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TMCNet:  Starter Studio's co-founders split up [Orlando Sentinel :: ]

[February 23, 2014]

Starter Studio's co-founders split up [Orlando Sentinel :: ]

(Orlando Sentinel (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 23--Orlando's Starter Studio mentoring program for aspiring tech entrepreneurs is ramping up for its second annual class, but it's doing so without one of its co-founders.

Dan McGaw recently parted ways with the group that launched the program for high-tech startups. The entrepreneur and marketing expert cited creative differences with co-founder, Gregg Pollack, head of Envy Labs LLC, a mobile-app firm that hosts the three-month Starter Studio sessions.


Although McGaw was a key fundraiser for the group, Pollack and Starter Studio recently took to Kickstarter.com's crowdfunding site to raise money for its next round of courses. The group topped its $10,000 goal last week, with 20 days to spare, and hopes to raise thousands of dollars more.

"It has been very gratifying," Pollack said. "People have been coming out of the woodwork with support through the Kickstarter campaign, sometimes people you'd never expect, who didn't even know about Starter Studio before now." Pollack and his associates have also received sponsorship support from the Orlando office of TriNet (human resources outsourcing); Cross, Fernandez & Riley of Orlando (accounting firm); Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, Milbrath & Gilchrist of Orlando (intellectual property law firm); the DreamTree Agency of Maitland (digital marketing); ActivEngage Inc. of Maitland (customized chat software); Sunshine Labs LLC of Longwood (manufacturing consulting); and Monkey Wrench Manufacturing LLC in Gotha (digital manufacturing).

It is not clear what led to the schism between Starter Studio's Pollack and McGaw, barely a year after working together on the volunteer mentoring program. Part of it appears related to one of McGaw's new projects, BoostrapAcademy.com, a free online education site for entrepreneurs, which features video presentations by experts in the field.

"That's the kind of thing I wanted to do with Starter Studio -- to record the sessions we were having and put them online," he said. "But unfortunately it never happened." Meanwhile, McGaw has also landed a job as director of marketing for San Francisco-based KISSmetrics Inc., a big-data analytics company; and he is still developing an entrepreneurial company, Fuelzee Inc., which markets a crowdsourcing mobile-app that provides real-time gas-price information.

Pollack said there was no big conflict that triggered the parting of ways.

"He basically had too much on his plate," Pollack said. "He needed time to work on his startup and his full-time gig, the money-making things." Lockheed inks 2 military deals Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Orlando missiles operation continues to reel in Pentagon deals that help sustain its 4,000-plus work force.

Last week, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control Orlando received a $92 million Army contract to provide maintenance, testing, software/hardware improvements and other sustainment services to the Apache helicopter's navigation and weapons-targeting system, known as Arrowhead. It was the second of three one-year options in the program, which was awarded in 2012. Overall, the four-year program is worth $375 million.

Earlier this month, the missiles unit received a $22 million contract through the Army to build Arrowhead support and repair equipment for Saudi Arabia's Apache fleet. Terms of the three-year deal call for Lockheed to provide tools and test equipment for the system.

VenturePitch lineup is set VenturePitch Orlando, the local networking event that connects firms with potential investors, has chosen its lineup for March 3, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Abbey in Thornton Park.

--SHOFLO (Orlando), a developer of cloud-based scripting and cueing for video and theater production work. Co-founder Stephen Bowles will pitch.

--TaskAssure (Melbourne Beach), developer of custom remote-messaging technology. M. Shawn Odonnell, founder and CEO.

--Alorum (Palm Harbor), developer of embeddable marketing content. Daniel James Scott, founder.

--Workherder (St. Cloud), information technology outsourcing software. Jimmy Secretan, founder and CEO.

___ (c)2014 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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