Tampa’s Hot for Startups and Innovation

Just a short drive from some of the country’s best beaches, Tampa’s dynamic business growth and affordability can make it irresistible for startups.

The metropolitan area along Florida’s West Coast, which includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater, is home to Publix Super Markets, Raymond James, WellCare Health Plans and several other Fortune 500 companies.

Tampa downtown

Here are some other reasons why Tampa’s has a strong startup climate:

Notable Business Assets 

  • Best in the state for tech talent plus a high tech-savvy millennial growth rate.
  • Cost of living that’s roughly 8 points below the national average.
  • The state’s largest seaport near major east-west and north-south trade lanes and close to the expanded Panama Canal.

Major companies  

  • Johnson & Johnson will be opening a shared services headquarters in Tampa, bringing 500 new jobs and investing $23.5 million in the community by 2018.
  • Amazon.com recently created about 1,500 new jobs with its new distribution center just south of Tampa.

 Business information links

Cowork Places

Coworking has gone mobile in the Sunshine State with the Florida Coworking Passport, which lets members work once a month at participating coworking spaces.

Startup incubators

  • Tampa Bay WaVE helps build, launch and grow tech startups with an accelerator and a coworking center.
  • Tampa Bay Innovation Center in St. Petersburg nurtures early stage ventures.

Major attractions

  • World-class museums, like the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, and family-friendly theme parks like Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium.
  • Fun landmarks like the Ybor City National Historic District, a neighborhood and entertainment district founded by Cuban cigar manufacturers in the late 1800s.

With gross sales up 7 percent over the previous year, Tampa’s strong consumer activity, business growth and tech talent offer a healthy environment for startups.

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This post is by Caren Burmeister. Caren is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.