From the panhandle to the keys, Florida is buzzing with tech startups.
Smack in the middle of Central Florida’s High Tech Corridor, The GUIDEWELL in Lake Nona (Orlando) provides business leaders, the global academic community and entrepreneurs a physical location to convene to create solutions to persistent problems in their field, fostering a culture of imaginative thinking, ideation and collaboration. A few of the outstanding enterprises housed at GuideWell include PANOPTEX TECHNOLOGIES, leading the fight against cyberattacks and breaches in big data operations, the FLORIDA BLUE INNOVATION CENTER, transforming the delivery of care through new innovative care models that provide superior health outcomes to patients, and CONNECT, sales, marketing, and engagement company focused on driving results through health care consumerism. Real estate in the area is buzzing, with new home developments popping up and home values rising. Median Home Sales Price is around $375,000, with $1,950 cited as the Median Rent Per Month. Located adjacent to the Orlando International Airport and the bevy of direct flights to locations across the globe, Lake Nona has become a world-class center for research, technology and innovation.
In Tampa, SANITAS INTERNACIONAL seeks to provide affordable, convenient and culturally-relevant health care solutions. Their Greenhouse Shops will address patients’ day-to-day health care in one place with convenient hours and urgent care walk-ins that serve the needs of working families. Also in the Tampa Bay area, TEC GARAGE features incubator and coworking programs, providing clients with access to networks, experts, international markets, industry peers, market research, service providers, university support systems and funding. The Median Sales Price for Tampa is $220,000 and $1,450 median rent per month; $195,000 for St. Petersburg and $1,375 median monthly rentals, and $430,000 in Clearwater, with $2,900 median rent per month.
Back in the Orlando area, The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program helps early-stage businesses develop into financially stable companies by providing the tools, training, and infrastructure that help facilitate smarter, faster startup growth. UCF’s Venture Accelerator Lab offers workshops and advisory services to assist with market research, business planning, and more to help determine the market potential of technology-based business ideas. UCF’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership offers education, startup resources, collaboration facilities, venture acceleration, competitions and events to help students launch innovative new ventures
The TRADITION CENTER FOR INNOVATION in Port St. Lucie is a research and development park committed to the innovation life cycle, in the process cultivating a collaborative environment ideally suited for companies and organizations that want to conduct life science research and that are focused on advancing research from the laboratory to the market. TCI’s anchor institutions—including the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute Florida, Mann Research Center and Martin Memorial Health Systems—actively map out new ways to make research easier and help members advance discoveries through the pipeline to commercialization. Real estate in this area is moving at a breakneck pace, with new developments replacing the orange groves. Current median home prices in Port St. Lucie are around the $196,000 mark, with rentals averaging $1500/month.
In South Florida’s tri-county area (Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach), the number of startups registered on AngelList, a platform for startups and investors, shot up 46 percent in the past year, to more than 1,600 companies. Experts say this is indicative of momentum in effort to develop a thriving tech hub and startup ecosystem. Here, the Knight Foundation is leading the way, funding the IDEA CENTER at Miami Dade College as an innovation lab to develop ideas, an accelerator to launch startups, tech training and other support to MDC’s 165,000 students. MAGIC, an innovation space for creative industries and gaming, is also located at MDC, and Knight invested in LAUNCH CODE, linking trained apprentices with tech companies to fill the jobs of the future.
ENDEAVOR MIAMI selects, mentors and accelerates high-potential entrepreneurs by creating an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive. The CAMBRIDGE INNOVATION CENTER (CIC) is the latest high-profile startup-centric in Miami, eventually housing more than 500 tech startup companies. Located in the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park in Overtown, space is available for offices, co-working and events for entrepreneurs. The CIC team hopes that it will help anchor an innovation district that will serve all of Latin America. Overtown is a Miami neighborhood going through gentrification, with current median home sale prices hovering around $219,900 and $1,650 median rental prices per month.
Elsewhere in Florida, the ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION CENTER at the University of Florida was created to teach, coach and inspire students to be entrepreneurial in their lives. The Center provides students the tools and experiences necessary to creatively pursue new opportunities and innovations in the start-up, social, and corporate venture arenas. The INNOVATION HUB, also at UF, offers inexpensive, state-of-the-art lab and office space available for lease by resident startups, and provides a sharing environment for entrepreneurs. Median home sales prices in Gainesville are around $170,000, with $1,400 median rental prices.