10/20/14 Economic Development
Tampa Bay ought to pool its smartest demographic and marketing experts and come up with a fresh, focused campaign to recruit well-educated young adults to this metro area. That will work, of course, only if we can offer more and better jobs here. Those jobs are coming, but too slowly.
So slowly that I am worried too many college grads ignore us and follow the herd to overhyped cities like Washington, D.C., or Denver with cool reputations for those seeking strong career opportunities and cities with style....
The twist of fate that delivered actor Bryan Cranston, who brilliantly played a school teacher-turned-meth mogul in Breaking Bad, to star in the upcoming movie The Infiltrator as an undercover DEA agent is not lost on Robert Mazur.
Mazur, who lives and works in Tampa Bay, was that DEA agent. He wrote the 2009 book The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar's Medellín Cartel that will serve as the basis for the Cranston movie. Filming starts early next year. Much of the film will be shot in England but some scenes will be shot in March in the Tampa Bay area, thanks to the recent approval of some local film incentives....
Venture capitalists invested $9.9 billion in 1,023 deals nationwide in the third quarter of 2014. Although that's a 27 percent drop from the second quarter of the year, 2014 totals thus far have eclipsed those for all of 2013.
In Florida, VC investing dropped to $36.8 million among just six deals in the third quarter. That's down 67 percent from the second quarter's investing of nearly $114 million in 13 deals in the state. The numbers come from MoneyTree data compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters....
Jerry and Mary-Jo Robinson ran a Central Avenue marketing firm in St. Petersburg before deciding to found a startup called HubCentrix aimed at helping companies better manage their files online.
Monica Stynchula launched ReunionCare to help families better manage home care for aging parents.
Fran Snyder created Listening Room Festival to help build a new market for up-and-coming musicians by booking gigs in people's homes and in corporate offices....
For the first time, the United Way Suncoast decided this week to thank its "most generous workplaces" by releasing a ranking of the top 100 of the nearly 800 bay area companies and organizations whose employees give to this region's dominant coalition of charitable organizations.
"Our intent was to give recognition and highlight those that are so generous in so many ways," Suzanne McCormick, who was named CEO of United Way Suncoast last month, said Tuesday. "It is important for the community to know — and make a strong statement about — the level of corporate citizenship."...
Every state gets its share of economic smacks to the head. Some hits are geographic, like water-starved California's forest fires or earthquakes. Some are environmental, like the rapid decline of coal as a valuable fuel hurting West Virginia and Kentucky. Still others are self-inflicted by states, like those of the Rust Belt that depended too long on fading industries before trying to reinvent themselves....
10/10/14 Economic Development
On the surface, these maps of Tampa Bay, Denver and Pittsburgh — all metro markets of similar job size — display the relative challenge of getting to a job via public transit.
But what these three maps really indicate is economic mobility. If you're looking to get ahead, to start or advance a career, where would you rather live?
In Denver, where 20,467 jobs are reachable, on average, within a 30-minute commute by foot and transit leaving between 7 and 9 a.m.?...
TAMPA — It's a very good time to be a College of Business at the University of South Florida. • USF president Judy Genshaft announced at a Friday morning community unveiling that Les and Pam Muma — long-standing contributors, leaders in money raising for the university and both USF graduates — are donating $25 million to name the College of Business in Tampa. • The gift is the single largest donation in USF's 58-year history. And it means the college will be known as the USF Muma College of Business. • During a ceremony in the college's atrium, a drum roll sounded and a banner dropped, revealing the new name. A crowd of students, faculty, staff and guests gave a standing ovation and watched as the Mumas exchanged hugs with Genshaft and a beaming Moez Limayem, dean of the College of Business....
10/03/14 Mass Transit
Let's be crystal clear from the get-go.
Whether approved or defeated by county voters next month, the Greenlight Pinellas mass transit plan that promises more robust bus service and a 24-mile light rail line from Clearwater to St. Petersburg won't go away. Ultimately, a regional mass transit system, whether kick-started first in Pinellas or in neighboring Hillsborough County, is going to happen....
09/30/14 Personal Finance
The 400 wealthiest Americans — including 31 Floridians — are worth a staggering $2.29 trillion. So says the annual Forbes 400 ranking that tracks the uber-wealthy. That figure is about equal to the gross domestic product of Brazil, a country of 200 million people.
From a year ago, that figure is up $270 billion, a number close to the entire GDP of Colorado, which has a population of more than 5.2 million....
You may question his ability to defend Home Depot against hackers, but you can't dispute the giant retailer's head of security engineering and operations has a sense of humor.
"I heard there's a pool out there," Michael Cunningham told a packed room of area IT security specialists at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa last week, "that Home Depot would not be here."
In spite of Home Depot recently sustaining retailing's largest security breach ever, Cunningham showed up and held his own on a panel of security experts representing such area companies as Raymond James Financial and Bright House Networks, as well as U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base....
Any week is a good week when uber-billionaire Bill Gates puts his personal financial stamp of approval on downtown Tampa by investing in Jeff Vinik's planned overhaul of the Channelside district.
But it's a great week when the Gates deal is unveiled while five of the nation's top site selectors — the gatekeepers who tell corporations where in the country to put their next expansion or relocation — are here on a multiday tour of Tampa Bay's best assets....
09/24/14 Economic Development
The Florida High Tech Corridor, a 23-county Central Florida economic development partnership that includes all of the Tampa Bay region and is considered a power behind the throne in regional technology circles, is changing its name to The Corridor. "As an organization and as a region, people have come to know us simply as 'The Corridor,' and this brand refresh is a reflection of our region's prominence," said Randy Berridge, the group's longtime president....
If Apple ran its business like Duke Energy in Florida, it would pitch black rotary phones, not the iPhone 6.
If Neil Armstrong worked for Duke Energy in Florida instead of landing on the moon, he would have taken a backward step for a man and done nothing for mankind.
In Florida, what we have is a failure to innovate when it comes to where our electricity comes from. Especially when it comes to Duke Energy. The state's sorry lack of leadership compounds the problem....
1.SeaWorld Entertainment, the Orlando parent of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks, watched its stock belly flop Shamu-style last month from $28 to $18 in one day, triggering a flood of law firms trolling for shareholders feeling blindsided by the company. Shares now trade between $20 and $21.
2. St. Petersburg's Raymond James Financial, the regional investment firm, keeps strengthening its position as the most valuable public company based in the bay area....