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University of Tampa Aims To Increase Women in Technology

The University of Tampa (UT) is joining the national effort to attract, increase and retain the number of women in technology fields by participating in The National Center for Women and Information Technology’s (NCWIT) Pacesetters program.

Launched in 2010, the Pacesetters program is designed to recruit untapped talent pools of technological women as well as retain women at risk of leaving their organizations -- commonly referred to as “net new.” The 2013-2015 initiative includes a two-year fast track program and a collaborative network of senior executives from 20 universities and 14 companies working to add almost 2,000 women to the U.S. technological field.

“Twenty-five percent of IT professionals are female,” says Natasha Veltri, assistant professor of information and technology management and lead on the NCWIT Pacesetters program at UT. The goal of the Information and Technology Management (ITM) Department at UT is to increase female enrollment in the management and information systems program (MIS) from 23 percent to 50 percent.

To heighten that effort, UT’s ITM professors are practicing “in-reach” -- connecting with students during early college years, learning about their career and technological interests, and introducing them to classes, opportunities, industry connections and mentors so that students can explore the field.

By 2020, an estimated 1.4 million technology jobs will be added to the workforce. With 56 percent of women in computing and technology leaving jobs at the mid-career level, women in technology represent a significant value-add to companies.

“We encourage students to learn computing and pursue careers in this field; this way we can address the IT shortage and create a new pool of qualified, educated workers,” says Veltri.

Veltri also reaches to her network of IT professionals who have been successful within the field to serve as role models to students. “There are many female professionals who are passionate about this issue and who want to serve. We can support students considering a career in IT and can share our experiences with them by using our business connections.”

ITM works closely with the business community in Tampa Bay including Tampa Bay Technology Leadership Association and Tampa Bay Technology Forum. They also have an advisory board that keeps updated with the industry’s needs in order to prepare students for workforce leadership.

Each month, the Office of Career Services lists several openings for IT positions. “We don’t have enough candidates to fill those roles,” says Veltri.

“The innovation in the IT field has been tremendous in the last four years, and for us to continue the innovation, we need the right supply of talent. For us to provide our region with the right talent, we have to grow this locally. That way we can attract new employers.”

ITM is additionally working to increase interest and career development for females in technology by partnering with Tampa Bay’s technology professionals and utilizing UT’s Office of Career Services to introduce students to internships and career opportunities. ITM also provides a hands-on technology and computing platform to middle and high school students through their Get Smart program.

“There is a pipeline of talent, and we can contribute by developing local talent to grow Tampa Bay's industries, businesses, and IT field in particular.”

Visit the website for details on all of the University of Tampa’s information and technology management degrees. For more information on the Pacesetters program, contact Natasha Veltri via email or at 813.257.3970.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Natasha Veltri, University of Tampa

Tampa Health Institutions Study Novel Therapy For Heart Failure Patients

Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute and Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute affiliated with the University of South Florida debuted a new gene therapy that may enhance the body’s stem cell response after injuries that cause heart failure, such as heart attacks.

Heart failure typically occurs when the muscles of the heart are weakened and cannot sufficiently pump blood throughout the body. The new break-through therapy uses regenerative medicine to treat the disease by directly injecting a fragment of DNA into the heart. The procedure uses an investigational device that looks like a screw that is literally screwed into the inside lining of the heart in 15 different sites. Each time it is screwed in, it injections a plasma that starts a process that promotes the regeneration of heart tissue by encouraging the body to deploy more stem cells to the injury site.

The process is well mapped out before and during the procedure using leading-edge technology. It has been well-studied in labs and was administered to the first two patients in February at Florida Hospital. The trial spans 10 sites across the United States.

Targeted therapies such as these have the potential to reduce injury and restore heart function in many heart failure patients.

"It’s totally different than anything we’ve ever done before," says Dr. Charles Lambert, medical director at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute. "So far, we’ve had good luck with this device."

The two patients are doing well and have shown no complications. They are being followed for the long-term to see how they perform in cardio and functional tests.

The STOP-HF trial study, which will enroll 90 patients nationwide, is the first of several similar trials involving the USF Heart Institute and the adjacent Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Dr. Charles Lambert, Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute

BMR Preparatory Academy Grows, Adds Teachers, Tampa

BMR Preparatory Academy opened its doors in January to provide a creative and tailored learning experiences for children. Just three months later, they are adding new members to their team: a pre-kindergarten facilitator, a social studies and physical education facilitator, and after-school and summer camp counselors.

BMR Prep is a nonprofit independent private school that aims to enrich the educational experience through activity and project-based lessons.

“We use tablets instead of textbooks and truly digital animated content. We are pioneering the way we look at education and are changing the way we educate our students,” says Amy Scott, co-founder and assistant head of school.

Currently located in Town ‘N’ Country, BMR Prep serves pre-kindergarten to fifth grade students. Their growth plan includes additional campuses in St. Petersburg and Tampa, near USF and Ybor City. Their goal is to begin serving preschool to eighth grade students and add up to 15 staff members.

The school enrolls 108 students, creating a smaller class size and allowing a focus on relationship building among facilitators, children and parents. The customized level program is designed to accommodate different learning levels, which “takes the pressure off the student, and keeps them engaged and challenged,” says Scott. The environment integrates technology and creative thinking with building skillsets and the ability to problem-solve.

Core subjects are scheduled for 75 minutes, totaling 45 hours of extra instructional time per core subject. Facilitators implement a traditional teaching atmosphere and lay the course ground work for the first 15 minutes; children move to digital curriculum for 30 minutes, and end in projects and activities to reinforce the lesson. “It allows creativity to really express itself,” says Scott.

Facilitators create program curriculum from concept to completion and are responsible for teaching an entire subject to all students. “We want students to have an experience from someone who is strong in that particular subject.”

The school has also partnered with Kids Invest USA, a financial literacy program that teaches the value of money and allows students to earn money throughout the school day, make purchases, and invest in "stocks" on Wall Street.

Facilitators should have a bachelor’s degree in the subject they facilitate as well as classroom experience. Candidates may send resumes via email or view the website for additional information.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Amy Scott, BMR Preparatory Academy

Mosaic Wins Top Award For Corporate Philanthropy

The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), which draws together corporate executives to address worldwide societal challenges, presented its 2013 Excellence Award in Corporate Philanthropy to Mosiac for providing sustainable farming education and assistance to developing countries.

The Mosaic Villages Project began in 2008 when concerned employees noticed how the global rise in food prices was affecting small-holder farmers.

"We felt that with our expertise and market presence, we could do something to help them," says Chris Lambe, director of social responsibility for Mosaic, a Minneapolis-based corporation that produces fertilizer from phosphate mined east and south of Tampa.

The project assists farmers in Guatemala, India and eight African countries break the cycle of poverty through skill development and sustainable farming practices. Mosaic’s agronomists and soil scientists visit villages to analyze the soil, build the nutrient base and teach simple modern farming techniques.  

The result is improved livelihood. Because the efforts are so concentrated, results literally occur within one planning season -- five to six months after the program begins.

"It's a difference between them not having enough food to eat, to actually having a food surplus," says Lambe. "They can not only feed their families, but also sell the food and have some income."

The program has had a tremendous success rate, with 90 percent of the farmers graduating from the 3-year program. Perhaps the most notable success is long-term societal change. The African villages have seen a 40 percent reduction in stunting (young kids not growing the correct height and weight because of malnutrition).

The program has also become self-replicable, with farmers in surrounding villages experiencing similar successes by observing.   

"Social change is occurring,'' says Lambe. "It's not just about the program anymore.''

Mosaic's employees in the Tampa Bay region are involved in the program in areas such as product production and quality, inventory management, shipping, logistics and the transportation of fertilizer from Florida to the African villages.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Chris Lambe, Mosaic

New Accelerator Program for Tech Businesses, Tampa

Budding entrepreneurs in Tampa Bay now have an opportunity to apply for a vast toolkit of resources to help them achieve their goals.

Newly formed Tampa-based ICT Funds launched its first accelerator program for new and emerging companies in the internet communication technology (ICT) sector.

The program is unique in that it is open around the clock, with no deadlines or formal business plan requirements. Anyone with an idea who wants to start or grow a business can apply by submitting a Linkedin page, recommendations and simple scope sheet of their goals and idea.

In exchange for a negotiable amount of equity in the business, companies receive assistance with design, product development, marketing, legal assistance and office space at Cowork Tampa. They also assist the businesses with obtaining capital.

"Anything and everything they need to get their business started -- we’re going to help them," says Chris Arnoldi, founder of ICT Funds and Uhsome, which is providing marketing assistance for the companies.

The first three companies in the portfolio include:

MyAreaNetwork, which owns and operates 80 local news and nightlife websites across the U.S. The flagship site, 813area.com, provides nightlife, dining and entertainment news in Tampa Bay. ICT Funds is providing design and finance assistance.

GoToGuy, a free peer-to-peer recommendation website. ICT Funds will assist with product development and consulting.

Ndorsd, which connects athletics with product placement. ICT Funds is helping with app development and consulting.

The program's goal is to assist entrepreneurs who have solid ideas and commitment to follow-through, in hopes that they will do well and continue to grow Tampa Bay’s tech community.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Chris Arnoldi, ICT Funds

Medi-Weightloss Clinics Expands, Hiring In Tampa

Since Medi-Weightloss Clinics first opened in 2006, the brand has swiftly grown to franchise 86 locations in 22 states and recently announced a Master Franchise Agreement to open 10 new locations in Dubai. Recognized in Entreprenuer’s Franchise 500 and the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies, the company plans to continue its global expansion to England and Canada within two years.

“We are excited about the tremendous opportunity internationally,” says Founder and CEO Edward Kaloust.

The company is now hiring for several positions in Tampa Bay, including an operations manager of special projects, internet marketing specialist, graphic designer, registered dietician, compliance specialist and administrative assistant.

Medi-Weightloss Clinics provides a medically-based weight loss program tailored to each individual and focuses on weight loss solutions that transition to healthy lifestyles. Physicians take patients on a phased journey that includes a medical examination; personalized weight loss, nutrition, and exercise goals; shopping lists and nutrition education; and weekly consultations. “We want patients to stay in wellness for their entire lives,” says Rhandi Emanouil, senior director of marketing and pr.

The goal for Tampa’s corporate office is to provide an optimum level of support for franchisees that help patients directly and to support the business development department in creating additional franchised locations that serve patients one-on-one.

Tampa’s corporate culture embodies a close-knit atmosphere that promotes from within while motivating employees and franchise owners. CEO Kaloust encourages loyalty, hard work and innovation and coined the term PLU -- People Like Us.

“You turn to good, trusted friends who share common interests and who care about growing the brand,” shares Emanouil. “Everyone here has a passion for changing lives and motivating people. We understand that weight loss is more than just an aesthetic thing."

The company also offers corporate wellness programs to companies through worksite wellness workshops and has created PowerPlay dedicated to weightloss for adolescents as well as Acute DM, a weight loss program specific to patients diagnosed with diabetes.

Interested candidates may respond by emailing resumes. Franchise opportunities are also available and may be viewed online.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Sources: Edward Kaloust and Rhandi Emanouil, Medi-Weightloss Clinics

Discuss Vision For Tampa's Future At New Open Mic Events

Urbanism on Tap, a new three-part event series, launches March 12, 5:30 pm at Sono Café at the Tampa Museum of Art.

The events present an opportunity for raw, interactive, community-driven conversation about current issues shaping Tampa Bay area cities. They will begin with a brief presentation on a relevant topic and then an open-mic style talk that will give attendees a chance to come together and talk about what they’re most passionate about.

The "on tap" metaphor portrays the desire to have the urbanism discussion ever flowing and always available.

"We wanted to create a place where people can come and talk about what urbanism is to them in a readily accessible environment," says Erin Chantry, executive committee member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) Tampa Bay, who is jointly hosting the event with Urban Charrette

The first event in the series, "It’s About Us! Our Plan," will focus on understanding Tampa’s vision for the future and how it compares to other vibrant communities. The discussion will start with a summary of the InVision Tampa Plan, followed by a lively discussion.

"We need to have the ability to take ownership and an invested interest in how our city moves forward,'' says Chantry. "We need to make a plan for how we, as the general public, can do our part to make our city reflect our values and goals."

CNU Tampa Bay and Urban Charrette plan to launch an online portal after the event in order to keep the conversation going.

The second part in the series, titled "What About Them? Rival Cities," will look at how other comparable cities are becoming more vibrant and how we compare. The third and final part, titled "What Happens Next? Actions for the Future," will focus on action steps for the community to take the vision forward.

RSVP online here.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Erin Chantry, CNU Tampa Bay

March Madness In Tampa Is All About The Arts

Mayor Bob Buckhorn officially proclaims the entire month of March as Gasparilla Arts Month in Tampa.

It all kicks off the first weekend of the month with the Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts March 2 – 3 featuring  traditional fine arts, such as ceramics, glass, pottery, jewelry, sculpture and photography, and two brand new, non-traditional mediums showcasing a different side of the arts.

Exploring Pirates

"PIRACY REDUX: Re-examining the Myth of the Buccanneer," looks at the contemporary vs. traditional idea of the pirate. A diverse group of artists will interpret and re-contextualize the idea of piracy in our local culture, whether it be in the traditional sense or the more modern piracy of copyrighted information.

The pod installation will feature art, video, dance and music in Kiley Gardens through the Sunday. The installation is presented by The Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts and curated by TEMPUS PROJECTS and Hampton Arts Management.

"It’s a new venue for art in Tampa, a cultural middle ground," says Tracy Midulla Reller, creative director for TEMPUS PROJECTS.

Kiting Tampa Bay

Kites will also be flying high, along with miniature kite displays featuring aerial photography produced by rigs attached to kites that take photographs while in mid-air. If the weather is right, a 252-square-foot kite will make an appearance.
The project is organized by Kiting Tampa Bay, a club with more than 50 members across the region who will also be on hand with information about kiting.

"Our goal is to share our passion for kiting with others," says Kelly Nunes, co-founder of Kiting Tampa Bay.

Kiting Tampa Bay was founded in October of 2011 with the motto "Just Friends Flying Kites." They chose the arts festival for a kite display because of the two organizations’ mutual goal of supporting children’s cancer charities.

Other Arts Events

Additional arts events in Tampa during the month of March include:

The Gasparilla Music Festival the weekend of March 9. This year's bands include Best Coast, Dr. Dog, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Dawes, Lord Huron, Ozomatli, The Meter Men with special guest Page McConnell, The Iguanas, Applebutter Express, Ozokidz, The Hip Abduction, Nervous Turkey and more.

The Gasparilla International Film Festival the week of March 19-24. Film showings take place in downtown, South Tampa and Ybor City.

Details about all the events can be found on the websites for the Arts Council of Hilsborough County and Visit Tampa Bay.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Sources: Kelly Nunes, Kiting Tampa Bay, Tracy Midulla Reller, TEMPUS PROJECTS

Week-long Event Showcases Tampa Bay's Craft Beer Scene

More than 70 breweries, restaurants, retail establishments, bars and festivals across the Tampa Bay region are coming together for 2013 Tampa Bay Beer Week, March 2 to March 10.

Now in its second year, the collaborative event began with the goal of showcasing Tampa Bay as a vibrant craft and specialty beer destination. 

"We actually have a thriving craft beer community in this area," says Gary Kost, executive director for Tampa Bay Beer Week. "There are some local breweries making world-renowned beer. It’s becoming a bigger culture."

The event is managed completely by volunteers. Participants include breweries, distributors, restaurants and even home brewers. Last year there were 150 events during the week. 188 have been scheduled so far this year, with over 200 expected.

On March 2, Florida Brewers Guild hosts their Annual Beer Festival at Centennial Park in Ybor City, where the Best Florida Beer Championship winners will be announced. The awards ceremony will be held March 3 at the 14th Annual Brewers Ball at the Cuban Club.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will also kick off the week by tapping a ceremonial keg at Tampa Bay Brewing Company on March 2nd.

At the conclusion of the week, Cigar City Brewing in Tampa will host Hunahpu’s Day on March 9, featuring the annual exclusive release of the brewery’s Hunahpu Imperial Stout beer.

Other events include tastings at liquor stores, restaurant events featuring full four and five-course meals and food truck rallies -- all with lots of opportunities to sample local brews from Tampa Bay.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Gary Kost, Tampa Bay Beer Week

Alpha House of Tampa Adding Residential Assistants

Alpha House of Tampa is expanding its staff and seeking residential assistants to provide residential care, vocational preparation and childcare assistance to Alpha House residents. Alpha House is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving homeless pregnant women and mothers with young children in crisis by providing safe housing and professional skills. Residential assistants will help Alpha House create safe, sustainable and effective futures for individuals in crisis.

The organization provides parenting classes, counseling, vocational training, spiritual support and other tools necessary for residents to become self-sufficient. They are now adding additional residential assistants to their roster and are also hiring a senior case manager to support their growing initiatives. Residential assistants will provide planning, scheduling and 24-hour residential support and care for 23 maternity residents.

Residential assistants play a core role in providing care and developmental assistance to Alpha House residents. "They are with the residents and help with maternity care, appointments, and transportation needs,'' says Rachel Luis, communications director.

Residential assistants should have experience working in human services and will be required to complete DCF background clearance and fingerprinting as well as receive and maintain CPR and Basic First Aid certification.

Several positions are available to help Alpha House achieve its goal of providing around-the-clock residential support: Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm to midnight and 3 pm to 11 pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 4 pm to midnight and 11 pm to 7 am.

Candidates may apply at the agency or may send resumes via email, via fax to 813.876.0657 or via regular mail to: Alpha House of Tampa, Inc., Attn: Barbara McCormick, Program Director, 201 S. Tampania Avenue, Tampa, FL 33609.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Rachel Luis, Alpha House of Tampa

Florida Institute Of Government Seeks Program Facilitator, Tampa

The John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of Government at the University of South Florida is seeking to contract a Community Real Estate Development (CRED) program facilitator and lead trainer to lead their annual summer real estate development course that offers a certificate in community real estate development.

The FIOG at USF provides a variety of high-quality programs, services and technical training to local and state governments, city officials and the general public in order to stimulate the local economy through community development initiatives. In 2006, the late Tom Zuniga created the C.R.E.D. program to promote effective community leadership while providing the technical resources necessary for organizations to lead successful community development projects.

“Since 2009, the FIOG at USF has administered the program,” says Angela Crist, FIOG’s director. “Zuniga passed away last fall and had championed the program until now.”

The Institute is now seeking a contractor who can lead the program, identify potential funders, make community connections, and recruit class members.

“We want someone who is an excellent teacher who can also understand the audience,” says Crist. The program has a wonderful history of community real estate development, and the FIOG is looking to continue it for many years to come.

The program also has a steering committee comprised of local government as well as private and nonprofit community development practitioners that work closely with the FIOG and the program facilitator to support the program’s needs. “It is important that the facilitator interact with the steering committee and the FIOG,” says Crist.

Because the program provides the tools necessary for participants and practitioners to execute affordable housing and community-based real estate development projects, the facilitator must be “plugged in, keenly aware, and up to date on what’s going on in the market regionally, statewide and nationally,” says Crist.

“It’s all about community real estate development. Once practitioners have the tools to carry out the projects, then it benefits everyone.”

Interested candidates may view the full position description and may send resumes to Becky Clayton by February 20th. For information on obtaining certification through the Community Real Estate Development program, call 813.974.9627.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Angela Crist, Florida Institute of Government at the University of South Florida

Tampa Bay Youth In Florida Robotics Competition

A group of 10 Tampa Bay middle and high school students plan to show off their teamwork and technical skills at FIRST Tech Challenge’s Florida State Championship on March 2 in Daytona Beach.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge
is an annual robotics competition for students in grades 7 to 12. The challenge is run by FIRST, a the national organization that fosters youth interest in science and technology.

Teams of up to 10 students are provided with a robot kit and asked to design, build and program their robots using a game scenario that changes from year to year. The students are judged based on robot performance, an engineering notebook which documents the design and building process, a team video and overall teamwork.

Team Duct Tape, sponsored by Learning is for Everyone, is a group of 13- to 15-year-olds with the philosophy: Character before Completion. Typically based out of just one high school, Team Duct is unique in that it includes students from public, private and home schools across the Tampa Bay region. 

Teams receive the challenge in September of each year. This year's challenge, called "RING IT UP," involves a tic tac toe game, where the robot has to grapple plastic rings and score them on a peg board. At the competition, teams are randomly paired with another team who could end up being their opponent in the next round. In addition to the technical skills required, students must learn to collaborate and stay professional throughout the process.

"These are important skills that we want kids to develop as we grow our tech community," says Terri Willingham, president of Learning is for Everyone.

The team will compete against 24 students for various awards and prizes, including scholarships. To financially support the  team by helping subsidize travel costs, visit the Team Duct Tape website.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Terri Willingham, Learning is for Everyone

 

Young Inventors Win For Creativity, Innovation, Tampa

Tampa Bay K-12 students showed off their ingenuity at the USF Young Inventor Competition on February 11 at the Patel Center at the University of South Florida.
 
The event is an annual tradition honoring Thomas Alva Edison’s birthday. Now in its fifth year, the competition was founded by patent attorney Anton Hopen and his daughter Anna to inspire creativity and innovation among Tampa Bay youth.
 
The event has grown tremendously, from 80 entries at inception to almost 600 this year. Volunteers, including attorneys, executives, patent holders and inventors, narrow down the entries to determine 10 finalists, who ultimately present their invention in front of judges during the final competition.
 
Inventions are judged on creativity and originality, quality and persuasiveness / value, benefit to the public and marketability.

"They really look at the whole package," says Kari McDermott, assistant to the director at Innovation Express, the nonprofit organization that organizes the event.
 
This year's winner was middle school student Mica Jadick, for her cereal sifting device that filters out the crumbs in the last bit of cereal. The second place winner was George Seits, for his French fry condiment holder. Third place went to Katie Warren for her Boo Boo Baboon, a plush toy that holds a cold pack around a child’s arm or leg after an injury. Other finalists included Keely Karnes, who received the Outback Top Trademark Award for HEAR-RINGS, audio ear buds that combine with earring jewelry. Jonathan Ullom also received special recognition for his device that safely clears clogs of grass from lawn mowers. 
 
First, second and third place winners received cash prizes for themselves and their schools, and all participants received passes to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).
 
The competition currently involves students from Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. The goal is to eventually expand to include more schools within these counties.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Kari McDermott, Innovation Express

BizTech Innovation Summit Showcases Technology In Business, Tampa

A showcase event in Tampa aims to teach businesses how to leverage technology to enhance performance and increase innovation.

Tampa Bay Technology Forum’s (TBTF) third annual BizTech Innovation Summit takes place March 14 at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa. The summit and expo will bridge questions from the business community as well as showcase some of the cutting-edge technologies being developed and used in and around Tampa Bay.

"The objective is to marry business with technology," says Heather Kenyon, president and CEO of TBTF.

Keynote speaker Murray Wright, president, the Americas for Tech Data, will speak about the future of technology and why it’s important to business.

About 400 participants are expected, including business owners, entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to learn more about using technologies such as VOIP or mobile applications to become a competitive differentiator.

Exhibitors will display innovative emerging technologies such as:

The University of Central Florida’s Office of Technology Transfer will have a four-foot-tall iPhone display to demonstrate apps such as Combat Lifesaver, a card game that reinforces learning and procedures that help save lives on the battlefield, and a virtual retail employee training program.

Rapid Prototyping Services will have a 3D printer on site to demonstrate the creation of 3D mechanical prototypes used for cad modeling, appearance models and tooling.

PowerPatent Inc. will demonstrate ProvisionalBuilder, a patent-creation software tool that allows inventors, entrepreneurs, startups and universities to draft and file high-quality patent applications.
 
"We want to promote the idea of using local companies, forge partnerships and raise the bar for everybody," says Kenyon.
 
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Heather Kenyon, Tampa Bay Technology Forum

St. Pete Tech Firm Grows, Adds 18+ Jobs

For two years in a row, Crystal Clear Technologies has been on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. Since the company started in 2002, it has grown from 5 to 32 employees -- and is still growing.

Crystal Clear Technologies (CTT) is a certified woman-owned small business that provides IT services and data communications to government agencies. The company's services in strategic product sourcing, professional services and IT enterprise help to support mission-critical objectives of the U.S. Department of Defense. The IT Enterprise division is adding several new positions in 2013. Additionally, to support the growth of contractual needs for that division, the plan is to add program managers and administration to its team.

"It is likely that we can grow to 50 or more employees pretty quickly,'' says COO John Lescarbeau.

In the recent years, CCT has focused on maintaining business relationships coupled with strategic partnerships to achieve organic growth. CCT and its mentor partner SRA International recently received the 2012 GSA Mentor-Protégé Award designed for large businesses to support and mentor small businesses like their own.

"We will be able to do about $25 million in revenue in 2013, if not more,'' says Lescarbeau. "We want people to understand who we are and the value that we bring.'' CCT's continued growth, he says, has been a combination of valued relationships and partnerships, consistent performance and innovative hiring.

"We've brought some really talented people into the organization'' and provide an innovative, fun environment where people want to work, he says. CCT recently expanded to a high-tech, 5,000 square-foot building on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg and plans to keep its existing space for future company growth.

For information on CCT and hiring opportunities, visit the company website.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: John Lescarbeau, Crystal Clear Technologies
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