Friday, June 22, 2018
Business

As elite panel airs lofty ideas on job creation, business startups show off real deal

TAMPA

Entrepreneurs — how to train them, motivate them and keep them — blossomed as a key theme during a luncheon panel of elite business, philanthropic, political and social leaders in town for the Republican National Convention.

The mission? To explore how to create more jobs, but in ways that will help the next generation find both better purpose and opportunity in what they do.

Gathered at Ybor City's historic Cuban Club, the panel crammed the equivalent of a weeklong seminar of ideas — from creating a national "service corps" of young people to overhauling education — into an hour or so. Interesting. Just lean on detail.

A similar panel is scheduled for next week's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. N.C.

Arianna Huffington, whirlwind founder of the online Huffington Post, threw the event — called "What Is Working" — while former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw moderated. Among the panelists:

• John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, an election swing state that has enjoyed superior job creation this year. Kasich argued that few of the 120,000-plus jobs added in his state are tied to the legacy auto manufacturing industry.

• Judith Rodin, president of the philanthropic Rockefeller Foundation, which encourages innovation and global well-being. The foundation will award $1 million to a group with the most innovative solution to create jobs.

• Walter Isaacson, a former CNN CEO best known for his bestseller biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Now head of the Aspen Institute, a leadership organization, Isaac­son on this panel represented Teach For America (he is the chairman), which recruits high-caliber young people who commit to two years of public teaching in low-income schools.

Other participants ranged from Microsoft's general counsel, a co-founder of LinkedIn and the head of the Startup America Partnership to the president of Orlando's Valencia College — picked for the school's success in finding jobs for most of its graduates.

Bottom line? More jobs and better jobs will happen when government, business and education coordinate their economic efforts. And one key way to make that happen is to help foster entrepreneurs.

To that end, Wednesday's event ended with a tour of a small room bursting with startup businesses.

My brief stops included chats with Tony Duda, CEO of St. Petersburg's Talent Sprocket. It helps businesses recruit better people online by matching candidates to the traits of a firm's top workers.

At Tampa's CrowdSavings.com, which offers discounted products from local businesses, CEO Chad Jaquays says his company has raised $5 million, bought 15 companies in the past two years and added 20 employees in the past three months.

And at St. Petersburg startup Marxent, CEO Beck Besecker (formerly with Catalina Marketing) says Detroit venture capital is backing his business, whose technology transforms product images on printed ad fliers and catalogs into striking 3-D visuals.

If Wednesday's big-think panel looked at job creation from 30,000 feet, the entrepreneurs on hand provided proof of strong economic potential and hiring right here on solid ground.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — CareSync, a Tampa health care information technology company that raised millions from private investors in recent years, has shut down. The company ceased operations on Thursday, laying off nearly 300 people, according to former employees an...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s has been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes...
Updated: 4 hours ago
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18
WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

Mike Piper has traveled to Las Vegas and Miami and enjoyed the fun, daytime, party pool scene that the two cities have to offer.Now he aims to bring that same atmosphere to Tampa with a new dining and hang out spot. WTR Pool & Grill opened on Sunday ...
Published: 06/21/18
Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

A new resale store has made its way to South Tampa. Grace Family Church recently opened Vintage Etc., to provide affordable, quality merchandise to the community and continue its outreach to help families in need in a loving Christian environment. "W...
Published: 06/21/18