Tampa Bay Business Women Awards 2023: Linda Olson

Linda Olson is the chief executive officer and founder of the Tampa Bay Wave. Today, the Wave has a national, and international, reputation and recruits technology companies from across the United States and beyond, several of whom have relocated to the region.

Since its launch, in 2013, the Wave has supported 450 startups and, collectively, these startups have raised more than $650 million and created 4,000 jobs.


Over my career, I have learned repeatedly that you can accomplish big things… even almost impossible big things… if you set your mind to it. You must name it and develop a plan to reach it and, if you remain committed and persistent, nearly anything is possible.

No person’s success is “self-made.” There are always others who have opened doors or provided the opportunities for your success, even if they did not intend to do so. But if you want to be successful, surround yourself with other successful people who are willing to help hold you accountable, be there for you when you need them and be your biggest cheerleader each time you cross another milestone.  Of course, this means you need to be committed to doing the same, in return, but the payoff is immeasurable.


Women empowerment is about highlighting, and celebrating, the women who break through ceilings so that all women, regardless of age or background, can be inspired to live up to their full potential. But women’s empowerment is about more than just inspiration. In some cases, there are still some fights to be fought to give all women equal opportunities, and pathways, to success.


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