Florida High Tech Corridor and Orange County Government Launch “Cenfluence” Brand to Drive Industry Diversification Initiative
Partners will leverage regional strengths and global network to expand economic opportunities in seven counties
Orange County, Florida – A “cluster” initiative launched just eight months ago by the Florida High Tech Corridor (aka The Corridor) and the Orange County government will strengthen the economy of central Florida and spur job creation in the United States. – beyond the hotel industry and tourism. The initiative has already signed nearly 50 companies in four technological industrial clusters and will continue under a new brand: Cenfluence.
Combining “confluence” and “central Florida”, the name Cenfluence and the associated brand embody a mission to unite the members of the cluster and to propel them beyond local borders to boost national and international partnerships and trade.
Formerly known as the Orange County Cluster Initiative, Cenfluence was formed in February 2021 as part of the county’s $ 2 million effort to stimulate and diversify the local economy amid the impacts of COVID-19.
In addition to the 50 companies that have joined, more than 160 companies have been identified as potential members of the four Cenfluence clusters:
- Energy and environmental sciences
- Games, entertainment and eSports
- Life sciences
- Learning science and human performance
âThe partnership with Orange County has given us a tremendous opportunity to harness the energy of four emerging clusters and create an unprecedented ecosystem where industry, academia and supporting organizations converge,â said Paul Sohl, CEO of Corridor. âCenfluence represents a spirit of collaboration that has driven The Corridor’s work for 25 years and we look forward to seeing how the ripple effects of its growth will impact our region, including Central Florida and beyond.
Additional funding approved by the County Commissioners Council will allow Cenfluence to move from initial stages of information gathering to focus on growing and delivering member services through 2022 and beyond. It also allows the team to expand its reach, leveraging The Corridor’s regional perspective to incorporate members from other counties including Seminole, Brevard, Volusia, Lake, Polk and Osceola.
According to a study by the US Small Business Administration’s Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative, members of a formal cluster structure benefit from income gains, increased integration with industry supply chains, support for the development and commercialization of technologies and collaborative activities with other members and stakeholders. Cenfluence joins just 20 other cluster-type organizations applying this proven method in the United States and Canada, positioning the region as an innovator internationally.
âI am extremely proud of the Cenfluence team and their hard work to put Orange County on the map as a premier destination for technology research and innovation,â said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. âThis initiative addresses a critical need to complement our strong tourism industry and further diversify the region’s economy so that we can better serve our business community and residents.
The initiative is led by Jack Henkel, The Corridor’s Program Director for Industry and Regional Diversification, and Dr Amy Beaird, Senior Cluster Manager, in partnership with the Orange County Economic Development team. Cenfluence also benefits from the guidance of Mark Spinoglio, a world-renowned consultant with expertise in forming competitive industry clusters, and PRISMATIC, an Orlando-area branding and marketing agency and visionary behind the Cenfluence brand.
âThe launch of Cenfluence marks an awakening moment for our community of technology companies,â said Henkel. âAs a native of Florida and a member of the innovation community for 20 years, it’s amazing to see the synergy and passion of our local businesses and stakeholders culminate in this significant step towards a stronger regional economy.
Companies can learn more and register to become a member of the cluster at Cenfluence.com. For an initial period, there is no membership fee required thanks to the generous funding provided by the Orange County government.