Florida’s bet on Technology, Private Equity pays off for the state

Published on January 23, 2018 | By Margarita Alfaro

Technology companies and other growth businesses that have received funding from a state investment program have created nearly 17,000 Florida jobs in the nine years since the program has been in operation.

The companies and private equity firms that have backing from the Florida Growth Fund program also have made $545.9 million in total capital expenditures, according to a new report from the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.

The Florida Growth Fund is an economic development tool that invests money from the Florida Retirement System. OPPAGA, a state watchdog agency, reviews the program annually.

As of June 30, the program had two separate funds — the first established in 2009, followed by a second fund set up in 2014 — and together they had invested in 41 technology and growth companies, as well as 31 private equity firms. Investments are spread across 13 Florida counties.

The growth funds had $138.7 million invested in five Tampa Bay counties as of June 30, up $10 million, or 7.7 percent, since the same day a year earlier. The majority of the investment was in Hillsborough County, where $93.7 million was invested directly with companies and also private equity firms. The rest of the local investment went to growth and technology companies, and was split between Pinellas, which got $15.2 million; Sarasota, $13 million; Polk, $10 million; and Manatee, $6.8 million.

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Source: Margie Manning  –  Finance Editor, Tampa Bay Business Journal

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