In 2018, Tampa Bay Wave celebrated ten years of leadership in Tampa Bay’s growing tech startup community. For the past decade, we have made it our mission to foster collaboration, drive innovation, and become a leading advocate for technology startups in Tampa Bay. As a “for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs” organization, we serve a multitude of companies as we work toward our mission of building breakout technology companies in Tampa Bay.
Community is key to success in our region.- Linda Olson, Founder and President
Tampa Bay Wave began in 2008 as a meet-up of local CEOs and founders of technology startups. Founder and current President/ CEO, Linda Olson set out to provide a resource to an under-served population of business leaders looking to innovate and grow.
Linda recently said, “Community is key to success in our region.” She believes that building a community around technology and innovation was the foundational first step to what Startup Genome has recently recognized as an ambitious and growing ecosystem.
Ecosystems require many contributing elements and a diverse set of ideas. We serve this need by focusing on collaborative partnerships and diversity. With our recent TechDiversity accelerator program in collaboration with the Nielsen Foundation, we have had the pleasure of working with ten companies from around the United States all owned or founded by women, minorities, veterans, or LGBT.
At the heart of Tampa Bay Wave is our accelerator program. This program marries a variety of programming, support, and connectivity to provide participating companies with the resources necessary to move confidently through those pivotal early stages that are so vital to success.
Tampa Bay Wave’s accelerator focuses on a hands-on approach that moves startups from the build stage to an investment-ready business in just ninety days. Combined with support resources like mentorship, a growing investor network, and meaningful peer relationships built during the program, Wave has evolved to meet the needs of local startups and has begun to attract many companies from outside of Tampa Bay and from cities like New York and Austin. Running two to three accelerator programs annually, Tampa Bay Wave serves more than 100 entrepreneurs per year. We also have a variety of post-accelerator opportunities including close mentorship from Executive Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) like Tony DiBenedetto and Steve MacDonald to help our companies continue their journey toward success.
Tampa Bay Wave’s accelerator program has been recognized by a variety of organizations including being the only GAN (Global Accelerator Network) member in the state of Florida and a member of InBIA (International Business Innovation Association). Beyond recognition, we are incredibly proud to serve our community and the entrepreneurs who are helping to grow that community.
Because helping entrepreneurs is at the heart of Tampa Bay Wave’s mission, we will continue to expand our services to assure we are contributing value to the Tampa Bay entrepreneurial community. Whether it is more education, leadership, and/or capital investment opportunities, Tampa Bay Wave is committed to building companies and growing the Tampa Bay area’s ability to support a thriving technology and innovation community.
There are a variety of ways to engage with the Wave community. Whether you are an entrepreneur interested in our accelerator programming, a “solopreneur” or small company looking for co-working space, or a large company looking to support innovation and economic development, visit us at www.tampabaywave.org to get involved.