Skip to content

Published: January 15, 2016

UT Entrepreneurship Center Receives Coveted Peer Award For Entrepreneurship Education

The Lowth Entrepreneurship Center in The University of Tampa’s Sykes College of Business, has been awarded the National Model Program Award for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship® (USASBE) at its annual conference in San Diego.

National model program awards are given to colleges and universities that have developed and offer high quality and innovative programs, the purpose of which is to educate and train future generations of entrepreneurs. The awards are given for exemplary programs that reflect innovation, quality, comprehensiveness, sustainability, transferability, depth of support and impact.

Additionally, Jody Tompson, professor of management and entrepreneurship and director of the Naimoli Institute for Business Strategy, won the Outstanding Teaching Case Presentation Award.

Rebecca White, director of the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center and professor of entrepreneurship, said this model program award highlights the success of UT’s students, faculty and alumni in pursuing entrepreneurial activity.

“This award is arguably the most coveted award among entrepreneurship educators in the United States,” White said. “To be judged by our peers as offering a comprehensive and high quality entrepreneurship program that is worthy of the highest level of discipline recognition is confirmation of the dedication and talent of our faculty, staff and students in our program. We are more passionate than ever about providing excellence in entrepreneurship education to our students and the Tampa Bay region.”

Ted Zoller, president of USASBE, said this award not only recognizes UT’s undergraduate curricula in entrepreneurship as not only the leading program in the United States, but as a model for other universities to emulate.

“By fusing a novel competency based approach with leading faculty,” he said, “Professor White has developed a truly remarkable program that will prepare the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders.”

The award comes less than six months after UT built a dedicated top floor of its new building, the Innovation and Collaboration Building, as the location of the entrepreneurship center. The space is creatively designed to bring together prospective student entrepreneurs, educators and experienced executives to generate, define and develop entrepreneurial concepts and to launch new ventures.

“The award fits beautifully with our strategy of developing our entrepreneurship program to be world class and one of the very best at developing future entrepreneurs,” White said.

In 2014, the entrepreneurship center won the USASBE Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program Award. In 2015 the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center was awarded the Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation Award by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.

The entrepreneurship major is one of the largest on campus and provides students with skills that are critical for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur or think like one. In 2015, a team of UT entrepreneurship students (Tembo) were finalists — and the only U.S.-based team — in the $1 million Clinton Global Initiative Hult Prize, amongst 20,000 student participants. Also in 2015, another student team (LiftSync) was named the winner of the Global Startup Battle’s Disruptors and Big Ideas Track.

Frank Ghannadian, dean of the Sykes College of Business, said the USASBE model program award is not surprising due to the strength of the entrepreneurship program and UT’s robust business curriculum. “Our entrepreneurship program growth is a reflection of the reputation of The University of Tampa and the outstanding faculty we have,” he said.

For more information, see the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center website at

UT's John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center hosted 10 colleges and universities from around the state in the Governor's Cup entrepreneurship pitch competition.
The Governor's Cup, Florida's premier collegiate pitch competition, is set to take place at The University of Tampa on Saturday, Feb. 24
Three student entrepreneurs won cash prizes to put toward their businesses in the finals of the C.R.E.A.T.E. (Creating Real Entrepreneurial Actions Through Education) Business Idea Competition.