A city once known for pop stars and Disney is now positioning itself to be the next technology hot spot in America. Tuesday Aug. 26 marked the opening of Canvs, a co-working space focused on the technology industry. What is Canvs you ask?
“Canvs is a nonprofit coworking space for technologists and entrepreneurs dedicated to supporting Orlando’s startup community and expanding the entrepreneurial ecosystem by making it easier for anyone to start up. Our mission is to assist in the transformation of Orlando into a nationally recognized center for technology startups. Canvs hopes to increase the odds of success for startups and to inspire more people to take the startup journey.”
Why is this a big deal to the emerging tech scene in Orlando?
This is just one opening in a long line of initiative to bring the focus on tech in Orlando. Orlando has recently grown into a hub for tech startups. Today, technology-based companies represent Orlando’s second largest industry behind tourism and one in five jobs in Downtown Orlando are tech related.
The Orlando Technology Association received annual funding from the city in May of 2014. This has allowed them to hire an executive director and participate in the “ The digital main street”.
“Orlando Tech, Inc. will participate in the “Digital Main Street Program” as a virtual community district with the objective to make Orlando a city where tech companies choose to locate and the digital workforce thrives,” read the city council agenda summary.
Canvs will make it easier for anyone who wants to start or grow a technology company in Orlando by providing flexible workspace options, mentorship, programming and regular events. Simply put, Canvs will help nurture startup businesses into full-grown successful companies.
Phillip Holt CEO of Spylt Analytics and board of advisors member of the Orlando Tech Assoication says, “People who decide to work here will gain access to a network of other entrepreneurs, attorneys, tax experts, and potential customers and employees. The biggest value here may be the exchange of ideas.”
Holt also adds, “You run into somebody else who has a different background than you or a different level of expertise, and they've got a unique spin on the problem that you're working on or something.”
Mayor Buddy Dyer said Canvs “symbolizes the evolution of our economy in Orlando.”
Canvs is located in the Exchange Building, which includes the Orlando Tech Association, Echo a Mobile App Development company, Digital Horizon, Spylt Analytics, Plan Source and the new “digital main street.”
Other companies opening in the Exchange building are Iron Yard Orlando which is a 12-week program to train computer developers and the third location of Downtown Credo, a local, non-profit donations only coffee shop, and Extract Juice and Tapas bar.