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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.

Go deeper

Jeff Vinik has completely transformed downtown Tampa

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In the last half-decade, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has built, essentially, another downtown Tampa. And it's being unveiled, piece by piece, as Tampa takes the national stage.

Why it matters: Not since V.M. Ybor turned 40 acres of scrub pine into a booming cigar industry in the 1880s and Henry Plant opened his Tampa Bay Hotel in 1891 has a private developer done more to reshape Tampa's downtown skyline.

Tampa gained 47,000 residents in the year of the pandemic

Data: Redfin; Chart: Axios Visuals

Tampa ranks fourth for the influx of new residents in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reports.

By the numbers: A Redfin report shows that Tampa gained 47,000 new residents last year, the most added in any year in the last decade with the exception of 2016.

Updated Feb 8, 2021 - Sports

In photos: Scenes from first Super Bowl with socially distanced fans

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady celebrates with the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The first Super Bowl with coronavirus precautions in place ended in victory for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida Sunday night.

The big picture: The game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa took place with more cardboard cutouts (30,000) than fans (25,000). The NFL provided those present with personal protective equipment including masks and hand sanitizer before the game.