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ampa Bay is quickly establishing itself as the Southeast’s top cybersecurity destination. Homegrown companies like ReliaQuest, Abacode, A-LIGN, and Connectwise have been growing and thriving in Tampa for years; and companies from across the country are starting to take notice.
Fast-growing cybersecurity companies JustProtect and OPSWAT recently relocated from top tech destinations New York City and San Francisco, respectively. In Tampa, they found a well-rounded ecosystem to support future growth: top educational institutions, a robust talent pipeline, and resources to collaborate with peers. Not to mention a pro-business climate, low cost of living, beautiful year-round weather, and an unbeatable quality of life.
Ecosystem Of Support
Pivotal to Tampa’s ability to attract new companies is a growing cybersecurity ecosystem with unique organizations that provide companies access to collaboration, capital and talent.
Cyber Florida, housed at the University of South Florida, is dedicated to positioning Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity. It works throughout the state university system, which includes 45 cybersecurity degree and certificate programs, to build partnerships and develop programs that grow and strengthen Florida’s cybersecurity industry.
The Undercroft is a cybersecurity incubator and development center in Tampa’s historic district of Ybor City. Members collaborate by sharing knowledge, expertise, resources, contacts, and engaging in business and projects.
Supporting early-stage startups is Tampa Bay Wave, which along with the help of local cybersecurity giants A-LIGN and KnowBe4, launched a new cohort focused on boosting cybersecurity startups. The 90-day CyberTechIX Accelerator will offer training, mentoring, pitch coaching and investor introductions to 15 companies.
Other technology and entrepreneur-driven organizations Synapse, Embarc Collective, The Mainframe, and Tampa Bay Tech round out the local ecosystem.
New Sources Of Capital
Cybersecurity companies of all sizes are attracting investment in Tampa. In 2020, ReliaQuest garnered the largest funding of the year with $300 million, followed by Deepwatch with $53 million from Goldman Sachs. Smaller companies are also gaining attention from investors. Perch Security was acquired by Tampa’s own ConnectWise, and FairWarning was acquired by a Massachusetts-based company.
Last year, brought a wave of new tech-focused Tampa Bay investment groups. Many of the entrepreneurs who helped build Tampa Bay’s technology community – ConnectWise co-founder Arnie Bellini, myMatrixx founder Steve MacDonald, and Vology co-founder Barry Shevlin – are now investing in its future success.
In January, OPSWAT announced it was relocating its corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Tampa with plans to hire 100. CEO and Founder Benny Czarny cited Tampa’s growing cybersecurity talent pool, incredible cybersecurity college programs, and the proximity to better serve an increase in East Coast and European customers.
More companies like OPSWAT may be enticed to make the move, too. A recent Redfin report ranked Tampa Bay fourth in the nation for net inflow of new residents in 2020. Tampa Bay gained 47,000 new residents, one of the biggest annual gains in the last decade. As more people flock to the area looking for a better quality of life, business owners and companies may be close behind. After all, companies are going to go where they can find the talent they need.
If you’re considering a move, contact Steve Morey, SVP, Economic Development, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council at [email protected] or 813-518-2630 to learn why Tampa is the best place to build your company’s future.
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