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Pinellas auto merchandiser gets backing

The StartFast Venture Accelerator in Syracuse, N.Y. made a follow-on investment in LotMonkey. LotMonkey, headquartered in Redington Beach, offers an automotive merchandising system for car dealership to help them sell more cars faster. LotMonkey took part in StartFast’s 2018 summer accelerator program. Right Side Capital Management also took part in the funding.

Bloomin’s worker pay

The median salary at Bloomin’ Brands was $10,453 in 2018, the Tampa company said in a new proxy filing. Bloomin', parent of Outback, Bonefish, Carrabba’s and Fleming’s, said the median employee worked part-time. CEO Liz Smith, with total pay of $7.2 million, made 691 times more than the median worker. It was the first time Bloomin’ had to disclose the CEO pay ratio.

Rise of the Rest kicks off tour in St. Pete

The Rise of the Rest Bus Tour, an initiative by Revolution’s Steve Case to spotlight promising startups in areas outside of the major tech hubs, will start its day-long May 1 visit to the Tampa Bay area in St. Petersburg. Station House will host a private kickoff event and discussion with local leaders.

Jabil adds J&J sites

Two medical device sites previously owned by Johnson & Johnson now are integrated with Jabil Inc., as part of a larger deal between the two companies. Jabil (NYSE: JBL), a St. Petersburg-based electronics manufacturing services company, also said that it posted $67.6 million in net income, or 43 cents a share, on revenue of $6.1 billion for the quarter ended Feb. 28.

HCA buys stake in Galen

HCA Healthcare is buying a stake in Galen College of Nursing and will become the majority owner when the deal closes. Financial terms were not disclosed. Galen provides nursing education to about 1,200 students in St. Petersburg at its new campus opened last fall. HCA (NYSE: HCA) is the largest for-profit hospital operator in the Tampa Bay area.

Work in tech? Tampa Bay Tech has a question for you.

Tampa Bay Tech is working hard to grow our technology ecosystem. They need your help to articulate why Tampa Bay is a great place to work in tech.  Share your thoughts by clicking here

Where Tampa-St. Pete ranks in credit card use

Tampa-St. Pete residents use 28.4 percent of the available credit on their credit cards, lower than the national average. The Tampa metro ranked No. 43 among the 50 largest U.S. cities in a study from CompareCards.com. The average utilization rate was 30.2 percent. Most experts recommend that consumers keep their rate no higher than 30 percent.

Clearwater medical device maker posts sales gains

Apyx Medical Corp. (Nasdaq: APYX) had $16.7 million in revenue from continuing operations in 2018, up 63 percent from 2017. The  loss from continuing operations was $9.5 million, compared a $13.7 million loss in 2017. Clearwater-based Apyx, formerly Bovie, sold its legacy business last year and now focuses on medical devices in the cosmetic and surgical markets.

FIBA company gets buzz for work at Salesforce Tower

Technology from SiteAware, one of the companies in the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator's current cohort,  powered the drones that were used to inspect Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in San Francisco. SiteAware's software automates the drone flights and digitally scans building photos to identify potential problem areas. The company was profiled in the March 11 San Francisco Chronicle.

CenterState sets date to close National Commerce purchase

CenterState Bank Corp. expects to finalize its $850 million purchase of National Commerce Corp. on April 1. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System just signed off on the plan, and it won shareholder approval from each bank last week. CenterState, based in Winter Haven, has 10 offices in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Florida adds jobs at slower place

Florida added 8,300 jobs, less than half of the state’s typical monthly gain in the past year, Wells Fargo Securities said. The manufacturing sector showed surprising strength, employment in the leisure and hospitality sector was unchanged, and healthcare and social assistance showed an uncharacteristically weak 3,300-job loss, the report said.

St. Pete Innovation District recruits businesses for job-shadowing

The Innovation Scholars Career Exploration Program at USF St. Petersburg matches incoming first-year students with companies and professionals in downtown St. Petersburg to offer experiences in the professional world. Mentors have until April 30 to apply, with a July 30 deadline for student applications. More here.

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