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Two St. Pete companies in Tampa Bay Wave’s TechWomen Rising cohort

Margie Manning



Linda Olson, founder and CEO, Tampa Bay Wave

The 13 women-led startups who make up the inaugural cohort of Tampa Bay Wave’s 2020 TechWomen Rising Accelerator include two companies from St. Petersburg.

One of the St. Pete startups is Vacayou, which aggregates wellness, spa and active travel, and is led by Muirgheal (Muirelle) Montecalvo, who is CEO. The other St. Pete startup is Wedzee, a consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer marketplace that is designed to connect former and future brides, wedding planners and small business owners. Jennifer Burns is CEO.

Other participants in the TechWomen Rising Accelerator are:

• 20 Lighter, with a program helping clients achieve better health through reductions of inflammation and visceral fat. The company is located in Boca Raton and the CEO is​ ​Jess Barnes.

•AfroCurators, a digital media and entertainment brand that connects multi-generational Africans through social experiences. The company is based in Tampa and the CEO is Skye Idehen.

• Cuemby helps companies with custom software using optimized cloud infrastructure and automated workflows. The CEO is Hitomi Mizugaki ​and the company is in ​Boca Raton.

• Goldn: The Family App. Goldn is a family care management application that makes it easy for unpaid care takers to pay bills, set reminders and locate wanderers. The CEO of the Tampa-based company is Nia Jackson.

• IVF Options provides fertility benefits to self-pay patients, negotiating discounted rates on fertility treatment, medication and genetic testing.  Lexie Magyar ​is CEO of the ​Tampa company.

• Kinstak provides private cloud storage that automatically organizes photos, videos, and files into personalized categories. The company is based in Tampa and Carolyn Eagen is CEO.

• MARVLoUS. Multimedia Augmented Reality Vocabulary Learning (MARVL) is an augmented reality (AR) application that teaches vocabulary in two languages simultaneously.  Sara Smith is CEO of the Tampa company.

• Tepey is a web-based matching and project management software solution that eliminates the guesswork of how to build a physical product, and where to find contractors and manufacturers at an affordable price. The CEO is Donteacia Seymore ​ and the company is based in Tampa.

• The Natural Nipple is designed for seamless and stress-free breast and bottle feeding. The Tampa company is led by CEO Lauren Wright.

• UBQFit is a two-sided marketplace where livestream fitness training sessions are organized between trainers and trainees. The company is Boca Raton and the CEO is Ellie Samardi.

• weRise Investments facilitates building wealth and revitalizing underrepresented communities by connecting friend and family groups to a technology-enabled platform to pool funds and socially invest in diversified portfolios. Candice Bradley is CEO of the Tampa company.

The new accelerator program is supported by a two-year $500,000 philanthropic commitment by JPMorgan Chase in a partnership between Tampa Bay Wave and Embarc Collective.

“While women are increasingly at the forefront of innovation in tech, they still struggle to receive ample funding and support for their companies,” Michele Grace, South division director for Chase Business Banking, said in a news release. “The TechWomen Rising Accelerator program helps women entrepreneurs in Florida overcome these challenges and provides the boost, encouragement, and confidence women need to help bridge the gap between men and women in the startup ecosystem.”

TechWomen Rising is the newest accelerator program offered by Tampa Bay Wave, a Tampa-based nonprofit that houses and services technology startups.

“Programs like the TechWomen Rising Accelerator not only help today’s women-led startups but also help to remove some of the barriers faced by women-led startups throughout the US,” Linda Olson, president and founder of Tampa Bay Wave, said in the news release.

Companies in the 90-day program will get access to a dedicated cohort director, one-on-one mentoring with tech founders, sales training, pitch coaching and investor introductions. Accelerator companies will also participate in Wave’s Demo Day at the conclusion of the program in November to pitch their companies to a group of hand-selected investors and business leaders.

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