While Central Florida has established a foundational infrastructure of programs and facilities to support regional entrepreneurs, there is still a severe shortage of seed and early-stage capital in the region. Florida is in a virtual tie as the third largest state in the U.S., yet Florida was ranked 10th in total venture capital raised for 2013. Even worse, Florida’s technology entrepreneurs face a particularly severe shortage of seed- and early-stage investment resources. Florida ranks 18th in seed-early stage capital investments – a mere 1⁄2 % of the total U.S. seed and early-stage capital invested in 2013.
FireSpring Fund directly addresses the critical gap in seed funding that is the largest barrier faced by Central Florida’s technology entrepreneurs. FireSpring Fund will be available to any Central Florida technology company, but extra emphasis will be placed on applicants that have completed the Starter Studio Accelerator or UCF I-Corps program. These programs have both received federal funding (SBA and NSF), and will graduate entrepreneurial teams with technology and advanced products/materials that are ideally suited for FireSpring Fund.