RICH HERUSKA

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RICH HERUSKA

Interim Accelerator Director at Tampa Bay Wave

Rich Heruska is a Serial Entrepreneur and 5x Founder of numerous Consumer Facing Brands. Most recently, Rich sold his growing chain of Family Entertainment and Recreation Centers, AirHeads Trampoline Arena, to a Holding Company of Entertainment Brands. AirHeads’ was the largest Corporate Owned Company in the Southeast at the time. Under Rich’s leadership, AirHeads’ patented it’s Aircraft Cable Trampoline System which provided a safer jumping experience and was recognized with the prestigious TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence which awards the top 10% of Hospitality Brands worldwide. AirHeads’ was also honored as the 2nd Fastest Growing Company at the 2014 University of South Florida Fast 56 Awards Dinner.

Biography

Currently, Rich is the Interim Accelerator Director at the Tampa Bay Wave, a Technology Accelerator. Rich leads a company portfolio of 50 companies, works with 200 investors in the investor network and close to 100 mentors in the mentor network. During Rich’s tenure, the Wave became the first Accelerator in the state of Florida to be accepted into the Global Accelerator Network and secured its first Corporate backed Accelerator creating the TechDiversity Accelerator, powered by the Nielsen Foundation. Rich has also created strategic partnerships with many tech organizations in the area to foster a more robust tech community.

Prior to founding AirHeads, Rich was the Co-Founder and COO of Home Discovery Real Estate which he helped grow from a 3 person mortgage firm to a 300 person full-service real estate company producing over $15million in Annual Revenues with five separate divisions. Home Discovery disrupted the Traditional Real Estate marketplace and created it’s own technology platform that transformed the customer experience. Rich lead the efforts to raise Five Million Dollars and the company was recognized with several prominent accolades during Rich’s tenure, including the Governor’s Entrepreneurship Award and numerous Best Places to Work and Fastest Growing Company awards.

Rich Heruska was recognized with the Gulf Coast Business Reviews’ “40 under 40” and the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “30 under 30” award. ​Active in the Community, Rich has served as President of the USF Alumni Association, Two-Term Advisory Board Chair for Best Buddies, and Board Member for the USF Foundation. Rich is also a Charter Member of TiE Tampa and “Friend of Wave” program at the Tampa Bay Wave. Rich and his wife, Laura, established the Heruska Family Endowed Scholarship for Entrepreneurship at USF.