Make us your home page
Instagram

How broadly does 'Tampa Bay' brand reach?

How far can the name "Tampa Bay" extend geographically beyond the core Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area? That's a key question as economic developers and surrounding counties weigh the pros and cons of identifying themselves with the Tampa Bay name.

Few people are closer to this issue than Stuart Rogel, chief executive officer of the Tampa Bay Partnership, the regional marketing group that has slowly pushed its member counties to eight. They include the expected counties of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando, all comfortable with the Tampa Bay name as a regional identifier. But the partnership also represents outlier counties Citrus, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota.

Now it gets more interesting. Citrus is happy to be affiliated with the Tampa Bay name, Rogel says. Manatee County, home to the city of Bradenton, and Sarasota County are still figuring out if "Tampa Bay" covers their economic needs or if they can act more freely.

And Polk County? It was just handed its own Florida Polytechnic university, thanks to state Sen. J.D. Alexander and Gov. Rick Scott. Their deal will sever the school from Tampa Bay's University of South Florida umbrella. Is that the latest sign of Polk's do-it-yourself trend?

• • •

We can talk all we want about the "entrepreneurial ecosystem" that should be taking root in the Tampa Bay market. The reality is that the economy remains tough, and Tampa Bay's infamous lack of early venture capital to help support start-up businesses is taking its toll.

Gazelle Lab, the business accelerator at USF St. Petersburg, mentored six handpicked companies in last year's inaugural 90-day program. Gazelle Lab chief Daniel James Scott, who also teaches at the campus, says there probably won't be a Round 2 for the lab until the program can raise more funds. So far, the coffer is lean.

The good news is the Gazelle Lab extended its reach to Orlando, which apparently does have the initiative and funding to do its own business accelerator program. Details will be out soon.

Meanwhile, the Gazelle Lab is losing one of its six startups and two student stars — Kngroo headed by Jeff Baird as well as Jessica Barnett (both USF Gus Stavros fellowship winners) to New York City. The good news is the remaining five of Gazelle's original startups — AutoIQ (now called Carvoyant), Red Hawk Interactive, Dropost.it, Teburu and Leads Direct are still local. So far, that's a pretty good success rate.

• • •

When is a power company a banking company? An unusual ad from Duke Energy appeared in the Tampa Bay Times this week inviting consumers to consider investing in Duke's "PremierNotes" which sound a lot like a money market account (but isn't). The ad pitches an enticing 1.61 percent annual yield on a minimum $1,000 investment. But the notes' yield will vary. And the notes are not FDIC-insured nor rated by any rating agency.

Duke Energy is based in North Carolina and does not even provide electricity to Floridians. But Duke is trying to buy Progress Energy. Is that why we're seeing it solicit funds in the Sunshine State?

Contact Robert Trigaux at trigaux@tampabay.com.

How broadly does 'Tampa Bay' brand reach? 04/25/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  2. Miami woman, 74, admits to voter fraud. Does jail await, or will she go free?

    State Roundup

    MIAMI — An 74-year-old woman pleaded guilty Monday to filling out other people's mail-in ballots while working at Miami-Dade's elections department.

    Gladys Coego
  3. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  4. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride

    Florida

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.
  5. Would you let your company implant a chip in you?

    Working Life

    Would you ask an employee to get a chip implanted in her hand? Sounds invasive and intrusive. But come Aug. 1, one company in Wisconsin will be giving it a try.

    Three Square Market - a developer of software used in vending machines - is offering all of its employees the option to get a microchip implanted between the thumb and forefinger. [Photo from video]