Known for beautiful beaches, amusement parks, sports and commercial real estate Tampa Bay is not thought of as a hub for tech startups. While many people were focused on the next big commercial building or attracting another retailer to the area the local startup community has been building momentum underground, but we are no longer standing on the sidelines.
Startup Grind is launching in Tampa Bay! Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect through one-on-one fireside style interviews with the area’s most influential founders and entrepreneurs. Each month you will have an opportunity to learn through the stories of others who have taken the road less traveled about entrepreneurial success and failure.
Grinding is very familiar to those of us who are hustlers and hackers and the Tampa Bay Chapter of Startup Grind is seeking to fill the current gap in programming in the startup ecosystem. Our goal is to make the process of building startups less lonely and a lot more productive. Locally, we have workshops, panels, and meetups, but entrepreneurs are craving to hear firsthand on topics ranging from investors to board creation and globalization. We are connecting Tampa Bay with other startup hubs and the hottest topics in Silicon Valley.
When people think about technology companies in Tampa Bay, Verizon Data Systems, Tech Data, and Jabil Circuit come to mind; but what about the startups? Startups are the lifeblood of innovation, the people who start them are those who challenge the status quo and are willing to take the road less traveled. Over the past decade WuFoo and Wikipedia launched here but departed because we lacked the support system help them achieve their goals at that time. Others decided to stick it out and today more startups declaring Tampa Bay home; companies like vWorker, Fair Warning, Voalte, Telovations, Gridiron Grunts and Carvoyant are proof that you don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to be successful.
Tampa Bay is in the midst of a renaissance with an abundance of growing startups, city and county led initiatives funding ideas and open data projects. Our area Universities attract and students from around the world to exceptional research and entrepreneurship programs and not a week goes by that I am not approached by several people with new startup ideas or someone who has just launched a new company.
We are innovating Tampa Bay and bright stars are continually emerging including M-ize, Citizenvestor, Channel Launcher, WebTalk, and Secondhand Living. Tampa is no longer just a place to start – it’s the place to start, grow, and exit your company. We’re centrally located, home to some of the best human capital in the world from world championship robotics teams, institutions of higher learning and seasoned entrepreneurs. We have a fantastic quality of life, affordable cost of living and were recently named the 6th best city to start a business by Nerd Wallet. Combine those factors with no state income tax, a world class airport, the largest port in Florida and the realization of INvision Tampa the opportunity for growth is limitless.
The pressure is ON, to continue the development of Tampa Bay. We need to channel the great energy of our area into startup successes. Join Startup Grind Tampa Bay for a monthly forum to learn and grow both personally and professionally so you and your business can prosper and change the world like these Tampa Bay entrepreneurs have before us. Join our community today and tell us what you want to see, do and learn!
About the Author: Joy Randels, Startup Grind Director, Tampa Bay
Joy is a serial entrepreneur, startup junkie, avid scuba diver and lover all things that go fast! Most importantly she is a passionate advocate of the Startup Community. For sponsorships, event, or speaker support reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on twitter @joy_randels