Highlights of Economic and High-Tech Growth in the Tampa Bay Region (Shorts)

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Tampa Bay Partnership

    TAMPA BAY, Fla., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Here are some shorts concerning
 the economic and high-tech growth in the Tampa Bay Region from the Tampa Bay
 Partnership:
 
     Tech Florida To Focus Tech Leaders on Government Affairs Issues
     Tech Florida, Inc., is a forum for high technology industry executives in
 the Sunshine State to network and to express their thoughts to government and
 political leaders.  Two of the group's founders are Robert Soran, President
 and Chief Operating Officer of Uniroyal Technology Corporation in Sarasota,
 and David Williams, President and CEO of Cirent Semiconductor.  Public affairs
 consultant, Ron Brower, will serve as executive director.  Florida's high tech
 industry boasts 9,000 companies, more than 200,000 employees, $9.7 billion in
 payroll, $8 billion in exports, $720 million in venture capital, and $4.8
 billion in R&D expenditures.  "I think it's time that we, as leaders, begin
 working together to assure public policy that will strengthen this state's
 position in the future.  Our impressive tech numbers provide us a platform to
 provide input that will benefit not only our own industries, but our
 employees, their children, and the school systems we depend upon more and
 more," Soran said.  Tech Florida intends to meet once or twice a year to share
 thoughts and concerns, surface important issues, and have an opportunity to
 meet with key Florida political leaders.  Contact: Ron Brower, 850-224-7878,
 or browcom@worldnet.att.net.
 
     Multimedia Company Gives Students Real Life Experience
     Computer Multimedia Productions Corp. of Clearwater, FL, is one of about
 80 Pinellas County companies to participate in a program designed to give high
 school students on-the-job training and college credit.  The company, which
 produces multimedia products for conference proceedings, simulation industries
 and research, recently used the interns to help turn 43,000 pages of technical
 manuals for Carnival Cruise Lines into easy-to-use CD-ROMs.  The students are
 part of the Pinellas County school system's Executive Internship Program,
 which places students with area companies to give them job training and
 college credit.  "It's mutually benefiting," said Mary Black, the program's
 coordinator.  "The students learn about fields they are interested in and get
 exposed to the realities of business."  In turn, several of the businesses,
 including Computer Multimedia, often end up hiring the students as permanent
 employees. Contact: Mary Black, Pinellas County School District, 727-586-1818.
 
     Downtown Tampa High-Tech Incubator To Open This Summer
     A group of Tampa area executives, backed by the Greater Tampa Chamber of
 Commerce, has raised more than $100,000 in private donations to fund a new
 high-tech incubator for start-up companies in Hillsborough County.  The
 10,000-square-foot facility, located on the University of Tampa campus in
 downtown Tampa, will offer affordable office space and pro bono advice from
 lawyers, accountants, and technology consultants to approximately 10
 entrepreneurs who will be selected by a screening committee.  The downtown
 incubator has received contributions from law firms Foley & Lardner and
 Holland & Knight, area entrepreneur John Kang and Bay4, a venture capital
 firm.  Leading the effort are Marty Traber, a lawyer with Foley & Lardner, and
 Marty Donsky, marketing manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Sykes
 Enterprises, Inc., has donated technology equipment and signed-up two area
 executives to help with fundraising.  Contact Marty Donsky,
 PricewaterhouseCoopers, 813-223-7577, marty.donsky@us.pwcglobal.com.
 
     University of South Florida Tech Incubator Takes Shape
     Also in the Tampa Bay area, the University of South Florida (USF) is
 starting to develop its own high-tech incubator that will provide a pool of
 services to help technology start-up companies develop.  Michael Kovac, USF's
 executive director of high technology engineering development, says the
 university is currently seeking space at, or near, the college's main campus
 in north Tampa for the incubator to be based.  In addition to support and
 office services, the incubator will provide start-ups with access to pro bono
 services from outside lawyers, accountants and venture capitalists.  A board
 of advisors will screen applicants, who will be required to have well-
 developed business plans and management teams.  Five to eight companies will
 be selected and will be given 18-36 months at the incubator.  Contact Michael
 Kovac, 813-974-5136, kovac@eng.usf.edu.
 
 

SOURCE Tampa Bay Partnership
    TAMPA BAY, Fla., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Here are some shorts concerning
 the economic and high-tech growth in the Tampa Bay Region from the Tampa Bay
 Partnership:
 
     Tech Florida To Focus Tech Leaders on Government Affairs Issues
     Tech Florida, Inc., is a forum for high technology industry executives in
 the Sunshine State to network and to express their thoughts to government and
 political leaders.  Two of the group's founders are Robert Soran, President
 and Chief Operating Officer of Uniroyal Technology Corporation in Sarasota,
 and David Williams, President and CEO of Cirent Semiconductor.  Public affairs
 consultant, Ron Brower, will serve as executive director.  Florida's high tech
 industry boasts 9,000 companies, more than 200,000 employees, $9.7 billion in
 payroll, $8 billion in exports, $720 million in venture capital, and $4.8
 billion in R&D expenditures.  "I think it's time that we, as leaders, begin
 working together to assure public policy that will strengthen this state's
 position in the future.  Our impressive tech numbers provide us a platform to
 provide input that will benefit not only our own industries, but our
 employees, their children, and the school systems we depend upon more and
 more," Soran said.  Tech Florida intends to meet once or twice a year to share
 thoughts and concerns, surface important issues, and have an opportunity to
 meet with key Florida political leaders.  Contact: Ron Brower, 850-224-7878,
 or browcom@worldnet.att.net.
 
     Multimedia Company Gives Students Real Life Experience
     Computer Multimedia Productions Corp. of Clearwater, FL, is one of about
 80 Pinellas County companies to participate in a program designed to give high
 school students on-the-job training and college credit.  The company, which
 produces multimedia products for conference proceedings, simulation industries
 and research, recently used the interns to help turn 43,000 pages of technical
 manuals for Carnival Cruise Lines into easy-to-use CD-ROMs.  The students are
 part of the Pinellas County school system's Executive Internship Program,
 which places students with area companies to give them job training and
 college credit.  "It's mutually benefiting," said Mary Black, the program's
 coordinator.  "The students learn about fields they are interested in and get
 exposed to the realities of business."  In turn, several of the businesses,
 including Computer Multimedia, often end up hiring the students as permanent
 employees. Contact: Mary Black, Pinellas County School District, 727-586-1818.
 
     Downtown Tampa High-Tech Incubator To Open This Summer
     A group of Tampa area executives, backed by the Greater Tampa Chamber of
 Commerce, has raised more than $100,000 in private donations to fund a new
 high-tech incubator for start-up companies in Hillsborough County.  The
 10,000-square-foot facility, located on the University of Tampa campus in
 downtown Tampa, will offer affordable office space and pro bono advice from
 lawyers, accountants, and technology consultants to approximately 10
 entrepreneurs who will be selected by a screening committee.  The downtown
 incubator has received contributions from law firms Foley & Lardner and
 Holland & Knight, area entrepreneur John Kang and Bay4, a venture capital
 firm.  Leading the effort are Marty Traber, a lawyer with Foley & Lardner, and
 Marty Donsky, marketing manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Sykes
 Enterprises, Inc., has donated technology equipment and signed-up two area
 executives to help with fundraising.  Contact Marty Donsky,
 PricewaterhouseCoopers, 813-223-7577, marty.donsky@us.pwcglobal.com.
 
     University of South Florida Tech Incubator Takes Shape
     Also in the Tampa Bay area, the University of South Florida (USF) is
 starting to develop its own high-tech incubator that will provide a pool of
 services to help technology start-up companies develop.  Michael Kovac, USF's
 executive director of high technology engineering development, says the
 university is currently seeking space at, or near, the college's main campus
 in north Tampa for the incubator to be based.  In addition to support and
 office services, the incubator will provide start-ups with access to pro bono
 services from outside lawyers, accountants and venture capitalists.  A board
 of advisors will screen applicants, who will be required to have well-
 developed business plans and management teams.  Five to eight companies will
 be selected and will be given 18-36 months at the incubator.  Contact Michael
 Kovac, 813-974-5136, kovac@eng.usf.edu.
 
 SOURCE  Tampa Bay Partnership