Published: October 01, 2014

For many graduates entering the workforce, the availability of employment isn’t quite what they were hoping. But for the determined, meeting that challenge with entrepreneurial skills can make the difference. To equip university students across the U.S., the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO) has teamed up with The University of Tampa to host the 17th annual CEO National Conference Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2014, at Orlando’s Hyatt Grand Cypress.

For three days, students will innovate, create and develop business ventures slated to revolutionize the entrepreneurial community. Guest speakers include Kevin Harrington, entrepreneur and ABC's Shark Tank judge from seasons 1–2, and CEO alumnus Ryan Allis, who sold his company iContact to Vocus in 2012 for $169 million.

More than 150 universities and 1,500 students are anticipated to come to Florida, home of The University of Tampa Entrepreneurship Center, which was recently awarded the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program Award from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

CEO student Kaeya Majmundar from Emory University recently showcased her business in front of a national audience on ABC's Shark Tank, securing a deal from Shark Lori Grenier for The BZBox. Majmundar introduced her initial idea during the 2012 CEO National Conference as a part of the National Elevator Pitch Competition. Majmundar stood out from the field of 60 student entrepreneurs to win the competition and returns in 2014 to share her story and to compete in the competition again with a new invention.

Universities participating include:

  • Ashland University
  • Bryant University
  • Canisius College
  • Colorado Mesa University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Fresno State University 
  • Iowa State University 
  • Lehigh University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Pennsylvania State University Altoona
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica De Puerto Rico
  • Rowan University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Texas Christian University
  • Texas State University 
  • University of Florida
  • University of Nebraska Omaha
  • University of North Florida
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • University of Missouri
  • University of South Alabama
  • University of Tampa
  • University of Tennessee Chattanooga

For more information, contact James Zebrowski, staff assistant for the Sykes College of Business Entrepreneurship Center, at or (813) 257-3039.