Technology Takes Hold
Lee County is home to tech companies like Testimonial Tree, a customer-review management platform, and Flightdocs, which offers maintenance tracking, inventory management, and flight operations software for the aviation industry. Fort Myers–based iGPS has created a wearable, GPS-enabled smartwatch for kids that’s currently sold online and will soon be available at a yet-to-be-announced U.S. retailer, and is beta testing a product for the senior market. Other local resources that have assisted growth include the entrepreneur mentoring organization Fusion Pointe and Bonita Springs coworking space Two39 Work. “It’s a good place to meet with investors, mentors, and other industry-related entrepreneurs,” says iGPS co-founder Dallas Vasquez.
New cybersecurity company Cigent chose Fort Myers as its home partly due to its relationship with longtime local data recovery firm CPR Tools.
“Cigent has found Lee County to be an excellent location for a high-growth cybersecurity start-up,” says Cigent CEO Brad Rowe.
Cigent recently won SWFRTP’s 2019 Innovention Award, which is presented to companies developing innovative and creative technology solutions. The two other finalists for that award, Vectra Digital and VeraData, are also making a name for themselves in Lee County and beyond. Fort Myers–based Vectra Digital uses artificial intelligence to provide clients with data-driven digital marketing services. It’s a new arm of Stickboy Creative, which was founded in Fort Myers more than a decade ago and creates custom software and mobile apps for companies in Southwest Florida and outside the area.
VeraData uses AI and machine learning to help nonprofits and companies improve their fundraising and marketing efforts. The Fort Myers firm, founded in 2007, works with more than 300 large charities plus a number of commercial organizations in multiple countries.
It’s opened a satellite office in the Ukraine. But VeraData is also looking to lure more highly educated talent to Lee County, which founder and CEO Michael Peterman considers a great place for a tech-based business like his. “What you see emerging in Lee County is kind of unique,” he says.