Plutarch wrote that “an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailments of all republics.”

The purpose of the Tampa Innovation Alliance is to address this imbalance by transforming the University area from “perceived blight” to economic might.

On October 26, The Tampa Innovation Alliance invited Richard Florida to speak to our 2nd Annual Innovation Gathering at the University Mall. Richard Florida is described by MIT as the most influential thinker of our time and is credited with dubbing the term “creative class.” He writes extensively on issues related to innovation, technology and income disparity between the creative class and America’s dwindling middle class and burgeoning lower income population. We asked Richard to visit the Alliance area because, while it is blessed with powerful anchor institutions such as the University of South Florida, Moffitt Cancer, Busch Gardens, Florida Hospital, and the James Haley VA Hospital, it is also centered in an area where 75% of the population has a combined household income of less than $50,000. To make the University area attractive to high wage companies we must focus like a laser on those earning below the median average wage. How? Education and job training in the tech industry for starters.

Our mission is nothing less than saving our Republic. What can you do? Engage the Tampa Innovation Alliance in our effort to build a vibrant tech talent pipeline between the community and top tech companies in Tampa Bay and across America.

On December 15 the Alliance will host a TechHire Talk, the first of many, at the USF Research Park. For more information or to register contact or call our office at 813-974-9212. This event is intended to help introduce TechHire to the businesses across Tampa Bay with a keen interest in seeing our tech community grow. We must extend this opportunity to those with the interest and desire to pursue a tech career but have missed out to date.

The White House reports that there are over 5 million available tech jobs across America looking for skilled workers ready to engage in the emerging digital economy. Steve Case, author of the bestselling book “The Third Wave” describes a technological revolution heading our way, where the “Internet of everything” impacts how we live, work, play, study and stay. And while many metros across America are recognized as thriving tech hubs, Tampa Bay still lags behind.

Thus, it is my mission to help make Tampa Bay a recognized top 10 metro for technology workers, a breeding ground for new startups, and a magnet for new top tech companies. It is also my mission to bridge the divide between the much sought after creative class and those who currently find themselves living pay check to pay check in the lower wage service economy. We must grow our tech community and begin to create the jobs that help address income inequality by expanding opportunity for all.

You can find me 24/7 on Twitter @Marksharpefl.

Join me on this quest. Better yet – Join us at and make it your life’s pursuit. Together we can help save the Republic, extend opportunity to all, and make Tampa the top destination for talent workers.

And Happy Holidays –


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