County wants more input for USF tech incubator
TAMPA — Hillsborough County officials want more input into operations for the University of South Florida’s technology incubator, after learning this week that the county-subsidized center for startup businesses houses a software developer that counts the Internet pornography industry among its clientele.
County Commissioner Mark Sharpe said the county’s economic development department is in talks with USF Research Foundation head Rod Casto to boost county representation in incubator operations.
The Research Foundation oversees the incubator, which is housed in one of two buildings in USF’s research park. One possibility would be for a county representative to sit on the foundation board.
Sharpe said he suggested the county input after reading a St. Petersburg Times report this week about PrivacyView Software LLC, which develops programs that encrypt and mask computer files and Internet surfing histories.
The technology can be used to protect financial records and prevent identity theft, but from the moment the 4-year-old company touted its product at a 2004 adult entertainment trade show, its core clientele was obvious.
-- Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler, Times staff writer