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Tampa Bay tech sector hits a tipping point

Margie Manning



Seven companies with a combined $10.5 million in revenue over the past 12 months will make up the first Post-Accelerator cohort at Tampa Bay Wave.

The new program is for later-stage technology companies that have shown they can perform in the marketplace.

These more mature companies, founded an average of 3.5 years ago and with a collective 96 employees, are a sign that the Tampa Bay tech ecosystem is at a tipping point, said Rich Heruska, interim accelerator director at Tampa Bay Wave.

Wave, a nonprofit that supports early-stage tech firms, historically has served three categories of companies. It has a “build” program for very young companies working on building a minimum viable product. The “launch” phase is for companies that are validating their business model and strategizing ways to create traction. The “grow” phase is for companies looking to scale their business and raise funding.

“There’s been an emergence of companies in the Tampa Bay area that are farther along with revenue and traction. They were interested in being in Wave, but didn’t want to go through the traditional 90-day accelerator program,” he said.

The seven companies chosen for the new program are:

ComplyUp, a cloud platform that simplifies the process of demonstrating regulatory compliance.

Vertical: B2B

CEO: Stephen Majot

DirectMail2.0, a cloud-based marketing platform that applies technology to track, enhance and report on traditional direct mail campaign.

Vertical: Marketing/Ad

CEO: Brad Kugler

IMMERTEC, a 3D software creates scalable VR training programs in real-time that leverages companies’ existing training programs.

Vertical: Virtual Reality

CEO: Erik Maltais

iSOCRATES helps business leaders address the complex problems inherent in marketing and media automation.

Vertical: Marketing/Ad

CEO: Bill Lederer

MARTEC360, an integrated solutions company that connects clients’ business and marketing data for D2C, B2C/B2B, brands, retailers, e-tailers, and distributors.

Vertical: Data/Analytics

CEO: Andrew Shelton

Parkwayparking.com connects consumers with low cost airport, cruise port & event parking reservations.

Vertical: Market Place

CEO: Nick Letizia

Sanvis Health empowers caregivers to consistently deliver outstanding care for seniors while increasing staff productivity and operational efficiency.

Vertical: Health IT

CEO: Sanjay Gopal

The companies collectively have 96 employees, and were founded about 3.5 years ago on average, Wave said.

As part of the Post-Accelerator cohort, the companies will have direct access to Wave’s mentors and investor network  and be able to connect with other CEOs in the program. There’s a membership fee of $2,400 to be in the Post-Accelerator cohort.

All of the companies in the new Post-Accelerator cohort meet the minimum criteria to be in the launch program, and most meet the benchmarks for grow companies, Heruska said.

For the launch stage, companies generally have paid customer and/or paid pilots with at least $100,000 in sales and a dedicated management team, among other criteria. Grow stage companies have $1 million in annual recurring revenue or have raised $1 million in a Series A funding round, at least 10 full-time employees and three or more people in the executive management team.

Wave will have a program kickoff Tuesday. The companies will take part in a demo day during the Synapse Innovation Summit in January.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Marcus Williams

    October 25, 2018at10:40 pm

    Nothing new here, that’s simply called a real estate play or coworking. At the end of the day Tampa Bay Wave has taken credit for work done by founders, pushed companies into poorly structured angel investment deals while taking in taxpayer dollars from USF, the State of Florida and Hillsborough County under multiple programs, Taxpayers should be outraged and the county should be ashamed and held accountable for their actions. As a VC who lives outside the community and visits regularly I can tell you this is not how building a tech community works, this is simply marketing.

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