Meet Lisa Rain: A Powerhouse for Community Growth + Economic Development

April 19 | insights

The energy and environmental sciences industries are uniquely integral to Florida’s innovation ecosystem. The changes and advances in these sectors directly impact the Sunshine State’s growth in sustainability and renewable energy production. That’s why Lisa Rain, Cluster Manager for the Energy + Environmental Science Cluster, is building bridges between key stakeholders in economic development, sustainability and community growth.

Rain has an established history of working in local government and community-focused organizations. In her previous role with Duke Energy, she developed strong partnerships with economic development organizations to help attract businesses to communities throughout Florida and led professional development programming for economic developers.

Additionally, in various roles with the City of Orlando’s economic development team for more than seven years, Rain saw firsthand the positive effects of providing small businesses and entrepreneurs with the connections and resources they need to flourish.

As mentioned in Orlando Magazine’s “Women Who Moves The City” article on Rain, she is incredibly skilled at communicating complex economic concepts in a language most people can understand. With a deep passion for working with local businesses to identify opportunities where they can grow, Rain’s work has not gone unnoticed by her peers. Case in point: she was recognized among the Orlando Business Journal’s 2024 “40 Under 40.” In her role as Cluster Manager, Rain connects and provides direct support to companies within the Energy + Environmental Science Cluster. By fostering these connections, she promotes sustainability and contributes to the overall growth of startups at the center of our innovation ecosystem.

Learn more about Rain’s perspective on the regional innovation ecosystem and why entrepreneurs should be active in its development:

How would you explain your job to someone who’s never heard of “ecosystem building” before?

Ecosystem building facilitates the collaboration and growth among industry partners, research institutions, government entities, and other ecosystem/economic development support organizations to strengthen and grow technology and innovation in our community.

What advice would you give to people who are new to ecosystem building?

It’s important to play an active role in the ecosystem and develop networks. You need to get to know all the organizations, the people, the companies, etc., involved in making the ecosystem work in harmony.

What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned about our regional innovation ecosystem?

There is SO much support and so many resources for new and growing companies. You just need to ask for that support. It’s difficult to provide assistance and recommend services if a company or entrepreneur isn’t vocal about their needs.

What resource or resource organization do you wish more entrepreneurs knew about?

Synapse Summit – I love how this event brought together all the key stakeholders in our ecosystem and showcased the incredible tech and innovation emerging in Florida.

When you aren’t working, where are we most likely to find you? What are you doing?

My husband and I own Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co. in Orlando. We usually spend our off hours there or going to events throughout the region that the brewery is a part of. We also love to travel and are always planning our next adventure!