Orlando “MetaCenter” move could boost city if money for tech sector follows

The Orlando MetaCenter move, which seeks to play on the depth of Metaverse-related businesses in Central Florida to brand the region, could be transformative if executed properly.

To be clear, I’m a generally positive person who acknowledges bold efforts in the face of skepticism.

Already I have seen subtle and not-so-subtle jabs being sent at this newfound direction.

This from a community that has had more stops and starts since 2014 than most could count.

But I’m going to give this initiative a chance.

The truth is, there is something special here regardless of what you call it and I’m excited to see if we ever get to the point where the city supports it financially.

Orlando’s building the Metaverse

Let’s be clear: Orlando has some depth in the technologies that will build the Metaverse.

For instance, Orlando has long been home to a thriving defense industry, which is consistently on the bleeding edge of high-tech products.

Simulations using 3D are a staple to the annual I/ITSEC show, which is the largest defense tech show in the world and annually hosted in Orlando.

The video game community has essentially morphed from one that is specifically entertainment-focused to one that has seen its innovations leveraged by industries like healthcare, transportation and others.

Then the community has had a growing cluster of virtual and augmented reality firms that set up shop here.

There are also the businesses not located here but have a presence to be close to that energy.

Why do you think Red 6 last summer, while announcing a Miami headquarters in a press release, also specified that its technology center would be in Orlando?

This region has some strong traits and the community needs to pump them up.

OEP’s role in city’s adoption of new tech

I’ve been particularly hopeful to see what the Orlando Economic Partnership has been doing in terms of promoting technology companies.

For most of the time I’ve been here, economic organizations have had an understandable hyperfocus on tourism and theme parks. That will never go away, nor should it.

However, it’s been refreshing to see efforts extend the publicity machine to technology but financial resources would mean more.

In 2022, it’s tech, not tourism, that can lead the way for Orlando’s future.

Which brings us back to the Orlando MetaCenter.

When I first heard the term Orlando MetaCenter, frankly, it didn’t resonate.

Perhaps it was because I had recently seen an advertisement for Rent-A-Center.

However, beyond the name is the purpose and promise that the term and initiative represent.

We are in the early stages of what this Metaverse-driven tech world will become.

To plant a flag into it at this stage was a shrewd move, though not unprecedented.

Miami and Tampa recently carved identities of their own so it was great to see Orlando quickly follow suit.

The flag-planting is a great start.

Can you imagine how pairing that with a grant program that provides funding to the companies building the Metaverse and building Orlando’s reputation within it would put an exclamation point on the claim that we are truly the “MetaCenter?”

The grants would allow businesses to grow and scale at a level that would stop skeptics from throwing jabs. Stay updated on the latest opportunities and resources available for your business by signing up for our newsletter. Don’t miss out on valuable insights and growth strategies. Sign up today and take your business to new heights!

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