Steve Hagenbuckle stands on a stage while playing a guitar and singing into a microphone.
Steve Hagenbuckle performing with Good Intentions at Live Fest.

Setting the stage for success

Steve Hagenbuckle’s University of Florida experience laid the groundwork for his future success in business and real estate investing.

There wasn’t a moment to spare during Steve Hagenbuckle’s (BSBA ’85) time at the University of Florida. In the early 80s, the young student spent most of his time focusing on the future and what he could do now to become the leader he aspired to be.

That included a full load of classes focused on computer science and engineering as well as almost 36 hours of work per week to fund his education. Most of his jobs were in security at night clubs and music venues like The Islands, Great Southern Music Hall, and Midnight as well as events at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center where he got to work with hometown musical heroes like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Bo Diddley and comedians like Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, and Rodney Dangerfield, among many others. 

Robin Williams and Steve Hagenbuckle

Hagenbuckle with Robin Williams circa 1983.

The combination of class days learning about computers and work evenings instilling the mentality of putting in effort to achieve all set the stage for his future career success.

“In the early 80s, as personal computers were just coming out and the future was wide open for software development’s role in optimizing business, it seemed as though the future for automation was very significant, leading to countless opportunities,” he said. “Looking back on this, it was, in fact, the case. I have always been opportunistic and forward thinking.”

Hagenbuckle’s educational foundation got him his first job as a computer programmer for Travenol Laboratories in Orlando, but it was his drive to achieve that got him an early promotion into sales and sales management. That experience led him to become an officer at the public company Clinicom by age 29, and by age 30, he started Techware Consulting, a technical consulting firm, with fellow Gator Jeff Roschman. From there, Hagenbuckle’s career accomplishments continued to snowball.

Hagenbuckle would go on to start and sell multiple companies, including the 155-employee Techware Consulting to Ciber (CBR – NYSE), Collegiate Images to the privately held XOS, and under the Roschmans leadership, Fort Lauderdale’s Landmark Bank N.A. to Centennial Bank (HOMB – Nasdaq).

At the same time, Hagenbuckle began an effort to follow in his father’s footsteps and became a principal investor in real estate. He then founded TerraCap Management, a private equity fund manager of institutional capital and high net worth capital, which he still leads today.

“My current focus and long-term focus will be in real estate investments,” he said. “My father managed real estate investments for major family offices, which included the Rockefellers and Bresslers, when I was young. He was my best friend, best man at my wedding and instilled in me many quality values that I cherish today.”

TerraCap focuses on investing in commercial real estate, like apartment complexes, industrial properties and some office and hospitality spaces. As with his previous businesses, Hagenbuckle’s efforts have helped grow the initial fund’s assets under management 100-fold to its current sixth fund with holdings in Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Dallas, Austin, Denver and Phoenix.

Hagenbuckle is proud of TerraCap’s growth, but notes that success like he’s had doesn’t happen overnight and he advises prospective real estate investors to be patient.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” he said. “Real estate is a slow-moving industry, and it takes patience. Act on your instincts and learn from previous investments and cycles. You need to be a principal investor to learn the most valuable lessons of what it can feel like to lose your own money and what can be learned from that.”

Stemming from beyond his real estate investment experience, Hagenbuckle has found that leading by example and practicing what you preach are the best things a leader can do to help their team achieve greatness.

Steve Hagenbuckle and Bo Diddley

Hagenbuckle with Bo Diddley circa 1983.

He also notes that there are two crucial traits leaders who want to build multiple businesses must possess.

“Regardless of the industry, transparency and integrity are key to success and reputation,” he advised. “Reputation is everything along with grinding it out, of course. The harder and smarter you work, the luckier you will be. Don’t overcomplicate things – life and business can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be.”

As someone who does indeed practice what he preaches, Hagenbuckle has built a steadfast reputation among the national real estate investment community. In fact, Hagenbuckle’s leadership caught the eye of Kelley Bergstrom 12 years ago, who invited Hagenbuckle to join the Bergstrom Center Advisory Board. The choice to accept Bergstrom’s invitation was an easy one.

“Kelley Bergstrom is an amazing man with a long list of successes,” Hagenbuckle said. “He has become a good friend of mine over the years and is on our Advisory Board at TerraCap. It has been a great experience and we have since hired eight Gators, most of who have graduated from the [Nathan S. Collier] Master of Science in Real Estate program.”

While Hagenbuckle has indeed become the leader he aspired to when he first started at the University of Florida, he hasn’t forgotten the early work that helped him get to where he is today. Hagenbuckle’s time working security at many music events and interactions with internationally renowned performers inspired his pursuits outside of the office.

Hagenbuckle not only plays guitar and sings in the band Good Intentions, but also is the founder and executive producer of Live Fest, a large outdoor music festival in Naples, Florida. Since its founding in 2019, Live Fest has sold out every year. In December 2022, Good Intentions honored Tom Petty at a tribute performance during Live Fest where Hagenbuckle sang hits like “American Girl,” “Free Fallin’,” and University of Florida favorite, “I Won’t Back Down” to 11,000 people.

“I enjoy music and live performances,” he said. “All embedded in me during my college years at the University of Florida.”

Steve Hagenbuckle performing on stage. Photo from behind looking out onto a large crowd.

Hagenbuckle and his band Good Intentions honored Gainesville-local Tom Petty at tribute performance in front of 11,000 people last fall.