On my recent trip to Las Vegas for the Money 20/20 event, I received a lot of questions about #PAY TAMPA BAY. I’m writing this blog to share my vision for this unique event.
First and foremost our technology corridor is experiencing tremendous growth with startup incubators and accelerators in all three major cities, Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater. Huge investments from business leaders and local government cooperation is expediting growth.
Tampa Bay Lightning Owner, Jeff Vinik is collaborating with Bill Gate’s Cascade Partners to revitalize the downtown business district with a new innovation hub as a keystone in the project.
Strategic Property Partner’s $3 Billion dollar Water Street Project will catalyze the city and it’s technology oriented growth for 2020 and beyond. Water Street Project Website
As a native of Tampa Bay this is exciting news to me and it provided an opportunity to showcase this growth to the financial services industry. We want to attract attention and investment to the area to aid in growth and prosperity.
Embarc Collective is a 33,000 square foot, $12 million dollar, state-of-the-art innovation hub opening in 2020. #PAY TAMPA BAY is the first official event following the grand opening. The hub will have private workspaces, a public cafe, outdoor lounge and lending library.
“We’ve created an urban porch for this historic, brick warehouse,” Jan Barna, president of Kreher/Barna Design Studio, said in a release. “And designed an interior that reflects a microcosm of our urban environment.”
To make the massive space a little more close-knit, it will be split up to “mini-neighborhoods” which are intended to have the tenants create close connections with their neighbors.
“You have different companies in private offices that have a small shared area, so it’s a community inside of a community,” she said. “These companies get to know each other, cheer each other on, but in a much smaller community.”
As important as this infrastructure is, it’s the people and their passion that make the difference. We have found that Tampa Bay is full of passionate leaders that are highly involved in fintech.
Two of those people are Rosa Shores and Gabe Higgins, Founders of BlockSpaces. We have partnered with this blockchain innovation studio that is focused on creating value-added solutions to organizations looking to leverage emerging technology to organize and present this upcoming event at this brand new, downtown innovation hub.
There is a number of other local passionate leaders in the fintech realm here in “the other Bay Area”. Numerous financial services giants are opening their doors in the corridor to leverage our burgeoning fintech industry and perks of a warmer climate.
Today, Florida is home to the third-largest cluster of insurance and banking companies in the U.S., making it an ideal location to launch and support a fintech venture. We’re reaching out to the fintech industry in many different ways to attract attention and investment to the area.
Recently a cohort representing St. Pete’s financial services leaders joined the Greater St. Petersburg Area EDC in Times Square on October 25 during the Finovate Fall event to talk to New York-based companies about the business opportunity in the Sunshine City.
Greater St. Pete EDC President, J.P. Dubuque was joined by Intrinio, Presence, Raymond James, Dynasty Financial Partners, and the City of St. Petersburg, who shared their Florida Fintech story with the Finovate Fall delegates and members of the media.
“St. Pete is young and vibrant, it’s a happening place. It’s one of the most up-and-coming cities in the Southeast”
Shirl Penny, President & CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners.
“Financial services companies don’t need to be in New York, they can be in St. Pete, thrive, succeed and be much happier” said St. Pete EDC President.
“I think we need to pump our chest out and be proud of who and what we are, and even more so about what we’re becoming” said Tash Elwyn, President and CEO of Raymond James, Private Clients Group.
“We need to continue to do more of this, we need to tell the story, work together and we need to make sure everybody knows how special St. Pete is”.
I personally find a great challenge in this and am joining the ranks of those already working to attract attention and investment to the area. I have committed my company to organizing this event with the intention of helping to build progress, talent density and take part in the growth and transformation of this thriving technology corridor.
#PAY TAMPA BAY has opportunities for speakers, sponsors and supporters. We want to challenge companies in the financial services space to get involved and participate in this special one day event designed to bring fintech leaders to the Tampa Bay area.
If you want to support innovation and gain insight to what Tampa Bay has to offer please contact us. We’re happy to discuss your organization’s participation in this unique and inspiring event.