SEED Tampa Bay


About SEED Tampa Bay

Recognizing the significant need for early-stage capital within the Tampa Bay region's startup community, the University of South Florida (USF) applied for and was awarded a federal grant by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to create an early-stage seed fund to help retain and grow Tampa Bay area startup companies. Together with their partners Florida Funders, USF will lead a cohesive regional effort to develop SEED Tampa Bay Early Stage Investment Fund, LLC (SEED Tampa Bay).

The goal of SEED Tampa Bay is to create a regional early stage fund that will provide broad regional impact while being synergistic with the other small and focused funds which are or will be formed in Tampa Bay. The Tampa Bay community has significant and growing startup activity across a range of technology areas including engineering, IT, and the life sciences.

The initial focus of SEED Tampa Bay will be to identify potential startups with strong management seeking seed funding, including companies which may be missing one or more critical components; such as advisors or key employees. We hope to work with other regional funds which will refer startups they would fund if those critical components were acquired. SEED Tampa Bay will seek to use its extensive network of incubators, accelerators, mentors and other partners available through the USF CONNECT and Florida Funders relationships to bring the identified missing critical components to high potential startup companies and to address their development needs within the region.

Meet the Team

Tom Wallace

Tom Wallace

Tom has been a technology entrepreneur or, “never had a real job,” as his father always said, since he started his first company at the age of 23. He has been starting, growing and building businesses ever since. He has had some wonderful successes, some strikeouts, and some ventures that fell in between. He believes that he’s learned much more from his failures than from his successes along the way. He believes business is all about putting together the right team, setting goals, staying focused, and being fanatical about product design and customer service.

Marc Blumenthal

Marc Blumenthal

Marc Blumenthal is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader in the technology industry, as well as an active investor and mentor in early-stage companies. Blumenthal acquired Intelladon in 2000, which he built from a small company to leading online learning provider and talent management service, and successfully sold the company to Tribridge in 2013. With three decades of experience, Blumenthal serves as CEO for Florida Funders where he is also an investor-member and serves on the company’s Board of Managers.

Valerie McDevitt

Valerie Landrio McDevitt

Valerie Landrio McDevitt is an Associate Vice President at the University of South Florida, representing the university in matters related to research and innovation, industry connections, startups, and technology transfer. Valerie oversees the Technology Transfer Office, Tampa Bay Technology Incubator, and the Student Innovation Incubator. Valerie received her BS in Chemistry from Siena College, MST in Chemistry at the University of Florida, and a JD at Emory University School of Law.

Samuel A. Wickline

Samuel A. Wickline, M.D.

Samuel A. Wickline, M.D. is the Director of the USF Health Heart Institute, TGH Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Associate Dean for Cardiovascular Research. Dr. Wickline moved to USF in December 2016 from Washington University School of Medicine, where he was a founding member of several academic initiatives. He has been an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association, a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and recipient of a number of awards for teaching, entrepreneurship, and academics at Washington University. Dr. Wickline has authored over 300 research papers, holds more than 50 patents, and founded four biotech startup companies pursuing the development of personalized nanomedicines and medical diagnostic imaging devices.


Want more information? Send us a message!

Florida Funders Synapse EDA

The Corridor USF CONNECT