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Since the inception of the IBM PC in Boca Raton in 1981, Florida has remained at the forefront of information technology innovation.  Florida is home to more than 25,000 IT companies that employ nearly 250,000 professionals.  InfoWorld, an online technology news service, recently ranked Florida third in the nation for technology jobs.

Florida is an ideal location for technology companies who benefit from the state’s large industry talent pool, competitive cost environment, and trade and manufacturing connectivity. IT companies in the state have access to:

  • A premier technology infrastructure that utilizes lightning speed data transmission and cutting edge connectivity to allow businesses to collaborate with partners, work remotely and access information from all over the world;
  • A high tech corridor that encompasses 23 counties, three research universities, multiple economic development organizations, workforce boards, technology incubators and industry partners that provides businesses access to top notch R&D support and a true technology eco-system from development to execution;
  • A growing network for capital investment through state grants and incentives, guaranteed loan financing and venture capital programs that give businesses the resources to expand operations and create new jobs.

Florida continues to grow as a world leader in the information technology sector with nine project announcements in the past year from TouchSuite, Citrix, Coastal Cloud, CLI Solutions, Mindtree, iSirona, Mobiquity, Prolexic Technologies and Photon-X.  These projects account for nearly 1,400 new jobs and more than $20 million in capital investment.

TouchSuite, a leader in point of sales and payment processing services, in February announced a company-wide expansion that will create 50 new jobs. The firm, which chose to stay in Florida despite lucrative offers from Texas, Montreal and Tennessee, ranks No. 1 on the Business Journal’s 2014 list of the Fastest-Growing Technology Companies by percentage of revenue growth and was recently named to Inc. Magazine’s Inc500 list.  TouchSuite currently occupies one of the original IBM buildings in downtown Boca Raton and houses 62 employees, 20 of which were added in the past year.  The expansion of TouchSuite’s product line to include applications for Android mobile devices is expected to create additional jobs in programming and business development.

“TouchSuite is part of Palm Beach County’s growing tech industry,” said Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of BDB of Palm Beach County. “Technology-centered entrepreneurs are finding that the area is a great place to start and grow businesses.”

Florida is the third largest exporter of high-tech products in the U.S.  High-tech goods are Florida’s leading export, accounting for $16.1 billion in sales in 2013 and encompassing 25 percent of the state’s exports.  Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) offers a variety of programs to help Florida companies enter the export market.  Services include export counseling, market identification plans, Team Florida trade missions and target sector trade show grants to offset the cost of attending international trade shows. One such opportunity for Florida IT businesses is CeBit in Hannover, Germany on Mar. 10-14. The show is considered the top event for the digital world and includes more than 4,000 exhibitors from more than 70 countries.

Accusoft, a world class provider of document, content and imaging solutions, attended the CeBit show in 2013 as part of EFI’s Florida pavilion and will attend again this year. Rick Scanlan, Director of Sales Engineering said, “CeBIT is our primary event to meet with customers and prospects in Europe. We have increased our German business 10 fold over the last seven years because of our attendance at the show.  During that time, our Florida office has tripled in size.  We plan to participate in CeBIT in 2014 and continue to grow our European business.” EFI will host eight companies at this year’s show, many of which would not attend without EFI’s presence and assistance.

Florida’s IT strengths are diverse and range from photonics to mobile technologies, to communications equipment, to modeling and simulation, and more.  Whatever a company’s technology needs, Florida can provide a solution.