This article was originally published on the Startup Revolution blog, on October 2, 2015.
Over the past 5 years I’ve seen and been a part of a variety of different startup communities. I also have relationships with many founders from all over the country. I noticed, through living in these cities and speaking with other founders, that there wasn’t a clearly defined medium to learn about the local communities; the members, progress, failures, or efforts. When I moved to Tampa Bay in April 2015, I quickly realized that Tampa Bay, like other communities, didn’t have a community driven effort to unite itself.
I’m always recruiting. In fact, I treat everything as recruitment. When I talk with friends in other cities, I tell them that I’d love to have them here in Tampa Bay, joining me on my various efforts and visions. I talk with many very talented people from all over the country, explaining what we’re doing and that want to have them involved. I’m always talking with investors and explaining how Tampa Bay is an up-and-coming tech community they should pay attention to. I often talk about the huge investment made in Tampa Bay and how exciting it is to be a part of something early. I also find myself talking to a lot of local business owners, and sharing with them what Laicos, and other great companies, are doing. I’m constantly speaking with local leaders, learning about the region and learning about their backgrounds. I spend a great deal of time meeting with various startups in the area and asking them what they need.
I have to do all this talking because there isn’t one convenient place to go to read about everything that’s going on in Tampa Bay. I need to be able to show everyone, instead of telling them, what an excited and passionate community we live in. What is needed is a community driven and carefully curated website that gives an honest, unbiased peek into what’s going on locally. What we need, is TampaBayTech.org, the website that my Laicos co-founder Kyle Matthews and I developed and launched this week.
Driven by the same goals and mission found within Brad Feld’s Startup Communities, TampaBayTech.org is a community website which provides curated content distilled from local founders and entrepreneurs. It features a directory of Tampa Bay entrepreneurs and companies, a calendar of meetups in the area, and a map displaying local tech companies. This is a true community site filled with valuable resources available to founders and startups and information on how to get involved. The purpose of Tampa Bay Tech is to unite the local tech community and garner the attention it needs so the rest of the community can learn about, support or get involved.
Some of the reasons behind TampaBayTech.org
We soft-launched TampaBaytech.org this week and have plans to provide much needed and deserved exposure to local companies and founders. We also want to give those, not local to Tampa Bay, a place to go and learn about what’s going on in this great region. We’re using Brad Feld’s “Startup Communities” as our guide, and plan to incorporate many of his ideas and beliefs, into the Tampa Bay startup community. Hopefully we can be as successful as some of the other tech community sites, like VegasTech, Tech Cocktail, Startup Digest , KC Startup Village, Utah’s Beehive Startups, or NY Tech Meetup.
This is our beginning. I think of this as an opportunity for our area’s brightest minds to be united and show the world what Tampa Bay can do.