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TECH Talk – April 2018 “Startups and Raising Capital”
April 10 @ 8:30 am - 10:00 am
The April Diary of an Entrepreneur program, “Startups and Raising Capital,” will be presented by Tom Wallace, managing partner of Florida Funders. Tom has been a technology entrepreneur since co-founding his first company at the age of 23. He has been involved in starting, investing, growing and building businesses ever since. Tom has also been an active tech angel investor for the past 25 years. His investments include: Vector Solutions (sold to Providence Equity Partners, Tribridge (sold to DXC Technology), Q-Link (sold to Adobe), Adjoy, Threshold-360, all the Florida Funders portfolio companies, and many others. Prior to joining Florida Funders, Tom served as CEO of Vector Solutions, a SaaS company in the online training compliance space, which he invested in 2003. In 2016 Vector Solutions was purchased by Providence Equity Partners, a $40 billion private equity firm, giving Tom a 50x return on his investment.
Tom and his lifelong business partner, Kevin Adamek, built and sold two other successful companies. The first was a Value Added Reseller which they started in 1983 and sold in 1990 to a large publicly traded NASDAQ company. The other was a Network Integration company which they started in 1990, grew to over 350 employees and $80 million in sales, and sold to a Fortune 500 company in 1997.
Tom has been active in the Florida technology community for the past 25 years. He was one of the original founders of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum in 2001, and served as CEO for the first three years. He presents at tech conferences about entrepreneurship and raising capital. Over the course of his career he raised well over $100M – for his various companies – from venture capital and private equity firms. Tom serves as a judge for pitch competitions as well as the E&Y’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. He has also been a finalist for this award twice himself.
Present Board roles include: Florida Funders, First Tee of Tampa Bay, and Pikmykid.
Tom feels he has had some big wins, some strikeouts, and many ventures and investments that fell in between. He believes he’s learned much more from his failures than from his successes. For Tom, business is all about putting together the right team, setting big goals, staying laser focused, and being fanatical about product design and customer service. From an investment standpoint, he says, “We bet as much on the jockey as the horse.” As such, Tom enjoys personally getting to know the founders of the companies that are vetted through Florida Funders.
TECH Talk is the area’s premier networking and educational event developed specifically to meet the interest of the local entrepreneurial community.
There is no fee to attend, but space is limited.
Additional information is available by contacting 727-547-7340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tampa Bay Innovation Center, through TEC Garage, offers a number of programs geared toward entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and others interested in the growth of the local technology community.