Plug and Play, a global innovation platform that supports startups, is excited to announce the opening of its new office in Orlando dedicated to advancing smart cities — with UCF selected as a preferred partner for the new initiative.
This strategic move reflects Plug and Play’s commitment to fostering innovation and supporting startups in the rapidly growing field of smart city technologies. The Orlando office will serve as a hub for one of Plug and Play’s three-month startup accelerator programs, scheduled to commence in early 2024.
“We are excited to launch our new Orlando office and join hands with renowned partners such as the University of Central Florida, Orange County Government, Duke Energy, and Tavistock,” says Plug and Play Founder and CEO Saeed Amidi. “Together, we aim to foster an environment that supports startups in developing cutting-edge technologies. Orlando has shown incredible potential, and with our startup accelerator programs, we are excited to drive innovation and shape the future of smart cities in the region.”
“Orange County is thrilled to partner with Plug and Play to advance smart cities and emerging technologies through public-private collaboration. We have allocated $1.5 million to Plug and Play to help boost local business growth and continue our vision of a connected and sustainable future,” says Orange County Major Jerry Demings.
This collaboration aims to leverage the strong ecosystem of expertise and resources in the region — driving the development of innovative solutions for smart cities.
UCF offers smart cities master’s degree track in civil engineering, the nation’s first such degree offered in the engineering field. UCF is also home to the Future City initiative, which provides research and educational opportunities in smart city technologies.
“Plug and Play’s intentional focus on fostering partnerships and creating new opportunities aligns seamlessly with Orlando and Central Florida, a region where collaboration and innovation flourish,” says UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright. “Through partnership, we will together shape the landscape of smart cities for the future and amplify impact for our region and our state.”
By establishing a presence in Orlando, Plug and Play aims to attract and nurture the brightest startups in the smart city space. The startup accelerator programs will provide selected companies with access to mentorship, business development opportunities, and potential investment. Furthermore, startups will benefit from Plug and Play’s extensive network of corporate partners, facilitating collaboration and commercialization of their groundbreaking solutions.
Plug and Play’s decision to partner with the Orange County Government, Duke Energy, UCF, and Tavistock underscores the shared vision of building a sustainable and technologically advanced future for the Central Florida region. With ongoing assistance from supporters like the Orlando Economic Partnership, these partnerships will enable Plug and Play to tap into the vast expertise of these organizations and create a thriving ecosystem for smart city innovation.