Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (far left) with Reuben Pressman

Entrepreneurship Program co-founder, graduate honored

Daniel James Scott, associate director of the USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Program, has been named Technology Leader of the Year by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, and Reuben Pressman, the program’s first graduate, has been named Rising Star.

The honors were announced Friday night during the Forum’s 10th Annual Industry Achievement Awards Gala at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.

In addition, Sam Esfahani, a member of the College of Business Advisory Board and chief information officer of the financial services firm PSCU, was a finalist for CIO of the Year.

Tim Curran, an adjunct faculty member in the USFSP College of Business and CEO of the Global Technology Distribution Council, was a finalist for the Technology Leader of the Year award won by Scott.

Tim Curran teaches evening business class.

Tim Curran teaches evening business class.

“It was a great night for everyone at the College of Business,” said College of Business Dean Maling Ebrahimpour, Ph.D. “Quality is a hallmark of the college,and particularly among our faculty, students and community partners.”

Vivian Fueyo, Ph.D, interim regional vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the awards highlight the growing strength of the three-year-old Entrepreneurship Program. “Recognition from the community is the best praise possible,” she said.

Tampa Bay Technology Forum CEO Heather Kenyon said, “I was thrilled to see that the Entrepreneurship Program at USFSP had such a strong showing at the Tampa Bay Technology Forum Industry Achievement Awards. Both Daniel and Reuben are incredible advocates for the entrepreneurial community. The passion and dedication to assist others and to grow technology companies locally has benefited numerous early stage companies and the awards they received are well deserved.”

Daniel James Scott (far right) with Tampa Bay Technology Forum Board member Joel Playford

Daniel James Scott (far right) with Tampa Bay Technology Forum Board member Joel Playford

Scott founded the technology company Alorum and co-founded the seed-stage investment fund Gazelle Lab. Earlier this year he was named the Small Business Administration Florida Small Business Advocate of the Year and recently was named the Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year by the Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Reuben Pressman is the CEO and Founder of Check I’m Here, a startup company that helps universities measure and increase campus engagement and allocate funds more efficiently through the use of student ID cards.

In January the USFSP Entrepreneurship Program was named the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program in the United States by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. And in April, members of the student Entrepreneurship Club won the prestigious Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Startup Simulation Challenge for the second year in a row.

Learn more about how to support the Entrepreneurship Program.

Daniel James Scott

USFSP Entrepreneurship Program leader named Florida’s small business advocate of the year

Daniel James Scott, associate director of the USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Program at the College of Business, has been named the Florida 2013 Small Business Advocate of the Year.

The award honors the work Scott has done through the Entrepreneurship Program, recently named the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program in the United States.  It is awarded annually by the Small Business Administration’s South Florida District to the person who has demonstrated accomplishments over the past three years supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses.

Last month Scott was named the advocate of the year for the Small Business Administration South Florida District. This latest honor extends that honor to the entire state.

“This honor really highlights the dedicated efforts of our Entrepreneurship Program team at USF St. Petersburg, including the administration, faculty, advisers, volunteers and students,” Scott said. “Our combined efforts in building a stronger ecosystem have truly created a positive impact for entrepreneurs around the state of Florida.”

“This award acknowledges your personal achievement and dedication in advocating for and advancing small business ownership and expansion opportunities,” wrote Francisco “Pancho” A. Marrero, South Florida District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration. “Through your work you inspire other entrepreneurs to start and build businesses that will benefit our community. Job creating has a lasting impact on Florida’s economy and you are there inspiring others through our work.”

The Entrepreneurship Program was founded three years ago by William Jackson, Ph.D., Professor for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Scott, a successful entrepreneur himself with five businesses, three of which he sold, joined the program in July 2010.

Last year, students in the Entrepreneurship Club won the prestigious 2012 CEO Startup Simulation Challenge. More recently, USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship students took both first and third place during the 2013 South Eastern Entrepreneurship Conference’s pitch competition.

“This award underscores the Entrepreneurship Program’s commitment to helping the community, particularly small startup businesses,” said Norine Noonan, Ph.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs. “It is yet another example of the kind of community engagement the College of Business is known for.”

The program will celebrate with Entrepreneurship Day at 1:30 p.m. April 10 along Harborwalk at USF St. Petersburg. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature food, music and presentations by Entrepreneurship students and faculty members.

Read more about the Entrepreneurship Program at the USF St. Petersburg College of Business.

New Dali Museum series, The Genius Next Door, to feature USF St. Petersburg professors

The Dalí Museum is hosting a new monthly series of stimulating conversations with USF St. Petersburg professors.

Called The Genius Next Door, the series will give audiences a chance to ask questions, exchange ideas and discuss cutting-edge research with intellectual leaders from USF St. Petersburg. Frank Biafora, dean of the USFSP College of Arts and Sciences, will act as the emcee and facilitator for the monthly series.

The Genius Next Door will be a five-part conversation series featuring three different professors every month. Activities and topics will vary each event based on the speakers.

The next event will be Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Museum Theater, with overflow next door seating in the Raymond James Community Room.

The speakers for Thursday’s event are Daniel James Scott, MS, MBA; Dr. Jill McCracken, College of Arts and Sciences; and Carol Hixson, MS, Dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library.

Scott, an instructor in entrepreneurship, is the Associate Director for the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Alliance. McCracken, an assistant professor in the English Department, teaches writing and composition. Hixson, writes a blog on her thoughts and experiences in technology and running a library.

The event is open to the public and admission is free for Dalí members and $5 for non-members. The museum is at One Dalí Blvd. in St. Petersburg.


Gazelle Lab Demo Day Showcased Work of Start-Ups and Students

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (November 18, 2011) – With the work of USF St. Petersburg entrepreneurship students assisting them along the way, the 14 entrepreneurs selected for the inaugural Gazelle Lab capped their mentor-driven program on Thursday, Nov. 17 by presenting funding pitches to investors from around the country.

View a news story on Gazelle Lab broadcast on WTSP Channel 10.

Presented by Gray Robinson and the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Alliance in the USFSP College of Business, the Gazelle Lab Demo Day took place in the Progress Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater. The entrepreneurs took turns in the spotlight on stage and had eight minutes to pitch their business.

The entrepreneurs had three months to fulfill their charge – absorb all the training, guidance and support provided by USFSP students and more than 60 community mentors to then successfully pitch an expansion plan for their recently launched businesses. The program continued in the afternoon with a student pitch competition where students from USFSP and other universities in the region pitched for investment from a distinguished panel of entrepreneurs.

“The students involved that are truly motivated toward self-venturing develop skills that will give them more than a leg up in starting their own venture,” said Bill Jackson, the Gazelle Lab director and professor of entrepreneurship and innovation in the College of Business at USFSP. “This works because the students and community mentors are committed to the concept underlying Gazelle Lab – to advance sustainable entrepreneurship in the Tampa Bay area.”

Part of the national TechStars Network, the Gazelle Lab is an initiative of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation (SEI) Alliance in the College of Business at USFSP. The term “gazelle” refers to the entrepreneurial companies creating most of the private-sector jobs and revenue growth in the U.S. economy. In Gazelle Lab, local investors provide early-stage seed money and undergraduate students review the investor documentation and models developed by the business founders.

“We’re raising capital and generating jobs without any cost to anybody and with great benefit to the university’s students,” said Daniel James Scott, another Gazelle Lab founder and assistant director of the SEI Alliance. “The company founders put everything on the line for their business ideas and the students have a say in the future of those companies.”

Demo Day took place during St. Petersburg’s Entrepreneurship Month and the Global Entrepreneurship Week.