Entrepreneurial Grant Goes to Tampa Bay Wave
The grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will be used to help launch a regional investor collaborative.
TAMPA – Tampa Bay Wave, the leading technology accelerator in Tampa Bay, has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help launch a regional investor collaborative.
The announcement of the grant was made Wednesday (Dec. 5) by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.
“Tampa Bay Wave is growing our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, expanding small businesses and boosting jobs,” Castor said. “They have won my confidence to fight for federal grants to lift wages across Tampa Bay through their seed efforts to grow the investor pool.”
Tampa Bay Wave is a nonprofit with a mission to help local entrepreneurs build, launch, and grow breakout tech companies in Tampa Bay With the Wave Accelerator Program and Venture Center, Tampa Bay Wave provides tech startups with educational resources, flexible office space, mentorship, and strategic introductions to help them accelerate business growth. Launched in June 2008, Tampa Bay Wave supports more than 100 early-stage tech firms today from the initial development stage to the point where they become second stage companies. Wave takes no equity from the startups it serves.
The Venture Center is Tampa Bay Wave’s 10,000 square foot innovative co-working and incubation space located in the heart of downtown Tampa. Home to nearly two dozen tech startups and dozens of crazy tech-talented coworkers, the Venture Center is an integral part of Tampa Bay’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
While Tampa Bay has a strong foundation of support for entrepreneurs, organizations such as Tampa Bay Wave are looking to continue momentum and success.
“With this important Seed Fund Support award, we can help the Central Florida region close the critical funding gap that has been hampering our ecosystem for years,” said Linda Olson, CEO/president of Tampa Bay Wave. “With a larger pool of investors and early stage capital, we will not only help the region better attract more capital and talent, but also give local entrepreneurs across the I-4 corridor more opportunities to grow and create breakout successes here.”
Alex Sink, former Florida chief financial officer and former president of Florida operations for Bank of America, was recently named board chair of Tampa Bay Wave and added: “This grant provides us the opportunity to renew our commitment and expand our collaboration to bring much needed capital to our region. These funds will amplify our efforts and will allow us to continue to make good on our promise of advocacy for our region’s entrepreneurs.”
Castor has championed multiple federal grants to grow and support Tampa Bay Wave, and bring job creation, innovation and higher wages to Tampa Bay.
In 2012, Tampa Bay Wave received the first i6 Challenge Grant of $1 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Matching contributions from public and private community partners raised another $1 million.
In 2015, the Tampa Bay region received its second i6 Challenge grant of $500,000 issued to the University of South Florida, in partnership with Tampa Bay Wave.
Since 2015, Tampa Bay Wave has also been recipient of multiple Growth Accelerator Fund Grants of $50,000 from the Small Business Administration.
Business | Kathy Castor | Tampa Bay Wave | Tampabay News
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