The Tampa Bay Innovation Center is accepting applications for its spring business-to-business tech accelerator program open to candidates globally. Slated to begin March 23, the St. Petersburg-based center is targeting tech startups in the very early stages.
“We’re really trying to cater to those people who have industry experience in the problem area,” explains Ken Evans, managing director of the center’s Tech Accelerator Program. “There is a gap in the marketplace overall for those early early stage founders.”
That’s the time when founders are most likely to make “company-killing mistakes,” he says.
The program, provided free of charge with no equity in the company required, is designed to handle up to 10 companies per cohort. It is focused on four key areas: products, revenue, operations and leadership.
It will include 12 weekly group workshops and weekly one-on-one coaching. Participants will be able to showcase their businesses before investors, community leaders, media and potential partners and customers in late June.
What sets this program apart is its focus on delivering products, a focus Evans has had for more than 30 years.
“There’s definitely a need ... for this type of product discussion,” Evans says. “It’s something that a lot of programs don’t focus on.”
The event is scheduled to take place at the center’s downtown St. Petersburg office. Depending on who is chosen for the cohort, they may offer the program virtually.
To qualify, applicants should have:
- a business-to-business or business-to-government tech venture that is unique and scalable;
- some funding; and
- at least two team members.
The also should have made some progress in developing a viable product, at least at the concept stage.
The deadline to submit applications is March 4. To apply, visit Tampa Bay Innovation Center
. Applications will be screened by staff members, who will choose participants based on which ones are most likely to benefit.
The program, which runs through June 8, is usually held twice annually, once in the spring and once in the fall. It involves a network of 75+ mentors and advisors.
Twenty-six companies have participated since the program began in 2019.
The accelerator is sponsored by Pinellas County Economic Development, TampaBay.Ventures, and St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership.