Make us your home page

Jeff Vinik among those investing $1 million in St. Petersburg startup

A group of startup investors that includes Jeff Vinik is investing $1 million in a St. Petersburg startup founded by a University of South Florida St. Petersburg graduate in entrepreneurship and rising player in local business startup circles.

The startup, called Check I'm Here, offers a software platform that helps universities and colleges manage organizations and events, track student involvement, assess engagement and reach more students. It will use its first significant investor funding to further its offerings in higher education technology. The startup says more than 80 institutions with 350,000 students in 30 states and three countries actively use its service. The firm's client list has grown by 25 percent every quarter.

Reuben Pressman, who founded Check I'm Here in 2014 and remains majority owner, runs the firm with 15 full-time employees. He's looking for more.

Here's how Pressman, 27, met Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a joint venture partner with Cascade Investment (which manages money for billionaire Bill Gates) in an ambitious 40-plus acres around the Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Commercial real estate executive Lee Arnold invited Pressman to appear on a panel of millennials to talk about this region at a meeting of the Florida Council of 100. Vinik was in the audience. They later met and, according to Pressman, Vinik liked what he heard and saw enough to invest. Vinik has invested in other area startups as well.

In addition to Vinik, investors in the $1 million funding for Check I'm Here include Ronald Schlosser, a former executive chairman of McGraw-Hill Education who recently bought a home in this area, and a California venture capital group called 500 Mobile Collective.

Check I'm Here recently relocated to more space in a building at 100 Seventh St. S in St. Petersburg.

Jeff Vinik among those investing $1 million in St. Petersburg startup 09/12/16 [Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2016 8:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa International Airport morphing into a mini-city unto itself


    TAMPA — By the end of the 2026, Joe Lopano wants Tampa International Airport to function as its own little city.

    Artist rendering of phase two of the $1 billion construction expansion of Tampa International Airport. The airport is transforming 17 acres of airport property that will include at least one hotel, retail and office space and a gas station, among other things.
[Courtesy of Tampa International Airport]
  2. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  3. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze


    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  4. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in


    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump


    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)