Incubator Starter Studio Opens Doors in Orlando

Starter Studio Founders

Starter Studio officially opened its doors last month in Orlando. The technology incubator is the brainchild of entrepreneur-developer Gregg Pollack, Founder of Envy Labs.

Pollack’s company does a lot of Web development for clients, and is well-known for its online training program Code School, which focuses on Ruby, Javascript, HTML/CSS, and iOS. It recently moved the whole operation to a new 8,500 square foot office in the GAI building, on the southeast edge of downtown Orlando.

What is Starter Studio?

Included in that move is Starter Studio. Its three-month program is designed to move startups toward creating actual demos of their product or service. At the end of the program, companies present their creation at Demo/Pitch day in the hopes of securing publicity and funding. Office access and creative space are available 24/7, and companies aren’t charged for the program.

Starters apply by filling out a simple form. If accepted, they’re expected to be in the office each day, to collaborate with the other starters, attend talks, discuss issues, get advice from resident experts and participate in training. Before applying, they need to secure the technical expertise necessary to actually design and build their product. The inaugural class has eight companies and some interesting products.

  • Learn Everywhere is all about training people to remember things. They’re initially focusing on helping students improve their exam and SAT scores, helping individuals learn a new language, and giving restaurant personnel the ability to perform more effectively and make more sales.
  • SHOFLO is a real-time event production management system. It manages cue sheets and production documents and is able to scale to hundreds of users in multiple locations.
  • SnapShots is an iPhone app that lets you collect, organize and share photos and videos with your friends and family.
  • Ocoos is a service that helps small businesses manage their websites and social media presence, as well as customers, sales and record keeping. Its focus is on speed and ease of use.
  • Edukate marries retirement plan participants with online personal finance education. The product can monitor and track annual education and help clients organize and report on their education spending.
  • Ninebricks is a consulting company that helps schools adapt their current classroom courses to online formats.
  • Frisbee connects people and businesses through a proximity-based social network system.
  • FreshETech makes a wireless, waterproof speaker system that connects to your smartphone, so you can rock out in the shower.

Sponsors include a number of local venture sourcing, accounting, legal and consulting practices, the Florida High Tech Corridor and the Florida Technical Journal.

Of course, just as similar organizations do in other parts of the country, Starter Studio has begun to build relationships with local institutions of higher learning, namely the University of Central Florida and the Rollins College Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship. Some of the faculty have presented at periodic Envy Labs brown bag lunch sessions.

Starter Studio is off to a roaring start, with a bunch of promising companies and a growing cadre of experts, entrepreneurs and business people who want Orlando to be a tech powerhouse.

Image: Orlando Sentinel