Why the Recent Influx of Tech Companies Now Call St. Pete, Florida Home

Taking a page from Dynasty Financial Services’ playbook, another fintech firm has chosen to relocate from New York to St. Petersburg, Florida. CrossBorder Solutions, a $1 billion firm that is a global leader in technology-driven tax solutions, joins the wave of tech-related relocations and expansions in the area.

Co-founder and CEO Don Scherer said St. Pete was the clear choice for a number of reasons, among them its growing tech sector – both established firms, like Dynasty, as well as startups have relocated from other parts of the country.

Scherer said they chose this location “because St. Pete has great people, great diversity and it’s the type of place you want to grow your company.”

“We knew that more and more companies were coming here, with it being a technology hub,” Scherer said. “We speak all the time to our venture capital and institutional backers. And they said right away that St. Pete, the Tampa Bay area, is where a lot of software companies seem to be heading, especially from the Midwest and the West Coast.”

“We think being here is a big draw, and not just locally,” he said. “It’s drawing people nationally. It has become a top destination in this new climate.”

The firm has already increased its workforce to 120, and Scherer shared that it plans to add 300 more people over the coming year. “We find really high-quality staff here,” he said. “It’s an amazing place for a company to scale.”

St. Pete’s Mayor Rick Kriseman welcomed CrossBorder Solutions, adding, “We have seen a significant influx of technology companies moving to the Sunshine City. This isn’t an accident. Our Grow Smarter strategy is working. It is essential that we continue to attract companies like CrossBorder Solutions that reinforce our commitment to the technology ecosystem here in St. Pete.”

A look at other company relocations

San Francisco-based company CodeBoxx, which trains developers via a 16-week coding bootcamp, also recently relocated to St. Pete.

“It’s happening and we’re really excited about it. I lived in California for six years and am going to miss it,” founder and CEO Nicolas Genest said, “but I’ll be really happy to move to Florida. One of the reasons we picked St. Pete is that a lot of companies in California are moving there. St. Pete is the new Austin. That’s how I see it, so I want to be ahead of the curve.”

PandaDoc, developers of an award-winning document automation platform, opened their East Coast headquarters in St. Pete in 2017 within coworking space Station House.

“We considered many cities, but after meeting with the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation, Station House and members of the greater St. Pete downtown community, the decision to come here was an easy one – the community is experiencing explosive growth,” said Jared Fuller, former PandaDoc vice president of Sales.

PandaDoc selected St. Pete because of its affordable cost of living, lifestyle and available talent. Fuller added, “St. Pete had the right amount of weird for us, it felt much closer to a young San Francisco than most Eastern cities.”

Chad Nuss, a serial entrepreneur, relocated from Silicon Valley to St. Pete, where his fourth startup, InsideOut, has seen rapid growth. InsideOut helps leading brands like Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft optimize their sales cycles. The company was founded in Sarasota in 2015, making St. Pete its home in 2016.

“InsideOut reflects everything that is St. Pete: diversity, equality, art, business, science, tech and the best quality of life in the country. Everything we wanted, we found here, and that didn’t stop with the economics because that’s Florida. It started with that work-life balance. The affordable accommodation in a fun place to be. A feel of a little town with all the benefits like a big town and a seaside. The city is poised for growth, and we couldn’t be happier to lead the charge for this great city," said Nuss.

The company’s St. Pete location gives it the ability to grow, InsideOut cofounder and CEO Christina Cherry said. “St. Pete provides an opportunity for us to build a team of individuals across a very eclectic mix of experience, knowledge, desire and aptitudes, and then be able to retain them. People are the most important asset this business has right now for growth, and St. Pete provides that for us.”

Nuss, who recently joined PandaDoc as senior vice president of sales, added, “We wanted to be here because it feels like the early stage of growth. It felt like the 1995 San Francisco when Netscape put out a little CD and we started building browsers. A lot of this is timing, that you can build here. There’s room to play, and room to grow, and room to matter.”

St. Pete, way more than the No. 1 beach in America. For more information on the benefits of relocating to the Sunshine City, contact St. Pete EDC President and CEO J.P. DuBuque at jpdubuque@stpeteedc.com or visit stpeteedc.com.

This article originally appeared in The Business Journals.

Learn more: See "7+ Ways Opportunity Shines for Tech Companies in St. Pete."

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