Roberto Torres

President of Blind Tiger Café

Accountant-turned-entrepreneurial force of nature Roberto Torres spends his days toggling between running his three businesses (Black and Denim Apparel, Blind Tiger Cafe, and The Lab Roastery) and promoting Tampa Bay’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. For Torres, there are two Tampa Bays. The old one, and the new one. Torres credits this “new” Tampa Bay—development and growth brought on by an influx of millennial workforce and available business resources—as being one of the key reasons he’s found so much success so quickly. This thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem isn’t limited to one industry—Torres has seen it work across the board.

10,000 people are moving here every year. We like to say that all the innovation gives businesses—whether its food and beverage, hospitality, tech, or healthcare—have the opportunity to thrive in Tampa.”

He has the statistics to back up his bragging. More businesses start-up in Tampa than any other of its major neighboring cities, largely due to the amount of capital resources Tampa has. Resources like investors, incubators and accelerators draw in a talented and thriving workforce. Torres’s final piece of advice?

“If you’re thinking about moving to Tampa? Come!”