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Tampa Bay Wave diversity cohort shows off at virtual Pitch Night

Margie Manning

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Some of the founders who presented during Tampa Bay Wave's TechDiversity virtual Pitch Night.

Thirteen startups made their pitch for investor interest Thursday night, as Tampa Bay Wave hosted its first virtual Pitch Night.

The fast-paced, 40-minute online event gave companies in Wave’s TechDiversity Accelerator cohort a chance to talk about their accomplishments and prospects.

Linda Olson, president and CEO, Tampa Bay Wave

“Despite the Covid pandemic, we’re not slowing down and neither are the startups we’re working with,” said Linda Olson,  president and founder of Tampa Bay Wave, a nonprofit that houses and services technology startups.

The companies in the cohort are based throughout the United States, and two of them are headquartered in Chile, said Richard Munassi, cohort director. Their founders include Ivy League MBAs, Ph.D.’s, an M.D., and several serial entrepreneurs with multiple exits, he said. Collectively, they’ve raised well over $10 million, including funding rounds totaling more than $3 million since the start of the program, done deals with Fortune 500 companies and cleared patent hurdles, Munassi said.

Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst, has talked with the founders, who are featured in Startup Reports, available here.

It’s the third cohort of the TechDiversity Accelerator, an international program to support early-stage tech companies that are 51 percent owned, controlled and operated by a minority, woman, veteran, disabled or LGBTQ individuals. The Nielsen Foundation, a private foundation funded by data analytics firm Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) has supported the TechDiversity Accelerator since 2018.

The virtual Pitch Night was a warmup for the cohort’s Sept. 15 Demo Day, an event only open to Wave investors. Those interested in attending can send an email to demoday@tampabaywave.org.

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