Downtown becoming magnet for technology companies Ocala com

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Downtown becoming magnet for companies

DS MediaLabs’ Gary COO, left, Ben Stahlhood, center, Shane Wooten, second from left and Dash, President, right on pose in their Ocala, FL Friday afternoon, December 28, at the Power Plant. DS Media is one of the 14 incubated businesses at the Power and they did more than $1 in revenue last year.

Modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 at p.m.

th!nk Technologies Powered by LSeven is one of a growing of technology firms setting up downtown, creating a high-tech hub in central core.

We love it said Matthew Villella along with partner Oleson, moved the company to 101 NE Ave. five months

You have a corridor, a little thing, going on.

th!nk is just up the street from Atheros Inc. and is in close to the Florida Institute for Human and Cognition (IHMC) and Ansafone Centers LLC not to mention the Ocala Plant, which is a business that nurtures fledgling a number of which have a thrust.

Sitel Worldwide although not directly downtown, is in the central business core.

Downtown is the most professional of Ocala, and there’s a nucleus of professionals, CPAs, attorneys and offices, Villella said.

And downtown gives him exposure to professionals, which could be for his business.

th!nk Technologies which has been in business March 2011, is an outgrowth of an company: Ocala IT. And th!nk a company that manages networks for organizations, is still a on the move.

Just this it merged with LSeven a Fort Lauderdale information support company, to form Technologies Group Powered by

They are large, Villella about LSeven. It’s having a big brother helping to you along. They want to be prevalent in North Florida, and helps them.

LSeven has a operating center with 20 and 10 engineers.

It gives us a lot more on the support side, Villella When our customers call, have 20 technicians waiting to them with their

And the merger will allow the to grow in other markets. here, we are looking at going places throughout the state Tampa, Jacksonville, Villella

Right now, th!nk has six employees in Ocala and 35 in Fort

In addition to managing businesses’ or computer networks with a of certified engineers and technicians, also offers cloud in which they move a network and server onto data center.

The company’s center is located at Ocala the city of Ocala’s utility.

The we can keep it local, the better it is, said. I don’t want to my money to other carriers town.

Villella said the has done well.

We have in size in the last two years, he Any kind of business or organization is a client. Our cloud hosting is of unique to the area, so we offer different for our clients.

The city of with its 400-mile fiber-optic stands ready to assist in the information business, like Technologies.

It’s the information said Alan Phelps, the telecommunications manager. Everybody has about that for so many but it’s here now.

He 10 years ago people feared the Now, its use is so widespread that, if the goes down, everyone is how they will do their

Phelps said th!nk has its equipment at the city’s Network Center and another company, Phone, is considering that as well. We have several of actually, Phelps said potential customers of the city’s

By using the city’s fiber to move data, the companies do not to build their own networks. in that type of business can use our network as a highway, Phelps We see these companies starting to and really do something with it.

The telecommunication system is self-supporting. It money to operate and grow the from its customers not from tax

Phelps said the number of companies coming to town is

We expect that to continue to as more people get into the and more people need information, he said.

The Ocala Plant, an incubator for startup regardless of their focus, is a number of technology companies within its facility.

For instance, DS which develops mobile applications, is continuing to grow.

are doing a huge project for glasses, Power Plant Kevin Reed said the company, which sells sunglasses and goggles.

Asked why he thinks technology are moving downtown, Reed Smart, talented people to be around other smart, people.

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But he said there is reason to encourage the development of companies.

The software technology developed here is being to the products being developed by (non-technological) companies, Reed Because of the technology corridor, we the full range of very employers here in Ocala.

He many companies are technologically even though that is not primary business.

The Power itself, which has received from both Marion and the city, is downtown because it out of a city-owned building there and the city provides the electric and fiber-optic connections.

Marc the city’s executive director of development, said IHMC, and Qualcomm Atheros formerly as Intellon all wanted to be downtown.

the city gave each of companies incentives, he said if companies found other that were preferable, the would have helped the anyway because the city job creation. He said the city not steer companies downtown, but it point out the advantages, such as a credit on water and sewer fees if the company does because it would be located in a Redevelopment Area.

Sitel, a global company operates an inbound call is located in the North Magnolia area, north of the center of That company chose a on North Magnolia Avenue enough to accommodate its projected 600

There are limited places could fit, Mondell But they also wanted to be in the business core.

On the other Intellon, now known as Qualcomm a company that provides and wired technologies for the mobile, computing and consumer electronics wanted to be downtown because of the Mondell said.

The company was located near the airport, and had to get in their cars to go to lunch. downtown allowed them to together to lunch.

Amenities a draw for IHMC, too, being close to universities was important selling point.

know that their want to be in an urban environment. want to be in a place where, if work late, they something to do in the evening, Mondell

He said the same is true for a call center that inbound and outbound customer

They recognized that is a special place, Mondell

Mondell said the city has not a special program to attract companies, but it certainly has a desire to them. He said the city is to increase the number of businesses because it wants the downtown to be

Obviously, we want them they have a lot of expendable These people are paid salaries and, more when you have these people in close proximity, the for spin-offs is greater, Mondell

Contact Susan Latham at 867-4156 or

DS MediaLabs’ Melendez, COO, left, Ben CEO, center, Shane CFO, second from and Michael Dash, President, on.

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