July 29, 2014
Innovation Hub

More than two dozen companies work out of Innovation Hub.

Photo: Eric Zamora

Innovation Hub

Innovation Hub Incubator

Ocala-Marion County Business Incubator

The Power Plant

Photo: Florida Trend

The Villages

More than 3,000 building permits were issued for construction at The Villages last year.

Photo: Daily Sun

Dickey's Barbecue Pit

Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Starke

« RETURN TO THE 2013 ECONOMIC YEARBOOK

North Central Florida

Lilly Rockwell | 4/9/2013
North Central

University spinoffs, tech startups and job growth

Effects of nuclear plant shutdown

Gainesville/Alachua County

» The Innovation Hub incubator in downtown Gainesville is flourishing more than a year after it opened; current tenants and “graduates” have created more than 200 jobs, says hub Director Jane M. Muir. “Gainesville has reached a critical mass where you would consider it a thriving downtown tech start-up scene,” says Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce and Council of Economic Outreach. Investors are paying attention. They pumped more than $80 million into Gainesville firms last year. Information technology company Mindtree opened its first U.S. delivery center in Gainesville in November with 47 hires and the promise of 400 jobs within five years. Momentum 2015, the council's five-year economic initiative, has already created 810 of its projected 1,200 jobs two years into the plan.

Business to Watch

» SumTotal Systems: Human resources software company SumTotal Systems surprised Silicon Valley when it left there to move its headquarters to Gainesville in 2010. It already had a foothold in the area because of its 2006 purchase of Gainesville-based MindSolve Technologies. “It made the most business sense to relocate to Gainesville,” says SumTotal spokeswoman Kim Jamerson. “It had an attractive tax base and really good talent pool coming out of UF and Santa Fe College.” The company has hired more than 200 at its Gainesville office with plans to hire 100 more this year.

Alachua Population: 256,428
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 0.98%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
14.91% 8.69% 37.70% 26.74% 11.97%
Per Capita Income: $37,467

MSA Dec. 2012 Dec. 2011 % Change Jobless Rate
Gainesville 128,186 126,936 +0.9% 6.2%
Ocala 122,062 117,824 +3.6% 8.9%
Source: Agency for Workforce Innovation

Homes - Single-family, existing-home sales
MSA 2013 Sales 1-Year Change 2013 Price 1-Year Change
Gainesville 1,876 +15.6% $157,750 -2.6%
Ocala 4,235 +4.6 $90,000 +12.5%
Source: Florida Realtors

Tags: North Central, Economic Yearbook

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