Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor Announces New Grant to Help Local Entrepreneurs Awarded to Tampa Bay Wave

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Washington, December 5, 2018 | comments

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) today announced that Tampa Bay Wave, the leading technology accelerator in Tampa Bay, has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help launch a regional investor collaborative.

“Tampa Bay Wave is growing our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, expanding small businesses and boosting jobs,” U.S. Rep. Castor said.  “They have won my confidence to fight for federal grants to lift wages across Tampa Bay through their seed efforts to grow the investor pool.”

While Tampa Bay holds a strong foundation of support for entrepreneurs, organizations such as Tampa Bay Wave are looking to continue momentum and success.  “With this important Seed Fund Support award, we can help the Central Florida region close the critical funding gap that has been hampering our ecosystem for years,” said Linda Olson, CEO/President of Tampa Bay Wave.  “With a larger pool of investors and early stage capital, we will not only help the region better attract more capital and talent, but also give local entrepreneurs across the I-4 corridor more opportunities to grow and create breakout successes here.”

Alex Sink, former Florida Chief Financial Officer and former president of Florida operations for Bank of America, was recently named board chair of Tampa Bay Wave and added:  "This grant provides us the opportunity to renew our commitment and expand our collaboration to bring much needed capital to our region.  These funds will amplify our efforts and will allow us to continue to make good on our promise of advocacy for our region's entrepreneurs.”

U.S. Rep. Castor has championed multiple federal grants to grow and support Tampa Bay Wave, and bring job creation, innovation and higher wages to Tampa Bay.  In 2012, Tampa Bay Wave received the first i6 Challenge Grant of $1 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.  Matching contributions from public and private community partners raised another $1 million.  In 2015, our region received its second i6 Challenge grant of $500,000 issued to the University of South Florida, in partnership with Tampa Bay Wave.  In addition, since 2015, Tampa Bay Wave has also been recipient of multiple Growth Accelerator Fund Grants of $50,000 from the Small Business Administration.

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