Tampa Bay Wave, a nonprofit organization that supports high-growth startups, has announced a strategic collaboration with the University of South Florida (USF) to launch a new healthtech accelerator program in 2024. The program, called HealthTech|X Accelerator, will focus on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the healthtech sector in the Tampa Bay region.
A grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration
The HealthTech|X Accelerator is funded by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), which aims to promote regional economic development and competitiveness. The grant was awarded to Tampa Bay Wave as part of the EDA’s Build to Scale program, which supports projects that enhance the capacity of regional innovation ecosystems.
The grant will enable Tampa Bay Wave to provide comprehensive support and resources to healthtech startups, such as mentoring, pitch coaching, investment readiness training, and access to an extensive network of experts and investors. The grant will also help Tampa Bay Wave to expand its physical space and staff to accommodate the growing demand for its services.
A partnership with the University of South Florida
The HealthTech|X Accelerator will leverage the expertise and resources of the University of South Florida, a recognized national leader in high-impact research and innovation. USF will provide access to its state-of-the-art facilities, such as the USF Health’s Center for Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) and the WAVE Venture Center, which will serve as the primary venues for the accelerator’s in-person programming and events.
USF will also offer opportunities for collaboration and knowledge transfer between the accelerator’s participants and its faculty, researchers, and students. USF has a strong track record of producing cutting-edge healthtech innovations, such as the COVID-19 breathalyzer test, the wearable biosensor patch, and the smart contact lens.
A milestone for the Tampa Bay region
The HealthTech|X Accelerator will mark a significant milestone for the Tampa Bay region, which has been emerging as a hub for healthtech innovation and entrepreneurship. The region boasts a vibrant ecosystem of healthtech stakeholders, such as hospitals, universities, corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies, that are working together to address the challenges and opportunities in the health sector.
The HealthTech|X Accelerator will contribute to the region’s economic growth and social impact by supporting the creation and scaling of healthtech startups that can improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of health care. The accelerator will also enhance the region’s reputation and attractiveness as a destination for healthtech talent, capital, and collaboration.