05/31/08 Personal Tech
LARGO — Celebrating five years in May as a business incubator for small but promising defense and technology companies, Star TEC — the Star Technology Enterprise Center — is busy growing staff and tenants, and expanding its influence across the Tampa Bay region.
"A lot of what Star TEC does is in the CentCom and SOCom (defense) space and a lot of that is restricted to public disclosure," said Robin Kovaleski, executive director of the Florida Venture Forum and an advisory board member at Star TEC. ...
05/25/08 Personal Tech
Two years ago, a small Tampa company splashed into the communications scene, aspiring to spar with giants such as Verizon and AT&T.
Today, Telovations, which targets small and medium-sized businesses with its phone, Internet and various types of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, services, has grown from six employees to 48. It has pocketed more than 200 clients, and recently struck a partnership with Clearwater-based computer distribution giant Tech Data Corp. to take its business nationwide. This month, the company opened an office in Jacksonville and began a new round of hiring. ...
The Tampa Bay area's largest company by revenue, Tech Data Corp., beat analysts' estimates in reporting first-quarter profits this morning.
Net income for the Clearwater IT distributor soared 132 percent to $23-million, or 43 cents a share, from $9.9-million, or 18 cents a share, a year ago. Revenues climbed 12 percent to $6.07-billion from $5.4-billion last year. Analysts were expecting a profit of 42 cents per share on sales of $5.74-billion....
05/21/08 Personal Tech
Tampa Bay's biggest public company is on the alert. Someone in cyberspace is posing as a Tech Data recruiter and trying to steal information from unsuspecting job seekers via e-mail and instant messaging.
The Clearwater IT distribution company suspects phishing scammers have reached out to potential employees offering them "work at home" opportunities with the company.
"Tech Data does not offer 'Work at Home' employment opportunities, and never conducts interviews using an instant message methodology," the company cautioned on its Web site. ...
05/16/08 Personal Tech
Ever heard of anyone trying to mint money from thin air?
A fledgling St. Petersburg company is attempting just that.
Aqua Ventus says it has developed a process that converts air molecules into water — 20 gallons a day. The product resembles an oversized cooler that you would drag to the beach.
Its target market? Affluent people in the Southeast with portable or standby generators, says James Hill, founder and CEO. "They are cautious about securing power supply, so they would store water, too," Hill said....
05/09/08 Personal Tech
What does tech power have to do with muscle power?
A whole lot, apparently.
Ask the folks at St. Petersburg-based Lifestyle Family Fitness. In the last decade, the health club chain invested more than $10-million to beef up its technology team and products. This, at a time when companies nationwide have been slimming down on tech investments.
"They have one of the most mature IT cultures in the market and one of the youngest, sharpest CIOs in the area" said Fritz Eichelberger, founder of HotSpaces.Net who's placed quite a few IT employees at the company....
05/07/08 Personal Tech
Buoyed by stellar first-quarter results announced Tuesday, shares of Tampa-based Syniverse Technologies rose 26.6 percent to a two-year high Wednesday, closing at $21.09 on the New York Stock Exchange.
The kudos from Wall Street began streaming in early Wednesday, propelling Syniverse shares to become the biggest gainer for the day on the New York Stock Exchange. Syniverse, whose stock ticker is SVR, provides technology and roaming settlement services to the wireless phone industry....
When gas prices began skyrocketing, Timothy Pappas, owner of a St. Petersburg ice cream company called Working Cow Homemade Inc., broke into a sweat.
His fuel bill climbed from $1,700 a week to $3,000. He had two choices to save his business from a meltdown: raise prices or trim expenses.
Pappas decided to cool it with the costs. He consolidated delivery routes for his trucks and asked his drivers to spend nights in hotels, instead of returning and driving the same route the next day. He is getting rid of two of the six trucks in his fleet soon and he has already extended his delivery time from five to seven days a week. ...
05/02/08 Personal Tech
Chattanooga and Kansas City — I can understand why people there are bored and have nothing to do but download podcasts.
But, Tampa Bay? Who would have thunk?
A survey released in January by podcast hosting network Wizard Media shows that our region ranks second in podcast download requests. The data was collected through an opt-in survey of 20,000 audience members.
We clinched the spot with a whopping 380.76 percent growth. Chattanooga led the pack and Kansas City came a close third. Envious yet Silicon Valley?...
More than a year after its debut, the Nintendo Wii continues to fly off the shelves, courting anxious lines outside stores every time a new shipment lands.
The scene was repeated Sunday as Tampa Bay area retailers got a fresh batch of the sought-after game consoles, fast approaching the 25-million mark in worldwide unit sales. At the Best Buy store on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, more than 20 game buffs waited before the store opened its shutters Sunday. ...
04/25/08 Personal Tech
Watch out, Tata and Infosys. There are li'l guys here who can beat you at your game.
Companies are no longer just salivating over cheap Indian labor. They want quality thrown in with a competitive price tag.
Tampa's Digital Hands, a managed services company that provides businesses with call center monitoring and remote management of information technology products such as servers, desktops, laptops and PDAs, has captured the industry's pulse....
Gasoline prices set records Monday amid more signs that pain at the pump is prompting at least some people to rethink how to get from here to there.
They are riding buses more often, buying more fuel-efficient cars and scooters, and curtailing their driving by combining errands and changing their vacation plans.
The relentlessly rising price of a gallon of unleaded gas hit a record $3.47 in the Tampa Bay area and $3.50 nationally, up dramatically from $2.85 a year ago. Diesel fuel, which was $2.93 a year ago, was $4.15 locally and $4.20 nationally Monday, both records. ...
04/20/08 Personal Tech
Mary Lorigan recruits and does negotiation training for sales employees and consultants in high-tech companies. She also manages her home, ferries sons Dylan and Sean to their soccer and baseball practices, while coming up with daily meal ideas.
The 47-year-old's secret genie is her PDA, or personal digital assistant. The handheld device helps her keep track of her busy schedule at home, while ensuring she meets her professional commitments. ...
04/18/08 Personal Tech
Times are slow. But that fails to crush entrepreneurs' indomitable spirit. The good news is they continue to scour for opportunities in the Tampa Bay area.
The latest on the block is Anand Pallegar, a Sarasota serial entrepreneur now on his fifth company. Pallegar's advertising agency, atLarge Inc., focuses on marrying Web strategy with measurable business results. It allows clients to calculate the success of marketing strategies, while targeting customers without compromising their privacy....
Forget about wracking your brains trying to remember that crazy password, or sweating over that misplaced memory stick with your financial information. Tampa-based Ceelox says its software allows you to access and secure your computer, e-mail or memory stick with the touch of a finger.
How does it work?
About two years ago, the company launched products that secure computers, files and network logins with biometrics. Through a fingerprint reader embedded on the laptop, memory stick or keyboard or added through a USB port, customers can gain access. ...