PlanSource was mentioned in The Orlando Sentinel. Text from the piece is below and the original article can be found here.
Orlando ranks high for health startup growth: Kauffman report
June 2, 2016
Copyright © 2016, Orlando Sentinel
Orlando is getting national recognition as a good place for fast-growing health-care startup companies.
The metro area ranked No. 4 in the nation among the 40 largest metros for its density of high-growth companies in the health industry, according to a new survey by the Kauffman Foundation, a leading nonprofit foundation that ranks startup activity. The region came in just behind Nashville, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta.
“Health care, that’s where you’re finding more success on growth, than in other areas,” said E.J. Reedy, director in research and policy for the foundation.
Health-care companies led the way last year in venture capital investment for the region, reflecting a national trend. Local health tech firms have changed how patients track health-care records, built new tools for laparoscopic surgeries and new high-tech pill bottles that track how you take your medicine.
Besides a cluster of hospitals, Orlando also has institutional support for startups. Florida Hospital has an incubator program, the Healthbox accelerator program is moving to an Orlando headquarters, and GuideWell Innovation CoRE just opened a 30,000-square-foot innovation center in Lake Nona Medical City.
“We are very well positioned in this industry,” Mitchel Laskey, an Orlando-based investor who has invested in multiple health tech companies, told the Sentinel in February. “There is an opportunity for innovation here. We are doing our fair share of building terrific companies and attracting capital.”
For the health-care density ranking, Kauffman looked at the number of fast-growing startup companies in each metro area. It identified seven in Orlando, although it didn’t name them in the survey. Then Kauffman ranked each city by the density of those fast-growing companies, as a ratio of the total number of businesses in the area.
Orlando didn’t rank well for high-growth startups in other industries. It came in at No. 34 out of 40 metros overall. That was ahead of New York, at No. 35, and Miami, at No. 39. Jacksonville was the highest-ranked Florida metro for overall high-growth startups at No. 23.
“Miami has more people who start businesses than Orlando,” Reedy said. “But it’s a harder to grow businesses there. We’re really looking at what happens to startups that you do have.”
Kauffman is known for another survey, the annual startup index, which only looks at the number of startup companies. That comes out next month. The new survey, released Thursday, is called the Index of Growth Entrepreneurship.
“This is focused more on how many companies are growing and what the density of high-growth companies,” Reedy said.
Area health-related companies that got investment last year to grow include:
- Winter Park-based GeniCon: Designs and builds patented surgical instruments. Last year it received two investments for a total of $4 million.
- Orlando-based Lensar landed an investment of $5.5 million. It offers a cataract laser using augmented reality, or computer simulation, and 3D imaging.
- PlanSource, which attracted a $70 million round in the third quarter of last year, for its cloud-based tech that helps employers manage health care benefit plans. It employs about 180 people at its headquarters downtown.
Donna Mackenzie, executive director of downtown Orlando’s Canvs coworking space, said she was pleased with the No. 4 ranking for health-care companies. She’s also in charge of the FireSpring Fund, which is raising money to provide seed-stage capital to high-growth-potential, early-stage technology companies.
“I’m pleased, but my initial reaction is also, how do we get the rest of our startups to rank well,” Mackenzie said. “A big missing component is seed funding, and that’s a big part of my mission.”