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Tampa Bay Wave picks 13 data and tech companies for startup accelerator

TAMPA — The nonprofit Tampa Bay Wave has selected 13 new startups for its accelerator program to help young tech and data companies build their businesses from a field of nearly 100 applicants, the largest field of applicants in the organization's history.

Six of the 13 were co-founded by women. Four had minorities and three had veterans among their co-founders. Eight are already generating revenue.

Wave said it plans to use a $50,000 Small Business Administration grant it won last year to expand programs for startups led by women.

"Wave is committed to providing every available resource to launch these promising tech companies to scalable, successful ventures" and "further helping to close the critical early stage capital gap in our budding tech community," Tampa Bay Wave president and founder Linda Olson said.

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"A great opportunity," said Tom Coffin, CEO and co-founder of Simply Reliable, which has created cloud-based workflow and design tools for smart home integration and planning. The company was launched in 2012, introduced its tools in 2014 and has four full-time employees and five working advisors.

"The Wave accelerator has great mentors, entrepreneurs in residence, venture capital companies, and masterminds to help us scale Simply Reliable," Coffin said.

Wave sorts selected companies into build, launch or grow programs, depending on their stage of development. The accelerator program is meant to move their startup to the next phase within six to 12 months of entering the program.

Other companies selected include:

• 180byTwo, which uses a data-driven approach to give clients a fully rounded view of their customers and sharpen their marketing programs.

• Anchor, described as ride-sharing on the water, provides boats on-demand and waiting at the dock.

• Course Align, designed to help educators align their coursework with the needs of the local job market.

• Data & Sons, a marketplace for people and organizations to buy, sell and trade a wide range of data.

• Inzata, which uses artificial intelligence to help clients explore and model data.

• Orchrd, which works to improve education for both teachers and students through the power of analytics and collaboration tools.

• Preferhired, a referral-based recruiting tool to help employers find the best candidates and job-seekers to find their dream job.

• Records Rescue: Connecting attorneys to their clients' medical data safely and securely.

• RxLive: Connecting patients and pharmacists with a focus on concierge-level service.

• SimpleShowing, which provides tools to help homeowners sell their homes.

• Verapy, which uses virtual reality to create immersive games for outpatient physical therapy.

• Wabi Social, an online dating company focused on social accountability and good user experience.

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