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Mark Sharpe

Tampa Innovation Alliance

The 15,000 acre area surrounding the University of South Florida's Tampa campus has been called "the University Area", "University West," and, derisively, "Suitcase City," due to the number of transients.

But no matter what you call the region, which is bounded by Interstate 275 to the west, I-75 to the East, Busch Boulevard to the south and Bearss Avenue to the north, it's home to thousands of residents, hundreds of businesses, and a few dozen of Tampa’s most recognizable organizations and sites.

To the members of the Tampa Innovation Alliance, however, it's is an untapped gold mine of potential.

"The purpose (of the Alliance) is to make this location recognized around the world as the destination for innovation, creative activity, business enterprise," said Alliance Executive Director Mark Sharpe. "It’s to make this place a place you want to live, work and play."

Dalia Colon / WUSF

Tuesday's Florida Matters: The Convention included plenty of politics. Here's what you missed: