TAMPA — A fast-expanding, Ybor City-based technology company says it will quadruple in size, with plans to hire at least 265 employees in the next 18 months and relocate its headquarters to a downtown tower this year.
In this struggling economy, it seems not all news is gloomy.
"Savtira is experiencing explosive growth, making it necessary for us to headquarter in a location with enough space for our employees and equipment," said Timothy Roberts, CEO of Savtira Corp.
The company, currently with 72 full-time employees, will retain its Ybor presence and, in fact, expand this weekend into an adjacent three-story building.
Its engineering and customer service staff will remain at the expanded Ybor location. Senior Savtira executives and marketing managers will move downtown to a commercial high-rise by the fourth quarter, Roberts said in an interview.
The additional 265 jobs will offer wages averaging $81,448, twice that of the metro area's average pay, delighting city and county economic development officials.
Savtira was offered tax incentives for the jobs expansion, though Roberts said he cannot disclose those details.
The new jobs range from proposal writer and graphic designer to websphere project coordinator and brand manager.
Savtira provides a digital platform and e-commerce support to retailers and a wide range of other businesses. Roberts, who has started other companies, acknowledged he had not anticipated the pace of growth and demand his company is trying to handle.
Savtira, he said, was on a "digital frontier" at a time when a vast number of traditional companies are trying to migrate their customers online. The Tampa company specializes in providing "cloud computing" services, which means Savtira's corporate clients maintain their online operations and digital presence remotely on Savtira's computers, rather than in-house.
"It's exciting. There's great energy and spirit. It's hard to sleep," Roberts said of the company's boom times. "Everybody works 20 hours a day. But we are hitting all our projections — as an entrepreneur it's hard to do that — coming under budget, revenues growing faster than anticipated and the pipeline (of demand for services) is absolutely ridiculous."
Savtira had set up its Ybor headquarters in January with 65 employees in an 8,000-square-foot building on Palm Avenue.
Roberts, who praised everyone from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Enterprise Florida to area economic development officials, would make a perfect poster child for selling the business virtues of Tampa.
"I am from St. Louis and I thought they were supportive," he said. "The support here has been bigger and better."
Robert Trigaux can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.