Tampa, FL (Feb. 1, 2013) – Tampa Bay WaVE, a non-profit that helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into growing technology ventures, announced that it has hired its first full-time employee. Jennifer Metz, CEcD, will begin her job as the FirstWaVE Accelerator Program Director on Feb 1.
As program director, Metz will be responsible for recruiting early-stage technology companies to the First WaVE Accelerator, providing client support services, expanding the organization’s mentor and investor networks, managing a team of student interns each semester, and assisting with the development of a sustainability plan for long-term viability of the program. She will also work with corporate partners to develop tailored programs that will allow local businesses of all types to take advantage of local talent and technical resources.
“Tampa Bay WaVE is extremely fortunate to have someone with Jennifer’s experience, energy and network,” said Linda Olson, founder of Tampa Bay WaVE. “Jennifer is going to be an integral part of growing this accelerator program and an invaluable resource to the FirstWaVE tech startups.”
Metz is an accomplished market researcher, certified economic development leader and business incubator manager. In addition to participating in the assessment of small firms nationwide as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) consultant, she has worked with numerous high-tech startup companies as well as large enterprises poised for expansion. Her economic development projects have generated hundreds of new high-wage jobs, raised several high-capital investments and facilitated more than $1 million in training grants.
Metz holds a Master of Science degree in Business with a focus on Entrepreneurship from the University of South Florida and the Certified Economic Development (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council. She is also a Certified Incubator Manager and winner of the “30 Under 30” and “40 Under 40” community awards from the Tampa Bay Business Journal and Gulf Coast Business Review.
“I am thrilled and honored to join Tampa Bay WaVE, and I look forward to working closely with tech startups, community organizations and investors to help develop a thriving entrepreneurial eco-system in the Tampa Bay region,” said Metz.
Tampa Bay WaVE wrapped up the application submission process for its inaugural FirstWaVE Accelerator on Feb. 1, 2013. Finalists will be asked to attend a live pitch event with the FirstWaVE Accelerator vetting committee on February 7th.
If you were interested in applying but missed the Feb. 1 deadline, Tampa Bay WaVE will be accepting new FirstWaVE Accelerator clients each quarter. To be a part of future accelerator classes, visit Tampa Bay WaVE’s website for a complete listing of details and deadlines. The next application will open in March.
About Tampa Bay WaVE:
Tampa Bay WaVE is a non-profit providing entrepreneurs and innovators with facilitated access to the resources, organizations, expertise and capital they need to create technology-based companies that will be the foundation for economic growth in the Tampa Bay region and eventually across the state. With a grant from U.S. Commerce Department and support from The University of South Florida and keystone corporate sponsors including In-Rel Properties, Sykes Enterprises, AVI-SPL, Florida Blue and Absolute Mobile Solutions, Tampa Bay WaVE is poised to
jumpstart innovation and economic growth. For more information, visit www.tampabaywave.org.