Announcements and the like.
Alex: Hey y'all, welcome back to The Beat!
Will any readers be at the I/ITSEC trade show in Orlando next week? I'm making an appearance, and I would love to hear from Central Florida-based companies that will be exhibiting or attending the expo. Feel free to reach out to my email at the end of the newsletter.
With that, let's get into today's news.
Breaking down the day's biggest Inno story.
Orlando aerospace investment firm and gaming startup raise money
Halfway through November, Central Florida firms ranging from an aerospace venture firm to a sunglasses retailer have combined to raise nearly $11M in capital, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents reveal.
These documents, filed with the SEC between Nov. 1-16, give new insights to what companies are getting cash infusions to grow their businesses, develop their products or invest into other firms.
The top raise was by Orlando-based venture firm E2MC LLC, which invests in aerospace companies across the U.S. While E2MC executives could not be reached for comment about the firm's recent $4.55M raise, Managing Partner Raphael Roettgen in December told Orlando Inno E2MC was rolling out its second investment fund.
E2MC's fundraising activity creates opportunities for aerospace startups in Central Florida looking for investment. E2MC invested in one local company in its first fund: space tourism company Space Perspective Inc., based at Kennedy Space Center.
E2MC is keeping its attention on Central Florida's Brevard County, Roettgen previously said. “We expect the Space Coast ecosystem to grow stronger.”
Learn more about the top funding deals of the first half of the month here.
Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves around Orlando.
Lake Mary training firm Digimation’s portable virtual gun simulator scores Army deal
Lake Mary-based Digimation Inc. next year will take its portable firearm training simulator global after racking up customers that include 300 U.S. law enforcement departments and, most recently, the U.S. Army.
The simulator, called DART, can be set up practically anywhere, enabling users to test their accuracy and decision-making abilities with guns that shoot lasers.
Technology company Digimation in October inked a deal with the Army, which bought 28 simulators, and Digimation is pursuing opportunities to add other branches to its customer list, said Digimation President David Avgikos.
Interest from the Army adds to already-strong demand for the company, which grew its sales 32% year-over-year in 2021 and expects to grow by another 50% this year, Avgikos told Orlando Inno.
The purpose of DART is to provide a safe, inexpensive and efficient way for law enforcement officers and soldiers to train using their firearms, including through immersive, real-world scenarios. [More here]
Local Habitat for Humanity org accepts crypto donations
Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County has a new way to tap into donations: cryptocurrency.
The Orlando-based housing nonprofit now accepts crypto donations, a spokesperson told Orlando Inno. Habitat for Humanity takes the donations through its website, similar to other forms of monetary gifts.
This gives Habitat for Humanity access to a wider range of potential donors, while crypto gifts to nonprofits offer a variety of tax advantages to donors, according to financial services firm Charles Schwab Corp.
Crypto's popularity spiked in 2021, leading to massive increases in the values of several cryptocurrencies before a dropoff this year.
For example, the value of Bitcoin, the world's most popular cryptocurrency, peaked at a value of roughly $65,0000 in November 2021 before dropping 75% to $16,173.82 as of Nov. 22, according to CoinDesk.
The local startup and innovation stories you need to read today.
Innovation news from around Florida.
Stories from around the Inno network we think you'll dig.
The events and happenings to know in the ecosystem
Random thoughts and notes
Alex: If you're staying in the Sunshine State for Thanksgiving this year, you'll likely be in good shape when it comes to turkey shopping.
That's because Florida boasts the fifth-cheapest average turkey price in the U.S. at $29.80, according to a report by FinanceBuzz. The website's analysis considers the average cost of a 15-pound turkey, finding Hawaii to be the state where turkeys gobble-gobble up the most money ($50.35) and Mississippi ($26.35) to be the cheapest state.
Anyway, that wraps up The Beat for the week. I won't be sending out a newsletter on Thanksgiving. Enjoy the holiday, and I'll be back with plenty of news next week!
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