Canadian Tech Firm Relocation to St. Pete Spurred by ‘Overwhelmingly Great Resources and Support for Startups’

What incentivizes a company to relocate? Spontivly co-founder Marissa Huggins notes that “Incentivization is about support, which takes shape in so many ways. It’s more than just money.” The Canadian-based community management platform wanted to move to the United States to be closer to the bulk of its customer base, 90% of which is in the United States. Spontivly uses analytics to help companies drive engagement and gain insights about their communities by centralizing a company’s suite of community tools like email, event management, CRM, website, and social media into one platform. The tech firm recently announced the successful close of their first investment round and the relocation of their company headquarters to St. Petersburg, Florida.

Co-founders Huggins and Anthony Nagendraraj looked at Atlanta, Seattle, and Los Angeles before discovering St. Pete while participating in the Tampa Bay Wave’s TechDiversity cohort in 2021.  “Support such as access and introductions to people is a very important incentive,” says Huggins, “and the St. Pete and Tampa Bay community has such overwhelmingly great resources—they know exactly what startups need.”  Both founders cite the connections and warmth they received from Tampa Bay Wave (startup support), Embarc Collective (startup support), and the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation.

“After Dr. [Richard] Munassi [cohort director at the Tampa Bay Wave] introduced us to Meghan O’Keefe [business development manager at the St. Pete EDC), she toured coworking spaces with us, introduced us to other tech entrepreneurs, connected us with the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, gave us information about the City’s Grow Smarter incentives for small businesses creating jobs in targeted industries like ours, and put together information about potential school options for our children, among other things,” said Nagendraraj. “I also was able to attend an EDC event with other companies that had recently relocated to St. Pete to learn about their experiences moving their businesses here, and I was so impressed with their stories.”

St. Pete Embodies a Thriving Tech Community

“Most of all,” says Nagendraraj, “St. Pete embodies a thriving tech community that’s really growing. We’re in the business of helping organizations build community, and we’re looking forward to being part of the St. Pete community.”


Spontivly, which also announced they had closed a six-figure funding round, will initially move its core team of four people to St. Petersburg, with plans for aggressive growth. They anticipate hiring to 65 employees within the next three years. The company recently placed in the top 15 at the 9th annual Startup of the Year Summit.

J.P. DuBuque, president & CEO of the St. Pete EDC, says, “Spontivly brings people together by harnessing the power of data. The company represents data analytics targeted as a Grow Smarter industry combined with the community-building mindset of St. Petersburg. We couldn’t be more pleased to have them joining us.”

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