As a “by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs” non-profit, Tampa Bay WaVE’s mission is to help entrepreneurs build, launch and grow successful technology companies right here in Tampa Bay.
Through the diligent cultivation of entrepreneurs, technology talent and support from community and business leaders, Tampa Bay WaVE has created a unique ecosystem focused on collaborative pathways to success. The 10,000 square-foot inhabitants with all they need to focus on becoming Tampa Bay’s next breakout success. Oh, and not to mention the coffee bar, hammocks, foosball and open work environment that supports their distinctive culture.
"THE WAVE" AS IT HAS BECOME TO BE KNOWN, IS A FOCAL POINT OF TAMPA'S GROWING TECH STARTUP COMMUNITY.
Tampa Bay WaVE began in 2008 as a meet-up of the CEOs and founders of local technology startups. Founder and current President, Linda Olson formed a community of leaders that came together regularly to solve problems and share ideas. The group continued to grow and they became more effective at providing solutions and resources to its members.
In 2011, after instituting some programming and organizing around a few key initiatives, Tampa Bay WaVE formally established itself as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a focus on enabling Tampa Bay to support great technology startups.
In 2012, Tampa Bay WaVE moved into downtown’s iconic Sykes Building while simultaneously raising $1M from the business community to support its efforts. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) matched these funds with a federal grant that same year.
In 2015, the EDA followed up on their commitment with a second grant that allowed the WaVE to continue their mission of helping entrepreneurs build successful technology ventures. Later that year, Tampa Bay WaVE relocated to their current space in the Sunshine Bank Building.
This new home effectively supports Tampa Bay WaVE’s mission by providing resources for co-working, workshops, a mentor network, as well as a home for the FirstWaVEVenture Center and Accelerator Program.
The FirstWaVE Venture Center
Today’s startup founders require a growing number of resources to support their success. Close Proximity and collaboration with other founders and CEOs is an invaluable part of this mix. The FirstWaVE Venture Center provides co-working opportunities with flexible, open office along with the access to resources and the community support that entrepreneurs need.
With the added value of workshops and networking events, the Venture Center is an affordable and valuable asset for businesses at any stage of growth.
The FirtsWaVE Accelerator
Tampa Bay WaVE’s FirstWaVE Accelerator delivers a hands-on program that moves startups from an idea to an investment-ready business in just ninety days. This program offers founders the counsel, connections, and the confidence of commitment that will allow them to thrive. This accelerator program is different by design and allows the bootstrap entrepreneur the chance to focus on their idea while maintaining 100% of their equity. With a nominal fee for participation, these founders invest in their idea with divesting their ownership.
The FirstWaVE Accelerator provides many additional support resources after the program, like meaningful peer relationships build during the program along with beneficial connections to customers and capital.
WaVE is one the closest entrepreneurial communities in the Tampa Bay area – and growing more expansive every year.
Because helping entrepreneurs is at the heart of Tampa Bay WaVE’s mission, they will continue to expand their services to ensure they are contributing value to the Tampa Bay entrepreneurial community. Whether it is more education, leadership and/or capital investment opportunities in Tampa Bay WaVe is committed to building companies and growing the Tampa Bay area’s ability to support a thriving technology business community.
Tampa Bay Wave