Super Bowl Ad Spotlights Randels, Tampa Bay Region

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY FEB 5, 2021

People told Joy Randels you couldn’t build a successful tech company in Tampa Bay. She’s built six of them, and now will appear in a Super Bowl ad to explain what the region has to offer.

With the Super Bowl coming Sunday to Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee put together a marketing real to lure tech investors to the region. Randels, CEO and founder of New Market Partners, will be one of four industry entrepreneurs spotlighted in the ad. A five-minute version can already be viewed on YouTube and a one-minute cut will broadcast on Sunday. Randels never expected to get that kind of a call but was excited to take part in the opportunity.

“It’s a great way to show what’s really been happening here,” Randels said. “I’ve been part of this community for 20 years, and it’s changed a lot since I have been here.”

The Sarasota tech illuminary also had a voice in who else was showcased. She noted to the committee the importance of highlighting the racial and gender diversity of the industry here. It was at her suggestion the ad included Jacqueline Darna, CEO and medical inventor of NoMo Nausea. “Most people don’t know this but Florida is the No.3 state for female founders,” Randels says in the ad. Darna is also Latina, while Randels is half Native American. The ad also spotlights Ryan Neese, a black managing partner for Next Play Capital (and a former Tampa Bay Buccaneer).

Another thing Randels asked the committee to highlight was the Sarasota area’s academic resources, particularly the Cross College Alliance. “In Sarasota, a student can come here and cross-enroll,” she said. “The fact a student can enroll in New College and take a design course at Ringling College, and a Big Data course at New College and a cybersecurity course at USF, you can’t do that at Stanford. You can’t do that at Berkeley."

While the region may not be top-of-mind when people think about tech, that can change and the ad could play a part in that, Randels hopes. That should benefit the entire region, not only Tampa; she noted the drive from north Tampa to Venice is about the same drive as San Francisco to San Jose. “Nobody complains that you have to cross a bridge in San Francisco or in New York,” she said.

She credits the Tampa Bay Partnership, which serves eight counties including Manatee and Sarasota, with ensuring this Super Bowl marks a chance to showcase the entire Tampa Bay region, not just the City of Tampa.

Screenshot from Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee ad.

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