New crop of companies share their ‘Why Tampa Bay’ stories

June 10, 2019

Two life sciences companies working to develop cancer treatments, an energy service company focused on reducing energy consumption, and several Fortune 500 companies, were among the latest class of Meet the Projects.


Representatives from seven companies presented about their recent expansions and relocations to a packed room of EDC Investors and local dignitaries, including Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman and City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, at the Tampa River Center on June 6. Thank you to our sponsor, Fifth Third Bank!


Some of the companies were names everyone recognized:


The Mosaic Company announced last year it was relocating its corporate headquarters to Tampa. After making the announcement, some skeptics told Mosaic it wouldn’t find talent in Tampa, and that hasn’t been the case, said Ben Pratt, VP of Corporate Public Affairs.


Charter Communications, aka Spectrum, one of the area’s telecommunications providers, established a national sales office in Hillsborough County last year that retained 261 jobs, added more than 200 jobs, and represented a $400 million investment. Charter cited the Tampa market’s available workforce and real estate options among deciding factors. The company also found a city and county dedicated to job creation.


Bausch + Lomb is a name many people recognize but didn’t realize had been operating in Tampa for decades. Over the last 10 years, the company has invested more than $100 million and continues to expand, hiring engineers and other technical positions to produce a wide range of eye health products at its manufacturing facility near USF.


United Airlines shed light on why it chose Tampa for a new $300 million maintenance hangar, which they broke ground on at Tampa International Airport the day before. Don Wright, VP of Maintenance Operations, said Tampa is a great place to do business and the EDC and TPA have been wonderful partners. The company considered 40 cities but only one airport authority traveled to its Chicago headquarters for the pitch, and that was Tampa. Wright said that kind of initiative says a lot and means a lot.


Then there were some exciting new-to-the-area companies that attendees were introduced to for the first time:


Minimise USA, an energy service company that promotes a range of technology to reduce energy consumption, turned a five-year contract with Hillsborough County Public Schools into a 25-year contract. The company plans to locate its headquarters here, along with bringing a curriculum that will teach students how to lower their carbon footprint.


Last, but certainly not least, two amazing life sciences companies working to develop new cancer treatments are headquartered in Hillsborough County.


Morphogenesis, a clinical stage cell/gene therapy company recently expanded to a new facility by USF and Moffitt Cancer Center. Over the past two years, the company has grown from 12 employees to 20, and has trained many interns. CEO Pat Lawman noted there is a lot of talent here and she’s hoping to retain that talent. Morphogenesis is currently working on a therapeutic cancer vaccine that is moving into human trials at Moffitt.


Like Morphogenesis, Vycellix was also founded out of Sweden’s world-renowned Karolinska Institutet. President Don Calder cited the presence of Moffitt for why the company established its headquarters here. Vycellix produces immunotherapeutic products to improve patient outcomes.


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