IT IS INSPIRING TO SEE PEOPLE GO “ALL IN” WITH A STARTUP BUSINESS. OFTEN TIMES. TO DO THAT, THEY MUST QUIT THEIR DAY JOBS AND RAISE A LITTLE MONEY TO GET THEIR BUSINESS OFF THE GROUND.
The first round of financing is typically too small for traditional venture capitalists, and has the highest risk. The availability of this kind of financing is critical to the development of a tech ecosystem.
It should also have the highest potential economic reward.
First Round Tampa Bay is a group of local investors who came together in 2016 to fund a local startup called Phonism, LLC through convertible notes. They formed a single purpose Florida LLC called First Round Tampa Bay – Phonism, LLC for that purpose.
The investors include local lawyers, software developers, real estate developers, doctors, business people and tech entrepreneurs. Where possible, the investors mentor and share their advice and contacts with the startup in order to help it grow.
While Phonism was the first investment, the idea is to create a process that can be easily replicated to fund other startups with no set cast of investors.
First Round Tampa Bay will continue to seek out and fund additional local tech startups in the Tampa Bay area.