SecureSet in the News: Tampa is Turning Ybor City into Cybor City
From an office undergoing renovation on the second floor of an old Ybor City hotel, a high-tech visionary is on a mission: Turn the historic Tampa district into a cybersecurity hub and cash in on a growing industry that’s projected to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2025.
This mission even has a name, combining the location with the concept — Cybor.
“It’s like an economic development council for cyber,” said Adam Sheffield, 31, an Army veteran and cybersecurity guru who came up with the Cybor name and concept.
With the world now connected through the Internet, cybersecurity — protecting users and systems against attacks, intrusions and compromise — has spawned the need for hundreds of thousands of highly skilled workers. More than 15,000 jobs are open in Florida right now, according to Cyberseek.org.
Sheffield, who was an intelligence collector in the Army, developed the idea while working for the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at the University of South Florida.
The USF center, known as FC2, is doing a great job offering college-level cybersecurity training, Sheffield said, but he saw need to grow a larger community that already exists in Tampa.
After three years at FC2, he left to become director at the Tampa branch of SecureSet Academy, a Colorado-based company providing bootcamp-style, comprehensive cybersecurity education programs.
“Beyond holding classes, the SecureSet offices will serve the Cybor effort by hosting meetups, cyber and tech-related events. Skilled professionals will act as mentors.”
And within its 7,000 square foot space at the historic Don Vicente Hotel, recently redeveloped as office space, the company will offer a secure place for students to practice their skills, Sheffield said.
Cybor, he said, will be a centralized hub to bring together elements of the cybersecurity realm that often don’t interact.
The Colorado Impact Fund, a Denver venture capital firm that invested $4 million to set up the academy here, agrees that Tampa is the right place at the right time to capture a piece of the cybersecurity boom.
Said Bret Fund, SecureSet Academy’s chief executive officer, “I absolutely love it.”
Written by Howard Altman of The Tampa Bay Times, the rest of this story can be found at tampabay.com