I'm well aware of the vast sums of VC money in the Bay Area, Seattle, and even Boston. I'm located in the Tampa, FL area and am starting my business here. I'm willing to move the business after a period of time, and/or open additional offices in other areas, but for the first 1-2 years I need to be based here.
I'm bootstrapping myself, but I need $650k to get beyond demo/POC stage (3 months out). Am I pipe-dreaming that I could find someone with the connections and capital to be an angel in Tampa? Where do I go from here?
Your chances of finding a network of Silicon Valley-style angels in Florida is much smaller than it is in California or New York. There are only 4 Florida angels listed on AngelList, for example.
If you can find a way to spend 3 months away from Tampa, and if you can get into one of the accelerator programs (like TechStars in four cities, or YCombinator ) in Silicon Valley, you'll have a very, very good chance of being able to raise a decent angel round at the end of the program--these days most graduates of Y Combinator and TechStars are easily able to raise a million dollar round, and there's no reason after that you couldn't go back to Tampa to build the business.
Yes and no.
Check out the SBA and see if there are connections there. You need a business plan to present and need to present well. Contact the business schools and talk with profs dealing with ventures they will likely know someone. Then network both hocking your bus. plan along with finding out where the other angels are.