Monday kicked off the Tampa Bay Startup Week with Mayor Bob Buckhorn making a huge announcement: a Channelside redevelopment that will get a little help from Bill Gates and a huge cash injection.

The area, once blighted, will be redeveloped by Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, under a project that has the support of Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates. The Channelside redevelopment project comes with a $1 Billion injection and lots of promise for the economic health of Tampa Bay.

“You come back in five years, and you will not recognize downtown Tampa.”

-Mayor Bob Buckhorn

  channelside_redevelopment Tampa Bay is known to be a little mecca for startups and entrepreneurs (ahem) but Buckhorn says the biggest struggle for businesses in this city is getting capital investment. While there might be a good base for “traditional” investors – that is, people who like to be part of the building process – Tampa needs more of a base for venture capitalists. Visit Channelside on any given evening and it is surprisingly sleepy. Despite being sandwiched between downtown and the lively historic Ybor quarter, being the location of the Amalie Arena, the Aquarium and many high-end residential buildings, it has little to no nightlife to speak of. The Channelside redevelopment project should be an injection of business and life to this promising district. Tampa Startup Week has been in full swing and Type 2 has hit up many of the events to meet other companies, businesses, and to make new friends. For more information about schedule and tickets, visit¬†tampastartupweek.co  
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