"I use to work at EA Sports!"
That's usually all it takes to perk up someone's ears and get their attention in Orlando. Trust me, I've used it many times. But is it a good thing that that statement carries so much clout? Take a second to think about how many people in the Orlando tech scene are saying this.
The tech scene in Orlando is small (but growing)
There are few places that you can mention that everyone in the tech industry will recognize (especially outside of Florida). What is Orlando really know for? EA Sports and military/research contracts. What about the startups? Well, unless I'm completely out of the loop (which is entirely possible), there's no startup in Orlando that has hit it big in the last 5 years. That means Orlando isn't a startup hub. Yet.
What about the startup villages and incubators?
I've been part of a company in an incubator. Despite the resources you're given, there's nothing in the water there that will make your startup succeed. Personally, I think you have the same chance succeeding in the incubator as you do going at it on your own.
So why do I bring this up now? There is a tech entrepreneur, Philip Holt, that has been making headlines lately. Every article you read about him doesn't miss the opportunity to name drop EA. Personally, I would be a bit offended if every article about me remembers me for my past jobs (not too offended though, because an article is an article). EA brings legitimacy, but when does it start to overshadow his current accomplishments?
See the most recent article about what Philip Holt is doing:
Until we can overshadow EA Sports with something bigger, Orlando will always be known for EA Sports. Good luck Philip is surpassing the EA Sports phenomenon.