steven fageGrowing up in Rhode Island, Steven Fage could typically be found tinkering with all sorts of electronics – from stereos and cameras to computers and cell phones – so it’s no surprise that his first job out of college was programming industrial robots as an engineer at Yushin America and later as an electrical controls engineer with the Canon Corporation.

“I loved being able to take things apart, figure out how they worked and then put the pieces back together again,” explains Fage. “I was always curious, and I still am to this day. I think its one of the reasons I’ve been able to find some success in my field.”

Although Fage enjoyed working for Canon, he often found himself dreaming of going out on his own and starting his own business. Consequently, it wasn’t too long before he took steps to make that dream a reality.

“One day, I was flipping through a COSTCO magazine and read about a young woman who received her degree in entrepreneurship, so I decided to Google entrepreneurship programs, and the one to catch my attention was the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of South Florida in Tampa, which at the time was ranked number 11 by the Princeton Review,” Fage says. “I had been to Tampa Bay once before on vacation, but I never imagined I would have the opportunity to live there.”

Fage graduated with his Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from USF in May of last year, and today, he is the founder and principal of 5 Nines Automation, LLC. The manufacturers’ representative agency represents companies such as Yushin America, Conair and Maruka USA, which produce industrial robots and plastics manufacturing equipment.

“I have the opportunity to represent my clients exclusively in the state of Florida through my company’s business, and it also allows me to travel across the entire nation. I get the chance to experience different cultures from throughout the country; however, I would not trade living in Tampa Bay for one second,” Fage explains. “There are few regions in this country that can top the quality of life in Tampa Bay. The beautiful beaches, the warm weather, the nice people, the business-friendly environment and the low cost of living – I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Opportunity. Lively. Ambitious.

Those are the three words Fage would use to describe the Tampa Bay region.

“If you have enough drive and motivation, you have the ability to make an impact in Tampa Bay” says Fage.