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Region's cybersecurity sector set to get even stronger

ConnectWise founder Arnie Bellini and other leading companies donate more than $100,000 to new business accelerator program.


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  • | 6:00 a.m. October 23, 2020
Courtesy. Tampa Bay Wave CEO Linda Olson.
Courtesy. Tampa Bay Wave CEO Linda Olson.
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Arnie Bellini continues to give away the fortune he made as the founder and CEO of ConnectWise, the privately held, Tampa-based IT management software firm he sold, for an undisclosed sum, to Thomas Bravo last year — a lucrative deal that created 70 millionaires. 

In May 2019, Bellini donated $7 million to his alma mater, Tampa Catholic High School, and now he’s at it again with a $100,000 donation to Tampa Bay Wave, a business accelerator and co-working space. The latest gift, according to a press release, will create a program, CyberTech|X Accelerator, that will focus on making the Tampa Bay region a hub for cybersecurity talent and innovation.

Prominent local cybersecurity firms A-LIGN and KnowBe4 also contributed funds to the CyberTech|X Accelerator program, as did EY, according to the release. Cyber Florida, USF Muma School of Business, Jabil, SYKES and Aditum are strategic partners. 

Companies selected for the accelerator, the release states, will receive mentorship and one-on-one feedback with notable tech founders, pitch coaching, investment readiness programs and strategic introductions to investors and prospective customers. The companies will also participate in Tampa Bay Wave’s Demo Day at the conclusion of the program. “The new CyberTech|X Accelerator is yet more evidence of Tampa Bay’s potential as a significant hub for technology startups and is another game-changer for the Tampa Bay tech community,” Tampa Bay Wave CEO Linda Olson states in the release. 

Tampa Bay area cybersecurity firms have seen huge growth in recent years. KnowBe4 generated $120 million in gross revenue in 2018, nearly double the $62 million it posted in 2017, while A-LIGN’s gross annual revenue rose 15.7%, from $39.67 million in 2018 to $45.91 million last year. 

The CyberTech|X Accelerator program is set to begin in January. Applications are being accepted until Nov. 30 at https://www.tampabaywave.org/cybertech

 

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