PETERSBURG, Fla.– (Feb. 1, 2018) – Presence, a campus engagement platform and technology startup based in downtown St. Petersburg, experienced tremendous growth in 2017 and is bringing its momentum well into 2018. Reuben Pressman, founder, and CEO of Presence, formerly Check I’m Here, announced his company more than doubled staff count from 15 to 32 in 2017.
“The technology renaissance that’s taken over St. Pete, combined with the city’s layers of culture, vast entrepreneurial talent, and supportive local government, has enhanced our growth and will allow us to continue to thrive here in the future,” Pressman said.
Pressman, who founded Presence in May 2014, raised more than $2 million in capital from local investors, as well as many from San Francisco and New York City. Today, more than 115 educational institutions from 35 states and three countries utilize Presence’s campus engagement platform.
Presence is a leader in St. Petersburg’s Data Analytics industry sector, a target sector designated by the Grow Smarter Strategy. The company is also utilizing the City of St. Pete’s Grow Smarter Job Creation and Talent Attraction Programs to stay competitive and expand at a faster rate. Presence has proven to be a major talent attractor for the Sunshine City, as 80 percent of its applicants are from outside the Tampa Bay area.
“Presence is making a major investment in our community and is an ideal partner to continue the development of our thriving technology ecosystem,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said. “The city is providing incentives designed for companies like Presence—such as the Grow Smarter Job Creation and Talent Attraction Program. We’re proud Presence, along with other dynamic companies, have solidified St. Pete’s place as a city where businesses and individuals are creating success every day.”
Presence recently launched a Diversity and Inclusion Program that advances company processes related to recruiting, staff onboarding, and customer interaction. The company is committed to sharing their findings with the community.
The Presence staff consists of former student leaders and student affairs professionals who hold the correlation between student leadership and achievement with high regard. Pressman, who is a University of South Florida St. Petersburg graduate himself, believes the high representation from local workforce leading his company, along with the involvement of local universities, has contributed to the platform’s success.
“Presence’s growth is a reflection of the transformation of St. Pete that has taken place over the last decade,” J.P. DuBuque, President of the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation said. “Reuben and his team embody the creative, innovative and business-friendly ecosystem of St. Pete where entrepreneurs are at the forefront of their respective fields.”
In the near future, Presence will rebrand to Open Presence with plans to release a new product that allows institutions to track, manage, assess and reward students’ co-curricular growth toward building essential skills.
About the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation
The St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation is a partner in the Grow Smarter Strategy to create awareness of the business climate in St. Petersburg and to invigorate the growth of jobs in the target sectors of marine and life sciences, data analytics, financial and business services, specialized manufacturing and creative arts and design.
Presence is a software platform that gives universities and colleges the power to manage, automate, and understand student engagement across the entire institution. The powerful system allows institutions of higher education to understand how student engagement impacts retention, graduation rates, and student learning and success. Since launching in 2014, Presence supports more than 110 institutions in the United States and beyond.