Collision Conference 2022

Fostering Pinellas County’s
Tech Industry Through Shared Partnership

Three people standing in front of a trade show booth

Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) partnered with the City of Clearwater and St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to attend the Collison Conference in Toronto, Canada. With 35,000 attendees representing 130 countries, over 1,500 startups, and almost 800 investors, Collision is one of the largest tech conferences in the world.

“This was an excellent way to raise the profile of the St. Pete/Clearwater area as a market for technology companies to locate and grow, as well as a destination for tech talent,” explains PCED Business Development Manager Andrea Falvey. “The Tampa Bay area’s tech industry employs more than 85,000 workers and produces more than $15 billion in annual economic impact – we want the world to know that we have the resources, talent, and support to fuel every tech company’s growth.”

The world-renowned conference offered opportunities for participants to network and learn about the tech industry and provided lead generation for economic development organization attendees. PCED’s Andrea Falvey, Denise Sanderson, Director of Clearwater Economic Development, J.P. DuBuque, St. Petersburg Area EDC President & CEO, and Meghan O’Keefe, Business Development Manager at St. Petersburg EDC, jointly operated booth E329, informing visitors of the unrivaled business opportunities to be found in Pinellas County, Florida. The Pinellas booth proved to be one of the most popular booths and the hosting team stayed busy through all three days of the event.

Meghan O’Keefe attests, “Collision was a great way to partner together to showcase what our county’s tech industry and workforce has to offer,” and adds that “being in the Toronto market presented a special opportunity to speak to many people who have already been to St. Pete and other Pinellas cities on vacation and might now consider our area for an additional location or headquarters. It was also terrific to see Spontivly, a company that recently relocated from Canada to St. Pete: they introduced us to representatives of other companies at Collision, providing a firsthand testimonial to our top-notch business environment and giving us the opportunity to reach potential clients in a more personal way.”

Denise Sanderson was impressed and pleased with the breadth and quality of interactions she experienced at Collision. She explains, “I’m still receiving emails and communicating with some people who may become vendors and others who may one day choose this area as a place to locate or expand their business. I was incredibly impressed with the number of women – particularly the number of young women – involved in technology/tech education. It was wonderful to see them so engaged, innovative and self-confident!”

Enterprise Florida, Florida’s primary entity for trade and export development, also attended Collision 2022, along with Florida Power & Light, the largest energy company in the U.S., magnifying Florida’s presence at the conference. Boasting more than 30,000 high-tech companies and over $10.1 billion in annual R&D spending, Florida ranks number one for high-tech employment in the southeast, and is the third-largest tech industry in the U.S.

By the end of the conference, PCED and its partners had connected with hundreds of business representatives and returned with new insights into the tech industry, as well as prospects for potential future business in Pinellas. Our presence helped build global awareness of the area’s prowess as a business community, and our team gained valuable information on fostering economic development in Pinellas, such as promoting our talent pipeline and expanding an ecosystem that supports pre-venture and startups. Participation in Collision helped further the momentum of Pinellas as a tech hub and built on the area’s technology cluster, anchored by companies like KnowBe4ARK InvestNielsen, and TD Synnex.

“Innovation is flourishing here,” explains PCED Director Dr. Cynthia Johnson. “Over the past year, our focus on fostering business innovation has resulted in numerous tech companies choosing to locate and grow in Pinellas County. Attending events like Collision helps expand the reach of our Ideal Business Climate message to many more businesses. Additionally, it allows us and our partners the opportunity to share firsthand the benefits of locating in Pinellas, and to tout our winning combination of a pro-business ecosystem, robust and diverse workforce, and unparalleled quality of life.”

Pinellas County – The Ideal Business Climate

Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) works with existing businesses to encourage expansion and seeks to attract new companies with high-wage careers to Central Florida’s Gulf Coast. Through investment tools, professional courses and business counseling sessions, trade missions to open new markets, as well as local, regional and statewide partnerships, PCED fosters a pro-business climate in Pinellas County, Florida.

Pinellas County Economic Development
The EpiCenter, 13805 58th Street North, Suite 1-200
Clearwater, Florida 33760

(727) 464-7332 direct
(888) 759-5627 outside of Florida
(727) 464-7053 fax