What Is Starter Studio?

Starter Studio provides education, mentorship, legal and financial resources, networking opportunities, and the right culture to help innovative solutions grow.

Our sixth class, running August, September, and October now has applications open.  If you know any startups that could use some help getting further faster, please send them our way.  Applications close at the end of June.

Stay Informed:

Fourth Class Demo Day Videos

You can watch Demo Day pitches from each of our fourth class in the video above or on youtube here. On November 5th, 2015 ten of our startups took stage at the Cheyenne Saloon in front of 300+ people to highlight what they’ve accomplished, pitch their business, and show you why their startup will succeed. We’re extremely proud of the companies in our fourth class, and can’t wait to see them grow even more successful.

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What is a Starter?

In the book REWORK, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson discourage the use of the term “entrepreneur.”

“Everyone should be encouraged to start [their] own business, not just some rare breed that self-identifies as entrepreneurs.”

Instead they recommend the term “Starter” to describe anyone doing what they love on their own terms by starting a business in order to actualize a far-reaching, positive change.

What Is The Program?

We do the following to help our starter’s succeed:

  • Match Starters with experienced and successful mentors who will help strategically guide them. They have “walked the walk” and will provide insights by “talking the talk.”
  • Organize educational events relevant to Starters’ needs, taught by some of the best teachers and entrepreneurs in Florida.
  • Host Founder Talks, where successful entrepreneurs tell stories of their struggles and successes.
  • Host Investor Talks, where investors give you tips about how to win funding (if that’s something you’re into).
  • Supply 24/7 access to working space at our brand new location co-working space called Canvs in downtown Orlando.
  • Facilitate access to free legal and financial assistance.
  • Assist introductions to influential decision-makers in their industry.
  • Provide guidance and support for companies when they get stuck. We’ve all been there.
  • Serve all the coffee, espresso, sodas, and snacks you need with our beautiful open kitchen.
  • Showcase you at a Demo/Pitch day at the at the end of our program to get you some publicity.

Apply to Starter Studio

Who Should Apply?
Anyone who wants to take their company to the next level. You might have an idea, a prototype, or a product that needs some focus and guidance.

During our 3-month program we’ll be driving you towards a sellable product, so you’ll need to have people on your team capable of building your product. If you don’t have someone on your project that can develop or design it, you’ll need to solidify help before you apply.

We’re creating a collaborative environment, where all the teams will be encouraged to help each other. If you feel like you have “most” of what you need to create your product we hope you might apply to our next class, which will be starting August 2016. Teams who make the first cut will be interviewed in mid-July, and notified ASAP so they can make arrangements to move in August.

You will need to be available to work down at Canvs co-working space full time August, September, and October 2016.

What Does It Cost?
Nothing.  We will give you desk space, resources, amenities, and our time at no cost. We will also give you a single parking pass for your team. You may need to buy others if you have other teammates. We’ll let you know.

How Do I Apply?
Applications for our sixth class are now open, and will close at the end of June.

About Starter Studio

Who’s Behind This Crazy Idea?

Starter Studio was created by Gregg Pollack, founder of Envy Labs and Code School as a passion project to help tech startups in Orlando thrive.  Donna Mackenzie is the Executive Director of the program and Dayle Moore is the Program Director.

How do I get involved?
We see the Starter Studio as a community effort, and we’d love to get your help.

  • Interested in supporting us as a Sponsor? If you want to support our activities, and help build more Startups here in Orlando we’d love to have you onboard as a sponsor. Contact melissa@StarterStudio.com.
  • Interested in becoming a Mentor? Drop us an email and we’ll add you to our mentor list. Mentor orientation will likely be sometime in February after our startups arrive for the fifth class.
  • Interested in helping teach? Do you have an area of expertise that might be valuable to Starters, or you’re a founder of a company and would like to share your experience? Get in touch.
  • Are you an investor? We would love to get in touch with more local investors in Orlando, not only to have you come speak to our startups, but also perhaps to match you up with ones who are looking for investment.


Why are you doing this?
We want to help build the tech Startup community here in Orlando. We’re excited about all the momentum building around the state with business accelerators such as the Tampa Bay WaVE, Venture Hive in Miami, and the UCF Blackstone LaunchPad.

How do I get in contact with you?
Inquiries should be emailed to Donna Mackenzie.

Where is Starter Studio located?
Starter Studio’s sixth class will run inside Canvs, a coworking space for tech startups in downtown Orlando.   You’ll be surrounded not only by your classmates, but by other small successful startups in Orlando.

Do I have to be at the Starter Studio every day if I get accepted to the program?
That’s the idea. We’re all about execution which means you need to be in the office for the entire three months. Obviously there are going to need to be small exceptions (life happens), but we’d need to keep that to a minimum.  If you have to keep your day job to work on your startup, you shouldn’t apply.

Starter Studio’s Fifth Class

The following companies were in our 5th class, which culminated on Demo Day May 19, 2016 at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.

Advancing Technologies: Advancing Technologies has created an innovative solution for contact sports, providing users real-time storable data for concussion detection, biometrics and performance/technique. With a new type of wearable and corresponding app we are creating a better performing athlete while reducing the negative impacts of Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Big Box Of: If you shop local nationally, you can help more small businesses and have more to choose from. Big Box of helps you shop local nationally.

BackStory: Connects individuals to charitable causes they care about in a simple and meaningful way.

MouseMelon: We make computer mice for disabled people, wounded veterans, gamers, and virtual reality users.

MoversAtlas: We help people moving to unfamiliar areas of Florida get to know the neighborhood before they ever set foot on the ground.

SQYGL: We are Multi-City Travel, Simplified.

Style Squad: A mobile application that helps users make decisions on outfits or potential purchases by crowdsourcing feedback from their peers.

Zuke Music: Web and mobile application enabling better music creation, delivery, and consumption.


Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Platinum Partners

Supporting Sponsors

Founding Sponsors

Friends of Starter Studio