Orlando Emerges as the Center of the Metaverse

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ORLANDO, Fla., May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Orlando region is home to next-gen gaming, entertainment, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, IoT and simulation training companies. The people, entrepreneurs and businesses here created the most engaging, technologically-advanced region in the world over several decades – and are now doing the same for the metaverse, making Orlando the MetaCenter.

The declaration of the MetaCenter comes after the announcement of “Unbelievably Real” – a new brand that tells the complete story of Orlando, both the fantastical and authentic elements of the metro, in both tourism and business. The MetaCenter is an important piece of the unbelievably real work happening here.

“After watching intently for years as the building blocks of this new frontier unfold, the metaverse is taking shape – and it is evident that Orlando’s tech companies play a big part in developing this new world,” said David Adelson, Chief Innovation Officer at the Orlando Economic Partnership. “There’s no other region in the world that combines creativity, technology and innovation like we do and that’s what makes Orlando the MetaCenter.”

Orlando and the surrounding region has evolved into a booming tech hub, home to everything from startups to global giants, all powering the technology that is creating the metaverse and helping businesses access what both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley pegged as an $8 trillion growth opportunity.

The Orlando Economic Partnership is taking the entire region into the metaverse, working with Unity to create a digital twin of the 800-square-mile metro area that will use new 3D technology to map out scenarios on everything from infrastructure to real estate to talent availability to climate change. The Orlando region has one of the highest concentrations of Unity licenses in the country, thanks to the number of local companies working in modeling, simulation, and training, as well as theme parks, gaming and entertainment.

“From simulation and modeling to game development, world building, and even Imagineering, Orlando houses not only the talent, but also the business-friendly climate incentives that are needed to develop the metaverse,” said Cathy Hackl of the Futures Intelligence Group, who is popularly known as the Godmother of the Metaverse. “As the future of the web takes shape, it’s clear that the Orlando region is becoming the MetaCenter that will have a huge impact in the short- and long-term evolution of the metaverse.”

Hackl, a globally recognized tech futurist and metaverse/Web3 advisor to top brands, has paved the virtual I-4 to the digital world. Through her work at Magic Leap and her close relationship with Full Sail University, located in Orlando, she’s experienced first-hand how the tech ecosystem from Orlando to South Florida has become a global epicenter where technology meets creativity, enabling the future of the internet. Hackl and her company are working with the Orlando Economic Partnership on the region’s metaverse strategy. As the future takes shape, all eyes are on Orlando waiting to see what’s next.

With the state’s status already solidified as a launch pad for science and innovation, Orlando’s investment in being first to market as the global leader in technology hubs that empower the metaverse is uncompromised. Similarities can be seen in Miami as it emerges as the crypto city of the future. However, it is Orlando that companies are flocking to as the hotbed for talent and development.

“It’s not just Orlando companies paving the way for the future of the metaverse, but our universities,” said Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando. “From the University of Central Florida (UCF) to Full Sail University, we are seeing students graduating well-versed in modeling simulation and AR/VR. With 550,000 college students within a 100-mile radius of Orlando, there is no comparison in the country when it comes to young talent. We are training the workforce of the future.”

Leaders from entertainment, sports, fashion, retail and academia already call the Orlando region home, and this diversity of innovation which occurs locally, has proven to have a global reach with the formalization of the first MetaCenter.

“The MetaCenter combines the many diverse pieces of our Orlando technology ecosystem providing unlimited opportunity for talent and entrepreneurs,” said Charlie Lewis, Chair of The Orlando Tech Council. “The Orlando technology community continues to grow, the identification of the MetaCenter is a building block for our community to plug in.”

Orlando’s groundbreaking ability to leverage its MetaCenter as the hub for leading sectors that power Web3 innovation include:

AR/VR: Orlando is the modeling and simulation training capital of the world. With more than $6 billion in contract work annually, AR/VR technology is at the core of creating the metaverse in Orlando; companies include Disney, Universal, Lockheed Martin, Falcon’s Creative, Brand XR, AVT Simulation and Red 6.

Gaming: The industry is fed by a local talent pool from several higher ed programs, including UCF’s graduate video game design program, ranked as the top program of its kind in the world three times in the past six years; leading companies include Electronic Arts, Iron Galaxy, 302 Interactive, Echo Interaction,, Unity, and GameSim.

Artificial Intelligence: Orlando companies are driving AI innovation in everything from HR to defense to IoT and healthcare, with a lineup that includes Checkr, SoarTech, Kore.ai, Care.ai, MindSphere and AdventHealth.

3D Reconstruction: CREOL, UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics, is a world leader in education, research, innovation and partnerships in optics, lasers and photonics, providing talent for companies like Luminar, NeoMetrix, Lensar, Dash, Simetri, .decimal and TrueScan.

IoT: Leading companies are calling innovation hubs like NeoCity and Lake Nona home, including SkyWater, BRIDG, imec, and Micross.

“We are a destination that welcomes millions of visitors each year who come here to experience cutting-edge entertainment and technology,” said Jerry L. Demings, Mayor of Orange County. “The innovations happening here will be experienced in the virtual metaverse, but also in the physical world where the metaverse is brought to life in our world-renowned theme parks.”

For more on the MetaCenter, please visit TheMetaCenter.org and follow on Twitter @the_MetaCenter.

To learn more about the Orlando Economic Partnership and the Orlando region, please visit Orlando.org or follow @orlpartnership on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the Orlando Economic Partnership
The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) is a public-private economic and community development organization that works to advance Broad-based Prosperity™ by strengthening Orlando’s economy, amplifying Orlando’s story, championing regional priorities, empowering community leaders and building a brilliant region. These five foundational objectives serve to improve the region’s competitiveness while responding to the needs of communities, residents and businesses. 

About The MetaCenter
The MetaCenter is the physical and digital intersection in the Orlando region where next-gen gaming, entertainment, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, IoT, modeling and simulation training companies are driving innovation for developing the metaverse and Web3 applications. The people, entrepreneurs, businesses and talent pool have created the most engaging, technologically-advanced region in the world, making the Orlando region the MetaCenter and another example of the unbelievably real advancements taking place here.

Media Contact:
Maddie Meyer
Uproar PR for Orlando Economic Partnership
[email protected]
573-535-1761