Posts

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.

Startup Weekend Tampa Bay logo

USF St. Petersburg to host 4th Startup Weekend Tampa Bay

Startup Weekend Tampa Bay will connect local entrepreneurs, developers, designers and startup enthusiasts with mentors and resources at USF St. Petersburg June 7-9.

It is the fourth Startup Weekend Tampa Bay event and the first to be held at USF St. Petersburg, hosted by the USFSP Entrepreneurship Club.

Throughout the course of this 54-hour event, attendees will share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.

Attendees arrive at the University Student Center Ballroom on Friday, June 7, to kick off the event with idea pitches, voting and team building. Startup veterans and mentors will be on hand throughout the weekend to provide expertise and give talks on their experiences while teams build their business ideas. On Sunday evening the teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges comprised of some of the Tampa Bay area’s most knowledgeable business leaders.

USF St. Petersburg is an appropriate location for Startup Weekend, said William Jackson, D.B.A., director of the USFSP Entrepreneurship Program.

The Entrepreneurship Program was named the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program in the United States in January by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the world’s largest independent organization dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship.

Members of the USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Club, meanwhile, recently won the prestigious Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) Startup Simulation Challenge for the second year in a row. The national competition requires a team of students to take a new business and make the right decisions to out-perform teams from across the country.

At the last Startup Weekend in Tampa in November, a team of USFSP students won the People’s Choice Award and third place overall.

“We are pleased that Startup Tampa Bay will be held at USF St. Petersburg, where the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well,” said Jackson “It’s always exciting to feel the energy created when young entrepreneurs get together.”

Reuben Pressman, the first graduate of the USFSP Entrepreneurship Program, is one of the organizers of Startup Weekend Tampa Bay.

“As a graduate of program I am super-excited to help bring the next Startup Weekend to the new Student Center at USFSP,” said Pressman, founder and CEO of his own startup,  called Check I’m Here. “The people, knowledge, experience, and opportunities are invaluable – and you get them all in just one weekend.”

Registration is $99, with discounts for students. More information here.

Startup Weekend Tampa Bay is part of the national Startup Weekend organization, which supports the development and expansion of entrepreneurship through events worldwide that educate aspiring entrepreneurs by immersing them in the process of moving an idea to market. It has built a network of more than 55,000 alumni, thousands of volunteer organizers and 100 trained facilitators in more than 300 and 100 countries.

Winning Entrepreneurship Club members Chris Carpentier, Mark Lombardi-Nelson, Lazar Anderson, Brown Charite and Kevin Mircovich are congratulated by Entrepreneurship Director Bill Jackson during Entrepreneurship Day.

USFSP Entrepreneurship Club members win second national championship in a row

Members of the USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Club at have won a prestigious national competition for the second year in a row.

The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) Startup Simulation Challenge requires a team of students to take a new business and make the right decisions to out-perform nine other teams from across the country. The computer simulation took two months.

The winners were announced Wednesday during Entrepreneurship Day at USFSP, held three months after the Entrepreneurship Program at the USFSP College of Business was named the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program in the United States by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The USF St. Petersburg team was led by Kevin Mircovich and included Lazar Anderson, sophomore Chris Carpentier, senior Brown Charite and Mark Lombardi-Nelson. The winning team is awarded $1,000 and will be honored at the 2013 National CEO Conference in Chicago. Everyone but Mircovich were members of the 2012 championship team.

The top three schools finished just several points apart. This was the third annual simulation challenge hosted by CEO, the premier entrepreneurship network with 240 chapters at universities in 43 states.

Quinnipiac University placed second and the University of Northern Iowa was third.

In February, USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Club students dominated a pitch competition in Tampa that drew 200 students from across the Southeast, with four of the seven finalists and a first and third place showing.

In November, a team that included three USF St. Petersburg students won first place in the People’s Choice Award, and third place overall at Startup Weekend Tampa in November.

“We are proud that USF St. Petersburg students are once again the national champions in entrepreneurship,” said Entrepreneurship Program Director Bill Jackson, Ph.D. “These students worked hard for this achievement and showing the way for others.”

Norine Noonan, Ph.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the recent string of victories by the students shows the value of USFSP’s growing Entrepreneurship Program.

“Our goal is to build the best undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the country and Bill Jackson and his team deserve our hearty congratulations,” Noonan said. “This is a great example of the importance of this program to the economic vitality of Pinellas County and the Tampa Bay area.”

 

Evan Koteles

USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Club students dominate pitch competition

USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Club students dominated a southeastern pitch competition in Tampa last week, with four of the seven finalists and a first and third place showing.

More than 200 entrepreneurship students from throughout the Southeast attended the Southeast Entrepreneurship Conference Student Pitch Competition at the University of Tampa Feb. 1-2. The universities represented included the University of Florida, Mississippi State University, Texas Christian University, the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and the University of Tampa.

Senior Entrepreneurship major Evan Koteles won the $2,000 first place prize with the Spunnel, a combination spoon and funnel that put him in third place in last year’s competition.

Nick Price

Nick Price

Nick Price, a senior majoring in Information Systems Management, placed third with his pitch for a mobile, waterless car cleaning business.

“This was the best overall showing of pitching skills by our students I have seen,’’ said William Jackson, Ph.D., director of the Entrepreneurship Program in the USF St. Petersburg College of Business. “I am so proud of each and every student that participated — it was absolutely amazing.”

The students’ success comes less than a month after the Entrepreneurship Program was named the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program in the United States by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The students were coached by Nathan Schwagler, the Entrepreneurship Club Advisor and creative-in-Residence; Daniel James Scott, Associate Director of the Entrepreneurship Program; John Morrow, Entrepreneur-in-Residence; and Elizabeth Markie, Entrepreneurship Program Pitch Coach. The students who competed are members of the USFSP Entrepreneurship Club, which is sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Koteles said he has spent the last year refining his Spunnel with engineers and developing prototypes. “After pitching a few weeks ago at a practice competition at USFSP, the judges gave it to me straight that I was going to have to show a year’s worth of traction if I was going to pitch the same idea as last year,” he said. “Within 24 hours I was taking it to restaurant servers, managers, owners and executive chefs to get their feedback.” They told him they thought it would be a useful kitchen tool.

A singer-songwriter, Koteles even wrote a short song about the Spunnel that used in his pitch. “I didn’t want to leave anything on the table,” he said. “I seriously fought back tears when I heard my name. I’m more motivated than ever to justify the recognition and see the Spunnel on shelves and in kitchens.”

Next up: to get manufacturing quotes and attend the International Home Show in Chicago.

Price developed his idea for a mobile, eco-friendly waterless car cleaning business as a project in the a venture creation class in Entrepreneurship. He launched the business last month with marketing and web development assistance from two USFSP graduates.

Citysleekers sends workers on bicycles to customers “wherever they are,” Price explained. “Going into the competition, I was so nervous, I was only given four days notice for the qualifying round, and finally pieced together my pitch the day of the event. After I won the qualifying round, I just practiced and practiced until I knew it like the back of my hand. I was shocked when I won third place, all the other pitches were so good!” He is seeking partnerships to expand to other cities.

The Entrepreneurship Program is seeking support for students and faculty to compete in future competitions. If you are interested in learning more about supporting the University please contact Alexis Searfoss, Assistant Director of Development, at 727-873-4519 or asearfoss@usfsp.edu.

Another entrepreneurship win: Southeastern Student Pitch Competition

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (April 4, 2012) — University of South Florida St. Petersburg sophomore Evan Koteles placed third in the recent Student Pitch Competition at the University of Tampa.

The March 24 competition was part of the 2nd Annual Southeastern Entrepreneurship Conference, affiliated with the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization. The conference, hosted by the University of Tampa and supported by the Entrepreneurship Club at USFSP, drew entrepreneurship students from all across the Southeast.

It’s the latest example of growing recognition for the Entrepreneurship Program at the College of Business, founded just 18 months ago. Last week, five members of the club won the national 2012 CEO Startup Simulation Challenge and will share a $1,000 prize.

Evan, 23, who plans to major in entrepreneurship, was advised by Nathan Schwagler, creative-in-residence & visiting instructor, entrepreneurship. He encouraged Evan, a student in his class Creativity in Entrepreneurial Firms, to join the competition, even though he had less than a week to prepare and competed against students who had a year to get ready.

Evan’s pitch was about an invention he calls the Spunnel, a combination spoon and funnel. That helped him stand out, he said.

“I was pretty confident because not a lot of the other ideas were actual products,’’ Evan said. “They were more websites and apps and tech things…It was nice to have an impact as a newbie. One of the judges in the finals said, ‘Where’d you come from.”

Of course, the answer was simple: USF St. Petersburg, where nearly a half-century of tradition meets innovation in a creative, collaborative environment.

Evan has already taken steps to patent his invention.