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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
Funding Opportunities Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

University Of South Florida


Tampa, FL

Project Name



Seed Fund Support

Award Amount


The Tampa Bay metropolitan area presents a rich ecosystem of industrial, research, and government entities, coordinating seamlessly to increase innovation and economic development. Although many sectors thrive here, the predominant markets include life sciences, data visualization and other software, healthcare IT, marine science, environmental sciences, defense, and financial services. The current resources of the Tampa Bay startup ecosystem have made a significant impact on assisting companies with their growth, and will be further enhanced by increasing the pipeline of seasoned entrepreneurs and early stage investment capital. Funding is vital to properly scale operations and product development.

To further accelerate the commercialization of inventions and ideas into high-growth firms and retain more high-wage talent for the region, USF’s Innovation Enterprise and Florida Funders will work to create Seed Tampa Bay. USF’s Innovation Enterprise and its outreach arm of USF CONNECT include the USF Tampa Bay Technology Incubator, USF Student Innovation Incubator, USF Research Park and the USF Technology Transfer Office. Florida Funders is a Florida focused investor network that blends the best of equity crowdfunding, angel investing and venture capital to make investing easier for accredited investors and early-stage capital more accessible to Florida companies.

Seed Tampa Bay will make seed investments in local high growth potential technology startups to continuously catalyze a surge of additional new early stage investment activity throughout the region through outreach and education. Seed Tampa Bay will develop a fund to invest roughly $5 million during the two-year funding period in up to 40 new businesses with demonstrated potential for high-growth that are commercializing or using an innovative technology in the development of their product or service.