Tampa Bay Wave, Inc. (Wave) a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build and grow breakout tech businesses in Tampa Bay, has been chosen as one of just 20 recipients nationwide of a $50,000 Growth Accelerator Fund Grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These funds will allow Wave to scale and expand programming for women entrepreneurs, including providing them preparation for and access to early stage investment capital. Wave also plans to collaborate with the local SBA-funded Women’s Business Centre at The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women in order to provide even more robust programs and services for women-led startups.

With this grant, Wave can begin expanding its programming for Tampa Bay-based startups led by women entrepreneurs to help them grow and scale into massive breakout companies. In addition to the business mentorship, coveted connections, press and exposure, 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 the Tampa Bay startup community, and we hope these enhanced services will help to remove barriers for women and many other entrepreneurs in Tampa Bay for years to come" 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 1,000 new jobs and raise over $125 million in early stage capital.

"We believe strongly in the power of collaboration.  We are thrilled to partner with our colleagues at The Tampa Bay Wave to ignite new possibilities for female entrepreneurs across Tampa Bay," Ann W. Madsen, Executive Director of The Centre for Women and founder of Tampa's SBA-designated Women's Business Centre.

"It's the perfect time to invest in Tampa's budding tech community," added Olson.


To schedule an appointment with a Business Counselor at The Women's Business Centre, please call 813-210-9709. Or visit our website: womensbusinesscentre.org

To learn more about Tampa Bay WaVE's seed fund, visit tampabaywave.org/wavefund




 The Women’s Business Centre is headquartered at The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women at 305 S. Hyde Park Ave., Tampa. The business centre opened in 2013 to help women find the resources they need to start and/or grow their businesses. In 2014, it became part of the national network of Women’s Business Centers. It is the only SBA-designated Women’s Business Centre on the West Coast of Florida.  

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. Since March 2013, Tampa Bay Wave has supported more than 200 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, Florida Blue, Foley & Lardner, Sourcetoad, Spectrum, Sykes Enterprises, Tampa Bay Rays, TECO, Trenam Law, and Tribridge. For more information, visit www.tampabaywave.org