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Devin D. Thorpe

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Greenberg Traurig Partners with FireSpring Fund to Nurture Early-Stage Tech Companies in Central Florida

-Expertise in Finance and Intellectual Property to Aid Region’s Emerging Tech Community-

ORLANDO, Fla. – March 30, 2016 – International law firm Greenberg Traurig today announced a partnership with FireSpring Fund, an evergreen seed fund in Orlando, Florida, that invests in early-stage technology companies.

The firm features robust Corporate & Securities, Emerging Technology and Intellectual Property practices that provide the services such companies need to navigate the often confusing terrain of protecting intellectual property and obtaining funding while refining their products and growing their businesses.

Founded in 2015, FireSpring Fund is organized as a non-profit 501(c)3 that provides investment funding and advanced mentoring to early-stage technology companies in the Central Florida region. Selected companies complete the Fund’s advanced accelerator program, reach strict milestones of customer and revenue growth and garner additional capital from outside investors. All earnings are reinvested in the Fund allowing additional rounds of investment.

The Fund, lead by executive director Donna Mackenzie, has already received support from City, County, and university leaders. Orlando City Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Theresa Jacobs both blessed financial contributions from their budgets and the University of Central Florida and Rollins College have committed substantial resources to the Fund.

FireSpring Fund, Canvs, and Starter Studio are all non-profits that are part of a burgeoning eco-system for technology entrepreneurs in the Central Florida region. Their ultimate aim is to make Central Florida a locus for entrepreneurs, technologists and the creative class that will want to start, grow and keep their business in Central Florida.

Greenberg is already a Founding Partner of Canvs, the downtown Orlando co-working space where the FireSpring Fund and its accelerator program are located. “Greenberg Traurig is proud to support local technology companies, the growth of which will coincide with the growth of Central Florida’s economy,” said Orlando Evora, co-managing shareholder of the Orlando office of Greenberg Traurig. “The FireSpring Fund directly addresses the gap in seed funding, which is currently the largest barrier facing Central Florida’s technology entrepreneurs,” Evora noted. “Providing access to seed funding will allow technology companies to start and stay here in Central Florida.”

At present, Florida—the third largest state in the country—receives only 1.8 percent of venture funding in the United States and only 0.5 percent of total seed funding. “Unfortunately, seed funding has not grown organically, so the FireSpring Fund was formed by local community leaders to help fill this gap,” said Mackenzie.

Based on successful funds in Cleveland, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, FireSpring Fund will hold equity shares in its portfolio companies, growing its funding base as these companies make successful exits via acquisition, merger or public offering. As an evergreen fund, these earnings will be returned to the Fund making it self-sustaining. FireSpring Fund has a five-year funding goal of $5 million.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1,900 attorneys serving clients from 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is No. 1 on the 2015 Law360 Most Charitable Firms list, third largest in the U.S. on the 2015 Law360 400, on the 2015 Am Law Global 100, and among the 2015 BTI Brand Elite. More information at: www.gtlaw.com.

About FireSpring Fund

FireSpring Fund was founded in 2015 and organized as a 501(c)3 to provide seed capital to early-stage technology companies that show significant growth potential and a broad national or international reach of customers. It is led by experienced local business people and community leaders. It is housed within Canvs, the downtown Orlando coworking space. For more information, visit FireSpring Fund’s website, Facebook page or follow @FireSpringFund on Twitter.

FireSpring Fund is not affiliated with or officially connected with Firespring. The Firespring trademark remains the exclusive property of Firespring. For Firespring information, visit http://www.firespring.org/.

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