Feb 9, 2021 - News

3 companies to watch as Tampa looks to become city of innovation

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Photo: John Greim/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Brian Kornfeld wants to make Tampa the city of innovation.

What's happening: Kornfeld is the president of Synapse, a Tampa-based nonprofit for entrepreneurs to accelerate Florida's economic success, and he's getting ready to host the state's first tech summit virtually next month.

Why Tampa? Companies that once put down roots in places like San Francisco and Chicago are now anchoring themselves in Tampa Bay, Kornfeld said. And it goes beyond our area's relative affordability.

  • Our leading industries, like health care and cybersecurity, are set for growth during a pandemic.
  • We've also got support organizations like Embarc Collective, Tampa Bay Wave, the Women in Tech Accelerator and the Tampa Bay Innovation Center alongside a talent pipeline from the University of South Florida and University of Tampa.

Three companies Kornfeld is watching:

  1. OPSWAT, a cybersecurity firm from San Francisco, has grown rapidly since moving to Tampa.
  2. TrustLayer, a Silicon Valley insurance tech startup, announced its move here last week after an investment from Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.
  3. Drift, a marketing firm from Boston, opened its fourth office in Tampa last year, promising to hire 100 workers by the end of 2021.

Check it out: Synapse Summit, happening March 8-11, will include talks from FUBU CEO and original "Shark Tank" judge Daymond John and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the correct spelling of both Kornfeld's last name and the Embarc Collective.

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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