A locally launched tech company has become one of Innovation Square’s newest tenants.
Application development firm Seventh Compass recently moved from its office space in the Seagle Building to 417 Innovation Square.
CEO Matthew Donovan said he decided to make the switch because he wanted to position the company at the heart of the emerging technology community.
As an established company, he said it can also offer guidance to new startups in the area.
“Innovation Square had a tech appeal that felt right for our company at this time,” he said.
Along with the move, Donovan said the company plans to expand by hiring four to six more team members in the next 18 months.
Seventh Compass, now an 80-person company, started out with a staff of three. It broke into the market in 2006 when it launched its group messaging tool, txtsignal.com. Since then, it’s developed packages including an app for youth leaders that includes group texting, background checking, video training and event management tools.
It also created an app that alerts Florida farmers about extreme weather conditions.
“During freeze conditions… it is critical for farmers to water their crops through the coldest part of the night,” Donovan said. “But if the farmer over-waters their crop, they not only threaten the crop but use water resources from the Florida aquifer.”
The app sends text-message alerts at four different stages. It lets farmers when to prepare to water, when to turn on watering, when to prepare to stop watering, and finally, when to stop watering, Donovan said.
“Ultimately, the science was there,” he said, “but the communication piece is where we played a role in the collaboration.”
At the opening ceremony for Innovation Square’s new road network on June 13, Donovan was a keynote speaker.
At the ceremony, Ed Poppell, UF’s vice president for business affairs and economic development, said partnerships among the city, university and tech companies — such as Seventh Compass — are helping the community take on new dynamics.
“Gainesville is transforming from a college town to a university city thanks to these partnerships,” he said.