Here is a comprehensive guide about this emerging startup ecosystem giving you all the information you need before you plan a move to the Tampa Bay Area.
Tampa Bay region in the West Central Coast of Florida is growing as a business center and proving viable for startups since the past few years. Are you planning to move to the Tampa Bay Area to materialize your entrepreneurial dreams or for working in a growing startup that can give you ample learning opportunities?
Tampa Bay Area is populated by more than 3 million people and has a GDP of $126 billion. The scale at which the economy and the population in the region is increasing is unprecedented. A report by Startup Genome touts it as one of the hottest new startup ecosystems in the US. This new report has helped put the region on the startup map.
The startup ecosystem in the Tampa Bay Area is still in the developing phase which makes it a good time for entrepreneurs to move here and become one of the pioneer startups of the Tampa Bay Area. Being a part of an emerging startup scene can help you rake up the unexplored local advantages the area has to offer.
Why moving to Tampa Bay Area is Good for Startups?
Startups in Tampa Bay Area have earned themselves an excellent place as the building blocks of an emerging startup hub in the U.S. The city is one of the 20 fastest evolving metros in the country and is a tourist hub as well. The growing startup system saw a $150 million in venture capital funding in 2017 and has quite a few feathers in its cap that has made the startup scene so popular. Some of the star players that are helping shape this ecosystem are vXchange and Tribridge. The former is a cloud computing company and was acquired for $152 million in 2017, and the latter is a data center which got a funding of $200 million in the same. The startup ecosystem is valued at $2.3 billion and has a high growth index according to a report by the Startup Genome.
Tampa Bay’s partnership with Startup Genome is accelerating its growth as an entrepreneurial hub at an unprecedented rate. As the ecosystem is still very new, entrepreneurs have a good chance to create the right place for their ventures in the ecosystem before the competition increases.
Startups in Tampa Bay Area Do Not Need to Outsource Human Resource Capital
The best part about of being a part of a startup ecosystem that is young and in a growing phase is the access to resources that are not fully explored. The main resource that the region has to offer is human resource capital. Startups can source talent from the large group of students graduating from the top colleges and universities in the area. The growth of a startup ecosystem automatically fuels the jobs market in any region helping several aspects of an economy grow at the same time. The University of Tampa and the University of South Florida are two important sources of talent in the region. The growth of the startups in Tampa Bay Area can also be seen as a result of the several premium research centers and institutes in the area as well.
Move to Tampa Bay Area to Get Noticed by the Right Investors and Mentors
A lot of entrepreneurs decide to move to Tampa Bay Area also because it has several business incubator organizations and accelerator programs with resources for the right startups. Being one of the early players in the startup ecosystem can help startups in Tampa Bay area get noticed before the competition increases and get the proper guidance and resource from these incubator organizations.
Startups in Tampa Bay are in the right place when it comes to the funding front as well. With more than 5000 angel investors and more than 50 venture capital firms propelling the startup ecosystem forward, Tampa Bay has ticked the box for a fundamental feature for being a startup hub.
Tampa Bay Area Has a Young and Growing Entrepreneurial Community
Gone are the days when entrepreneurs would choose a well-established startup ecosystem to move to start their own venture despite the high costs of rent and other amenities just to be a part of an established startup community. Many professionals and entrepreneurs now prefer to move to entrepreneurial communities that are still in a young phase.
There are several advantages of moving to an emerging startup ecosystem, and one of them is to place you in an important position within the local startup community. This does not just give you a chance to be seen as a leader but also increases the chances of you getting noticed by investors.
Despite being such a young group of startups and entrepreneurs, the city has a considerable number of startup meet and greet and other events already. Some of them include the TechStars Startup Weekend, Shark Tank Event, and the free Startup Pitch Bootcamp among the others.
Move to Tampa Bay Area to Enjoy Low Costs of Running a Business
According to a report by KPMG, Tampa Bay Area ranks third in the country when it comes to low labor costs. Low labor costs play a significant role in reducing operating costs and helping startups save a lot of money. The same report ranked Tampa Bay Area as the sixth most cost-friendly business destination in the category of large metros.
The city hosts many coworking spaces that startups in Tampa Bay Area can make use for getting plush and modern offices without burning a hole in their pocket. These include coworking brands like Tampa Bay Wave, Industrious Tampa, Bay 3 Co-work, and CoCreativ. These shared office spaces are fully set up and offer all amenities and facilities ranging from concierge services to conference halls and meeting rooms and have various packages to suit different office needs.
However, the cost of renting or buying residential properties in Tampa Bay Area may not be so low after all, owing to the prominent tourism sector in the region.
Best Startup Sectors in Tampa Bay
The startup ecosystem in Tampa Bay is fuelled by the growth of the various sectors like:
Avionics, Defense, and Marine Electronics
Business and Information Services
The city is an ideal match for entrepreneurs with business ideas that fall into any of the industries. These are some of the important industrial sectors in the Tampa Bay Area.
Move to Tampa Bay Area for a Strong Tech Leadership
Tech is a crucial startup sector in this region and has some key players that are responsible for fuelling its growth. Tech startups in the Tampa Bay area are growing owing to the activities of the research centers in the region. Move to Tampa Bay Area and get the best of tech resources that have not been used to the fullest potential and guidance for growing your tech entrepreneurial venture. The growing tech scenario has also led to the creation of a sustainable job market that is attracting hundreds of professionals to the region who look forward to work in a dynamic and flexible startup work environment.
Some of the key sub-sectors contributing to the soaring tech sector in Tampa are:
Health and Life Sciences Startups in Tampa Bay
This sub-sector has bagged the maximum amount of local venture capital investments since 2012 and is a niche in the broader healthcare sector that comprises of 3000 companies. Notable startups that have set the pace for the sub-sector include CareSync, myMatrixx, and Peerfit. myMatrixx raised around $250 million in 2017 becoming one of the top-funded companies in the sub-sector.
Adtech Startups in Tampa Bay
The growth of adtech in Tampa Bay Area owes it pace to ad and marketing tech giants in the area like Catalina Marketing and Nielsen’s Global Technology and Innovation Center. The Technology and Innovation Centre brings in a revenue of over $6 billion annually and is an important contributor to the regional economy.
The adtech sub-sector has been in the spotlight regularly for its large exit deals and investments. One such exit story is that of Triad Retail Media, which was acquired for $300 million in 2016 by Xaxis. Success stories of adtech startups in Tampa Bay include that of SavvyCard, M-ize, Priatek, and SiteWit. These companies each raised over $5 million with Priatek raising the maximum with $11 million.
Edtech Startups in Tampa Bay
The edtech sub-sector boasts of startup tech stories of seed stage startups like Script which was founded with the help of a grant from Thiel Foundation and has grown with the support of acceleration programs of Tampa Wave. The edtech sub-sector in Tampa Bay is growing steady and get 2% of the total venture capital funding in the region.
Tampa Bay Area is poised to grow exponentially to become a promising startup ecosystem. With Startup Genome members like University of South Florida, Hillsborough County Economic Development, and Tamp Bay Wave collaborating with the various elements of the entrepreneurial culture, the city is headed to become one of the top five startup ecosystems in America. Other than these, there are close to 15 other ecosystem partners as well offering their support to the entrepreneurial community, so moving to Tampa Bay area could be a good long term choice.
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