Celebrating 100 Employees and Continued Growth: Fattmerchant

By: Christina Fleming

Fattmerchant, Orlando’s fastest-growing payment technology company, celebrates reaching 100 employees. They’ve come a long way since they launched in 2014 where CEO and Founder, Suneera Madhani, was one of only two members on her staff.

Fattmerchant got started when Madhani decided that merchants deserve better. She said, “This company was created because we believe that any business, no matter how large or small, should be able to afford to accept credit cards. We are dedicated to making that happen.” She wanted to offer a straightforward pricing model that has a flat monthly rate with no additional charges. With Madhani’s strategic leadership skills, Fattmerchant has reached record high numbers since its existence; attaining triple-digit growth year after year, scaling operations in multiple cities across the United States, raising $10M in venture capital. She revolutionized the payment landscape, which was unheard of in the credit card processing industry thus far.

It wasn’t an uncommon phenomenon for merchants to be hit with hidden fees and long-term contracts, but Madhani said no more. Fattmerchant charges a flat rate fee from Visa and Mastercard, and then offers monthly subscriptions options. The customer can choose which of the three-monthly subscriptions’ suites their needs best–helping them to save approximately 40 % on their monthly processing bills.

Madhani focused execution, passion, and unwavering determination into this company and her employees which has been well-integrated into the company’s mission and product.

To learn more about Madhani and her journey as an Orlando Entrepreneur launching Fattmerchant check out our podcast Most Influential Woman in Payments – Interview with Suneera Madhani.

Synapse Orlando Event Recap

By: David Brim

A message from David Brim:

I want to give props to everyone that came together to make the Synapse Orlando event a great success. Thank you Sheena Carlisle Fowler, Vanessa Zablabla, Tim Giuliani and everyone at the Orlando Economic Partnership for all your hard work in planning and promoting. Thank you Synapse Florida team and volunteers. I really enjoyed all the sessions I attended and participating on the Building on Opportunity Panel. It was wonderful to get so many of our entrepreneurial & innovation leaders together in one place. Catching up with old friends and making new ones was also a big plus.

(Carol Ann Dykes logue and Rob Penepinto speaking at #SynapseOrlando)

During my panel I mentioned that “Orlando is a place where dreamers can dream and innovators can innovate to create the world of tomorrow.”

(David speaking at #SynapseOrlando on Opportunity Zones & Entrepreneurship)

Let’s continue to lean into our spirit of innovation, work together and build on this momentum to advance our Orlando Entrepreneurs, their companies and our local economy. Orlando, our future is bright!

 

 

 

Negotiating the Deal: Interview with Scott Vachon

By: Josh Wilson

Negotiating the Deal: Interview with Scott Vachon

 
 
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With more than 16 years of experience in office furniture, we help our customers save money with new and used blended solutions. In our 50.000 square feet showroom, you will find hundreds of cubicles, chairs, desks, filing cabinets, office suites, and accessories ready to go.

Whether you are outfitting a single office or redoing your corporate headquarters, we can help you design and set up your office with a great look and proper design. Now you can allow maximum productivity and employee participation to become a reality at your workplace. 

We also offer Green Credits, a way of stopping office furniture from ending up in the landfill, helping the environment by reducing potential greenhouse gases and helping the economy as well. There are a lot of companies that would benefit from getting access to used office furniture rather than going out and buying new.  We will assess the value of your used furniture and give you green credits for it which you can spend on purchases with us. You’ll be able to restock your office with our high quality refurbished items. 

Scott Vachon LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-vachon-857481b/

 

Office Liquidation

https://floridadesks.com/

https://www.facebook.com/OfficeLiquidation/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/16185716/admin/

https://www.instagram.com/officeliquidation/

 

Capital Office Furniture 

https://capitalofficefurniture.com/

https://www.facebook.com/capitalofficefurniture1/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/capital-office-furniture-inc./

https://www.instagram.com/capitalofficefurniture/

 

Office Furniture Outlet 

https://www.ofo-orlando.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Office-Furniture-Outlet-465255896992171/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/ofo-office-furniture-outlet/

https://www.instagram.com/officefurnitureoutletfl/

The Photo Studio of Your Dreams: Interview with Jeanette and Joshua Johnson

By: Josh Wilson

The Photo Studio of Your Dreams: Interview with Jeanette and Joshua Johnson

 
 
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Joshua and Jeanette Johnson are the founders of Wall Crawl, a photo studio concept in downtown Orlando. Joshua is a lifelong entrepreneur whose past projects include work on Sunrail, Rethink Homelessness, the National Entrepreneur Center, Instagram accounts @lakeeola and @orlandokingcobra, and professor of Entrepreneurial Marketing at UCF. Jeanette is the founder of J’s Everyday Fashion (@jseverydayfashion), one of the first-ever budget fashion blogs. Founded in 2010, it was named a top 10 fashion blog in the U.S. by traffic in 2013 with more than 15 million page views per year. Jeanette is also an author, regularly appears on TV, and is the co-founder of ethical clothing line Eden & Ivy.
After getting married in 2015, they teamed up to travel the world and create content for J’s Everyday Fashion full-time. Always on the lookout for great photo ops, they dreamed up Wall Crawl, a photo studio with 20+ walls that change seasonally and on-staff Instagram husbands that help you capture the perfect shot. It opened in downtown Orlando in August 2019.
www.wallcrawl.com
@wallcrawlorlando

Photo Credit @doorlandonorth

But first, let me take a Selfie, at Wall Crawl Orlando

By: Christina Fleming

It’s time to re-vamp your Instagram with some photo [worthy] shots! Orlando welcomes Wall Crawl, a new photo studio on Church Street. Offering more than 20 creative backdrops, Wall Crawl gives you the opportunity to snap the impeccably unique picture. There’s plenty of space for you to take selfies, portraits, photos and more! Don’t worry if you forget your props, they have a variety for you to play with as you walk around this imaginative photoset.

Owners, Jeanette and Joshua Johnson, wanted to make this a space inspiring for everyone and for any occasion. This spot isn’t only for your favorite Instagram influencers, it can be used for holiday portraits, business professional headshots (with some flare), creative date nights, bachelorette parties, you name it. The owners plan to keep the backdrops always changing with new art from local Orlando artists.

The idea for Wall Crawl began when Fashion Blogger Jeanette Johnson collaborated with her husband and photographer, Joshua Johnson. In her interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Jeanette says, “About a year and a half ago, Joshua came up with the idea to open a photography studio. I asked to have some space in the back to create some funny backdrops for my blog. And it literally just snowballed from there.” The couple has been planning for the studio perennially, always excited to see their visions come to life.

So how does it work? Well, the admission for the general public costs $25 per person. This includes 45 minutes to wander around and become inspired. Wall Crawl has Instagram “Husbands” available to help you get the perfect angels and curate the unique ideas you’ve conjured up. The pictures they help you capture can be purchased for $5 at the end of your experience. Nevertheless, it is definitely encouraged for you to snap selfies and even bring your own photographer.

The owners expressed they want this to be more than simply Instagram. They want to help inspire creativity in the community and offer resources for Orange County schools to teach students photography, editing, and blog writing. They also offer the studio as a private venue for people to host their own events. If you want to hear more about their vision, tune into our Podcast coming soon featuring Jeanette and Joshua.

For more information on Wall Crawl, stay tuned for our upcoming Podcast with Jeanette and Joshua Johnson. Pre-purchased tickets are required for admission, so please visit their website, wallcrawl.com for up-to-date time slots and ticket information.

 

Wall Crawl is at 1016 Church St. in Orlando.

 

 

   

The $400k Tweet: Interview with Founders Justin and Jordan

By: Josh Wilson

The $400k Tweet: Interview with Founders Justin and Jordan

 
 
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Justin Mitchell and Jordan Walker have been partners in some exciting tech-based endeavors such as their app development company, SoFriendly, and their latest project, YAC.  Justin and Jordan share their experiences developing YAC such as receiving an investment offer of $400,000 through Twitter and gaining investors without yet having a pitch deck ready to show.  YAC, short for the common phrase “Yelling Across Cubicles”, is an application which makes it far more efficient for remote teams to communicate.

Justin Mitchell’s bio:

Having started working in startups at only 16, I now have extensive experience in the entire product development lifecycle. At 19 I co-founded and launched my first startup and 2 years later helped it IPO on the NASDAQ. 27 patents, an acquisition and multiple funded projects later, I bounce between design, engineering and even marketing for clients such as Margaritaville, Marriott, Hilton, and Google, through my design agency, SoFriendly. I’m now working on a new startup focused on asynchronous voice communication, called YAC and recently closed a pre-seed round there.

Jordan Walker’s bio:

Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with exciting new, startups all the way up to giants such as Hilton, Margaritaville, and Marriott. While doing so, I’ve built teams from the ground up and managed 250+ person teams while keeping efficiency at the top of the priority list. My experience in product design and running businesses has not only helped other startups but has helped me scale and raise for my own startup, YAC, as well. Majority of my work can be found at sofriendly.com. My latest startup, YAC, is a venture-backed asynchronous voice communication platform. We can be found at www.yac.chat and would love to hear what you think!

 

 

YAC website: https://www.yac.chat

YAC Twitter: https://twitter.com/yacchat

Justin Mitchell LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/itsthisjustin/

Jordan Walker LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordanlwalkerrr/

SoFriendly website: https://www.sofriendly.com

SoFriendly Twitter: https://twitter.com/sofriendly

Self-Driving Cars and Trucks are One-Step Closer with Luminar’s $100M Funding Increase

By: Christina Fleming

The laser lidar sensors for self-driving vehicles are expected to hit the road in 2022, just about two years from now. Luminar, in Orlando, FL raised an additional $100M. Now, they plan to market a new affordable sensing and perception platform for automated passenger vehicles as well as commercial trucks. This will enable the drivers to see their surroundings more accurately.

CEO Austin Russell, the 24-year-old optics prodigy founded the  Orlando-based company three years ago. His intention is for the new Iris platform to combine the latest-generation laser sensor from Luminar with the software. This makes it possible to install the platform into a vehicle as a plug and play upgrade. It can be integrated into the vehicles roof or healights, as well as the front grille. Russell plans to sell the Iris package to cars and trucks that have high levels of self-driving capabilities for less than $1000.

Lidar can quickly generate 3D point cloud maps. This bounces a laser beam off a vehicles surroundings, allowing it to work in unification with computer vision from highly technical cameras and radars. By doing do, the Iris package enables the vehicle to realize potential road hazards.

Toyota Research Institute, Audi, Volvo and Volkswagen have partnered with Luminar to support the technology. Luminar has over 30 different partners that have signed contracts, which includes 12 of the top 15 global automakers.

Luminar has numerous investors, including G2VP, Moore Stragetic Ventures, LLC, Nick Woodman, The Westly Group, 1517 Fund / Peter Thiel, Canvas Ventures, Corning Inc, Cornes, and Volvo Cars Tech Fund.

Dial a Doctor: Interview with Mark D. Gebhardt

By: Josh Wilson

Dial a Doctor: Interview with Mark D. Gebhardt

 
 
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Mark Gebhardt is a thirty-plus year veteran of the financial services industry. A true industry entrepreneur with broad-based experience in healthcare, marketing, product development, technology and distribution with responsibilities for the conception, planning and implementation of all marketing activities.  Mark has also authored numerous articles for industry trade publications on sales, marketing, agency building and development and is also recognized as an industry resource for National Underwriter magazine.

Community Doctors was launched in 2018, founded on the belief that there was a way to provide direct access to basic healthcare on an affordable basis without sacrificing quality. They were right. As the cost of medical insurance continues to soar, millions of people are unable to afford coverage or their deductible is so high, these consumers don’t seek care. Yet the need for basic medical care from doctors, professional services and medications is as important as ever. Visit the Community Doctors website for complete details; they look forward to being of service.

Here’s how to connect:

www.CommunityDoctors.com

Linkedin.com/in/communitydoctors

https://twitter.com/CommunityDocs @CommunityDocs

Take a Reset: Interview with Charlie Lewis

By: Josh Wilson

Take a Reset: Interview with Charlie Lewis

 
 
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Charlie Lewis is the founder and CEO of BlueWave Resource Partners and by hobby, a seed investor in the local tech community. His company BlueWave works with venture capital and private equity backed companies that are in high growth to assist with recruiting and talent acquisition. He is also an organizer and community leader for Orlando Tech and Beer which is a network of like-minded individuals focused on connecting and collaborating in order to inspire the growth of our tech communities.

Charlie has been in Orlando’s technology talent acquisition scene for 13 years and has worked with small to enterprise scale companies across central Florida. Over the years he has seen the changes in the technology talent pool, hiring trends and the impact that sourcing technology and social media has had on recruiting. Charlie has first-hand insight on the competitive landscape of attracting talent and the resource shortages that face our local tech community.  To learn more about Bluewave Resource Partners, visit https://bluewaverp.com.

 

Company email: info@bluewaverp.com

Company phone: (407) 986-5777

Company Instagram @bluewaverp

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charleslewisiii/

 

The Hand You’re Dealt: Interview with Melody Montgomery

By: Josh Wilson

The Hand You’re Dealt: Interview with Melody Montgomery

 
 
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Coming from a ‘nonlinear’ career path, Melody found herself wanting to find purpose with her work, while balancing a stable family and life schedule.  Finding Two Maids & A Mop, founded by Ron Holt in 2003, gave Melody the perfect way to fulfill her entrepreneurial spirit, spend time with her family, and also help families in need of help with keeping their lives in order.  Two Maids & A Mop offers cleaning services on a subscription-based model utilizing different package levels, while also partnering with nonprofits like Cleaning For A Reason, which provides free housecleaning for cancer patients.

 

Melody decided to pursue her dream of becoming a business owner after her teenage daughter recited her very own teachings of “We don’t just do the easy things.”  With this endeavor, Melody was also given the challenge of persevering through her recent diagnosis of breast cancer. She recalls her continuing efforts of maintaining optimism and learning to accept her own faults, which lead to her success as a leader.  Melody believes that everything happens for a reason, and even though sometimes she thinks she was ‘dealt a bad hand’, she continually makes the effort to not define herself by her diagnosis. With this perspective shift on life, she holds firm in the belief that we all have a choice when it comes to how we spend our time and seeks to empower those who are stuck thinking they cannot pursue their dreams.

 

Two Maids & A Mop has been featured in media such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Better Homes & Garden, Success Magazine, CNN Money, Yahoo News, and even CNBC.  Based out of Birmingham, Alabama, this brand now we serve 60 markets across the country, following the notion that doing the right thing will keep them competitive in the service-based industry.  To learn more about Two Maids & A Mop Oviedo, visit https://twomaidsoviedo.com/about_us/.

 

Company email: oviedo@ineedamaid.com

Seminole Country: www.twomaidsoviedo.com

Orange county: www.twomaidsorlando.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melodymontgomery/

Company phone: (407) 603-8001