The Great Recession hit every US city, town, and state hard. That said, the Recession of 2008 affected Florida and Tampa Bay in a particularly negative way. Here are a few key statistics that show how the Recession impacted Florida and Tampa Bay in comparison to other regions: 

Even though Tampa faced tough times as a result of the Great Recession, it has made a full comeback. Data for March 2017 from the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation showed that unemployment in the city had fallen to just 4.1%. 

A rendering of part of the SPP project in downtown Tampa.

A rendering of part of the SPP project in downtown Tampa.

Not only has Tampa Bay come back from the 2008 financial crisis, but it’s also home to many wonderful attractions. You can kick back on Sunday and take in a Buccaneers game. Or, you can enjoy a Lightning game on a warm winter day in downtown Tampa. If baseball’s your thing, Tampa Bay also has you covered with the Rays.

In addition to sports, there are lots of other fun activities in Tampa Bay. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay offers a large selection of rides and rollercoasters for the thrill seekers in the city. The Tampa Riverwalk features beautiful views along with great shops and tantalizing restaurants. 

As you can see, Tampa has a lot going for it. Not the least of which is the $3B Urban Redevelopment Initiative being led by Strategic Property Partners, a joint venture between Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment. This tremendous undertaking will create up to 9,000,000 square feet of new commercial, residential, entertainment, cultural, and retail space. Some of this new space will be for: 

  • 5,000+ new residences

  • 650 new hotel rooms

  • 2.6M square feet of offices 

The Tampa Bay Urban Redevelopment Initiative also plans to turn the city into a full-fledged tech hub. In fact, Tampa already has lots of amazing startups, entrepreneurship programs, and innovation events.

For example, the city hosted Tampa Bay Startup Week in February 2017. This event brought notable sponsors like Chase for Business and Techstars together with amazing speakers like Brad Feld. An event like Tampa Bay Startup Week demonstrated the serious way in which the city is building up its tech community. 

The city is also home to Tampa Bay Wave, a tech accelerator for high-growth startups. Tampa Bay Wave has supported more than 200 startups that have gone on to raise $40,000,000 and create more than 1,000 jobs.

A rendering of downtown Tampa after the $3B urban redevelopment led by SPP. 

A rendering of downtown Tampa after the $3B urban redevelopment led by SPP. 

Several startups in Tampa Bay have either raised more than $1,000,000 in a single round of funding or generated more than $1,000,000 in annual revenue. Some of these startups include:

It is clear that Tampa Bay is home to a number of fantastic founders who have created startups that make meaningful contributions to the city. With valuable events, a great tech accelerator, and many successful startups, Tampa Bay’s tech community is thriving. 

To build on this existing momentum, Strategic Property Partners has partnered with Dreamit to create the UrbanTech accelerator program. The integration of technology in urban areas has grown by leaps and over the past several years to create smart cities. SPP wants the redevelopment of downtown Tampa Bay to feature construction tech, real estate tech, and smart cities tech from the world’s most promising startups. 

Companies who get into the UrbanTech program will have the opportunity to interface with SPP and its partners as well as other enterprise customers. They will also have access to mentorship from Dreamit’s experienced team of managing directors. As well, startups will embark on an investor roadshow at the end of the program where they will have 12 to 20 one-on-one meetings with top VC’s. If you run a startup focused on making construction, real estate management/development, and/or smart cities technology, learn more about Dreamit UrbanTech and apply to the program today.

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