Innovate March 2016

Building Success in Greater Gainesville


Written By: Josh Steppling

Tera Insights was founded in 2012 with a mission of providing complete data analytics and cyber security. Since then, UF associate professor and company founder Alin Dobra has developed the large-scale data processing company into a thriving enterprise that has relocated to Innovation Square with intentions of expanding its space, being closer to the University of Florida, creating more jobs and capitalizing on zoning incentives unique to the area.

“It was a good family choice and a good professional choice,” Dobra said of moving to Gainesville after earning his Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell in 2003.

Tera Insights provides data processing and data security on a pioneering level. In less than a couple of hours, Dobra said, the company’s software can process billions of webpages and hundreds of billions of links. Advancements like this are creating a buzz and are generating opportunities for the company. The newest opportunity for Dobra’s Tera Insights: Its ability to harness more clients in its new office space in Innovation Square.

“Because of preferential zoning,” Dobra said, “if you want to do any work with the government, or government contractors, it becomes a big plus if you are in Innovation Square.”

The incentives that companies like Tera Insights are taking advantage of include a competitive sole pricing advantage opportunity on some contracts, as well as a pricing evaluation preference. The incentives are aimed at boosting companies in Innovation Square, which leads to the creation of more jobs and economic activity in the surrounding city. “Economic incentives are bringing all types of companies, not just technology companies, to Innovation Square,” said Gainesville City Commissioner Craig Carter. “A wide variety of organizations are able to capitalize on the incentives, and we are noticing the collaboration between them is creating something very special.”

Tera Insights is one of those companies looking to make the most of the incentives and the many other advantages at Innovation Square. It is currently working with other companies in the research area and has projects in the works with the University of Florida. Its close proximity to the University of Florida is also a valuable recruiting tool for attracting high-quality labor.

“UF provides us with a candidate pool of premier talent,” Dobra said. “It is a great recruiting resource for us. Students and recent grads alike resonate with the startup culture, making it easy to recruit and keep talent.”

The company’s expanded office space, owned and managed by Trimark Properties, is one of many newly renovated commercial properties in the area making room for cutting-edge companies like Tera Insights that are increasingly drawn to the area. Dobra wanted new office space that would allow for a more collective, positive environment as his company grew in the community

“When these innovative companies like Tera Insights move to Innovation Square, you can really see the economic energy they bring with them and how it affects the surrounding area,” said John Fleming, managing partner of Trimark Properties. “It’s a win-win situation because as they grow, so do the service providers and community around them.”

The bolstering of the local economy is a predictable effect of companies like Tera Insights moving to the area looking for quality employees, an ideal location and economic success. With companies of all sizes and stages of growth aligning interests in the area, the future of Tera Insights in Innovation Square is a positive indication for Gainesville.

For more information about Tera Insights, contact Thomas Samant, VP of Business Development, at [email protected]

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JOSH STEPPLING graduated from UF’s Warrington College of Business in 2013 and currently works for Trimark Properties to publicize news and events unfolding in Innovation Square (the research district between UF campus and downtown Gainesville). He’s written for many publications around north Florida.

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