CLEARWATER, Fla. — A California tech company is moving to the Tampa Bay Area, and hiring local people in the process in what the founders believe could become a trend.
"Hiring the right engineering talent is really important, but we really started to see how difficult it is to operate in the shadow of Silicon Valley when you're not a giant like Google or Pinterest or Facebook," says Sara Margulis, the founder of Honeyfund.com, a website that enables couples to crowdfund their dream honeymoon.
"So we were really having a hard time attracting the right tech talent and being able to pay them a wage that works for the company's economics as well as the employees," Margulis tells ABC Action News.
That's why Margulis and her husband Josh are moving their family and their company headquarters from California to Clearwater, Florida.
She says the choice came after a lot of market research.
"There's a lot of foundation for growing the tech culture and the tech scene in Tampa," says Margulis, who started the company with her husband in 2006 after crowdfunding their own honeymoon on their own the year before.
They believe young people crave experiences instead of stuff.
"They don't need more things for homes that they don't own," says Margulis from her new Clearwater office space. "This wedding registry solution is everything that they want," she says.
Milliennials also want jobs, and she's already started hiring young workers for their new Clearwater office, including Nicholas Surratt, filling an entry-level communications and analyst position.
Surratt says staying in Clearwater was much more preferable to him than trying his luck out in California, because he doesn't need to uproot his whole life, and the more reasonable cost of living in Clearwater compared to California.
"Having been born and raised in [Clearwater], just being used to it, and already not having to add to the stress of starting a new job and not knowing the area and all that," Surratt adds.
With young workers choosing Honeyfund in Florida over companies in California, Margulis believes her company's move might become a trend.
"If we're able to demonstrate that a small tech company whose looking for more opportunity outside of Silicon Valley can move somewhere and have a huge impact, and really impact the bottom line and affect the area, hire people, local people and make a difference, we're happy to be that, we're happy to take that risk," says Margulis.