Why Entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 Companies Flock to Tampa.
Tampa is one of the top cities to move to with a white-hot housing market, competitive salaries, and unmatched amenities. Through sheer excellence the region has garnered a reputation as an entrepreneurial bastion. In a WalletHub analysis, Tampa ranked as the 8th best city to start a career, earning high marks for both job opportunities and competitive pay. This is in addition to the same site’s analysis that Tampa ranks in the top 10 US cities to start your own business.
The weather, the sports (go Bucs, Lightning, Rays and Rowdies!), the culinary scene, and a laid back lifestyle are just a few reasons people are flocking to Tampa. A wealth of talent continues to graduate from top universities including the University of South Florida, University of Tampa, Florida Polytechnic University, and Saint Leo University.
A multi-billion dollar investment in Tampa’s future
Part of Tampa’s recent allure has much to do with the rise of Water Street, a multi-billion dollar district featuring the 5-star EDITION hotel, an organic grocery store, a waterfront food hall, free public transit courtesy of the TECO Line Streetcar, and some of the most luxurious residences and in the state of Florida. Living and working downtown offers you water and city views and easy access to Tampa International Airport, named the best large airport in America by JD Power.
Top companies are moving here. The city is renowned as a center for financial services and information technology, but also has robust manufacturing, logistics, life sciences, and defense and security industries. Fast growing sectors within these industries include cybersecurity, fintech, and healthtech.
Citi, JPMorgan Chase, DTCC, USAA, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer all have a large presence here. Mosaic is a Fortune 500 company with over 100 years of phosphate mining history in the U.S., and it has greatly expanded its presence in Tampa.
Funding the best and brightest in the region
The annual Synapse Summit is a key indicator in Tampa’s inviting startup culture. JPMorgan Chase pledged $500,000 between Tampa Bay Wave and Embarc Collective to increase training and access to capital opportunities for women-owned technology startups in the Tampa Bay area.
Katie McGill, well regarded in Tampa Bay, has dedicated her professional life to uplifting others, and fostering new talent. For more than 25 years, Katie developed the Success Strategies program for the Center for Women which provides intensive employment services to women 18- 35 who are unemployed and underemployed. Katie has been a volunteer for Hillsborough County Women’s Correctional for the last 9 years.
Some brilliant businesses begin with a nickname. That’s what happened with Stephanie Swanz, owner of the TikTok famous Empamamas. Swanz Tampa-inspired menu easily creates a long line inside the Tampa Heights food hall. Swanz enjoyed so much success that she decided to open a second restaurant inside the food hall, Muchachas.
“The opportunity to open a second concept at Armature Works was too good to pass up,” said Swanz. “I truly feel like Armature is the best location in town and I’ve always felt lucky to be a part of it. I’m very thankful to Chas Bruck and his team for trusting us with this new venture.”
A thriving tech market in Tampa Bay
Tampa is swiftly becoming Florida’s tech capital. In the last five years, the region’s tech sector grew by 28%. Forbes ranked Tampa the #1 emerging tech city in America in 2021, and LinkedIn ranked Tampa #6 in the country for technology worker relocations.
Venture Capitalists are also playing a large role in Tampa’s tech emergence. Marc Blumenthal has spearheaded Florida Funders, which is finding, funding and building the next generation of tech companies. Florida Funders targets many early-stage tech startups with investments ranging from $500,000 to $2 million.
Tampa is responsible for over 25% of Florida’s tech jobs, and there has been a massive surge in tech jobs in recent years.
The city also calls to leaders in new and emerging technologies. CoinFlip, a leading financial services provider powered by cryptocurrency, opened a new hub at Sparkman Wharf.
“Choosing Tampa was also methodical as it’s quickly becoming a crypto hub for the US. and we hope to emulate our tremendous success in Chicago,” said Ben Weiss, CoinFlip’s CEO and founder. “We’re thrilled to partner with Water Street Tampa and Sparkman Wharf, which is already a booming crossroads of commercial and residential real estate – it’s a perfect marriage.”
A space for artists, makers, and entrepreneurs
It’s not just tech that’s thriving here in Tampa. A plethora of markets such as the beloved Indie Flea, the staple Ybor City Sunday Market, the Vintage Roost, and Market on Florida offer major opportunities for artists, collectors, bakers, and makers to make a name for themselves in the region.
Kelly Ann Garno, and Anna Giancola pursued their own passions and brought The Forest to Seminole Heights. In the midst of a rising foodie neighborhood, this new hub for art, culture, books, and all things vintage spiced up the already eclectic area.
“Our dream is to be a place where we can gather and share ideas, listen to music and book readings,” wrote Garno and Giancola ahead of their debut. “We started this little biz as a creative outlet/way to fuel our treasure hunting addiction,” said Garno. “We’ve had so much fun meeting fellow book, record, and vintage fashion enthusiasts at Indie Flea, curating a booth full of rescued vintage at D&D Antiques, and getting to know other like-minded hustlers who inspire us to keep pushing.”
Tampa is a city of opportunity, where myriad age demographics are gathering, and enjoying life. This is a city to set roots, set goals, and grow.