TampaBay.Ventures is committed to the creation of a vibrant and internationally recognized startup ecosystem in the Tampa Bay region.
While the region has a track record of producing world-class tech startups, there has historically been a lack of sufficient funding in the area to support the region’s next breakout startups. TampaBay.Ventures aim to change that by funding local innovative, tech-enabled companies at the earliest stages of development. The fund, founded by Marcus Adolfsson, Andreas Calabrese, Tom Frederick, and Wesley Barnett, has to-date invested in twelve local companies (https://tampabay.ventures/portfolio/) and plans to hold 25 companies in the first fund’s portfolio.
“Tampa Bay is one of the fastest growing economic centers in the U.S. and already home to multi-billion-dollar companies rooted in markets such as cyber security, e-commerce, health care, edtech, fintech, and hardware,” said Marcus Adolfsson, General Partner of TampaBay.Ventures. “The number of technology companies expected to grow out of this region in the next few years is significant and our goal is to be a big part of that success.”
Through investments in startup accelerators and university entrepreneur programs, Tampa’s startup ecosystem has grown steadily over the years. However, the early-stage capital market within the region is nascent. A lack of professional seed capital is inhibiting many promising tech founders from growing fast enough to compete, sometimes resulting in relocation to other cities or disbanding their startup completely.
“We have been trying to solve the tech funding gap problem in Tampa Bay for years. While there are a number of promising early-stage tech companies in the area, a countless number of startups with high potential have unnecessarily struggled or dissolved due to the early-stage capital problem,” said Allen Clary, co-founder of the Tampa Bay Wave and Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at USF. “TampaBay.Ventures will make a huge impact, not only with the funds they need to grow, but also with the critical support and experienced guidance they need to succeed and win.”
The fund scouts for high-growth tech-enabled companies that have developed an initial product and are ready to scale. While TampaBay.Ventures is invested in working with founders of all backgrounds, the fund will place specific emphasis on founders with domain expertise in the field they are disrupting. Andreas Calabrese stated: “By only focusing our efforts on founders and companies based in the Tampa Bay region, we are able to double down on our mission of growing the regional tech scene. Rather than superficially triage thousands of pitches per year, we can focus on hundreds of equally promising local opportunities across a wide range of sectors.”
The team behind TampaBay.Ventures has extensive experience as successful founders and investors. Andreas Calabrese joined the firm from a highly successful European seed fund. Marcus Adolfsson is a local entrepreneur who led his previous tech company to a nine-figure exit. Tom Frederick is a fellow business-builder entrepreneur with multiple exits. Wesley Barnett represents a family office in Central Florida with a clear focus on investing within the local community.
TampaBay.Ventures first fund was initially envisioned as a $20 million fund but was recently closed to new investors after raising over $25 million from local investors and the State of Florida.
They plan to start their second fund in 2024. Stay tuned for more exciting information to come.
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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.