Eddy is the Vice President of Solution Acceleration & Innovation at the Royal Bank of Canada, responsible for driving disruptive digital innovation. For almost 20 years, Eddy has been key in leading RBC’s digital strategy, including the launch of the first mobile banking application and the invention and patent of Secure Cloud technology.
In the past five years since RBC established an Innovation Lab in Orlando, I have seen so much growth in the city’s innovation ecosystem, largely because of three main ingredients:
YOUNG, DRIVEN TALENT
Orlando is home to 35 colleges, universities, technical schools, and private institutions that educate the innovation leaders of tomorrow. With more than 500,000 college students within a 100-mile radius, Orlando has a wealth of young, driven talent, many of whom have expertise in high demand fields like engineering, cybersecurity, and computer vision.
On my team, we hire many interns and staff from Orlando universities. We believe it’s important and beneficial to work with recent grads as it gives them the tools to launch their professional careers while also benefiting the companies that they work for. Recent grads have the most up-to-date skills, an open mind, and drive to make an impact. In Orlando, we are able to tap into this amazing young talent without the huge competition that firms in Silicon Valley face.
A SKILLED AND GROWING STEM WORKFORCE
Orlando is home to a number of industries that build a skilled talent pool. The defense industry produces great candidates with a background in security programming, while the proximity to Disney World also means there is a skilled pool of visual design, AR/VR, and animation talent in the area. The FinTech ecosystem is also growing with small and established FinTech companies as well as business incubators and accelerators choosing to locate in Orlando.
Over 150 international companies, representing 20 countries, have a presence in Orlando. This is largely due to ease of accessing Orlando by air. Many of the processes and transit systems that are designed to support the influx of tourists to the Orlando region (over 126 million last year) also make it easy to do business in this city and the surrounding area.
Royal Bank Of Canada