University of South Florida St. Petersburg



Partnership between USF and Tampa Bay Wave aims to make region major fintech hub with new St. Petersburg-based accelerator

Fintech accelerator

The overall goal of the fintech accelerator is to transition startups to sustainable, scalable and profitable businesses.

An innovative multi-year partnership between the University of South Florida Muma College of Business and Tampa Bay Wave is launching the FinTech|X Accelerator, with its first cohort to be selected in 2022.

This accelerator is designed to assist high-potential, high-growth startups in the fintech, or financial technology, industry through mentoring, pitch coaching and investment training. The overall goal is to transition startups to sustainable, scalable and profitable businesses.

“The fintech accelerator will allow our campus to play an active role in the growth of fintech across the Tampa Bay region,” said Gary Patterson, interim director of the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, which is one of six schools within the Muma College of Business. “We are excited to see the new ideas and companies this accelerator generates and what it offers the industry.”

Along with supporting aspiring fintech businesses and entrepreneurs, the accelerator seeks to make the region a hub for fintech startups and talent. The bulk of the in-person programming and signature events will take place on USF’s St. Petersburg campus and other venues around the region, highlighting Tampa Bay’s strong financial industry presence and expertise while exposing the local business community to emerging technologies and business models impacting the financial industry.

“This is the first step toward a bigger vision for establishing the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance and this region as a hub of excellence in this exciting field,” said Moez Limayem, the Lynn Pippenger Dean of the Muma College of Business.

Fintech refers to the integration of technology into financial services. Online banking systems, crypto exchanges and crowdfunding platforms are all examples of fintech.

The accelerator will begin accepting applications on or before January 1, 2022 from startups around the world. Like all of Tampa Bay Wave’s accelerator programs, startups selected for the cohort will participate at no cost and without giving up equity in their companies. Beyond the 90-day program, companies completing the program have access to an additional six months of mentoring and other resource support at no cost.

“The new FinTech|X Accelerator is being created to address the growing demand for innovative fintech solutions and talent by local finance industry giants and the greater Tampa Bay region,” said Tampa Bay Wave CEO Linda Olson. “I’m incredibly proud of our longstanding partnership with USF that continues to promote greater startup density and high wage job creation in Tampa Bay.”

The 90-day accelerator will begin in mid-April, with signature events planned for June of 2022. Entrepreneurs will receive several weeks of classroom training, virtual education opportunities and one-on-one mentor guidance as their business grows beyond the startup stage. At the conclusion of the program, cohort companies will also participate in a private Demo Day event to a room full of accredited investors and venture capitalists.

“This program embodies St. Petersburg’s Grow Smarter strategy by focusing on the intersection of financial services and technology,” said J.P. DuBuque, President & CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation. “We’re seeing that nearly all financial service companies in our market are either significantly leveraging technology or are truly fintech companies. FinTech|X will allow us to showcase our thought leadership in the space and attract innovative entrepreneurs and growing companies to our region.”

To learn more or to apply, visit:

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