Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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October 02, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shoutouts | Plug and Play Tech Center opening in Florida

LinkedIn finds Atlanta is the #1 U.S. metro area with the fastest year-over-year growth in people founding their own companies.

From Orlando, FL:

Plug and Play Tech Center, described as a world-leading Silicon Valley-based innovation platform, has abandoned plans to open its first Florida location in Miami and instead will do so in Kissimmee. That announcement came one day after the Osceola County Commission approved an agreement to make Central Florida the company’s first location in the Sunshine State.

Operating in more than 50 locations across five continents, the Sunnyvale, CA-headquartered company connects start-ups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Its new Florida location with be in NeoCity, a 500-acre technology district that received a $50.8 million award from the Economic Development Administration’s “Build Back Better Regional Challenge Grant.”

The focus of the Osceola County will be on semiconductors and innovations that fall within that tech sector, which aligns with efforts already embedded at NeoCity. The agreement is set to drive economic growth and catapult NeoCity into a global innovation hub, attracting both burgeoning tech entrepreneurs and established firms while securing substantial investment for the region.

From Atlanta, GA:

The home of mega-corporations like Coca Cola and Delta Airlines is also the best place to start your own business, according to new LinkedIn data.

Atlanta was recognized as the #1 U.S. metro area with the fastest year-over-year growth, 92 percent, in people founding their own companies, per the job search site. Runner-up was Austin followed by Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago.

If you wonder how the rankings were made, we have the answer. LinkedIn says that “metros are ranked by the largest growth in their Company Formation Index (CFI) from June to August 2023, compared with the same period in 2022. This index is the three-month average count of unique companies on LinkedIn, measured by the number of LinkedIn members who added a new founder position to their profile, indexed to the corresponding count in 2016. We include only LinkedIn members who added a founder position in the same month that the new job began.”

From Boca Raton, FL:

The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® received a 2023 “Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award” from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The award was bestowed specifically for the Global Ventures at Florida AtlanticTM second-stage entrepreneur support initiative in the “Innovation Programs & Initiatives” category.

“Research Park at FAU has raised the bar for excellence in economic development with its Global Ventures program. This award is a testament to Research Park at FAU’s dedication to its residents and serves as a great example of how economic development can help transform a community for the better,” said Nathan Ohle, IEDC President and Chief Executive Officer. “It is IEDC’s honor and privilege to present Research Park at FAU with this award and recognize its leadership and innovation in the field of economic development!”

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