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Diverse tech entrepreneurs grow startups through Tampa Bay Wave accelerator programs with help from Hancock Whitney grant

February 9, 2021
Tim Coop
Tim Coop

Startup founders are always looking for ways to grow and scale, and that’s where Tampa Bay Wave shines. Through access to resources, expertise and capital, Tampa Bay Wave helps tech startups build, launch and thrive.


At Hancock Whitney, we champion the work of Tampa Bay Wave and we were proud to present them with one of our top competitive grant awards for $25,000 in support of their TechDiversity Accelerator. The annual Hancock Whitney Competitive Grant Awards are part of the bank’s larger commitment to our Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) program that in 2020 awarded funds to 12 eligible organizations supporting small businesses through technical assistance and entrepreneurship training.


Hancock Whitney awards Tampa Bay Wave competitive grant

Hancock Whitney recently presented a $25,000 check to Tampa Bay Wave to support their TechDiversity Accelerator. 

Tampa Bay Wave exemplifies small business development through their mentorship-driven programs called “accelerators.” These accelerators offer a supportive growth environment that helps entrepreneurs create viable business models for their enterprises. Even more, Tampa Bay Wave has specific initiatives that further elevate diverse groups of entrepreneurs including those from underrepresented groups such as minority, women, veteran and LGBTQ owned businesses.


With a dedicated executive coach, intensive mentoring from industry experts, strategic introductions, and preparation for investor meetings, entrepreneurs refine their skills and business plans for the accelerator’s capstone event, Demo Day, to Wave’s network of accredited investors.


“Tampa Bay Wave believes in harnessing the power of community to accelerate business growth,” said Linda Olson , CEO of Tampa Bay Wave. “The Hancock Whitney competitive grant is critical in supporting our TechDiversity Accelerator and other programs aimed at providing underrepresented entrepreneurs with specialized resources that can help level the playing field and help more entrepreneurs realize their dreams.”


By investing in Tampa Bay Wave, Hancock Whitney is able to deliver on our mission of helping people achieve their dreams. The grant award makes it possible for numerous entrepreneurs to participate in the accelerator program at no cost.


Making Waves


Nationally recognized for their innovative programming, Tampa Bay Wave has supported more than 320 tech startups, several of which have made successful exits through acquisitions by larger companies, or continued to grow, thanks to capital raises. Member companies have raised more than $300 million in capital and created more than 2,400 jobs since 2013. Their impact on the economic health and growth of the Tampa Bay community is unmatched, building Tampa Bay’s national reputation as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.


Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Tampa Bay Wave continued to serve entrepreneurs, supporting more than 120 startups in 2020 who collectively raised nearly $100 million and created over 500 new jobs. For startups caught in the crosshairs of the pandemic and ineligible for state and national relief funding, Wave launched its Rising Tide Relief Fund to support member companies via microloans.


Tampa Bay Wave’s continued success in driving opportunity and prosperity stems from their tiered framework of build, launch and grow. Tech startups at any level can take advantage of Tampa Bay Wave’s other programs, tools and resources to help maximize potential.


If you are an entrepreneur with a tech startup and are interested in learning about Tampa Bay Wave, visit tampabaywave.org.