Downtown Orlando is the site of one of three innovation districts operated by UCF, each with a focus on different industry clusters. Early-stage companies can join the innovation districts and get coaching, fundraising help and access to university resources. The Downtown Innovation District focuses on digital media, smart city tech, fintech, education tech and hospitality/tourism tech.
The downtown space gives the Downtown Innovation District a place to hold mentor meetings for member companies and host its First Customer program. The space stood out for a few reasons, said Rob Panepinto, UCF’s director of Innovation Districts Strategy and Partnerships and senior strategic adviser of Partnerships and Innovation at UCF. For one, Panepinto said there’s “an allure to being in the heart of downtown and for people being able to see the activity taking place as they pass by.”
The space also offers a mix of offices, conference space and open space for events. Plus, there are surrounding offices in the building that could be snagged if needed in the future, Panepinto added.