TechWomen Rising Accelerator focuses on female-led tech startups in Tampa-St. Pete

Applications will be accepted until July 21 for TechWomen Rising, an accelerator program focused on women-led technology startups in the Tampa Bay region.

The accelerator is one part of an initiative by Tampa Bay Wave, Embarc Collective and JPMorgan Chase to make sure women-owned tech startups have the resources and capital they need to succeed. JPMorgan Chase has made a two-year, $500,000 philanthropic commitment to Wave and Embarc to support the work.

The initiative is designed to level the playing field for female entrepreneurs, said Linda Olson, CEO of Tampa Bay Wave. Nationally, 16 percent of U.S. venture capital funding went to companies with at least one female founder in 2019, while 2.5 percent of funding went to startups with all-female founders, according to Pitchbook.

Locally, $180 million has been invested in 77 deals for women-led companies in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area, Pitchbook said.

At the same time, the number of women-owned technology startups in the Tampa Bay area is growing at a record pace, said Michele Grace, South Division director for Chase Business Banking. “We want to make sure they have access to resources and capital to succeed.”

Wave is launching the 90-day accelerator program. Participants will receive a dedicated experienced mentor, one-on-one feedback with notable tech founders, pitch coaching, investment readiness programs and strategic introductions to investors and prospective customers.

“The TechWomen Rising Accelerator is designed to provide women-led companies the resources they need to be successful, while breaking down barriers for all women tech entrepreneurs,” Olson said.

Click here for more information and applications for the accelerator.

Beyond the 90-day accelerator, Wave and Embarc will provide ongoing support to the companies through Wave’s intensive mentoring programs and Embarc Collective’s milestone plan measurement methodology.

“We are looking forward to leveraging Embarc Collective’s strengths to aggregate the metrics associated with this cohort and broader data trends around how women-led businesses best scale in Florida,” said Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of Embarc Collective.

Embarc also will develop informational reports and programming leading up to a national summit for developing solutions for supporting women in entrepreneurship, called the Glaring Gap summit. The summit will be held in the fall during Global Entrepreneurship Week and will include a Demo Day for TechWomen Rising accelerator participants.

Margie Manning

Margie started her journalism career as a radio news reporter in St. Louis, before putting down her microphone and picking up a pen to work at the St. Louis Business Journal. Unable to resist the call of warm weather and beaches, Margie took an entrepreneurial detour to run an ice cream shop in Treasure Island with her husband. Before joining the Catalyst, Margie spent 14 years at the Tampa Bay Business Journal where she wrote about business successes, failures and the exciting world of innovation and start-ups. Her writing coaches are Bonnie the Dog and Coffee the Cat, joined recently by a new edition, Jack the Cat. Margie can be contacted at margie@stpetecatalyst.com

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