doing living-room lip-sync performances of Beatles songs with my friends for an audience consisting of … our parents.” When he was fourteen one of Tom’s friends dragged him to a Kiss concert. Taking inspiration from Kiss’s incredibly theatrical live performance, Tom learned to play bass guitar, and after playing in bands during high school, made a living touring and recording in rock bands for twelve years. During that time, Tom developed a keen interest in the music business, and after Virgin Records dropped his last band, Tom took his finance degree and headed to the University of Florida where he earned his MBA and his law degree.
During his twenty years of practicing entertainment law, Tom and his firm regularly worked to support numerous charities; building relationships that would prove valuable to the success of GoodTix. Realizing the limitations of the charitable efforts he and his firm could provide, Tom sought to create positive social change on a greater scale. “When Ethan [Curtis, co-founder of GoodTix] brought the GoodTix concept to me and asked me to partner with him I leapt at the opportunity.” “GoodTix allows me to maximize the effectiveness of my personal social-benefit initiatives and seeing the potential to provide support for numerous worthy charities is very gratifying.”
GoodTix is a web-based platform that allows ticket sellers to donate excess ticket inventory to be sold online at a discount to the benefit of charities; helping to drive impact within our community.
GoodTix believes that live events are shared experiences that bring us together and are powerful “cultural capital.” A tremendous amount of live-event tickets go unsold or unused. GoodTix reduces this waste, increases access to events, and makes the world a better place by distributing this otherwise-lost value to charitable organizations that provide positive social impact where it’s needed most.
By: David Brim
Orlando, Fla. – Capacitech Energy’s new method of storing energy in the form of a wire is being noticed around the world as a key to reducing the cost, and increasing the capacity of, energy storage.
Last month, the company was named a finalist in a global contest for energy storage companies – only one of three companies in the Unites States to be named. Just 32 companies made the cut out of the more than 200 that applied.
Capacitech is the only company from Florida to be included as a finalist.
If the company is one of the 15 selected, it will gain access to a network of more than 400 partners, including specialist business angels, 14 major European Cleantech VCs from the InnoEnergy VC community, and main energy corporations. Start-ups also gain board-level advice and mentorship and admission to European energy events.
The top company is awarded €100,000.
Big props to Joe Sleppy and the team over at Capacitech Energy for being selected to compete in an elite International Competition for Energy Storage companies. What a great accomplishment. Very well deserved!
Capacitech Energy was selected out of 200 companies that applied to competition and is one of only three US companies.
Way to go Joe & Capacitech team! Good luck at the competition and much continued success growing your innovative business. Keep rocking and making Orlando & UCF proud. CHARGE ON 😉
About Capacitech Energy
Capacitech is bringing a new type of capacitor to market. This capacitor, unlike traditional capacitors, is built on the surface of a copper wire. Its performance is proportional to the length of wire the capacitor is built on. This essentially allows our customers to easily customize the performance (capacitance) of our capacitor by cutting the wire at different lengths. For electronics manufacturing companies, this cable-capacitor technology could significantly reduce costs associated to the logistics/inventory related to ordering, inspecting, and managing capacitors. For more information, visit capacitechenergy.com
By: Josh Wilson
Rob Panepinto is an innovator who has always challenged the status quo of “good enough”. Rob has helped Orange County become a hub for technology, entrepreneurship, and creativity. He is passionate about the positive impact businesses and business leaders drive for their communities and is an active “civic entrepreneur” serving on multiple civic and nonprofit boards.
Rob Panepinto is President of Florentine Strategies, which provides board support, strategic consulting, and investment capital for healthcare, social enterprise and technology companies. Rob is also the CEO of Entrepreneurs in Action, who manage a social venture fund that invests in local social enterprises, helping them create successful businesses and jobs while addressing community and global social needs.
Rob is a Founder and Board Chair of Orlando’s Social Enterprise Accelerator, Rally, a partnership between the Central Florida Foundation, Rollins College, the City of Orlando, and other community partners. Rob is the current Chair of the Central Florida Foundation board, immediate past chair of Orlando, Inc. and is a Board Member member for the Orlando Economic Partnership. He also serves on the Board of Stater Studio, Rollins’ Crummer Graduate School of Business Board of Overseers and its Rollins Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship. He has served on the Operations Committee of the Central Florida Expressway Authority. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization.
Rob was a 2018 candidate for Orange County Mayor.
Previously, Rob was part of the founding executive team for Connextions, helping them grow from a small manufacturing company to become an innovative healthcare technology and services company based here in Orlando. Connextions was sold to Optum in 2011.
Rob has been married to his wife Stacy for over 27 years and they have 2 daughters, Ali (17) and Samantha (15). They live in Winter Park.
By: Josh Wilson
Dena Jalbert, Align Business Advisory Services
Dena Jalbert is founder and CEO of Align Business Advisory Services, a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and business advisory firm based in Winter Park, Fla. Align was founded in 2010 with a mission to break the mold of the traditional advisory firm and is built on the core principles of service, diversity, innovation and value creation. Align leverages its deep industry and business knowledge to provide innovative solutions and align its clients’ business results with their objectives to create value. The company offers management consulting, business strategy, finance, and M&A services to holistically serve the middle market.
Jalbert leverages her nearly 20 years of success in building, scaling, and buying and selling businesses to accomplish her clients’ goals. Her career experience spans many years in “Big 4” public accounting and consulting firms, in addition to holding executive positions with Fortune 500 and hyper-growth middle market companies. An expert in M&A, Jalbert has facilitated nearly $1 billion of buy and sell-side transaction. Jalbert is a certified public accountant (CPA) and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in public accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Links Mentioned In The Show:
By: Josh Wilson
The Mouse Merch Box is a subscription box that works with Disney and their Licensees. Every box and piece of merchandise tells a story.
Austin is the Founder and CEO of The Mouse Merch Box. He grew up in a business family in Indiana and helped them build a Crossfit Box and Ice Cream shop.