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Nielsen Foundation Announces 3-Year Funding Commitment for Tampa Bay Wave’s TechDiversity Accelerator

Tampa Bay Wave TechDiversity Accelerator Alumni Celebration with Nielsen Foundation Leaders

Tampa Bay Wave TechDiversity Accelerator Alumni Celebration with Nielsen Foundation Leaders

The Nielsen Foundation commits to an additional 3 years of TechDiversity Accelerator funding, supporting diversity & inclusion in the tech startup industry.

Tampa Bay Wave is proud of our long support from the Nielsen Foundation for advancing founder diversity and inclusion and are honored by their multi-year commitment to continue building this program”
— Linda Olson, Founder and CEO, Tampa Bay Wave
TAMPA, FLORIDA, US, December 15, 2022 / -- Tampa Bay Wave is proud to announce a three-year grant commitment by the Nielsen Foundation to power the 2023, 2024 and 2025 TechDiversity Accelerator program cohorts and their incredible high-growth diverse-led tech startups. TechDiversity cohort participants are selected from hundreds of applications from across the United States and abroad. Past TechDiversity participants have hailed from over 120 cities, representing nearly all 50 states and 30 countries.

Funded by the Nielsen Foundation since its inception in 2018, this 90-day TechDiversity Accelerator program works to support and accelerate leadership diversity, equity and inclusion within high-growth, early-stage tech startups. Selected companies must be 51% owned, controlled and operated by people of color (including Black, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Latino or Latina, Native or other minority entrepreneurs), women, veterans, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities or combination thereof.

"This three-year grant renewal is a testament to the success of the innovative founders of the TechDiversity Accelerator,” said Andrea Bertels, President and Executive Director of Grantmaking at the Nielsen Foundation. "These companies have created more jobs and raised millions more in funding compared to startups from other accelerators, and their diverse ideas and voices are needed in the tech sector. We are thrilled to support even more founders and continue to drive more equitable representation in technology.”

Through this accelerator programming, cohort companies receive executive coaching, comprehensive mentoring from industry experts, strategic introductions, and preparation for investor meetings — all culminating in Demo Day, which is a unique opportunity for founders to present their visions to national and international investors, leaders, and press. Startups benefit from the networking, coaching mentoring and connections provided, and they reflect significantly higher longevity success rates, capital raises, jobs creation and exits.

“Tampa Bay Wave is proud of our long support from the Nielsen Foundation for advancing founder diversity and funding within high-growth technology startups, and we are particularly honored by their multi-year commitment to continue building this program that advances diversity and inclusion within the early-stage, startup space,” says Linda Olson, Founder and CEO, Tampa Bay Wave.

Alumni companies have won multiple awards, including the Established’s “Startup of the Year” competition, a highly competitive startup competition that draws thousands of applications from around the world. Past TechDiversity companies also received high profile features in Axios, Crunchbase and Forbes, achieving rapid national growth trajectories and raising large funding rounds (Series A, Series B) during the 6 to 18 months post-accelerator.

Not only does Wave’s TechDiversity program continue to attract startups from across the U.S. and abroad, many of the startups historically are also graduates of other highly-competitive programs such as Y Combinator, TechStars, Alchemist, Harvard Innovation Labs, Zeroto510, Johnson & Johnson J Labs, and TMCx. Founders also represent a wide range of military and academic backgrounds, like Harvard and other Ivy League schools, West Point and Tillman Scholars.

Wave’s accelerator program is the only Florida-based accelerator program accredited by GAN (, a network of the most respected accelerators around the world. Thanks to the generous support of The Nielsen Foundation, the TechDiversity Accelerator is free to participants, and Wave takes no equity from the founders.

The Nielsen Foundation is a private foundation originally funded by Nielsen, a global data and analytics company. The Foundation envisions a more equitable world where everyone counts. The Nielsen Foundation’s mission is to support organizations that give voice and opportunities to historically under-represented groups and communities. The Foundation supports organizations that encourage educational access and persistence, promote economic mobility and well-being, and advance representation in media and technology. Across these focus areas, the Foundation’s grant-making is firmly grounded in a commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. For more information, visit

Tampa Bay Wave, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing entrepreneurs with facilitated access to the resources, expertise, and capital they need to grow vibrant technology-based companies in Tampa Bay. Since March 2013, Tampa Bay Wave has supported more than 450 tech startups 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 individuals such as Michael and Korrine Fraser and Kyle Taylor, founder of The Penny Hoarder, as well as from partners such as A-LIGN, Bank of America, Bellini Better World, Encore Bank/STi, EY, Florida Blue, Florida Funders, Foley & Lardner, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, KnowBe4, MacDonald Ventures, Nielsen Foundation, Rays/Rowdies Foundation, Trenam Law, Truist Foundation, and Vinik Family Foundation. Tampa Bay Wave is also a member of the GAN network of accelerators. For more information, visit

Dee Garcia
Tampa Bay Wave, Inc.
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