Stay in Orlando or move to Seattle? That is the question I asked myself when starting my business. My name is Alfred Espidol and I have chosen to help grow the tech community in my home of Orlando, Florida. My company is Launchable, we are dedicated to creating solutions for businesses through the use of augmented reality. My co-founder, Alfonso Morales and I worked inside of Canvs for 2 months before getting accepted into Starter Studio. In those few months in the co-working space we made friends and connected with mentors who have helped us on our startup journey.

Moving into Canvs was one of the best choices we made as company. The office space alone gave us a central place for our team to work together and get to know one another. We gained credibility as we now had a place to meet with clients and attract new talent to the team. After only a month working in this space we added our first intern, Chandra Sanders. With her help we were able to get into the augmented reality industry after creating our first AR demo. No week was the same at Canvs, just walking to the kitchen for water I would speak with a new person or get invited to a networking event like Orlando Tech and Beer or Orlando Tech Association meetups. Canvs opened up new opportunities for us to grow and learn what Orlando really had to offer.

Inside this co-working space is Starter Studio, a startup business accelerator that helped us organize Launchable. We started the program with an idea on how to teach and improve kids reading skills with AR. They helped us define the company’s direction and understand what steps were needed to take our idea and turn it into our first product, Hello Alice. Using business tools like the Business Canvas Model helped us map out ideas and keep the team on the same page. Other resources like mentors and ‘Lunch and Learns’ gave me a better understanding on how Orlando companies operate.

Canvs is a great place to start if you want to get involved with the tech community, the connections alone are worth working in this space. Working out of Canvs felt a lot like signing up for a 24 hour gym, the more hours I put in, the more results I saw. At the end of the day Canvs is a great place to find opportunities, but ultimately it’s up to you to make the most of them.

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