Withum Supports Entrepreneurs in Orlando With Mentoring, Workshops

Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith+Brown PC (FY15 net revenue of $113.5 million) is supporting technology entrepreneurs in the Orlando, Fla., region by sponsoring a program that helps new companies make their concepts a reality.

Withum has offered to be a Platinum-level sponsor for a startup accelerator called Starter Studio, which runs an intensive 12-week program for up to 10 fledging companies. Starter Studio’s fifth class began Feb. 16.

Several times per year, Starter Studio admits up to 10 companies into an intensive 12-week program that helps take their ideas and make them into viable products.

Withum has committed to holding workshops and mentoring program participants. In addition, professionals from their technology practice will work one or two days a week at Canvs, the co-working space in downtown Orlando where Starter Studio is located, and offer office hours on accounting and tax issues.

“Withum has deep roots, from accounting to transactions, in the technology arena,” says Donna Mackenzie, Starter Studio executive director. “Their willingness to ‘embed’ their practice leaders alongside our Starters represents an unprecedented opportunity for them to learn from Withum’s experience and expertise.”

The 12-week program is based on Lean Startup Methods developed by entrepreneur and author Eric Ries. The culmination of the program is Demo Day, where Starters present their companies to an audience of more than 300 business, government and investment leaders.

“We are delighted to strengthen our commitment to the region and its entrepreneurial culture,” says James Bourke, partner and Withum’s technology niche practice leader. “While we see this as a great opportunity to give back, our paramount goal is to help these startups to ‘move forward,’ and our technology professionals can help them do just that.”

Starter Studio launched its first class in November 2013 and to date has graduated 29 companies. In 2015 the 19 graduating companies of the first three classes collectively generated revenues of more than $5 million, employed more than 90 people and have received more than $3 million in investment funding since they launched.

Starter Studio is supported by the local community including Canvs, the University of Central Florida, and business partners that generously donate their time, resources and expertise.