Suncoast Business Forum Profiles Kate Tiedemann

Kate Tiedemann, a retired entrepreneur who gave $10 million to USF St. Petersburg for its Kate Tiedemann College of Business.

Kate Tiedemann

Kate Tiedemann was recently profiled by Geoffrey Simon on WEDU TV’s “Suncoast Business Forum.”

Tiedemann, a bay area retired entrepreneur and philanthropist, has made local headlines in recent years for giving $10 million to USF St. Petersburg for its Kate Tiedemann College of Business and $6 million to Morton Plant Mease Healthcare Foundation for its Tiedemann Technology Fund. She also is known for giving today’s younger generations the educational resources and opportunities she did not have while growing up.

Simon described Tiedemann as the embodiment of the American dream: an immigrant who came to the United States in pursuit of a better life.

Tiedemann, who arrived from Germany in 1955 as a teenager, came to the United States with no knowledge of the English language, an eighth grade education, and only $30 in her pocket. While facing what many would view as an insurmountable obstacle, Tiedemann viewed it as a challenge to work harder to make something of herself. She went on to become a successful entrepreneur as the founder of Katena Eye Instruments, one of the best known surgical implement companies in the world.

“If anybody is willing to go after what he really wants to do and work hard, it can be done. There’s nobody that can stand in your way when you do that,” Tiedemann said during the television interview.

Watch the profile entirety in an online video on the WEDU Suncoast Business Forum website.