FirstWaVE Accelerator Supports Early Stage Technology Start-ups

Are you a technology entrepreneur with a great idea, but you need that extra boost to get to the next stage? Tampa Bay WaVE is accepting applications for the inaugural class of its FirstWaVE Accelerator Program.

Participants will go through three stages: Build, Launch and Grow. The Build stage provides one-on-one coaching from Entrepreneur in Residence Christy Chadwick, who will help the company solve their biggest challenge. The Launch stage uses an advisory team of mentors to help build the business. In the Grow stage, companies engage with funding and relationship coaches, helping them refine their pitch and meet local contacts to help get the business off the ground. All in all, the program takes approximately one year.

Other benefits include a full-day venture bootcamp, 24/7 access to coworking space in the FirstWaVE Venture Center, dedicated advisors, access to student interns, quarterly “live pitch” events and access to FirstWaVE’s business network.
“One thing we hope to accomplish is a one-stop shop and collaborative resource for entrepreneurs in the Tampa Bay region,” says Jennifer Metz, program director for FirstWaVE. “To be able to work with such a great entrepreneurship ecosystem in this region is an exciting opportunity for Tampa Bay WaVE.”

Participating companies must have a unique and innovative idea with some type of technology component and the potential for future job growth.

The program is funded, in part, by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department designed to support early stage technology ventures.

The deadline to apply for the inaugural program is Feb. 1 Applications are accepted each quarter.

To apply for the FirstWaVE Accelerator Program, download the forms here from the Tampa Bay WaVe website.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Jennifer Metz, Tampa Bay WaVE
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A Florida native and longtime Tampa Bay resident, Megan Hendricks graduated from the University of South Florida with a master's degree in business administration. She worked at the USF College of Business and has extensive community experience including the Tampa Bay Partnership's Talent Dividend Advisory Board, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Emerge Tampa Bay, Ekhos, and Bar Camp Tampa. She is a former board member and newsletter editor for Creative Tampa Bay. Megan enjoys telling the stories that make Tampa Bay a unique, diverse cultural experience.  

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