In January, Mayor Jacobs hosted a distinguished group of panelists, economists and guests at the Orange County Convention Center for the 2016 Economic Summit.
Now in its fourth year, the Economic Summit provides an annual update on the economy and highlights strong business sectors and growing industries in Central Florida. The Summit was attended by more than 650 citizens and community leaders eager to hear about the region's flourishing economy. The theme of the Summit centered on Orange County’s economic transformation as a global leader in digital media, optics and photonics, bio and life sciences, and modeling, simulation and training (MS&T).
Mayor Jacobs kicked off the Summit by touting the region's strong MS&T sector, as well as the exponential growth of Central Florida's digital and technology sectors. The MS&T sector contributes more than $6 billion to Florida's gross state product and directly employs more than 30,000 Floridians with an average annual salary of almost $79,000.
Nationally recognized economist Sean Snaith, Ph.D., director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness, provided his annual economic forecast at the Summit. Snaith noted that the overall economy in 2015 ended on a strong note with job creation in high-paying sectors in addition to leisure and hospitality.
The Summit also featured a Technology Entrepreneur Panel, which included Donna Mackenzie, executive director of FireSpring Fund; Josh Brown, founder and CEO of PowerDMS; Phil Dumas, founder of Unikey Technologies; and Richard Licursi, managing partner and co-founder of venVelo.
Immediately after the Economic Summit, guests convened at the Florida Tech Match event. Mayor Jacobs partnered with the Orlando Tech Association to host the inaugural Florida TechMatch, an event that helped pave the way for local technology companies to build relationships and partnerships with national industry leaders. During the event, more than 80 local technology vendors met with 30 corporate and national buyers, including Orlando Health, Universal Orlando Resort, Bright House Networks and Clean the World.