Mobiquity to expand to Gainesville, create 260 jobs


Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.

Mobiquity, a Boston-area mobile app developer, announced Wednesday that it has chosen Gainesville for its expansion plans and expects to create 260 jobs over the next three years.

The company plans to open an office in May in Innovation Square, the area being redeveloped by the University of Florida and private developers along Southwest Second Avenue between campus and downtown Gainesville.

The jobs will pay an average salary of $49,000, according to the company’s application for tax rebates.

“The unique combination of highly educated students, graduates and professionals, and an ideal location brought us to Gainesville,” Bill Seibel, founder and CEO, said in a news release. “The University of Florida provides a rich pool of engineers that will allow us to meet the demand of our clients to create quality, enterprise-class mobile solutions, while generating more jobs right here in the U.S. It is a win-win.”

The announcement has been anticipated for weeks. A recruiter from the company was on campus earlier this week.

The company already has hired a few people for the Gainesville office, said Andy Norman, senior vice president of service delivery.

“Today’s announcement shows that Florida’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce continues to grow rapidly,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a release. “Strong support for STEM fields is enhanced by Florida’s top-notch higher education institutions — like the University of Florida.”

Mobiquity is the second major information technology company to announce its expansion to Gainesville in two years, drawn by UF engineering talent and the low cost of doing business.

India-based Mindtree opened its first U.S. software development center here last year and expects to create 400 jobs over four years. Mindtree currently has 75 employees with an office in the Ayers Plaza in Innovation Square.

Sears Holdings also announced in March that it would recruit 25 UF computer engineering interns to work over the summer at locations around the country before bringing them back in the fall to work at a new IT office in Gainesville.

Mobiquity was founded in 2011 by technology business veterans Seibel and Scott Snyder with headquarters in Wellesley, Mass., and has grown to 170 employees with offices in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, R.I., and Waltham, Mass.

Seibel said in a December interview with the Boston Business Journal that Mobiquity expected $20 million in revenue in 2012.

The company’s services are targeted to the top 2,000 public companies in the world. It has worked with more than 140 companies, including CVS, Fidelity Investments, MetLife, Putnam Investments and The Boston Globe. Projects have included a barcode scanner app for Weight Watchers, a searchable manual iPhone and iPad app for Garmin GPS devices, and a tablet Android app for the New York Post.

The Council for Economic Outreach, a sister organization of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, began recruiting Mobiquity in December with help from UF, Santa Fe College, Innovation Square, FloridaWorks, local government and Enterprise Florida.

In January, the Gainesville and Alachua County commissions approved tax rebates of as much as 208,000 each as a match for a $2.08 million rebate based on job creation through the Qualified Target Industry program, with the state responsible for the balance.

“Keeping our world-class talent produced by our educational institutions has been a main focus in developing our innovation economy, and the recruitment of growing, innovative companies like Mobiquity and the 260 jobs that it plans on creating exemplifies that focus,” said John Carlson, chairman of the council and CEO of Charles Perry Partners Inc.

Ed Poppell of Innovation Square said he is in discussions with Mobiquity about options for space and location.

“I suspect they will begin in space that will not be their final office destination given their desired growth plan and space requirements,” he said.

“They will be on a fast track to get started here.”

A celebration to welcome Mobiquity is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 8 in Ayers Plaza.

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