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For over a decade, Tampa Bay Wave has been busting the myth that startups must leave Tampa Bay to grow.

What started in 2008 as a group of local entrepreneurs supporting one another has grown into one of Tampa Bay’s oldest and largest accelerator programs. Tampa Bay Wave offers services at every stage, helping businesses build, launch, and grow in place. It is where economic development and acumen meet. From seed funding an MVP to iterating, scaling and expanding an existing tech business, Tampa Bay Wave helps companies who start here stay here and attracts savvy startups from other areas to make Tampa Bay home. 

Company Overview

Company Name

Tampa Bay Wave

Year Established


Number of Employees



Tampa Bay Wave is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to help local entrepreneurs build, launch, and grow breakout tech companies in Tampa Bay Wave measures its results in terms of impact metrics, rather than profits. 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 over 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.

Awards & Accolades

2012: Tampa Bay Wave received $1 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration in the i6 Challenge Grant 2015: $500,000 issued to the University of South Florida, in partnership with Tampa Bay Wave in 2nd i6 Challenge Grant. Tampa Bay Wave has also been recipient of multiple Growth Accelerator Fund Grants of $50,000 from the Small Business Administration.

Core values/mission statement

Tampa Bay Wave helps entrepreneurs build, launch, and grow breakout tech businesses in Tampa Bay.

Company Leadership

Linda Olson

President / CEO

As the current President and founder of Tampa Bay Wave, Linda has grown this non-profit to over 100 early-stage technology ventures and over 250 entrepreneurs and techies in under 5 years. In 2012, she led a regional effort that was awarded a $1 million federal grant from the US Department of Commerce to launch the FirstWave Accelerator program and an open innovation space in downtown Tampa called the FirstWave Venture Center. Since its launch in March 2013, companies in FirstWave have raised over $8.4 million in early stage investment capital and have created and retained over 200 jobs for the region.

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