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Tampa Bay WaVE Lands SBA Grant to Develop Seed Fund for Local Startups
Tech nonprofit attracting investors with innovative accelerator program helping entrepreneurs succeed
TAMPA, FL (September 1, 2016) – Tampa Bay WaVE, Inc. (WaVE) a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build breakout tech businesses throughout the region, has been chosen as a recipient of a $50,000 Growth Accelerator Fund Grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to develop a seed capital fund to take Tampa Bay’s tech community to the next level.
The SBA announcement was made yesterday by Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the SBA and an Obama Administration Cabinet member.
“Accelerators provide valuable resources to potential startups: a physical infrastructure to work in their infancy, mentoring, business-plan assistance, networking, opportunities to obtain venture capital, and introductions to potential customers, partners and suppliers—all critical elements to ensuring that small businesses flourish and succeed,” said Contreras-Sweet.
The WaVE Fund will complement its work to help early stage companies in the Tampa Bay region grow and scale into massive breakout companies. In addition to the business mentorship, coveted connections and flexible office space already offered to its member companies, WaVE will now be able to start making seed stage investments in the most promising startups. Through WaVE’s partnerships in the region, entrepreneurs will also have access to follow-on investment opportunities.
“We are thrilled for what this means for the future of technology in Tampa Bay and the positive impact this fund will generate,” said Linda Olson, President and founder of Tampa Bay WaVE. “The tremendous support from the SBA is a testament to the crucial role our accelerator program (FirstWaVE) plays and allows us to address the last major hurdle for our local tech community – the critical early stage seed capital gap.”
Since its launch in March 2013, WaVE’s innovative accelerator program FirstWaVE has helped local tech startups create and retain over 500 new jobs and raise over $20 million in early stage capital.
WaVE will likely begin the process of seeking investors to capitalize the initial fund and thus begin identifying investment opportunities for local tech startups seeking pre-Series A investment capital before year end. Ultimately WaVE projects the fund will reach $5 million or more.
“It’s the perfect time to invest in Tampa’s budding tech community,” added Olson.
To learn more about Tampa Bay WaVE’s seed fund, visit tampabaywave.org/wavefund
About Tampa Bay WaVE:
Tampa Bay WaVE, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing local entrepreneurs with facilitated access to the resources, expertise and capital they need to grow vibrant technology-based companies in Tampa Bay and create high wage tech jobs, thus fostering an innovation-based economy for the region. Tampa Bay WaVE actively supports more than 100 tech startups in Tampa Bay thanks to grant funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), plus support from its economic development partners Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa. Tampa Bay Wave also receives support from corporate partners such as Bank of America, Tampa Bay Rays, Sykes Enterprises, Florida Blue, Foley & Lardner, Tribridge, AgileThought, and Bright House Networks. For more information, visit www.tampabaywave.org.
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