Innovation sparks investments here
Published: Monday, June 3, 2013 at 3:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 11:13 a.m.
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The local innovation economy has been on a roll.
Boston-based mobile app developer Mobiquity announced in April that it was expanding into Gainesville and expects to create 260 jobs over the next three years with an office in Innovation Square. CEO Bill Seibel said they were interested in the pool of engineers to come out of the University of Florida.
Fracture will get an infusion of capital from the Naples-based Tamiami Angel Fund in a deal that could be worth more than $900,000. Fracture takes personal photos uploaded by customers onto its website and prints them directly onto glass. The company recently launched an online marketplace for artists' photos and other artwork.
Alachua-based biotech company Nanotherapeutics landed a U.S. Department of Defense contract that could be worth as much as $360 million over 10 years to develop manufacturing processes for drugs to treat bioterrorism and radiological threats. The company plans to build a $127-million manufac-turing facility in Alachua and add 150 jobs.
Two University of Florida Innovation Hub tenants recently landed deals. MonkeyWish.com's online gift registry is partnering with free online invitation service Evite and expects to add 30 to 40 jobs by year's end. Any of Evite's 31 million users can also use the online gift registry. Feathr received a $150,000 investment from the Tampa Bay chapter of TiE for its mobile app for event organizers.
AT THE CHAMBER
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce recently filled three of its top positions. Kamal Latham, who previously served as a diplomat to China, was hired as vice president of public policy. Deborah Bowie was named vice president of chamber development after working for chambers of commerce in Birmingham, Ala., and Albany, Ga., and also serving as chief of staff to the mayor of Birmingham. Susan Davenport is the new vice president of economic development after 12 years with the Austin (Texas) Chamber of Commerce.
AFTER THE SHARK:
CordaRoy's owner Byron Young appeared on ABC's “Shark Tank” where he accepted retail maven Lori Greiner's offer of $200,000 in return for a 60 percent stake in the bed-in-a-beanbag company. Young said they “tweaked” the deal between filming and airing, saying it was a good deal for both of them. He was planning to appear on Greiner's QVC show and they were in talks to go in Bed Bath & Beyond.
RETAIL REAL ESTATE REPORT:
World of Beer opened in Tioga Town Center. … The former Gainesville Hotel and Conference Center east of I-75 was demolished to make way for a TownePlace Suites by Marriott with a restaurant fronting Newberry Road. … McAlister's Deli moved into a remodeled space at 3236 SW 35th Blvd., several doors down from its old location in Esplanade at Butler Plaza. … Guitar Center signed a lease to move in next door to McAlister's. … Big Lots plans to close the store at 2340 N. Main St. in June and move into the former Albertson's at 2323 NW 13th St. the next day. … Shuck Restaurant opened at 1643 NW First Ave. behind The Swamp Restaurant. … CarMax was approved to build a used car superstore on North Main Street north of 39th Avenue. … The Floor Store of Gainesville opened in Thornebrook Village at 2441 NW 43rd St. … Genesis Chiropractic & Wellness Center opened at 4780 NW 39th Ave. in Magnolia Parke.