Tech Bytes: Deadline nears to apply for Tampa Bay Wave Post-Accelerator Program

When companies go through the Tampa Bay Wave Accelerator Program, they can enjoy continued access to program benefits like its mentor and investor networks. But generally other businesses have not had that access -- until now.

The Wave has opened its first round of applications to its Post-Accelerator Program, with the goal of accepting five to 10 companies. The program is scheduled to begin October 16.

“We’ve had companies come to us,” says Rich Heruska, its Interim Accelerator Director. “They do not necessarily want to go through an intensive 90-day accelerator program.”

The application deadline is Saturday, September 15. Candidates should be launch or growth stage tech companies with a product or service and a dedicated and full-time management team. 

“It’s not part-time. It’s not an idea. They are treating it like a real serious company,” he explains. Rich Heruska, interim accelerator director, at Tampa Bay Wave.

They also should have traction, demonstrated by $1 million in sales revenue or investments, he says.

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee, which will interview finalist candidates before making the final decisions. Companies will pay $2,400 annually for the program that includes a less intense introductory 90-day phase, a dating-style mentor introduction program and pitch night.

Participants also will be included automatically in the Global Accelerator Network; the Wave is the first Florida-based accelerator in GAN.

Other benefits include peer support, member-exclusive discounts, a dedicated Entrpreneur in Residence to assist them, public relations and marketing support, and co-working space.

To apply, visit the Wave website and click on Post Accelerator Program under Accelerator in the toolbar.

The 10-year-old Wave, founded as a meetup group, has been a leader in the expanding, Tampa Bay entrepreneurial ecosystem, which Heruska says is at the “tipping point.”

“Everybody’s rallying together to build Tampa as a great ecosystem,” he says. “Momentum breeds momentum. There’s no shortage of people wanting to be part of the ecosystem and to help grow it. The Wave has been a catalyst for it.”

Read on for more Tampa Bay tech news

• Women in Technology International is holding a panel discussion on women in science, technology, engineering, and math careers from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, September 20, at SPC Collaborative Labs 13805 58th St. N., Clearwater. Moderated by Greg Paglieri, President of Randstad Technologies and Engineering, the panel includes: Karen Gispanski, VP of
Global Cyber Security Operations at Nielsen; Amy Gleason, Co-founder, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief of Staff at CareSync; Samantha Barowski, Director of IT Customer Service Operations for Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.; and Joanne Persinger,
Senior VP in Information Technology for Global Tech Data. For more information and to register, visit The event is sponsored by Randstad Technologies.

• USF Connect is planning three educational seminars of interest to entrepreneurs this month.

The first is “How to Get People to Buy from You Instead of Your Competition,” by Ron Stein, President of More Customers Academy - A Division of FastPath marketing, scheduled from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. That’s followed by “How to Finance your Business Growth without Debt or Investors,” by Bruce Stout, Founder and President of Rainmakers' Forum and Fantasy Business League, planned from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 27. The third is “Digital Marketing Trends and Best Practices to Grow Your Business,” by Robyn Spoto, Founder and President of SpotOn Digital Media, to be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28.

All three sessions, which are free, are being held at the Oak View Room, 3802 Spectrum Boulevard, Tampa. Learn more and sign up here.

Additionally, the Florida Small Business Development Center at USF is holding a “Financing Your Business” program from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Port Tampa Bay Building, 1101 Channelside Dr., Suite 210, Tampa. The program covers U.S. Small Business Administration loans, bank loans and how to ask for them, angel investors/venture capitalists, credit, and grant myths. Information on royalties, licensing and supplier credit also are part of the program. The cost is $15. Learn more about the program and other businesses offerings here.

• The non-profit Launchcode is holding “Disrupting the Digital Norm,” an interactive half-day event Thursday, Sept. 27, to help bring businesses into the digital age of hiring. The program includes a panel discussion moderated by Daniel James Scott, CEO and Executive Director of Tampa Bay Tech. On the panel are: George Keatings, Director of Corporate Strategy and Transformation for TechData; Jean Marc Perry, Associate VP of IT Operations for Bisk Education; Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of Embarc Collective; and Ande Johnson, Senior Director, Digital Workforce, for Jabil. The program is scheduled to kick off at 8:15 a.m. with breakfast and networking, followed by the panel discussion at 9 a.m. and a SecureSet Workshop at 10 a.m. at Cavu, 1601 N. Franklin St., Tampa. The event is free and open to the public. Register online.

• Homebrew Hillsborough, a monthly collaborative coffee/networking meeting for techies and entrepreneurs, will be visiting and taking an augmented-reality tour of Cardinal Solutions at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at 302 Knights Run Ave., #1175, Tampa. The company designs, develops, manages and deploys technology solutions for a wide variety of companies. Learn more and sign up here.

• Florida Polytechnic University launched a Mobile app this fall to help students, faculty, staff and the general public find information about the Lakeland institution dedicated to STEM education. The customizable app includes maps, real-time shuttle tracking, news, an events calendar, university email access, a directory, and information on dining, health, and the library. It also includes quick links to internal university systems like Workday, plus emergency information.

• TIE Tampa Bay is holding a panel discussion on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 2, at USF Connect, 3802, Spectrum Blvd., Tampa. The panel moderated by Sudeep Sarkar, USF’s Department Chair in Computer Science and Engineering, includes Josselyn Boudett, CEO of Telepathy Labs, and Viral Tolat, CEO of TradAir. The program is expected to last three hours. Learn more.
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Read more articles by Cheryl Rogers.

Cheryl Rogers is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about careers. An ebook author, she also writes Bible Camp Mystery series that shares her faith. She is publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine and founder of the Mentor Me Career Network, a free online community, offering career consulting, coaching and career information. Now a wife and mother, Cheryl discovered her love of writing as a child when she became enthralled with Nancy Drew mysteries. She earned her bachelor's degree in Journalism and Sociology from Loyola University in New Orleans. While working at Loyola's Personnel Office, she discovered her passion for helping others find jobs. A Miami native, Cheryl moved to the Temple Terrace area in 1985 to work for the former Tampa Tribune