Visionary entrepreneurs in real estate, infrastructure and urban living have an opportunity to have a big impact in Tampa’s development.
Tampa, Fla., is poised to get a major innovative boost with a new program created to help startups. New York-based Dreamit, a global startup accelerator, plans to launch its newest urban technology vertical – called UrbanTech – in Tampa. Set to begin in September 2017, Dreamit’s program will accelerate companies with technology solutions in the areas of real estate, city infrastructure and urban living. Dreamit’s partner in the venture is Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Participating startups will engage in a 14-week program designed to prepare companies for growth. Already recognized as a leader in healthcare (HealthTech) and education (EdTech) acceleration, Dreamit believes the UrbanTech vertical comes at a time of major urban growth and regeneration.
“This is demand-driven innovation at its best,” says Avi Savar, CEO of Dreamit. “Working in partnership with stakeholders in Tampa, Dreamit UrbanTech will empower entrepreneurs to create disruptive products while connecting them to key players in growing industries. In fact, the current conditions of UrbanTech remind us of where digital health was back in 2012, when we entered that vertical. From company formation and funding levels to the state of specific technologies, this market is ripe for disruption. We are thrilled to bring our proven approach of acceleration to Tampa Bay.”
The first-of-its-kind partnership and program will expose visionary entrepreneurs to community stakeholders throughout Tampa Bay, including Strategic Property Partners (SPP) LLC, of which Vinik is a part-owner alongside Cascade Investment LLC. SPP plans to invest more than $3 billion over the next 10 years in downtown Tampa and develop a vibrant urban, mixed-use district on its 50 acres of land. SPP intends to integrate technology-connected services throughout the project, offering on-demand, customized experiences for the district’s visitors, workers, and residents. Dreamit’s UrbanTech startups will gain exposure to leaders in the real estate development, design, construction and management industries.
“As our city develops and prepares for a bright future, I am pleased to partner with Dreamit in this UrbanTech initiative,” Jeff Vinik says. “I am confident we will identify and create avenues of success for startups dedicated to building and enriching cities.”
Florida, and especially the Tampa Bay area, is experiencing record growth. More than 60,000 new residents moved to the region in the last year, underscoring the importance of cutting-edge technology as a pillar of building resilient cities.
“Bringing innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs into our urban core strengthens Tampa’s economic competitiveness on the global stage,” says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Dreamit’s choice to partner with Jeff Vinik and locate their UrbanTech accelerator in Tampa not only reinforces our ongoing renaissance but bolsters our emerging tech scene.”
Dreamit removes barriers to innovation and appeals to a broad range of entrepreneurs, including later-stage companies that would not typically consider an accelerator. UrbanTech is designed for startups focused on SaaS and cloud-based software, IoT, IP-heavy software enabled hardware, data and analytics, machine learning and AI, mobile applications, and frontier technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality. In the United States alone there are more than 9,000 startups working in the UrbanTech field.