Speed. Data. Customer Focused.  - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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Speed. Data. Customer Focused. 

Speed. Data. Customer Focused. 

Financial technology is one of the nation’s fastest growing industries. As the region’s growing tech entrepreneurs converge with its long-standing financial services community, Greater Tampa Bay is becoming one of the best places in the country to be for fintech. 

Better known as fintech, financial technology refers to new technology that works to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services. It utilizes specialized software and algorithms to help companies, business owners and consumers manage their finances better. 

One of the area’s largest resources is the Fintech Center at the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance in the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Early in 2021, it came to fruition when it received a $14 million donation from Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton to help make the center a hub of excellence for fintech education. 

Led by Michael Weimer, the center is located on USF’s St. Petersburg Campus and is working to become a leading university-based fintech center and entrepreneurial ecosystem. It focuses on helping students, faculty, the business community and fintech entrepreneurs be successful and have a positive impact in the fintech market. 

The $14 million donation is helping the school hire world-class faculty, embed fintech modules into core curricula, increase opportunities to share expertise with the community and make the school a place where students and fintech entrepreneurs come for education and mentoring. 

Tiedemann and Cotton said it brought them great joy to help USF students build their expertise in fintech and create new opportunities for them.  

Fintech Companies Seek Us Out 

Dynasty Financial Partners is a local fintech company that relocated to St. Petersburg from Manhattan in 2018. Founder, CEO and member of the Board of Directors, Shirl Penney, said Dynasty was looking for an area with a lower cost of living and faster commute time as well as more favorable tax environments and talent pools. They found that and more in St. Petersburg.  

“Each time we visited, we experienced the community ‘bear hug,’” he said. “The closeness of the community is incredibly inspiring and has motivated me to get more involved on a local level, which has led to a lot of great connections.” 

Dynasty’s asset revenue, personnel and “basically everything across the board” also doubled since the move, Penney said. As for employees, the lack of income tax and cheaper living costs translated to what essentially is a 20% to 25% raise. 

Putting Fintech to Work 

GTB is also a very good place for companies that utilize fintech, especially innovative ones.  

Climate First Bank is not a fintech company, but it is a unique and innovative financial institution with ties to the local industry.  

See Also

It was created to fight climate change, and its vision is to reimagine finance as a force for good. It seeks to become the bank with the biggest impact on reducing atmospheric CO2.  

“We founded it to make a positive change on our environment through finance,” said President Lex Ford. 

It offers all the services of a community bank and also focuses on environmental sustainability and preserving America’s ecosystem by giving residents and businesses convenient, specialized green loan options for things like rooftop solar, renewable energy, EV charging and certified carbon offsets.  

Local Fintech Companies 

  • Benefytt —Tampa 
  • Billd —Tampa 
  • Branch — Tampa 
  • Clearwater Analytics — Clearwater 
  • CrossBorder Solutions — St. Petersburg  
  • DTCC — Tampa 
  • Dynasty Financial Partners — St. Petersburg  
  • Engage Fi —Tampa 
  • FinFit Life — Tampa 
  • Financial Information Technologies —TampaFirst National Bank of Pasco — Dade City 
  • Funnel Leasing — Odessa  
  • Intrinio — St. Petersburg  
  • Market Technologies, LLC — Wesley Chapel  
  • OriginClear —Clearwater 
  • Retail Process Engineering, LLC — Wesley Chapel  
  • RiskSmith —Tampa 
  • SKUexchange — St. Petersburg  
  • Soar Lending —St Petersburg 
  • Trade PMR — Clearwater 
  • Trxade Group, Inc. — Odessa  
  • Vantagepoint AI LLC — Wesley Chapel 
  • V12, A Porch Company — Wesley Chapel 
  • Wise – Tampa 
  • XPRO — St. Petersburg 

“In 2020, the Tampa Bay area had over 115,300 employed in some type of key tech or financial role.”  

— Tampa Bay Economic Development Council 

By Celia Goodyear.

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