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FireSpring Fund Now Accepting Applications


FireSpring, a Central Florida nonprofit investment fund is now accepting applications from early-stage technology companies and will provide up to $225,000 in investment capital.

According to County Commissioner Bryan Nelson last year the Orange County Board of Commissioners agreed to provide $100,000 in funding for FireSpring. "Our goal is to create high tech, high paying jobs here in Central Florida.," said Nelson. “Florida has been lagging in venture capital funding and hopefully FireSpring could close this gap."

“We just look at this as another link in the chain of the county's overall economic development strategy to sustain and grow our own companies," Eric Ushkowitz, Orange County Economic Development Administrator said. "We want companies that have roots here to grow here and become the next Microsoft, the next Google, etc."

County CommissionerBryan Nelson

Startup companies may apply to the six-month program, the FireSpring Seed Fund Accelerator, on the FireSpringFund.org website. Applications will close May 5, 2016, and the program begins May 23, 2016. Three to six high-potential technology firms will enroll in the program’s inaugural class of startups.

FireSpring Seed Fund Accelerator is a mentor-based program, supplementing its intensive one-on-one mentoring with programs and education to help companies grow and scale their ventures. Its expanding network of mentors includes experienced and successful tech entrepreneurs, investors and other subject matter experts.

Enrollment in the FireSpring Seed Fund Accelerator is a prerequisite to receiving investment capital from the fund. The enrolled companies must reach strict milestones of customer and revenue growth, as well as investment commitments from outside investors. Each company will receive $25,000 upon acceptance into the accelerator and be eligible to receive up to $200,000 in additional investment.

Applicants must demonstrate a viable product, and be ready to execute on sales and growth strategies developed during the program. They must also have a base of operation in one of five Central Florida counties, Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia

As the first-of-its-kind investment fund for early-stage growth companies in Florida, FireSpring Fund will hold equity shares in its portfolio companies, growing its funding base as these companies make successful exits via acquisition, merger or public offering.

FireSpring Fund was founded in 2015 with support from key local partners including University of Central Florida, Rollins College, City of Orlando, Orange County, and many other business and civic leaders. It is housed within Canvs, the downtown Orlando co-working space.

The Deadline to apply is Thursday May 5, 2016.




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