Located in the heart of Downtown Orlando across from Lake Eola is a small one story building that was built in 1965. With an outdated exterior and no signage, the building can be easily overlooked by passersby.
After sitting vacant for a few years, Orlando resident, Kunal Patel, decided to take out a lease on December 13, 2018 and launch a shared office space for Game Developers called the Orlando Game Space.
Kunal was no stranger to the Orlando gaming community. In 2013 he and a few friends met at a hackathon and decided to start an event called Indienomicon. They held their first event that year at a small comic book shop. With Kunal's passion for connecting people, the team created ongoing events that brought together the local gaming community.
For the last 4.5 years, the Orlando Game Space has served as a shared community office space to support local game developers who wanted to create games and be surrounded by a community of others who shared that same interest. As the Orlando Game Space continued to grow, so did the attention of Indienomicon events. Attracting local industries like Space, Healthcare and the Military, Indienomicon events became a testing ground for showcasing how gaming technology could be more than just fun consumer based experiences, but a tool that supported solving real world problems.
In the beginning of 2020, Kunal realized it was time to start evolving the Orlando Game Space into something more.
Kunal says, “It was the evolution where our industry was ultimately headed. From childhood, video games were a way to play, to escape, and to have fun. But over time, we noticed people were starting to realize that it could be a way to educate and train as well. The work we were doing in making games, we were learning the tools, how to do 2D and 3D, mixing art, design and music. We saw how this was able to impact industries through our Indienomicon events and it immediately became apparent. It’s like we had been training to become super heroes and it was time to walk through that door.”
On June 13th, 2023, The Orlando Game Space officially re-opened as OMG Labs (Orlando Media and Gaming Laboratory). The rebrand was a signal that it was time to evolve from just being a place where people came to make games, to become a place where game developers can bring their talents to solve real-world problems while also taking advantage of the organization's resources such as education, mentorship and community to grow a business that works with outside industries.
The OMG Labs Re-Grand Opening included Paul Sohl from the Florida High Tech Corridor, Florida House Representative, Anna Eskamani, and City of Orlando’s Business Development Manager, Eric Ushkowitz, who filled in for Mayor Buddy Dyer to congratulate OMG Labs and proclaim June 13th, 2023 as “OMG Labs Grand Re-opening Day.”
Seeing all the people that we haven’t seen in years come, seeing new faces, looking at our own members and thinking about how they first started and how they look now all in one place was emotionally moving - Kunal Patel
OMG Labs is launching a number of strategic efforts to support business growth. From workshops to mentorship programs, they’ll be tapping into the relationships they’ve formed over the years working in the community to provide its members with everything they need to grow. There will also be a number of social events held at OMG Labs and other locations to strengthen the community's connection away from their workstation.
People go to offices to work. When people come to OMG Labs, they come to make their business work
OMG labs is for creators, people who have a real desire to build something, to create something, and the passion to make something happen. Whether it's a business or solution, if you’re looking to make that a reality, regardless how hard, the team at OMG Labs want to provide their resources to help you launch.