St. Pete Economic Development Corp. Celebrates Innovative Companies in the Sunshine City at 6th Annual Meeeting

This week, the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation celebrated six years of economic impact at its 6th Annual Meeting.  Since its founding in late 2016, the St. Pete EDC has:

  • Announced more than 2,000 jobs
  • Opened 351 job creation projects for companies considering relocation/expansion in St. Pete
  • Assisted 58 companies with relocations, expansions, or openings
  • Made nearly 650 local business visits

Relocation Success Stories

St. Pete EDC President & CEO J.P. DuBuque characterized economic development as a “team sport,” supported by the efforts of dozens of private and public organizations and individuals. Several companies that relocated their headquarters shared why they decided to “Become St. Pete”:

  • Specialized manufacturer Haddy announced the opening of its headquarters and microfactory in the Warehouse Arts District earlier this year. Haddy creates sustainable furniture. Co-founder and CEO Jay Rogers discussed the importance of AI-powered manufacturing in creating jobs, particularly for STEM students.
  • Phospholutions founder and CEO Hunter Swisher also discussed sustainability; the agtech company, which opened a St. Pete Hub in 2022, helps plants absorb phosphorus more effectively,
  • At the meeting, Relic Tickets announced its relocation to St. Petersburg from Lakeland. Relic Tickets offers a "smart ticket" system built on the blockchain for event venues. The benefits for the venue and ultimately the Artists and their fans are notable including fraud & scalping prevention, unique data collection, and a whole host of pre-and post-event benefits. Co-founder and CEO Hunter Abramson said Relic decided to make the move to St. Petersburg for many reasons. The innovative spirit is powerful and addicting; the workforce is talented and accessible, the quality of life is spectacular-on the water, the city is walkable, and warm; and the business benefits and proximity to a major airport all spoke to the co-founders’ needs. All that said, the most heavily-weighted reason, was the community. Relic felt welcomed, understood, and supported every step of the way.

2022 Highlights

  • Messaging: The EDC also commissioned a perception study measuring how out-of-market executives and site selection consultants perceive St. Petersburg. The organization developed some strategic messages that can be found in the Become St. Pete brochure.
  • Fintech: The EDC collaborated with USF and Tampa Bay Wave on a collaboration that launched in 2022, and the St. Pete EDC worked closely with Tampa Bay Wave on Fintech | X, their first fintech cohort, which drew 16 companies from all over the world to St. Pete and highlighted the City as a great place for business and for fintech in particular. The next fintech accelerator will take place in St. Pete in the fall of 2023.
  • Strategic Planning: The organization also began a strategic planning process and will release it later this year.

Become St. Pete BrochureClick here

2023 Officers

In addition, the St. Pete EDC confirmed its officers for 2023:

  • Chair: Marcus Greene, Market President, Truist
  • Vice Chair: Bill Kent, President, George F. Young
  • Secretary/Treasurer: John Moore, President, Bayfront Health
  • Immediate Past President: Danielle Ruiz, Director of Economic Development Industry Recruitment, Duke Energy
  • General Counsel: Bob Warchola, Partner, Shumaker

The Mayor of St. Petersburg Ken Welch, St. Pete Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Chris Steinocher, and St. Pete EDC President & CEO J.P DuBuque round out the organization’s Executive Committee.


Plans for 2023 

St. Pete EDC Marcus Greene noted that the strategic plan will outline how the EDC can expand on its success and reflect current market trends. Over the past six years, the EDC has built a strong public-private partnership that leverages government and corporate investment for more impact than either sector could accomplish alone. For more about 2022's impact and 2023 plans, download the EDC's annual report.

Annual Report/Strategic PrioritiesClick here


The event was made possible by a generous group of sponsors:

Host sponsor: Vinoy St. Petersburg

Badge sponsor: W3 Insurance

Opening reception sponsor: St. Petersburg College

Sunset reception sponsor: St. Anthony's Hospital/BayCare

Video sponsor: JL Video

And all of the St. Pete EDC's work is supported by a group of more than 65 businesses, the City of St. Petersburg, and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Our Investors understand they are investing in the future of the St. Petersburg community by expanding the business base, increasing the number of well-paying jobs, and contributing to the growth of the size and purchasing power of the local market.

About the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation

The St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation helps innovative companies discover, explore, and choose St. Pete for relocation or expansion. The St. Pete EDC promotes the Sunshine City as a place where innovators thrive in a vibrant and authentically warm business community. When companies Become St. Pete, they provide opportunities for the people of St. Pete, bringing new jobs, innovation, and investment.  The St. Pete EDC is a private-public partnership supported by more than 65 leading Investor organizations. For more, visit

Attendee PhotosClick here

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