TAMPA BAY, Fla. (February 14, 2018) – Tampa Bay Wave, Inc. (Wave) a nonprofit dedicated to
building, launching, and growing tech companies in Tampa Bay, has joined The Nielsen Foundation
to launch the newly created TechDiversity Accelerator program in an effort to foster the growth
and development of diverse tech startups in Tampa Bay and beyond.
Wave’s new TechDiversity Accelerator program, powered by The Nielsen Foundation, is a 90-day
program designed for early-stage tech companies 51% owned, controlled, and operated by a
minority; woman; veteran; or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person or combination thereof.
Participating companies will work alongside each other in a collaborative, non-competitive
environment and will be provided invaluable resources, such as a dedicated Entrepreneur in
Residence (EIR), one-on- one mentoring with notable tech founders, pitch coaching, investment
readiness programs, investor introductions, and access to Wave’s new seed fund. TechDiversity
Accelerator companies will also participate in Wave’s Demo Day at the conclusion of the program.
“We are thrilled that the TechDiversity Accelerator with Tampa Bay Wave is one of the
Foundation’s first signature programs,” said Crystal Barnes, Executive Director of Grantmaking of
the Nielsen Foundation. “We hope that empowering, encouraging, and accelerating diverse tech
businesses through the Accelerator can really move the needle on growing the pipeline of diverse-
owned companies around the United States.”
The Nielsen Foundation is a private foundation funded by Nielsen, a global measurement and data
analytics company. The Nielsen Foundation seeks to enhance use of data by the social sector to
reduce discrimination, ease global hunger, promote effective education, and build strong
leadership. The Foundation began grantmaking in 2016.
“Tampa Bay Wave is thrilled to launch the TechDiversity Accelerator program, powered by The
Nielsen Foundation, here in Tampa Bay. Wave is committed to removing barriers for
underrepresented startups,” said Linda Olson, President and founder of Tampa Bay Wave. “We
look forward to promoting the power of diversity in the tech startup community by creating an
inclusive program to hone their talents and fuel their innovative growth. The benefits of startup
inclusion stretch across the entire technology ecosystem and will contribute to the strength of our
Tampa Bay Wave will also work with the Checkered Flag Run Foundation, an Arizona-based non-
profit dedicated to diversity to promote the program application process nationwide. Additionally,
participating companies will be given an opportunity to pitch their product and services to the
members of the AEMS Industry Group, powered by the National Minority Supplier Development
Council, exposing diverse companies to potential large-scale clients.
Wave’s accelerator program is the only Florida-based accelerator program accepted into GAN
(Gan.co), a network of the most respected accelerators around the world. The Wave accelerator
launched in March 2013, and typically runs three cohorts per year. The current accelerator cohort
is Wave’s sixteenth cohort and comprises 12 companies, 9 of whom are led by diverse teams.
The TechDiversity Accelerator program application will open on February 14, 2018 and will close
on March 31, 2018. The program is scheduled to run in the summer of 2018. TechDiversity
Accelerator companies that successfully complete the program will participate in Tampa Bay
Wave’s Demo Day in August 2018, a unique opportunity for founders to present their companies
to a room full of hand-selected investors, leaders, and press.
To apply to the TechDiversity Accelerator program, or to learn more, visit
ABOUT TAMPA BAY WAVE:
Tampa Bay Wave, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing local entrepreneurs with facilitated access
to the resources, expertise and capital they need to grow vibrant technology-based companies in
Tampa Bay and create high wage tech jobs, thus fostering an innovation-based economy for the
region. Since March 2013, Tampa Bay Wave has supported more than 200 tech startups in Tampa
Bay thanks to grant funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), plus support from its economic development partners
Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa. Tampa Bay Wave also receives support from
corporate partners such as Bank of America, Florida Blue, Foley & Lardner, Sourcetoad, Spectrum,
Sykes Enterprises, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Electric, Trenam Law, and Tribridge. For more
information, visit www.tampabaywave.org